Today.....telling white Americans that they need to understand the 'context' that Black America see the Trayvon verdict in, the president's words in my opinion, did not serve to dispel the continued raised levels of lingering angst this tragedy has inspired among the black community or those dead set to keep the flames fanned.
If anything the president's remarks serve to continue the conversation and seemingly serve to validate the perspectives of one group of Americans over the perspectives of another group of Americans. Speaking to Americans today the president reminded us that he not only felt as if Trayvon Martin could have been his own son, but he also acknowledged that he himself could have been Trayvon Martin thirty five years ago.
Once again in my opinion, the presidents actions and remarks today serve only to play to the emotional reactions of those who disagree with the verdict. In doing so those involved openly deny both what the law and our constitution demands as justice. The presidents actions today were no more than an attempt to placate black Americans who continue to refuse to accept the verdict of our system of laws and justice, while at the same time seeming to set the stage for an unwarranted and unjustified federal prosecution of George Zimmerman that will now surely become a reality in the near future.
Speaking at the White House on Friday, President Obama addressed the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin for the first time since 2012, when he declared that if he had a son, he’d look like Martin. This time, Obama said, “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.” Obama added that he had experienced racial profiling personally: "There are very few African-American men who haven't had the experience of being followed in a department store — that includes me." Obama also said, “Reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict. Once the jury's spoken, that's how our system works.” Obama said he was "bouncing around" ideas with his staff on how to respond to the Zimmerman verdict, adding, "I think it is going to be important for us to do some soul searching." Pushing against Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, Obama stated, "If Trayvon Martin was of his age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?" Finally, Obama went into the racial complexities of the Martin situation: "A lot of African-American boys are painted with a broad brush...If a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different." He did say, "As difficult and as challenging as this whole episode has been, I don't want us to lose sight that things are getting better...We're becoming a more perfect union, not a perfect union, but a more perfect union."