- House Democrats trying to force unemployment insurance vote
- Sen. Claire McCaskill to tackle sex assault at college next
- Judge’s order preserves NSA surveillance records
- Refurbished Pollock masterpiece goes on display
- Iditarod becomes mad dash for Nome
- ‘Burger King baby’ now seeks birth mom on Facebook
- Study: 2 percent of Americans have new hips, knees
- Friend: Pistorius shot gun out car without warning
- States wrestle with developing, restricting drones
- Japan marks 3rd anniversary of tsunami disasters
CURL: Obama picks scab off America’s racial wound
But he wasn’t there to calm the country. And he certainly wasn’t there to start some “conversation” on race — he doesn’t find those “particularly productive,” he said, what with all the listening. Instead, he came out unannounced to the briefing room to talk about “how people are feeling.”
Not all people, mind you, just black people — and especially, as always, himself.
“Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” said the half-white man mostly raised in Hawaii by two white grandparents. He ticked off a list of racist actions he said whites take whenever there’s a black man (especially him) nearby — locking car doors, clutching purses closer. “I don’t want to exaggerate this,” he said, exaggerating wildly as he labeled all white people racist.
The president, it turned out, had come to pick the scab off America’s healing wound. The nation had been injured, and everything was bloody: A Hispanic man shot a black teenager in a vicious street fight. No one but George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin knows how it all started, who struck first, why a seemingly meaningless altercation ended in death.
But a jury, picked by the prosecutors and the defense, listened to three weeks of testimony. And at the end of the trial, the jurors heard the legal instructions of the judge. They weighed the evidence, then applied the law. What happened that night in a Florida neighborhood was tragic, the jury decided, but it wasn’t murder.
Violence, sporadic but intense, swept through communities across the country for a week after the verdict, but was subsiding. The president, however, wanted to reopen the case.
“There’s going to be a lot of arguments about the legal issues in the case — I’ll let all the legal analysts and talking heads address those issues,” said America’s first biracial president, who happens to be a lawyer. It was clear from the outset he would offer no balm, only salt for the wound.
See, for Mr. Obama, there were no shades of gray — the case wasn’t even black and white, just black. Only Trayvon’s parents lost someone that night, he implied as he praised their “incredible grace and dignity.” Mr. Zimmerman’s parents, though, didn’t matter. They didn’t even rate a mention from the president, who had decided that the jury was wrong — which is really what brought him to the podium.
And he couldn’t have cared less about how Mr. Zimmerman had lost his life, too, in a very real way: No, the president wanted to make his life worse, to pile on. And even though the altercation was not racially motivated — the testimony was clear on that point — Mr. Obama, adept at pitting side against side, was eager to play the race card.
“The African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away,” he said, refusing to move America beyond its racist past.
He oddly segued into black-on-black crime: gangs, drugs, he said. But America’s past is to blame for that: slavery, repression, he said. “Some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history.”
Yes, slavery 150 years ago is still causing inner-city crime today. Victimology at its finest.
Forget the fact that Mr. Zimmerman was mentoring two black children whose father is serving a life sentence (Mr. Obama didn’t mention that — it didn’t fit the narrative). Instead, he made a shocking charge: “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.”
About the Author
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- President Obama goes 'Between Two Ferns' to pitch Obamacare
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- EDITORIAL: Senate Democrats pointless all-night global warming talkathon
- CPAC 2014: Despite Ben Carson's speech, gay marriage mostly took a back seat at CPAC
- CARNES: Kissinger's flawed and offensive analysis of Ukraine
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Hard-fought congressional election in Florida is seen as a bellwether
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again