Obama Calls For National Soul Searching Over Trayvon Martin Tragedy

The President made his first comments on the tragic Trayvon Martin case, calling for soul searching over the shooting and noting that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon.

Responding to questions from the press after the announcement of his nomination of Dr. Jim Kim for World Bank President, the President said, “I think all of us have to do some soul-searching to figure out how does something like this happen. And that means that we examine the laws and the context for what happened, as well as the specifics of the incident.”

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Restrained in what he could say because of the DoJ investigation, the President made the case that every angle of the Trayvon Martin case needs to be examined. He said, “And I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together — federal, state and local — to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.”

Obama added, “I can only imagine what these parents are going through. And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids.”

The President closed by noting that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon, “But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

The President may not have intended to draw a parallel between the ugly treatment he receives from some factions of this country, but nonetheless, it has been drawn. As we discussed last night on Politicus Radio, the race baiting of the President has reignited fear and terror against an entire race.

When the President calls for soul-searching, he may not be pointing a finger at anyone, but it’s time we ask why the guilty don’t feel a pang of regret or shame.

It seems the only concern of the bomb-throwers is that they don’t get stuck with the bill of their rhetoric.

Yes, Trayvon Martin looked like he could be the President’s son. And yes, this President has been on the receiving end of an endless litany of racial hatred, stirred up on purpose by people who don’t even really believe what they’re saying. They say it for purely cynical political gain. The problem is that their base believes it.

It’s time for Americans to do some soul searching about racism in its many forms and the inevitable result of staying silent in its face, or worse yet, pretending it’s not happening. It is happening, and it presents itself most often in racial baiting rather than easily recognizable overt racism.

It really isn’t hard to see, but even many liberals will argue that this President hasn’t faced racism or that the infamous “You lie!” wasn’t racist. It’s called a dog whistle and it’s recognizable to anyone who has spent any time in the South, from whence the speaker Joe Wilson hails.

When we ignore what’s happening to this President, we ignore the result of this hatred for the average American. This isn’t about this President; rather, his being President while not being all white has brought this deep ugliness into the foreground and offers us the opportunity to reexamine our beliefs and to take a stand for what is right and wrong. We can’t do that when we turn a blind eye to reality.

This is about our country and it’s about freedom. After the Trayvon Martin shooting and failure to even arrest the confessed killer and concurrently the conviction of a young man in Mississippi for beating and killing a black man by driving over him with his truck, no one can make an honest argument that racism is dead. Why are so many pretending it isn’t worthy of discussion?

It’s time to wake up, America. We are already too late for too many innocent victims.

19 Replies to “Obama Calls For National Soul Searching Over Trayvon Martin Tragedy”

  1. I am white, but have been brought to tears over the racism on display directed at our President on a daily basis. Sometimes its overt, but many times it is masked. It needs to stop. Everyone needs to think about how they might sound biased, whether its buying into stereotypes or treating people differently in any way because they look different from you.

  2. I stopped reading comments on MSN, Yahoo, and AOL a long time ago.

    Some people are (fill in the race here) and stupid.

    I agree with President Obama, we as a nation need some deep soul searching. This “us vs them” mentality never works and it will always end in tragedy.

  3. There a couple of things to be learned here. Racism is not dead and most Americans aren’t racist. It’s important to keep that in perspective. One of the major themes that many of the articles on this excellent site point out, is that these racists and fundies on the right are not in step with the rest of America.

    We have a black First Family in the White House that most people are very happy with ( Michelle has to rank near the top as a beloved First Lady ). This however ( which I think is one of the articles points ), has only served to inflame the racists to where they are coming out in concentrated droves. So, while America and the west may be more tolerant ( statistically speaking ) in recent history than they have ever been, this has had the weird effect of making the racists more dangerous than ever.

  4. Kim, I can feature what those comments over at Yahoo look like. The kind of people who compare the First Family to apes, say the First Lady could cut off one of her buttocks and feed an army, make assassinatio n “jokes” about the President, and threaten obscene sexual violence to his wife and daughters, will spare nothing to a dead boy and his family. Half a century ago, the kind of stuff that’s being said now would have occasioned the arrival of the National Guard, or even the Army. Now, frank talk of assassination, lynching, and secession in public fora, sometimes by public officials, gets a pat on the head, and those of us who try to reprove and rebut are “reverse racists” who are “suppressing free speech”.

    It’s true, we have seen progress since the Sixties, but the Mouths of Sauron have been doing everything they could to throw us into reverse. The President has spoken. For his pains, he will be called a “Kenyan anti-colonialist Mau Mau”. The presstitutes report malevolent balderdash without comment; they call it “being fair”. Let us suppose they had said, “Hitler’s plan proposes to create much-needed Lebensraum for Germany by eliminating six million Jews, a million Christian Poles, several million Russians, and whatever they can find; extreme Liberals call this impermissible”. Now, what kind of impression would that have created in the audience? Surely the inference that *some* genocide *is* permissible, and that whoever opposed any at all was an impractical, bleeding-heart airhead. Call Godwin on me if you like, but we’re getting there.

