Obama’s Speech: Cynical Me and Cynical He – UPDATED

This afternoon, President Obama showed up before the White House Press Corp and talked about the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case. You can read the full text, here.

I agree with much the president says. Racism is — and always has been — “a God-damned thing”. As a nation we should be under no illusions that just because we’re no longer in a Jim Crow era, that we are living on the Starship Enterprise where racism is a thing of the past. Profiling is real. African Americans (and for that matter, Hispanics) have a genuine right to resent it.

The death of Trayvon Martin is a tragedy of the first order. A wanna-be cop in a state with some laws that should probably be reviewed made spectacular errors in judgment (and yeah, Martin made one too, is throwing first punch) and as a result, one family is grief-stricken with loss and another will never be the same.

But we can’t actually know whether George Zimmerman was racially profiling or was just suspicious because he saw someone in a hoodie, looking at houses on a rainy night (which, by the way, is no freaking crime and Zimmerman should have stayed in his damn car).

From what I’ve read Zimmerman is a walking American melting pot: part Caucasian, part African-American, part Hispanic; I suppose, depending on how he identifies, he could still be a racist who hates some part of himself, but — unless his lawyer is a liar — it seems his kid-mentoring and other volunteer activities would belie that charge.

In fact, if these stories are true, Zimmerman appears to have precisely the sort of instincts toward volunteering and community service that we should try to encourage in each other. Except for the cop-wannabe part.

A very irresponsible press seemed to want racism to be the motive for this awful shooting, even editing a 911 audio tape to give that impression. Why? Why take a terrible tragedy and try to ramp it up, and make it more sensational, more emotional than it already was?

If you want to do a story on racism, there are plenty of them to go around. Why distort, exaggerate and hype this one, when others would meet the case?

Anyway, today the president made his remarks and I thought they were mostly good. I especially like the part where he says a national discussion of race should not be about politicians grandstanding but real people talking. Yeah, we need that.

Nevertheless, when I first read the headlines and the pull quote from his remarks (“Trayvon Martin could have been me”) I wondered what he was doing? President Obama is often deliberately divisive; culture wars and straw men have been his friends these five years. “Divide and conquer” is a political method, after all — if you can keep people screaming at each other and hating each other with trumped-up “wars on women” and talk of “fat cats with private jets” — they’re not paying attention to the fact that the government is tracking their every move. Was this yet another an attempt to keep the house divided?

I also wondered (as does Allahpundit, here) whether the president was trying to serve a sop to the press and his base (I am redundant) because bringing civil rights charges against Zimmerman seem difficult.

In other words, I was ready to really hate the statement.

But then I read his remarks, and watched the video, and found myself agreeing with much of it. It might be the best speech President Obama has made about anything, in a while. I agree with Chris Wallace (and Zimmerman’s brother) that this wasn’t stoking racial tensions or trying to further divide. In watching the videotape, I was actually touched by some of it, and Obama has never touched me, before.

And yet….

And yet….

A part of me cannot help but think that the only reason President Obama addressed this story so personally today was to get these other headlines off the table, and thrown down into the memory hole:

A Bombshell in the IRS Scandal A higher office is implicated.

A White House Point Man at IRS is Revealed

Detroit Files for Bankruptcy

What Policies Governed Detroit since 1961

Judge Rules Bankruptcy Must be Withdrawn

Biden: We don’t know if WH can help!

Federal Court Rules NY Times Reporter Must Testify in Leak Investigation

NSA Phone Snooping Cannot Be Challenged in Court, Feds Say

HHS Admits You Might Not be Able to Keep Your Doctor Under Obamacare

Insurance Rates to Spike Over 70% in Indiana

Pentagon Does About-Face; Will Make Marine Colonel Available to Talk to Congress

Housing starts fall 9.9% in June

Hobby Lobby gets stay on HHS Mandate

Anti-Americanism in Egypt

The thing is, I know that questioning the motivation for Obama’s speech today is cynical. And I know that cynicism is one of my besetting sins; I’m not proud of it. It’s something I struggle with, every day. I wish I were not just now wondering if Obama made this speech today because the Duchess of Cambridge had not delivered her baby in time to make all the bad headlines disappear, and keep them from being discussed on the Sunday talk shows.

Except, even that news might not have keep them from talking about the IRS, or the NSA.

Now, the men and women Calvin Trillin referred to as “the Sabbath Gasbags” know what they’ll be talking about this Sunday, and it won’t be the IRS or the NSA or Benghazi or Detroit or the Economy. Even if they do mention a newborn prince or princess, this Sunday the conversation will be about these remarks made today.

And they’re important remarks; they deserve attention. Yet, we’ve been talking about race-relations in America — constructively or not — for a very long time; we’re going to have to figure out what constitutes constructive dialogue on race and then embrace it. Today is one more day, however, that the press gets away with not talking about issues involving government abuse and over-reach, the loss of fundamental rights; the possibility of cover-ups. And those are pretty important issues, too.

I hate that I am such a cynic. But our president has shown himself to be a pretty cynical politician, himself.

Perhaps it is because I am too-much a cynic that I recognize it in others, and cannot help but wonder whenever our president does…gosh, almost anything. Some of that is my fault. Some of it is his.

