Obama speaks at length about Trayvon Martin

President Obama spoke for ten minutes today the Trayvon Martin case, and George Zimmerman’s acquittal, and the overall issue of race in America.

obama-trayvon

Video and transcript of Obama’s address is below.

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
July 19, 2013

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
ON TRAYVON MARTIN

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
1:33 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: The reason I actually wanted to come out today is not to take questions, but to speak to an issue that obviously has gotten a lot of attention over the course of the last week — the issue of the Trayvon Martin ruling. I gave a preliminary statement right after the ruling on Sunday. But watching the debate over the course of the last week, I thought it might be useful for me to expand on my thoughts a little bit.

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.

You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.

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.

Now, this isn’t to say that the African American community is naïve about the fact that African American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system; that they’re disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence. It’s not to make excuses for that fact — although black folks do interpret the reasons for that in a historical context. They understand that 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 that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history.

And so the fact that sometimes that’s unacknowledged adds to the frustration. And the fact that a lot of African American boys are painted with a broad brush and the excuse is given, well, there are these statistics out there that show that African American boys are more violent — using that as an excuse to then see sons treated differently causes pain.

I think the African American community is also not naïve in understanding that, statistically, somebody like Trayvon Martin was statistically more likely to be shot by a peer than he was by somebody else. So folks understand the challenges that exist for African American boys. But they get frustrated, I think, if they feel that there’s no context for it and that context is being denied. And that all contributes I think to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, that, from top to bottom, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.

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.

I know that Eric Holder is reviewing what happened down there, but I think it’s important for people to have some clear expectations here. Traditionally, these are issues of state and local government, the criminal code. And law enforcement is traditionally done at the state and local levels, not at the federal levels.

That doesn’t mean, though, that as a nation we can’t do some things that I think would be productive. So let me just give a couple of specifics that I’m still bouncing around with my staff, so we’re not rolling out some five-point plan, but some areas where I think all of us could potentially focus.

Number one, precisely because law enforcement is often determined at the state and local level, I think it would be productive for the Justice Department, governors, mayors to work with law enforcement about training at the state and local levels in order to reduce the kind of mistrust in the system that sometimes currently exists.

When I was in Illinois, I passed racial profiling legislation, and it actually did just two simple things. One, it collected data on traffic stops and the race of the person who was stopped. But the other thing was it resourced us training police departments across the state on how to think about potential racial bias and ways to further professionalize what they were doing.

And initially, the police departments across the state were resistant, but actually they came to recognize that if it was done in a fair, straightforward way that it would allow them to do their jobs better and communities would have more confidence in them and, in turn, be more helpful in applying the law. And obviously, law enforcement has got a very tough job.

So that’s one area where I think there are a lot of resources and best practices that could be brought to bear if state and local governments are receptive. And I think a lot of them would be. And let’s figure out are there ways for us to push out that kind of training.

Along the same lines, I think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if it — if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than diffuse potential altercations.

I know that there’s been commentary about the fact that the “stand your ground” laws in Florida were not used as a defense in the case. On the other hand, if we’re sending a message as a society in our communities that someone who is armed potentially has the right to use those firearms even if there’s a way for them to exit from a situation, is that really going to be contributing to the kind of peace and security and order that we’d like to see?

And for those who resist that idea that we should think about something like these “stand your ground” laws, I’d just ask people to consider, if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who had followed him in a car because he felt threatened? And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.

Number three — and this is a long-term project — we need to spend some time in thinking about how do we bolster and reinforce our African American boys. And this is something that Michelle and I talk a lot about. There are a lot of kids out there who need help who are getting a lot of negative reinforcement. And is there more that we can do to give them the sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them?

I’m not naïve about the prospects of some grand, new federal program. I’m not sure that that’s what we’re talking about here. But I do recognize that as President, I’ve got some convening power, and there are a lot of good programs that are being done across the country on this front. And for us to be able to gather together business leaders and local elected officials and clergy and celebrities and athletes, and figure out how are we doing a better job helping young African American men feel that they’re a full part of this society and that they’ve got pathways and avenues to succeed — I think that would be a pretty good outcome from what was obviously a tragic situation. And we’re going to spend some time working on that and thinking about that.

And then, finally, I think it’s going to be important for all of us to do some soul-searching. There has been talk about should we convene a conversation on race. I haven’t seen that be particularly productive when politicians try to organize conversations. They end up being stilted and politicized, and folks are locked into the positions they already have. On the other hand, in families and churches and workplaces, there’s the possibility that people are a little bit more honest, and at least you ask yourself your own questions about, am I wringing as much bias out of myself as I can? Am I judging people as much as I can, based on not the color of their skin, but the content of their character? That would, I think, be an appropriate exercise in the wake of this tragedy.

