Opinion: President Obama’s Comments

Barack Obama

Barack Obama (Photo credit: jamesomalley)

A few days ago, President Obama weighed in on the Trayvon Martin case and verdict.  His comments as to the trial were measured and objective.  However, make no mistake, his next comments were not measured, and indeed, subjective.  He revealed his own painful and frustrating experiences and shared them in an off-the-cuff manner.

 

Suffice it to say, that, those who are his political adversaries, found fault with his comments. How could they find fault with his experiences when they have not, and will not, walk in his shoes? Then, to make matters worse for their own credibility, Sean Hannity, ( of Fox news), opined, that he did not understand what the President was saying. So, he took it upon himself to interpret for his listeners that it meant the President smoke dope when he was 17.  That is all that  he took from the comments.  Well, Mr. Hannity, the President was sharing the fact, that, he too, had been racially profiled, just like other African-Americans, viewed as suspicious when doing nothing wrong, such as crossing the street.  Alan West, (the far right’s spokesman on race apparently), immediately said he had never been followed in a mall.  Doubt that is true, especially coming from one who appears to be so self-absorbed and egotistical.  More likely than not, he just didn’t know about it. But worse, (in Radar’s opinion) , saying just the opposite of whatever the President says for the media attention he might garner.

 

There are times when, a person is compelled to speak, compelled to act, in the face of injustice. The President surely faced one of those moments when he could not remain silent about racial profiling any longer, which was undeniably a huge factor in the Trayvon Martin shooting.

Clearly, he knew the political consequences and how the far right would portray him.  Not only Sean Hannity, but others accused him of ‘race baiting’, a term that begs for a clear definition.  But, that is not what the President was doing.  He was acknowledging his own personal experiences as an African-American male, with the world.

 

The African-American community was glad and proud to have him publicly admit not only how he identified with them, but to put forward a President Obama, who, despite his upbringing with a White mother and White grandparents, was still subjected to the same bias as themselves. It was a validation of their concerns which were usually   dismissed as ‘collective paranoia’. Validation from a very prominent and credible source.

 

President Obama was right, 35 years ago, that could have been him who was profiled by a Zimmerman-type for no other reason than he was an African-American male.  Thank-you Mr. President for your open and honest comments.

 

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Filed under Injustice, Law & Justice, Opinion, Politics, Radar Opinion

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