UPDATE I:
Probably the biggest “must read” to come out of this story:

To be brutally honest, the only reason people are even aware of Trayvon Martin is because it became a topic within mainstream news and pop culture. Meaning: News directors saw it as a profitable, sensational story. Hundreds of blacks die annually in South Side Chicago without even a blurb. Trayvon isn’t in the mainstream news for any reason other than ratings and profit. The news coverage on the Zimmerman case almost implies that the killing of this young black man is somehow an anomaly and I resent that.

In this country, if it isn’t streamlined through mainstream media and pop culture, it doesn’t seem to warrant national debate. Our “government” continues to wreak havoc on our civil liberties and there is little to no protest from the black community because of media diversion tactics that keep such pertinent issues out of mainstream media. But if Jay-Z or Rihanna were to make mention of it, we’d suddenly be jolted out of our sugar comas and protesting on freeways.

My point being, people are up in arms about Trayvon based on regurgitated pundits and manipulated facts aired to elicit emotion while fueling America’s anger and division. That’s how you boost ratings. No different from Piers Morgan’s desperate rant over gun control when he knew his ratings were in the dumps. And from where I stand, anyone who still relies on corporate-owned media pundits to support an argument isn’t equipped to offer worthwhile solutions.

People are using Trayvon Martin’s death as an excuse to project their own deep-seated issues with racism and will not be capable of intelligent, empathetic debate until they’ve cooled down and afforded themselves an education.

Yes, and that likely applies to all. Read the whole thing.

UPDATE II: Did Obama bury main thrust of speech and re-inject racism? Krauthammer says yes.

UPDATE III:
So many have emailed this to me that I will post it. A scathing indictment of the press regarding this case. For someone like me, who did not follow the story closely, it’s worth watching:

YouTube Preview Image

Related:
Obama; Psychic Duality and the Churches

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Fiestamom

    I’m cynical too. I agree, the reason for the speech was Detroit’s bankruptcy,& the IRS crimes going all the way to the WH.

    I have only read about his speech, and I am not inclined to watch it, or read the transcript. Sounds like the press is in agreement, IT’S HIS BEST SPEECH EVER. Trouble is, the MSM has said that about every speech the man has given. If they had told the truth about his speeches before now, I might have believed them. The media is only too happy to keep the Trayvon story alive so they have an excuse to avoid reporting about Obamacare imploding and all the rest.

    And frankly, I am tired of talking about race 24/7. I have been called a racist by everyone on MSNBC b/c I’m a Tea Partier. I try to judge people by the content of their character, I just want to be left alone about race. At least until the libs and media start talking about Detroit, Chicago, and other places where black kids dying (by the dozens) every week.

  • Barbara Bowman

    Count me as cynical. I have a friend who was set upon and severely beaten by a bunch of black punks (who youtubed it by the way). Could the president identify with him, do you think?

    Is it ironic when the President says once again, that he identifies with a black male who has been shot, when so many young blacks are shot every week in my old hometown of Chicago, which Barak Obama represented in the Senate? But then again, it is black-on-black crime, and there isn’t much traction in those stories. His sympathy has a phony ring to it. He’s a politician through and through.

  • Dani

    There never would have been a “proper time” to address this issue. There will always be something happening.

  • CSmith

    I’m not certain it is being cynical when you are merely noting a pattern of behavior. If this was someone we had no experience with, and we’re questioning his intentions just because he’s a politician, that would be different. But we have experience listening to him, watching his actions, and seeing how they shake out together. It’s not cynical to be wary of someone who has proven himself untrustworthy.

  • David

    Like Fiestamom, color me cynical. It is not by intent or design. Unfortunately, when it comes to this president, I wonder about his motivations. He has used the tool of division as his means of “governance” (and calling it governance is a generous description on my part).
    The real question that should be asked is why did 61 black teens die in Chicago during the course of the Zimmerman trial has gone unnoticed by the media? For us cynics, we may already know the answer.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    I have to disagree with you if you’re agreeing with the president that profiling is racism. Profiling is not racism. Police boards don’t profile because they and we in society that let them believe that african-americans are genetically predisposed to crime. That would be racism. No we profile because for whatever reason african-americans statistically commit a disproportionally high amount of crime. Profiling is based on a reality of data, not perception or racial notions. Just look at the incredible success of stop and search in NYC.

    The president gave the same political touch points to cover all the bases. He accused society of racism and he balanced it with essentially saying black men do commit more crimes than the general population. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s just a political speech. You have a right to be cynical. The fact that he’s sending Holder to look for laws that smack of racism tells me he’s looking to divide the nation. Unless it’s a bluff, just to appease his Liberal base, this will divide the nation like you wouldn’t believe. Every police department in the country will be up in arms. And rightly so. The first “post-racial president” (remember that garabge?) is deeply racial. He had a mandate when first elected to unify the country. He has failed miserably.

  • vox borealis

    A part of me cannot help but think that the only reason President Obama addressed this story so personally today was to get these other headlines off the table, and thrown down into the memory hole:

    He *had* to address the case personally after the verdict, seeing as how he waded into it already more than a year ago, playing into the racial angle and adding to the pressure to put Zimmerman on trial. This one episode, tragic indeed, but only one of many shootings in the USA, was cynically exploited in an election year. The president and his enablers were part of that exploitation. He helped build it into the circus it has become. So yeah, no surprise he addressed it after the fact.