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. But we should also have confidence that kids these days, I think, have more sense than we did back then, and certainly more than our parents did or our grandparents did; and that along this long, difficult journey, we’re becoming a more perfect union — not a perfect union, but a more perfect union.

Thank you, guys.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Kelley Kramer

    Oh please! Obama could not possibly be more full of sh*t. He complains about being an innocent person who was tracked through a dept store, and yeah it changed his entire attitude.
    Then to prove why that is a bad idea, this guy grows up and right now runs a program that tracks 100’s of millions of innocent peoples movements.
    And this same man is not just following everyone at the dept store, he is tracking EVERYONES movements, EVERYWHERE you go!
    But you did get one thing right Mr President, it does tend to piss people off and change their viewpoint and attitude … about you!
    Please spare us the faux concern, Obama is more full of sh*t then any politician I have ever seen in 30+ years of following current events.
    Two words for this fake Democrat… Bite Me!!

  • AHoltzer38

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply and the quotations from Obama’s comments. I agree he is at least alluding to some of the problem. I would argue that the “thug positioning portrayal” problem is so heinous, blatant and gigantic that a likewise enormous effort must be mounted by black and other leaders to confront and mitigate it head on. Perhaps he is doing so behind the scenes but that doesn’t seem his style. What I’ve seen on the surface is his fraternizing with (and thus glamorizing) some of the worst thug meme practitioners. The level of leadership called for from a black President on this issue needs to include rebuking this thug-meme culture and massive greed driven machine, regardless of his buddies or political campaign contributors. (Again I acknowledge there is plenty more to be done, as well, but this IS the great unaddressed, hidden and yet massive influence that we all need to start bringing attention to.)

  • emjayay

    You are right. Except for the “Disgusting” part. And the gross overstating about black leadership being OK with black people killing their own.

    A single simple story people can relate to in many ways can become symbolic and that’s what happened here. It happened in an upper middle class manicured suburb, not some godforsaken ghetto housing project, for example. The victim wasn’t in a gang war but carrying skittles and an Arizona tea. For a lot of reasons it got to be the case that people got interested in.

    Gangs of youths killing each other over worthless crappy ghetto turf, whatever that is supposed to mean, or sneakers or jackets or something – well most people for better or worse just probably think, well who cares, it’s less of what we need less of, glad I don’t live anywhere near there. Of course meanwhile whole areas and segments of society get poisoned and innocent little kids killed etc. This story got traction. It happened.

    But you are right if you mean that we should also be figuring out the very complex historic and current sociological reasons for broader horrible black and minority community problems but all sides for their very different reasons have been more or less ignoring all that beyond lip service for decades. I’ve been yelling for confronting and figuring out and doing something about one of the country’s biggest multifaceted problem areas for a long time myself.

  • emjayay

    I get what you are saying and it’s some of what I’ve gone on about myself. You didn’t mention that this stuff is directly related to the anti-education attitude many young African Americans are known for. I think it’s dying down a bit but when I see a young minority guy or girl with a gold jacket covered with images of money or gaudy dollar sign jewelry etc. you know they aren’t exactly dressed for success.

    But first, Obama was speaking from a few notes on a piece of paper, not a whole worked on speech about a total agenda. It’s actually pretty impressive that he can do that, given you know how he can’t put two words together without reading them from a teleprompter, unlike his totally articulate predecessor. As he said:

    “So let me just give a couple of specifics that I’m still bouncing around with my staff, so we’re not rolling out some five-point plan, but some areas where I think all of us could potentially focus.”

    Then one thing he mentioned was:

    “…we need to spend some time in thinking about how do we bolster and reinforce our African American boys. And this is something that Michelle and I talk a lot about. There are a lot of kids out there who need help who are getting a lot of negative reinforcement. And is there more that we can do to give them the sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them?

    While not directly addressing your issues, I think it’s implicit and I think if asked Obama would agree with you. It’s no doubt one of those things he talks a lot about with Michele. Other than addressing those issues rhetorically, which wouldn’t be a bad idea, given that this is not a totalitarian state there is not a whole lot government can do directly.

  • ezpz

    “…compared to the daily slaughter of black people in this country’s cities by other black people, Trayvon Martin’s death is a drop in the bucket….”

    Tell that to the Martin family.

