Democracy Has Prevailed.

July 20, 2013

The President On Trayvon Martin

Some highlights:
First of all, I want to make sure that, once again, I send my thoughts and prayers, as well as Michelle’s, to the family of Trayvon Martin, and to remark on the incredible grace and dignity with which they’ve dealt with the entire situation. I can only imagine what they’re going through, and it’s remarkable how they’ve handled it.

The second thing I want to say is to reiterate what I said on Sunday, which is 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. The judge conducted the trial in a professional manner. The prosecution and the defense made their arguments. The juries were properly instructed that in a case such as this reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict. And once the jury has spoken, that's how our system works. But I did want to just talk a little bit about context and how people have responded to it and how people are feeling.
And then he laid out some context:
There are very few African American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. 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 happens 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.

And I don't want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the African American community interprets what happened one night in Florida. And it’s inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear. The African American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws -- everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws. And that ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case.
And then:
Now, the question for me at least, and I think for a lot of folks, is where do we take this? How do we learn some lessons from this and move in a positive direction? I think it’s understandable that there have been demonstrations and vigils and protests, and some of that stuff is just going to have to work its way through, as long as it remains nonviolent. If I see any violence, then I will remind folks that that dishonors what happened to Trayvon Martin and his family. But beyond protests or vigils, the question is, are there some concrete things that we might be able to do.
And finally:
And let me just leave you with a final thought that, as difficult and challenging as this whole episode has been for a lot of people, I don’t want us to lose sight that things are getting better. Each successive generation seems to be making progress in changing attitudes when it comes to race. It doesn’t mean we’re in a post-racial society. It doesn’t mean that racism is eliminated. But when I talk to Malia and Sasha, and I listen to their friends and I seem them interact, they’re better than we are -- they’re better than we were -- on these issues. And that’s true in every community that I’ve visited all across the country.

And so we have to be vigilant and we have to work on these issues. And those of us in authority should be doing everything we can to encourage the better angels of our nature, as opposed to using these episodes to heighten divisions.
Humane. Reasonable. Thoughtful.

So how does the right wing respond?

Hold your nose and go see.  He's the race-baiter-in-chief who's stoking racial violence and who's trying to tear this country apart in order to distract from the IRS "scandal."

What humane, reasonable, and thoughtful folks they got over there on the  right, huh?


Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

Sean Hannity talked about Obama's remarks and wondered if Obama compared himself to Martin because "he smoked pot, and he did a little blow":
I find it hilarious that progressives who mocked George W. Bush drinking and alleged cocaine use would be outraged/repulsed at bringing up Obama's drug use that he wrote in his book(s).

johnmariow said...

Obama haters will criticize Obama regardless of what he does or says.

dmarks said...

Trayvon Martin's drug abuse crimes are quite relevant. His drug abuse under Florida law requires a jail term at least or a prison term at most.

The ME examiner found proof of Martin's criminal activity and intoxication.

Heir: The Bush cocaine allegations came not from a medical examiner, but a fake "biography". The person who fabricated the claims admitted it was fake by refusing to provide the source.

Blue Number 2 said...

His "drug abuse" is a legal activity now several states. And how did any of that impact what GZ thought of him that fateful night?

Oh wait, he went out to buy the Skittles and ice tea because he had the munches. He must there be stalked around the neighborhood, confronted and then shot when he turned out to be a better fighter than GZ.