In general, I thought Obama was an average president, neither particularly great nor particularly awful (though, on balance, he probably hurt the country more than he helped it). On the issue of race, I agree that he made some impolitic statements that too clearly took sides in encouraging the whole #BlackLivesMatter mess and stoking the flames, as you say, but the reason I say that I don’t blame him for our current almost-race war is that I think this whole identity politics movement had been gathering steam well before Obama. It was already starting up in universities back when I was an English major in the 1990s and saw constant attacks on the Western Canon by Philistine idiots who didn’t understand the purpose or pleasure of great literature and for whom the Canon was a bit too difficult, so they wanted, instead, to be reading books by authors who looked like them rather than authors who wrote the best books. That kind of identitarian movement gained more and more momentum as graduates of these increasingly politicized humanities departments worked their way into the professional and academic ranks and became influential professors, thinkers, writers, journalists, attorneys, media figures, etc. This was happening throughout the 2000s, and I think it just happened to get to a tipping point of becoming a total feeding frenzy during Obama’s presidency. He didn’t create the crazed, politicized reaction to the Ferguson incident. He didn’t create the whole #BlackLivesMatter nonsense. He certainly could’ve done more to discourage it (and he did make some tepid statements in that direction), but he also made the kinds of irresponsible statements you refer to. So, while I don’t give him any credit for making the situation better, and while I do blame him for making it marginally worse than it could’ve been, I don’t think he was in any way the direct cause of the kinds of nutso identity politics we have going on all around us today.