    Y’know, outrage over what many feel is unjust justice for Trayvon and outrage over crime in general are not mutually exclusive.

    There’s more than enough outrage for both, but what happened with zimmerman walking free after killing an unarmed black teen is what’s in front of us right here, right now, and I’m glad that many are speaking out in different ways, so that maybe, just maybe Trayvon’s death will not have been in vain, and lives will be spared henceforth.

  • cole3244

    the truth hurts, a lot i see.

  • cole3244

    i do but thanks for the clarification, i tend to be a little slow sometimes.

  • Tatts

    How dare you? White on black crime is not okay with me! My point is–solely–that compared to the daily slaughter of black people in this country’s cities by other black people,

    Trayvon Martin’s death is a drop in the bucket when you look at the big picture. And it’s a distraction that people in power hope keeps you and everyone else from noticing their failures to lead.

  • ezpz

    “…zimmermann sends his regards.”

    He also thanks you, Tatts, and his other fans, for all your contributions and asks that you continue to keep the funds coming in to him and his wife.

    Edit for clarification, which I tried to do within the text:

    cole3244: the thanks that I added from zimmerman was meant for Tatts, not you. I hope you understood that, but just in case…

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Racism is institutionalized in the very bones of the country and you are right to be outraged. The incarceration of black men in this gulag nation of profit driven prison corporations is a singular disgrace among supposedly civilized nations.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I know. It’s a hard job of truth telling, but someone has to do the job. You go ezpz!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “It’s all show, no action, no results, no lives saved.” I can understand the cynicism and I agree completely that the presidential blather and its political sincerity is so much the usual Obama window dressing. But, I truly feel the horror and outrage over the murder of a child and the ‘not guilty walk of his premeditated killer by a racist southern jury is genuine, and just may, I hope be a turning point.

  • ezpz

    I’m not one who has ever said anything about him not using the bully pulpit.

    The problem I have with him talking is that that his talk is never followed up with action, or worse, it is belied by reality.

    I posted a link above (or below) to to exemplify the hypocrisy of what he said:

    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2013/07/19/how-can-obama-deliver-this-speech-on-racial-profiling-while-considering-ray-kelly/

    And the following, though published before yesterday’s speech by Obama, is quite interesting, especially since it comes from the “Black Left”…

    http://blackagendareport.com/content/freedom-rider-obama-dog-whistles-over-trayvon

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “The Trayvon Martin case is nothing but distraction from the real problem” Now, that is disgusting, but a perfect rallying point to face and fight this tsunami of killing, racism, and growing American apartheid.

  • AHoltzer38

    I am not and would not dismiss the racism involved and the need for it to be addressed, but come on! Tackling these issues without acknowledging the obvious, continual, intentional, manipulative perpetuation of the intimidating thug meme by the most popular black celebrities, entertainers, media, etc., is either grossly disingenuous, totally blind or criminally Machiavellian. Mr. President it is not leadership to ignore reality.

    Observing that “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,” while pretending that a major component driving that fear and reaction simply doesn’t exist, is stunningly negligent for any national leader, much less the President.

  • cole3244

    your concern for black on black crime is commendable if it wasn’t rooted in racial prejudice, white on black hate crime seems to be ok with you and your kind, zimmermann sends his regards.

  • Tatts

    White-on-white murder is not an epidemic in Philadelphia; it amounts to only about 15% of total murders, while the white populations are almost the same–44% black, 41% white, but murders are 80% vs 19% and shootings were 89% vs. 13%.

    The only way you can paint me as a bigot is if you disregard the FACTS staring you in the face. This is a huge problem that nobody is protesting about. People are prisoners in their homes in huge areas of north and west Philly out of fear of gunfire and violence. That’s why I think it’s silly to have marches in Philly for Trayvon while so many people here die on a daily basis.

  • ultraviolet_uk

    When he doesn’t talk: “why doesn’t he use the bully pulpit?”

    When he does: “it’s just talk”.

    There are some really nasty pieces of work in the anti-Obama left.

  • cole3244

    white on white murder is an epidemic also but you choose to focus on black crime and are angered by the coverage of the trayvon martin killing rather than who & why he was singled out and murdered, that says all i need to know about your mores and views on blacks in america and our first black pres, you are very transparent in your politics even though you try and seem to be concerned while bias and dislike are closer to the truth.

  • Tatts

    1 Trayvon Martin vs 350+ black murder victims in Philly alone in the last 17 months. That statistic defines “rare”. It is rare under any definition.

