Sunday, July 21, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now?

President Obama has weighed in again (and heavily) on the death of Trayvon Martin and the aftermath of the Zimmerman verdict.    Many of you have either seen or heard his remarks.  The President was far from puzzled or muzzled, indeed he was unusually candid about how he and many African Americans are viewing the current state of affairs.  He says:

"You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago.
And when you think about why, in the African-American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a — and a history that — that doesn’t go away.
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. That includes me.
There are probably very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me — at least before I was a senator.
There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had 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 happens often.
And, you know, I — I don’t want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida."

Read more:

I wonder if anyone ever had "The Talk" with President Obama when he was young-- or if he learned the reality he is speaking of through the hard, cold teacher called experience.  Either way, he knows and has publicly acknowledged the struggle and the injustice.

Well said Mr. President, well said.