  • mbecker908

    “It’s his best speech ever.” Yeah, OK. And just like all of his other speeches, it’s a speech that his actions belie.

    It’s was Eric Holder, Barack Obama’s man in charge, who had his Community Relations Service whip up demonstrations in Florida. It was Obama who pressured the state of Florida into filing unwarranted charges against a man who defended himself from a punk. It is Barack Obama who ignores the fact that the number one cause of black children being murdered is black on black homicide.

    This whole thing is a distraction to avoid being pressed about the IRS, NSA, Benghazi and the financial mess the entire nation (and especially liberal run states and cities) is in.

  • Mike

    I’m very cynical and believe Obama has used this case right from the start for diversion. His friends in MSM went along for the ride too. Back in March 2012 he signed an EO called National Defense Resource Preparedness which if you read it is chilling. If you think the IRS/NSA scandals are bad read the powers the POTUS has given himself under this EO. The Zimmerman case was the perfect cover to sneak this out and remains the diversion story to this day.

  • LisaB

    I don’t think you’re being cynical at all, just stating the obvious. There is a lot of nasty stuff to cover up and after 5 years in the WH the economy is.not.getting.better. Besides, I always wondered who would take over when the likes of Al Sharpton, et al., retired and now we know.

  • KyPerson

    I’m cynical too. I didn’t used to be, but the actions of the press especially during his administration have made me so. There is so much out there that cries to be covered and investigated but they simply won’t do it!

  • Ironsun

    The death of Martin is NOT a tragedy of the first order. It was him simply reaping what he has sown. His heart was filled with hate for ‘creepy ass crackas’. He fancied himself a tough guy who would go to guns to prove it. He was a thief. He was a punk. The Twin Lakes community where Zimmerman lived was gated, i.e. private, i.e not a public thoroughfare and that was clearly posted. 8 break ins over a short period of time. Yes, the neighborhood watch folks are going to be suspicious of those who do not belong there and will follow them and just because they care about their neighborhood and their fellow neighbors and are on the lookout for punks, does not make them a ‘wannabe’ cop. The ‘spectacular errors in judgment’ was made by Martin in choosing the ‘thug’ life and thinking it was ok to assault a man. Your emoting that everyone should be stripped of the right to self defense simply because some punk reaped what he has sown, is pathetic and shows your serious lack of logic and reason.

  • Edgelady

    For me his speech was the final straw – I’m done with trying to figure out how to help, make a difference in this subject. It is all political, all the time. Even new immigrants to the U.S. don’t get it (a great article from American Thinker agreed with my thoughts). To perpetuate and buy into “we are all racists” will only increase the white guilt that we as a nation should throw off our backs and it will just keep blacks right where politicians want to keep them: a permanent underclass that continue to vote for Democrats and rely on the government dole. The only way for them to stop being victims is for them to take responsibility for their lives. And it’s especially egregious of this President in this time of overwhelming black unemployment to pull this stunt. If he really cared for this community he would have directed funds towards real jobs, and not billions to now defunct “green jobs” companies. He is the worst of manipulators and his saddest victims is the black community.

  • nathanofbrainfertilizerfame

    I disagree we almost everything you said in the post.
    The problem went Zimmerman. Nothing he did was deserving of a beating.
    One person chose to use violence to interact: Martin. He had the choice to move in or make an issue of what was essentially nothing.

    And what is wrong with wanting to be a cop?
    What is wrong with attempting to protect your community?

    If you see a problem, oh should try to fix it. Most evil happens because someone stood around and said, “I shouldn’t get involved. Let the police handle it.”

    What was the point of the story of the Good Samaritan, after all? Let the government and social officials deal with criminal activity?

    Do you want to know why he made that speech? Because he knew it would positively influence people like you. This is why he can get away with refusing to enforce laws and ignoring the Constitution in using the levers of Executive Power to further his partisan agenda.

  • ron

    The President’s comments are inappropriate. Our judicial system is not perfect but an attempt to override the jury’s decision is dangerous and only causes more angst. His sole job is to provide protection for the citizenry, not to weigh in on social issues.

  • https://twitter.com/SoCalCMH christopher hubbard

    your cynicism is justified. all one needs to know about his speech is that he decided to do it friday afternoon, unannounced, so nobody could prepare for it and then with no questions afterwards. he wanted to show up, just before folks were switching to weekend mode, say what he wanted to say (and his body language was awful by the way.) he looked like a broken, exhausted man. perhaps that’s what being president will do to you. particularly when you come to office unprepared like he was to lead and don’t know how to govern. and then he left.

    that’s the era of obama for you; come in with a bang and such high hopes and come out a whimper with folks not only not believing any more. but not much caring about it anymore. where this country is is not barack obama’s fault. but a better president and somebody who became president with good will and politicked in good faith wouldn’t be stuck in the mud right now. and we’d be a better country without him.

  • hotboogers

    To paraphrase the great man, it ain’t cynical if it’s true.

    I don’t think your cynicism is a sin; I think it’s clear-eyed understanding of human nature when so many humans in our culture are so blatantly self-serving, and even blatantly evil sometimes. Obama has a pattern and you’re shying away from your understanding of that pattern. To see clearly is no sin. To wonder about what one is seeing is no sin. To draw conclusions based on a pattern of several years standing is no sin. You have never judged the state of the man’s soul and you have taken pains to talk about what it appears he thinks/believes rather than to impute thoughts or motivations directly; there would be where sin would enter in, yet you have not done that.