  5. don’t knock Yahoo to hard… i found this site because somebody posted a link on Yahoo.. i bookmarked it and havent been back to yahoo in about a year..

  6. The racist rhetoric has been ramped up at FOX and elsewhere, I think, with a view to provoking random violence against designated targets, including a stochastic assassination attempt. In the event Obama wins the election, I believe they are banking on one of the following scenarios:

    A. Joe Biden, who has had a serious aneurism, dies in office, or must resign. The Senate refuses to approve any replacement. Then the President is assassinated. A Republican Speaker assumes office.

    B. The President, is, in fact, assassinated. Biden becomes the President. He dies or becomes incapacitated without having been allowed to appoint a successor. Same outcome.

    Do not, repeat, do not, vote for *any* Republican, for either house of Congress, and watch out for false-flag candidates.

  7. At the risk of drawing a parallel, 9/11 was accomplished by twenty people with a lot of money and a handful of box cutters. It’s true that racism in America isn’t widespread but those who do ascribe to it do damage in direct reverse proportion to their numbers. One person can say something and then go, “Oooops, no, you took me out of context!” Meanwhile, a thousand troglodytes, sitting in their caves, are listening, nodding, and heading for the back closet where the guns are…

  8. I would add “C.” The Republicans want blood. On Election Night, don’t go anywhere alone. In the days after the election, drive carefully and keep a sharp eye out.
    So far, American elections have been lucky in that they are usually non-violent. Take a look at third world countries where partisan rioting is a regular event. I saw some election-related violence here in my city, in the aftermath of the 2004 election. The Kerryites were bitter and the Bushites were strutting, feeling vindicated and taunting the Kerryites into confrontations. Most resisted and didn’t rise to the bait but I saw several street-fights and how they started. People stopping their cars at intersections, jumping out and having at each other.
    Now, with the national temperature in what’s best described as a fever nightmare, I predict that the 2012 election’s aftermath will be even more explosive, whichever way it breaks. Personally, I’m too classy to thumb the nose of the nearest Tea Party member, and everyone I know is the same way. But again, there’ll be enfants terribles on both sides, lording it over the minority party.

  9. No, they are predominantly on one side, and everyone knows it. A good deal of psychological research and writing has demonstrated that right-wingers and liberals are not similar people with different beliefs. An experiment in which I was a guinea pig confirmed what many others have found:

    A. Right-wing authoritarians tend to hear neutrality as agreement with their own viewpoint;

    B. They are far less likely to accept disagreement as a good-faith difference of opinion;

    C. “Compromise” is, therefore, at best a ploy or holding tactic until they can get their way; and then

    D. Everyone who has opposed their getting their way, even modestly and in good faith, deserves to be punished.

    Note I spoke neither of “conservatives” nor hard left; both are virtually extinct in this country.

  10. It sounds a little like this area. When Obama won, I thought we were going to have WWIII right here. People were yelling about “Palin got robbed” everywhere we’d turn.

    I got to where I tried to keep a low profile for a few months, even while hearing some of the most vile invictive directed at liberals, African Americans, you name it.

    When Bush won (first time)… people were driving around celebrating and even shooting into the air (height of stupidity). I admit at the time I was still conservative and didn’t realize what was coming… I thought maybe things might get better.

    Boy was I wrong.

    Second time… the Bush supporters were crowing in our faces, and as you described, trying to pick fights. It wasn’t fun.

  11. Walkaway, you and I live in states that have the largest concentration of these idiots. My friends and family that live along the east and west coast think that I am exaggerating when I tell them that in certain areas, you are literally putting your safety at risk if you simply say that you voted for Obama. I’m pretty cocky, but I would never say certain things when I’m surrounded by a bunch of rednecks ( I like breathing too much ), Especially since I

  12. You can thank all those three-letter words for all the hypocracy we live in. Noting brings out the hate like FOX, CNN, and a few others.
    Sadly, the people who can turn the tables are not getting any press. So support as many moderates and liberals as you can.

  13. Know what you mean. There are a few places I dare not go because (1) long hair, and (2) where I’m known as that (page filled with explicatives and other foul language) Librul who won’t shut up or stop writing!!!

    Plus it’s pretty much widely known that I’m American Indian.

    (You can tell said places by the Confederate battle flags, “Don’t tread on me!” Tea Party flags, and assorted other signs – and I still have to pass by a half dozen or so every time I go to school.)

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