President Obama speaks out on the tragedy of Trayvon Martin, the George Zimmerman verdict, and what he feels that means for us as a country.
President Obama’s speech was sincere and, in as politically correct a way as possible, he shared his honest thoughts and feelings on the matter. The statements he made cannot be taken lightly.
One of the major points President Obama makes in his speech is that there is a problem with the laws of this country. The President emphasized that these laws are governed on the state level; however, he made sure to give his presidential opinion that laws such as Stand Your Ground do not support peace and security.
President Obama stated,
“I think it’s important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this through a set of experiences and history that doesn’t go away.” – President Barack Obama
President Obama made sure to emphasize the “context” of the Trayvon Martin tragedy and what that means to Black people. This is significant because society depends on ignorance to support the delusion of post-racism and racial peace in America. By him, as president, stating that the truth as even he knows it, he is forcing the country to be honest.
“There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed while 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 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. And I don’t want to exaggerate this but those sets of experiences informs how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida and its inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear.” – President Barack Obama
This is significant because there have been many criticisms from the Black community about President Obama not doing enough for the Black community; however, we have to realize is not the president of Black America. He is the president if The United States of America. That said, his charge is to the entire country. At best he can make moves such as this to weigh in on situations and not allow the country to ignore the issues of racial prejudice and racial disparity. In this regard he is doing more than most Black politicians have done.
The other significant part of the speech was President Obama’s emphasis that politicians are fairly impotent in making changes that affect racial prejudice. Partly because these incidents often happen on a lesser scale and never make it through local government channels such as law enforcement and state courts.
“There has been talk about whether we should 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 a possibility that people are a little bit more honest.” – President Barack Obama
Essentially President Obama has come forward to say that we all know there’s a race problem in this country and that problem is systemic (in the legal and justice system). He has made a call to arms for each individual member of this country to take responsibility for these injustices by examining ourselves and being honest with ourselves about our own biases. America’s race problem cannot be fixed through laws and cannot be changed by politicians. It has to be personal. It has to be everyone one person critically examining themselves and holding themselves to higher moral standard. The war is psychological and the revolution takes place in our minds.
I’m not sayin’; I’m just sayin’,
An Angry Black Man