  • Mike

    You have eloquently
    expressed my thoughts on this. I was really thrown back by the statement ,
    “A wanna-be cop in a state with some laws that should probably be reviewed
    made spectacular errors in judgment .”
    I have read a good many of Ms. Scalia’s writings and this just seemed
    too shallow for her. First off, I do not know which laws should be reviewed. Is
    this referring to stand-your-ground laws, which had nothing to do with this
    case? And is it fair to call a neighbor watch guy a wanna-be cop for wanting to
    be the eyes and ears of his neighborhood so as to deter crime? He called the
    real cops and was waiting for them to arrive. And what was the spectacular
    error in judgment? Getting out of his
    vehicle to verify where he was? The dispatcher told Zimmerman that he did not
    have to follow him, and Zimmerman acknowledged. He also reported that the
    person was running, so it is very unlikely Zimmerman could have followed him on
    foot anyway. Getting out of his vehicle was to be fateful, but hardly an error
    in judgment. Zimmerman’s vantage point was not our after-the-fact vantage
    point. What irks me is the complete lack
    of agency attributed to Martin. A young black man can only do what a young
    black man is programmed to do when he notices someone is following him. So
    Zimmerman’s getting out of the vehicle triggered what was pre-programmed to
    happen under the circumstances. I just cannot accept this kind of notion.

  • SDN

    “A wanna-be cop in a state with some laws that should probably be
    reviewed made spectacular errors in judgment and as a result, one family
    is grief-stricken with loss and another will never be the same.”

    This level of dishonesty is what I expect from the Al Sharptons of the world. Not a single thing in this sentence (except the possibility that a family is grief stricken rather than looking to cash in) is true.

  • markrite

    I’m so sorry, but this opinion blog piece was sure not what I expected from the usual impeccable stuff that is posted on NewAdvent, where I read it. Mz. Scalia, you’re sliding dangerously into MSNBC territory with your snarling commentary re race vs. white America (?) vis-à-vis the Martin-Zimmerman imbroglio. For one thing, are you aware that @ the beginning of this whole contretemps over a year ago, the LAMESTREAM media were using a FIVE-YEAR OLD photo of Martin when he was TWELVE to try and gin up a narrative about racialism in America, when in fact he was a HULKING 17-YEAR OLD wannabee thug into pot and other substances and in fact towered over Zimmerman by almost FIVE INCHES? That’s just ONE instance of how the “LAMESTREAMERS” distort and obfuscate facts in order to try and advance their moldy agenda. For another thing, how about the fact that TRAYVON BRUTALLY ATTACKED GEORGE ZIMMERMAN FIRST, BREAKING HIS NOSE, and then proceeding to martial arts-style GROUND AND POUND HIM, and also SMASHING THE BACK OF ZIMMERMAN’S HEAD into the pavement, as a further ASSAULT? Mz. Scalia, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This Trayvon kid was, once again, a wannabee thug out LOOKING FOR TROUBLE, and then, unfortunately for him, GETTING JUST THAT! I could go on and on, because there’s SO MUCH MORE that the LAMESTREAM MEDIA has irresponsibly muddied the societal waters over, thereby doing what so many of them do all the time when race is somehow present when incidents like this occur; and that is: BLAME WHITEY! Uncharitable and snarky. So just WHY, Mz. Scalia, are you kind of doing the same thing? Just asking, don’t take it personal. GOD BLESS ALL, MARKRITE

  • MeanLizzie

    “Snarling”? I never snarl. If you read a snarl in my piece then you need to read it again, perhaps with a little less emotion and a no caps. I agree that the use of a five year old photo of Trayvon is manipulation. I agree that the press has been despicable on the story. I said so in my piece. It was appalling to watch ppl refer to a young man of 17 as a “little boy.” But that doesn’t change the fact that Zimmerman — and I tried to be very balanced about him, too, if you notice, praising his volunteerist spirit — is a cop wannabee who should never have left his car after he ‘d called the police. And I don’t see why rethinking a law is anathema to people. We rethink laws all the time. As to the rest, you can continue to comment here as long as you lose the caps and understand that this post is not about re-trying the trial (and I agree with the verdict). It’s about the president’s cynicism. Screaming at me and going off topic is a good way to get deleted b/c hysteria bores me.

  • Deoxy

    But we can’t actually know whether George Zimmerman was racially
    profiling or was just suspicious because he saw someone in a hoodie,
    looking at houses on a rainy night (which, by the way, is no freaking
    crime and Zimmerman should have stayed in his damn car).

    Neither is getting out of his car. I could just as well have said that Martin should have stayed in his damn house, for the relevance.

    I happen to believe that black people are just as deserving and human as everybody else, and I hold them to the same standard I do everyone else: Martin jumped someone he didn’t know for completely ridiculous reasons, beat that person to the point that a sizable statistical minority of people would die of the injuries received, and only stopped when said person shot him.

    I don’t care what color of person did that, and I don’t care what color of person it was who was being beaten – the person who did the beating deserved to be stopped with whatever force was necessary, and if that force caused them to die, well, they earned it.

    Black/white/brown/yellow/red/PURPLE, I don’t care. Somehow, NOT changing my opinion based on the color of the skin of the people involved makes me a racist?!? Welcome to 1984.

