If I had a son, he would look like Christopher Lane, the 22-year-old Australian baseball player shot dead while jogging in Oklahoma.Word.
If I had a father, he’d look like Delbert Belton, the 88-year-old World War II veteran beaten to death in Spokane, Wash.
And yes, if I had a son, he’d look like the white teenager who police say drove the getaway car in the Oklahoma killing.
These are all true statements if we identify ourselves and each other only by the color of our skin, which increasingly seems to be the case. Even our president has done so.
Barack Obama helped lead the way when he identified himself with the parents of Trayvon Martin, shot by George Zimmerman in the neighborhood-watch catastrophe with which all are familiar. Stepping out from his usual duties of drawing meaningless red lines in the Syrian sand, the president splashed red paint across the American landscape:
“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
In so saying, he essentially gave permission for all to identify themselves by race with the victim or the accused. How sad, as we approach the 50th anniversary of the march Martin Luther King Jr. led on Washington, that even the president resorts to judging not by the content of one’s character but by the color of his skin — the antithesis of the great dream King articulated....
Nothing is fair about profiling, but one’s treatment by a stranger is not always necessarily linked to one’s racial or ethnic history. Sometimes it’s just . . . you.
The killings leading the news the past several days have been horrific in their apparent randomness. Were they racially motivated? Had the perps been white and the victims black, would Obama have identified with them? More to immediate concerns, did the president’s identification with Trayvon Martin nourish the killing passions of these youths?
Hard to say with any certainty, though one of those charged in the Oklahoma shooting apparently tweeted some messages this summer that unmistakenly convey racial animus toward whites. They might be dismissed as Twitter nonsense — but for the dead body.
We do know this much for certain: Had the races been reversed, the usual suspects would have had much to say. White teens beat up an elderly black veteran and leave him for dead? White teens shoot a talented black athlete visiting from another country?
Saturday, August 24, 2013
From lefty Kathleen Parker, at WaPo, "Obama’s race remarks exacerbate tensions":