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.”
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.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.