    This has nothing to do with “the system”. What happened to Martin should never have happened, and I hope Zimmerman pays dearly (I hope a civil-rights suit is coming, but Obama seems to be punting that ball back to Florida. Good luck with that.).

    Black-on-black murder is an epidemic in this country (85% of all murders in Philly, in a population that is only 44% black). And THAT is the issue that the leaders are dodging. Al Sharpton slithers out when he can grab some headlines by playing the blame game. But take a real stand against thousands of murders each year? Not a peep from him. And if you think otherwise, you’ve been played.

  • cole3244

    this is not a rare incident its been going on for decades only now it gets the attention it deserves because people realize the unfairness of our system, for you to not realize that shows either complete ignorance or something more sinister, you decide which one identifies you.

  • Tatts

    I am no bigot. I resent that. I’m just disgusted at the fake outrage that people gin up over rare incidents like this while turning a blind eye to the daily massacre happening all over the country. They are using this to boost their ratings and give the appearance of caring.

    It’s window dressing–nothing more. Proof? The murder rate a year from now will be the same and the people doing the murdering will be the same. And the silence from the powers-that- be will be the same. It’s all show.

  • cole3244

    black on black crime is 94% of the crime against blacks, white on white crime is 86% of the crime against whites, put that in your prejudiced mouth and chew on it, you disgust me bigot.

  • ronbo

    Yep, great talker, but always comes up short on the “do”.

  • Tatts

    Nice thought, cole3244. BUT…

    Since Trayvon Martin was killed (2/26/12), there have been over 360 black people murdered in Philadelphia BY OTHER BLACK PEOPLE (mostly young males). Similar numbers all over the country.

    Where’s the outrage about that? Where’s Al Sharpton? Where’s the President? Where’s the NAACP? Where’s the Congressional Black Caucus? Where’s the 360 Million-hoodie marches? The silence is deafening.

    The Trayvon Martin case is nothing but distraction from the real problem and blame-gaming by black “leadership”. It’s apparently okay with them when blacks kill their own. But let one white vigilante nut kill a black kid, and suddenly that’s just toooo much. That’s where we have to draw the line.

    Disgusting.

  • ezpz

    Based on Obama’s picks thus far, we have no reason to think that he would be ‘just placating Chuck Schumer’ when he heaps that kind of praise on Kelly and considers him to head up DHS.

    Ha, Bernie Kerik. I had forgotten about him. Yeah, he’s available alright, lol.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yep

  • emjayay

    I hope he was just placating Chuck Schumer, who should be ashamed of himself. Ray Kelly may have his good points, but he not only is big on stop-and-frisk but more pertinently thinks the NYPD should be keeping a close eye on Muslims in not just NYC but three other states. The ACLU and others joined in a lawsuit over that a month ago. Kelly, as documented in several Village Voice articles including one about a cop who recorded it all, has done nothing except maybe condone and encourage the worst old time style cop culture practices inside the NYPD. And on top of all that kind of stuff, he has been running a big city police department. That experience has little to do with running a federal agency like Homeland Security.

    Who was the last big time NYC cop guy highly recommended and actually nominated by GW Bush for the job? Bernie Kerik. Well, he just got out of federal prison after three and a half years so he’s available also.

  • ezpz

    Or you can look at the reaction from the true left to see the hypocrisy from him. Again.
    I posted some links above.

  • ezpz
  • ezpz
  • ezpz

    Jon Walker, FDL:

    How Can Obama Deliver This Speech on Racial Profiling While Considering Ray Kelly for DHS?

    It is shocking that the same man who delivered this speech just days earlier called New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly one of the best law enforcement professionals there is and is considering appointing him to head the Department of Homeland Security.

    There is probably no single individual in America more personally responsible for a systematic unjustifiable racial profiling system than Ray Kelly. Kelly dramatically escalated the racist and unconstitutional stop-and-frisk policy in New York City….

    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2013/07/19/how-can-obama-deliver-this-speech-on-racial-profiling-while-considering-ray-kelly/

  • cole3244

    very true, but i still must dream.

  • cole3244

    those that throw stones live in glass houses if you get my drift.

  • Thom Allen

    There will always be prejudice and people will have to deal with it. Look at the Westboro Baptist Church, white supremacists, NOM, KKK, American Nazi Party, etc. Look at even the Salvation Army, where one of their “officers” said that gays should be killed. Always some group willing to see others as “different” and “less than” and willing to discriminate and hurt.

  • TonyT

    Thanks BeccaM. I’ll check out the posts.