  • MeanLizzie

    It’s NOT a tragedy? He was 17 years old! Zimmerman’s life is likely ruined forever. This is not a tragedy?

  • shenanniganist

    I have to say that his introduction of the “Trayvon could have been me” schtick necessarily colors anything productive he might have said. I do not know that for a fact. Perhaps he was channeling Lincoln. However it has been quite a while since I have been able to watch more than 5 minutes of his drivel with it’s bobble headed tennis match delivery. Therefore I will state that if history is any guide his speech was inane and merely meant to incite division and I am comfortable with making that evidenced assumption.

  • Sus_1

    How is walking down the street with skittles and soda while chatting with a friend on a phone looking for trouble? He was a teenager. They walk in the rain!

    Who asked George Zimmerman to arm himself and patrol the neighborhood? Neighborhood watch programs do not include guns.

    As far as this post goes, cynical me agrees. The other part of me thinks our President can’t do anything right at this point and we are in another waiting game until the next election just like we were with President Bush. No matter what he does, he’ll be criticized.

  • shenanniganist

    The tragedy is the destruction of family that leads to Trayvons murdering each other in record numbers. This destruction is supported by the political left when it is not actively pursued by the same.

  • Dagnabbit_42

    Profiling is real.

    But there has been genuine improvement, and relative to the normal racial-antagonism conditions of the human race, the plain (albeit sad) fact is that the U.S. is superior to almost all other societies. Racial antagonism, the xenophobic instinct, is to an extent biologically driven…and if you’re burdened with a fallen, weakened, damaged human nature, it’s hard to fight biology, all day, every day.

    So, despite the fact that racism, bigotry, and irrational prejudice are all gravely sinful, I think we have to admit that in the U.S., we’re doing a lot better than we could be. Even if that’s not saying much.

    I think the primary sign of how we’re doing a lot better than we could be is the fact that on-sight prejudice has shifted greatly (not entirely) away from skin-color to mode-of-dress and exhibited-behavior.

    For 99% of little old white ladies, if they get into an elevator with a two large, fit-looking, middle-aged black men wearing slacks, dress shoes, and button-down shirts, they do not clutch their purse and move into the corner of the elevator. They typically smile and nod a greeting and if one of those men is close to the control panel they may say, “6th floor please,” and that’s the end of it.

    By contrast, most of those little old white ladies will feel uneasy if they’re riding in an elevator and a pair of white 20-year-olds wearing hoodies and baggy jeans below the hips and sideways baseball caps get on board.

    That’s the reality of “race relations” today: It’s frequently a matter of culture and comportment relations.

    Now, sadly, it’s not all about that. The measure of how far we have to go is that these little old white ladies would typically feel even more uncomfortable if those 20-year-olds were black or Hispanic, than if they were white. How much more varies from one little old lady to another, but that difference remains.

    Why does it remain? Well, three reasons, the first of which is more excusable than the others. First, as I mentioned before, there is a vestigial biology-driven xenophobic instinct: The person who looks different from me may be dangerous because they’re not a relative and have nothing genetically invested in my continued existence. In most of us this instinct is a quiet one, hard to notice at most times. But to eradicate it entirely is probably difficult even for the most well-intentioned homo sapiens. As I said above, it’s hard to fight biology, all day, every day.

    Another reason is that the little old white lady is aware of statistics about black kids involved in violent crime: It happens more than for white kids of the same age. That fact stinks, but it happens to be true.

    However, the little old white lady’s awareness of this doesn’t usually include awareness that she, as a little old white lady, is more likely to be a victim of violent crime by a young white boy than a black, because statistically violent crime by youths tends to target within, not outside, the criminal’s racial group. That missing distinction is unfair to black kids, if it causes excess suspicion among little old white ladies.

    And the third problem, of course, is that our tribe’s version of gathering around the campfire and letting the old tell useful, educational stories to the young is what we call “pop culture”: Television, Movies, Music, Video Games; and these are full of young black kids doing violent things and the glorification of “gangsta” behavior. These things feel “cool” to the young (red and yellow, black and white), who often emulate them in various ways; but they are also known by the middle-aged and the old, who naturally develop a fear of them. To the degree this violence is associated with urban and poor environments, the middle-aged and the old end up associating them more with African American kids than with other ethnic groups.

    Anyhow, that skin-color gap remains. So even though a little old white lady is suspicious of “gangsta-looking” white kids as well as black kids and Hispanic kids, we have to admit: The suspicion-levels are not identical. Things are not perfect.

    But things are significantly better, when behavior and the chosen parts of one’s appearance can trump the genetic and the unchosen parts of one’s appearance.

  • Mike

    The irony of the POTUS statement and the fawning MSM is that it diverts attention away from the even greater tragedy of black on black crime in our urban centers. Look at what is happening in places like Chicago – it’s outrageous. But why is Obama not saying he could have been one of those kids. I guess tat doesn’t play well politically does it. I would have much more respect fr Obama even if he added to his statement that violent crime is way to rampant. But then again these 5 years have shown just an unbelievable lack of leadership from this man

  • Dagnabbit_42

    Oh, one other thing:

    Bill Whittle’s “Afterburner” is sadly accurate about the real issues of culpability, and the horrifyingly discreditable behavior of the news media in relation to the Martin/Zimmerman case.

