7.20.2013

Nice of you to join us, Mr. President

What took so long?
...Mr Obama spoke in highly personal terms as he reflected on his remark last year that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon.

Drawing an even more direct connection to the 17-year-old, he said: “Another way of saying that is, Trayvon Martin could’ve been me, 35 years ago.”

Mr Obama, in his most emotional and powerful words on race since becoming President, made an unscheduled appearance in the White House briefing room where he talked for 20 minutes without a teleprompter.

He described his own experiences of racial profiling, which Trayvon’s family said that Mr Zimmerman did the night he shot him dead after he told police that the teen was acting suspiciously.

“There are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of being followed in a department store ... that includes me,” Mr Obama said.

“There are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happened to me, at least before I was a senator.

“There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.”

The president has sought to walk a fine line on issues of race since becoming the first black president, often to the frustration of African-American leaders.


Despite that reticence, his public silence for nearly a week had surprised some aides, especially as he had privately expressed his strong sentiments about the case.

His words reportedly elicited cheers and fist pumps from staff members, according to the Politico website.

Mr Obama also backed the calls by Eric Holder, his Attorney General, for a review of controversial “stand your ground” self-defence laws to head off violent confrontations.

“If Trayvon Martin was of age and he was armed, could he have ’stood his ground’ on that sidewalk?” Mr Obama said.

He added: “If a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, from top to bottom, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.” He called for some “soul-searching” but he also expressed concerns about politicians and pundits embarking on a “national conversation on race”, as some have called for at protests since the verdict.

He also said he does not want the nation to “lose sight” of the progress that has been made on race relations.

It doesn’t mean we’re in a post-racial society or that racism has been eliminated,” he said, but the situation was improving.
(Source)
You should take more notes from your wife, Mr. President.

Anyways, at least Mr. Post-Racial flat-out stated we are not, in fact, post-racial.  As for the whole "improving situation" theory, I'm on the fence; on the one hand, Zimmerman walked free while Spooner tried and failed miserably (take notes, Florida...you can still redeem yourself through Michael David Dunn).

No comments:

Post a Comment

This blog is strictly moderated. Everyone is now able to comment again, however, all Anonymous posts will be immediately deleted. Comments on posts more than 30 days old are generally dismissed, so try to stay current with the conversations.