  • FLL

    Obama’s comments on the “stand your ground” laws are clear enough:

    “I know that there’s been commentary about the fact that the “stand your ground” laws in Florida were not used as a defense in the case. On the other hand, if we’re sending a message as a society in our communities that someone who is armed potentially has the right to use those firearmseven if there’s a way for them to exit from a situation, is that really going to be contributing to the kind of peace and security and order that we’d like to see?

    And for those who resist that idea that we should think about something like these “stand your ground” laws, I’d just ask people to consider, if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would havebeen justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who had followed him in a car because he felt threatened? And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.”

    A constructive suggestion to reexamine the “stand your ground” laws. A constructive suggestion? What a novel idea.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Obama was walking the middle road again as he continued to ignore the most critical question, the racist vigilante mentality expressed in the ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws that gave the racist Zimmerman a pass for committing murder. “More than half of the states in the United States have adopted the Castle doctrine, stating that a person has no duty to retreat when their home is attacked. Some states go a step further, removing the duty of retreat from other locations”. Wiki

    Many states have taken the additional step of passing ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts (though the term is used very loosely there), Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South
    Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming have adopted Castle Doctrine statutes, and other states, Iowa, Virginia, and Washington have considered stand-your-ground laws of their own. more wiki

    The point about these laws is that they’re an open invitation to vigilante attacks on people of color – that’s why they were passed and that’s how they’ll be used.

    “When Trayvon Martin was murdered by a “creepy-ass cracker” in February, 2012, an outraged
    Black America mobilized to force the State of Florida to put the perpetrator on trial. Seventeen months later, in the words of President Obama, “a jury has spoken,” affirming Florida’s original contention that Trayvon’s death was not a criminal act.

    The White House also wanted Trayvon to be forgotten. Three weeks after the shooting, speaking through his press secretary, the president declared, “obviously we’re not going to wade into a local law-enforcement matter.” A few days later, Obama sought to placate Black public opinion
    with a statement of physical fact: “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

    In the wake of the acquittal, Obama’s press people have announced he’ll stay out of the case while Attorney General Eric Holder pretends to explore the possibility of pursuing civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.” Black Agenda Report 07 17 2009 http://blackagendareport.com/content/trayvon-and-white-madness

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    The Great Orange Satan (dKos) had a large selection in one of their front-page articles.

  • https://profiles.google.com/BobMunck/about Bob Munck

    The problem is that it isn’t one person, it’s tens of millions. Of 40 million blacks in this country, it might well be difficult to find just one who hasn’t had to deal with prejudice. This may also be true of Hispanics and even of women. Yet we have conservative pundits and rank-and-file insisting that the only “true racists” in the country are blacks. That denotes a disconnect from reality that may only be overcome when they die out.

  • emjayay

    What’s your favorite source of moronic wingnut comments?

  • emjayay

    I was wondering how the rightwinger talking heads can possibly spin this. I hadn’t thought about the commenting rubes. Bleeeaaach. Having read some YahooNews comments before, I can however easily predict.

  • wtf2

    If Obama really wanted to reduce “mistrust in the system” he might try prosecuting just 1 banker–just 1. Or just one torturer. But that’s a bridge too far for him. The poor, the middle class, the powerless–they are subject to the law and are prosecuted and persecuted under Obama. The rich–they loot and loot and loot and Obama and Holder turn a blind eye.

  • 2patricius2

    I second that.

  • dommyluc

    You know, there are countless times I get so pissed off at President Obama that I could ( and sometimes do ) scream, but when I see him do something like this it makes me really proud to be an American.

  • cole3244

    things are getting better but but as long as one person in america has to deal with prejudice on any level because of race, orientation, religion, gender, etc things are not good enough and much more needs to be done, imho!

  • http://firefeeder.blogspot.com/ Stratplayer

    I first read this news story about the President’s brave and poignant words on the CBS News site, and I was shocked and disheartened by the hatred and venom expressed against him in the comments. America is in serious trouble.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    The racists are becoming more vocal and extreme at the same time, in large part because the GOP and the Tea Baggers have made being a racist socially acceptable again. And secondarily because they’ve mastered the propaganda technique of hypocritical projection, where anybody who complains or points out the offensiveness of the racist’s statements or behavior is immediately accused of actually being the intolerant racist themselves.

    If you need proof, just read a few of the wingnut responses to Obama’s impromptu speech. A large percentage of them accuse HIM of being the racist.

  • TonyT

    Things are getting better? It seems we have taken a turn for the worse. Or is it that we are just hearing from the racists more?

  • S1AMER

    Thank you, Mr. President.

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