    It’s getting where, if the only thing I knew about a person was that they were a news editor for a major newspaper or television news outlet, not only would I not be willing to let them watch my kids for an hour…I frankly wouldn’t trust them to watch my dog.

  • shenanniganist

    And we have a winner.

  • MeanLizzie

    You disagree with everything I said in this post? How funny. The fact that everyone is talking about the speech and the trial again this weekend, instead of all of those other stories I linked to, kind of proves my point.

  • Tom_in_SFCA

    I am tired of people excoriating George Zimmerman for getting out of his car. At Mr. Zimmerman’s trial a young woman testified tearfully that she had previously suffered a terrifying home invasion burglary in that same development. In getting out of his car, Mr. Zimmerman risked his own safety to protect other innocents from suffering as this young mother had. Would that someone had done so in the prior instance. George Zimmerman’s initial pursuit of Mr. Martin was noble and heroic and it is destructive of society to say otherwise.

  • GregQ

    He was 17 years old on the express train to a life of crime and violence. He was an eager street brawler, a thief (he was catch with stolen jewelry in his possession. The school took, and returned tot eh owner, the jewelry, but didn’t report him because tehy were trying to make the crime statistics better by lying, rather than by actually cutting crime), and there were multiple texts hidden on his phone about trying to buy guns.

    His younger half brother wanted Martin to teach him how to fight. Hopefully his older brother’s death will led him to a different path.

  • MeanLizzie

    The police had been called. He did not need to get out of his car. That would be different if he happened to be witnessing a break in or an assault taking place. Since that was not the case, he should have stayed in his car.

  • jms

    So on the one hand Zimmerman should have presumed Martin to be a harmless teenager and not feared him. On the other hand Zimmerman should have never gotten out of his car because he should have assumed that Martin was a vicious predator. You damn Zimmerman twice — first for the sin of “profiling” Martin as a criminal, and then again for not having profiled him as a dangerous enough criminal. You can’t have it both ways. Your position is self-contradictory.

  • bflat879

    It’s instructive to keep in mind that Barack Obama sat in Reverend Wright’s church for 20 years. I’m relatively sure racial tolerance wasn’t on the menu much during the Reverend’s sermons.

    Obama’s real problem is he was always fairly removed from being like Trayvon. He went to school in Indonesia and Hawaii, as a young man, and by the time he reached college age, the civil rights era was in full bloom.

    THey always say you have to learn to hate. I’m betting that Trayvon encountered more hate, in his community, towards whites than the average white encounters in theirs. He certainly had more hate for Zimmerman than Zimmerman had for him.

  • nathanofbrainfertilizerfame

    And what are you posting about?
    The speech.
    So your actions are proving your deliberate point.

    But your inadvertent point is what I disagree with:
    You bought into pretty much everything President Obama said.
    That you can shake off the glamor for a few moments to post a list of things you could have talked about instead of several paragraphs of how much you agree with President Obama’s glittering generality emotional appeals is okay, I guess.
    But better if you didn’t buy into it and to it at all, which you did.
    It isn’t a crime to get out of your car. It isn’t a crime to follow someone. It is a crime to assault someone.
    That is the point of the trial’s results. But race baiters have exploited the emotional aspects of this case for their own political benefits, and you have abetted them.

  • nathanofbrainfertilizerfame

    So Jesus was wrong, and that Samaritan should have just minded his own business.

    Got it.

    Caring for you community, taking personal action to protect the helpless and/or innocent is wrong, just leave it to the cops.

    I don’t agree at all.

  • teapartydoc

    Bingo. But what will he do in three weeks when the Trayvon thing starts to wear out? How many shining object distractions will he be able to come up with before Fall 2014? He’s running out of time.

  • nukgod

    This whole controversy reminds me of an argument between a married couple, sure it sounds like they are yelling at each other because of money, but honestly, the hate is still left over from last months argument over the mother-in-law.

    This incident was supposed to represent a larger narrative, “white racist male shoots unarmed black child in gated community” it played well in that it had a lot of angles reporters loved (racism, gun control, affluence and wealth privilege, etc.) The problem is that the facts did not fit the narrative, so rather than correcting the story, the media doubled down on it.

  • Shirley

    “But we can’t actually know whether George Zimmerman was racially profiling or was just suspicious because he saw someone in a hoodie, looking at houses on a rainy night (which, by the way, is no freaking crime and Zimmerman should have stayed in his damn car).”

    Nonsense. Residential Community Block Watch Doesn’t Work That Way.

  • GregQ

    I am very disappointed in you, Elizabeth. Because it appears you’ve decided to comment on the Zimmerman case without bothering to actually find out what happened in the Zimmerman case.

    So let’s consider some facts you appear to have missed, and see if you can come to a more enlightened opinion:

    1: A neighbor of Zimmerman’s was home alone with her infant, when someone tried to break in. 911 told her to grab a weapon and hide. She grabbed a screwdriver, and hid in her room with her baby. Someone jiggled the handle on her door, robbed her house, and escaped, all before the police arrived.

    Zimmerman and his wife befriended the woman, helped her deal with her terror, and bought her a new deadbolt. Then Zimmerman started the Neighborhood Watch program for their area.

