Saturday, July 20, 2013

New York Times Editorial on President Obama's Race Speech

Oh brother.

At the Old Gray Lady, "President Obama’s Anguish":
President Obama did something Friday that he hardly ever does — and no other president could ever have done. He addressed the racial fault lines in the country by laying bare his personal anguish and experience in an effort to help white Americans understand why African-Americans reacted with frustration and anger to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Mr. Obama’s comments during a surprise appearance at the White House press briefing crystallized the dissonance around this case. In the narrow confines of the trial, all talk of race was excluded, and the “stand your ground” element in Florida’s self-defense law was not invoked by Mr. Zimmerman’s lawyers. But in the broader, more profound and more troubling context of Mr. Martin’s death, race and Florida’s lax gun laws are inextricably interwoven.

On the first, Mr. Obama said: “The judge conducted the trial in a professional manner. The prosecution and the defense made their arguments.” The jurors, he added, “were properly instructed that in a case such as this reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict.”

But on the broader context, Mr. Obama eloquently rebutted those — like Representative Andy Harris, a Republican, with his dismissive “get over it” remark on Tuesday — who said that the verdict should have ended discussion of the case, especially talk about race and gun laws.

“Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” Mr. Obama said, adding that “it’s important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.”

He said there are “very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store” or “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,” he said, “includes me.”

It's a sideshow for the most part.

Race wasn't even a factor at trial. The left made this about race, and the president couldn't resist getting involved. Gotta satisfy the Democrat race masters, no doubt.

More at that top link.