    2: Relying on police reports about burglary suspects, Zimmerman made multiple calls to the police about teenaged boys engaging in suspicious behavior. The result of those calls was that a black male teenager who lived in the complex was caught with stolen goods from multiple houses in the neighborhood. In one little irony, the kid was convicted in Judge Nelson’s courtroom (and if you don’t know that Judge Nelson was the trier of this case, you’re not qualified to comment on the trial, and should be embarrassed in yourself if you have commented on it).

    3: Trayvon Martin was suspended from school twice. Once because he was caught with stolen jewelry in his backpack, the second time (which was why he was in Sanford) because he was caught with a used marijuana pipe in his backpack. The school security officers followed their boss’s policy of rarely reporting criminals, in order to get their boss awards for “cutting the crime rate”. (This came out because of this case.) If they’d actually reported the crimes, instead of just suspending Martin, he probably would not have been in Sanford that night.

    4: Trayvon Martin’s cell phone had, hidden in a password protected file, pictures of him with jewelry on his bed, texts about his street fighting, texts from his younger brother asking to be taught how to fight, texts about buying and selling guns, and pictures of naked underage females.

    5: The toxicology report on Martin said that he had the active form of THC in hsi bloodstream the night he died.

    In short, Trayvon Martin was a thug. He was a crook, and he was a drug user. If Zimmerman had not killed him, the only real question is “would Martin have killed someone else before he got himself killed?” Happily, that answer turns out to be no.

    6: George Zimmerman called the cops to say he saw someone wandering around, looking into the windows of a house where he knew the person didn’t live, acting strange, almost as if he was drugged.

    If you have a problem with him making that call, your problem is with the whole idea of the Neighborhood Watch, not with George Zimmerman. The behavior he reported SHOULD be reported, it doesn’t matter if the person doing it is white black old or young.

    7: Zimmerman tried to keep this suspicious character in sight. Eventually the person disappeared from his view, even when he stopped his car and got out. The person on the other end of his non-emergency police call told Zimmerman they “don’t need him to do that” (try to follow on foot), so Zimmerman went back to his car.

    None of the above facts are disputable. You could, I suppose, try to claim that Zimmerman lied in his call, and Martin wasn’t really looking into any windows. But you would have to make that claim with zero supporting evidence.

    So, please, tell us where Zimmerman displayed “bad judgment” in any of the above.

    8: Zimmerman says he walked around in the area around his car, trying to find a street sign so he could tell the police who were on their way exactly where he was. Neighbors who lived there testified during the trial that it was hard to see street signs in the area, and that the street name had recently changed. In any event, Zimmerman got off the phone with the police.

    9: Four minutes after Zimmerman lost sight of Martin, Martin confronted Zimmerman less than 20 yards from where Zimmerman’s car was parked. (Time information taken from phone records entered at the trial. Location taken from where Martin’s dead body was found.) If Martin had been trying to go home, he would have been there, safe and sound. If I understand Jeantel (the girl who was on the phone with Martin), Martin DID get to his dad’s girlfriend’s place, and then turned around and went back. In any event, given the amount of time Martin had to get home, the ONLY reason for him to run into Zimmerman at the place where he did was because he chose to seek out Zimmerman.

    10: Martin confronted Zimmerman, Zimmerman responded defensively (rather than going on the offense and saying “why are you looking into windows of other people’s homes?”). We got that from Jeantel’s testimony. Then she claimed the call ended.

    11: Zimmerman was struck in the nose, his nose was damaged, and bleeding. The back of his head was damaged from being struck into a concrete sidewalk. The defense’s forensic expert testified that the damage done to Zimmerman was potentially life threatening, that the police should have sent Zimmerman to the ER, and that if Zimmerman had died from his injuries, the police would have been sued, and lost. The prosecution’s witness, John Good, testified that he heard the screaming, went outside, saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, pinning Zimmerman down, and striking down at Zimmerman (he could not testify that he heard the blows hit). Good told Martin to stop. When he didn’t, Good said he was calling 911. Martin’s attack continued.

    12: The witness who claimed that Zimmerman was on top said she was sure that the bigger person was on top, and since the only images she’d seen of Martin were the pictures from when Martin was 12, she assumed Zimmerman was bigger. This was false, as the defense demonstrated when they had Zimmerman stand next to a life sized cutout of Martin.

    13: Martin was killed by a single shot to the chest. His shirt was in contact with the gun, but the gun was shot from two inches away from Martin’s chest (as determined by the powder burns on Martin’s chest). The hole in the shirt and the hole in Martin’s chest lined up to show that Martin was leaning forward when he was shot.

    In short: Trayvon Martin confronted Zimmerman, punched him in the face, tackled him to the ground, and spent 40 seconds beating on him, inflicting potentially deadly damage on him, and giving no indication that he was going to stop until he had killed, or at least crippled, Zimmerman. Zimmerman then got his gun out, and shot his attacker, killing him.

    There can be no “duty to retreat” when you’re pinned to the ground. Every state in the nation allows you to use deadly force to defend yourself when you can’t retreat, and are in reasonable fear of death. Zimmerman could not retreat, and was in reasonable fear of death.If you still think Florida has “some laws that should probably be reviewed” because of this case, it’s because you are taking the utterly fringe position that self defense should never be allowed.

    I hope you will take some time to get yourself actually informed on this issue before saying anything more. And I hope you will offer George Zimmerman the apology he so richly deserves after your ill-informed and utterly unjustified hostile comments about him.

  • As for me and my house…

    The major part of the “racist” problem is kids dropping out of high school (because they are lazy), engaging in fornication (the Bible warns us that those who do this will not inherit heaven), giving birth out-of-wedlock and arrogantly demanding the right to get paid to stay at home at watch TV. These children are a major cause of the crime problem. Surprisingly, the attempted murderer (Mr Martin) was not from such a home. God allowed OJ Simpson to “get away” with cold-blooded murder of 2 innocent people. Racist mobs cheered that verdict. God did not allow Mr Martin (may God have mercy on his soul) to murder Mr Zimmerman (may God protect him and give him peace. Racists come in every color. Obama’s speech stunk. What to expect from one who has contempt for innocent human life and for God’s definition of marriage.

  • Tom_in_SFCA

    You keep saying what Zimmerman did or did not “need” to do without explaining this “need”. In fact, Zimmerman did not “need” to do anything. He could have just kept on driving and not even called the cops like so many others might have. Instead he chose to stop and get involved for the protection of innocents. This is noble. What purpose does it serve for you to second guess now precisely how he effected this other than to make the next potential neighborhood watchman less likely to get involved in the future? Obama pretends that the biggest problem facing blacks is excessively suspicious non-blacks. This is a lie. Blacks’ biggest problems are their own unproductivity and criminality. You should stop abetting Obama’s dissembling.

  • shenanniganist

    Your use of should is an emotive judgement inconsistent with what he felt was his duty to the community. As he was serving as neighborhood watch, he could reasonably assume based of history that a break in might be occurring and he would have been able to render assistance or better help the police in locating the situation. When advised that that was not needed he began to head back to his truck at which point he was ambushed. Facts is facts and opinion is opinion.

  • Gail Finke

    I’m cynical as well. I don’t think that’s a sin, I think that’s a sensible response given President Obama’s track record. There was some very good stuff in that speech, people who are listening to excerpts should read and judge for themselves. And I can alllllllmost believe that he “spoke from the heart” as one of the TV stations said, at least in parts of it, and even possibly that those parts are the “real” parts and the stupid race-divide-fanning parts of it are for his “base.” But only almost, because let’s face it, this gentleman has done nothing but divide the country on race since he took office.

    But I think you’re wrong about Zimmerman. There are neighborhood watch groups all over the country, they are not all full of “would-be overzealous cops.” There is one in my neighborhood. The sad truth is that though my neighborhood is slightly more than 50% black, the neighborhood watch (along with all our civic groups) is almost all white and the crime is almost all done by black kids. Are we supposed to pretend that isn’t the case? Neighborhood watch people get a pretty good sense for what’s going on — something no one has mentioned — and who is somewhere he isn’t supposed to be. They get it by patrolling their neighborhoods and watching. They see who hangs out all the time, the know who is just out of jail and who isn’t, they see how people behave when they are doing something they shouldn’t be doing. I don’t know if Zimmerman was a good neighborhood watch guy or not, but I see no reason to suspect that he wasn’t. I am sure he made some mistakes that night but attacking someone is not one. You don’t attack people. It’s a basic rule of life that, sadly, a lot of young men don’t seem to be taught these days.

  • MeanLizzie

    Shake off the glamor? I find nothing about the president glamorous. Take a look at my archives, pally, I’ve done nothing but criticize Obama since 2007, but yesterday I thought he made some worthwhile points. You’re saying that nothing in his speech yesterday was worth saying? That’s pretty amazing.

  • MeanLizzie

    Heh. Yeah. Now I’m Al Sharpton. That’s the ticket.

  • MeanLizzie

    Bullshit. This is the stupidest comment on this thread, and I don’t apologize for calling it stupid. I PRAISED Zimmerman for his volunteering; I have nothing against community watches. But no one was being attacked; no one was laying by the side of the road beaten; no one was being burgled. Zimmerman did not have to get out of his car, period. It’s news to me that Trayvon jumped him as he was getting back into it, so that’s interesting, but the fact remains, Zimmerman did not have to get out of his car. Don’t cheapen this by trying to equate following someone you’re suspicious of to tending the wounds of the world.

  • Kathleen

    I am sorry, I am sad, I didn’t agree with anything that Obama said because he shouldn’t have said anything, he should have been talking truth about Benghazi, IRS. And all the rest. From the highest office crime is screaming out and we put a title of profiling on a young man using self protection. No winners in this, they both could have identified themselves. Period, Travone could have said hey I am at my dads. George could have said we had break ins last week and I am just checking the area out. The Jury came in with. Not guilty with the evidence they had, the State didn’t have a case. As a matter of fact a person said it ahouldn’t have gone to trial because there wasn’t a case. But they did because of the people’s, Obama coming in on it and the concern for riots as we now see happening. A baby was shot in the face because two Bl. Teens wanted money from the mom and she din’t have it. They shot this baby in the face. I am so truly sad about all this. Evil is abounding. We are fighting Satan and his minions, it isn’t black and white against each other as much as it is we are being used by evil, we are giving into sin in our lives, and heh is after souls. Please, we need to pray and each person to discern their own lives and clean it up. Abortion and those from the top are spreading this horrible, horrible black cloud over America, let us call it what it is and pray for strength to persevere. lord have mercy


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