Off Topic Messages

Obama finally speaks as a black president

Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:13 pm

BY MOHAMMED ADAM, OTTAWA CITIZEN JULY 22, 2013

The shackles basically came off Friday when President Barack Obama delivered his “Trayvon Martin could have been me” remarks about the ugly black experience in the United States and urged his fellow Americans to acknowledge its reality.

It was a remarkably atypical statement from Obama, the ultra-cautious, “post-racial” president who had shied away from any discussion of race throughout his presidency. But the more remarkable thing about the statement is that he delivered it not just as president, but as a black man. And he did it at a time when passions were inflamed and the country was deeply divided over the acquittal of George Zimmerman for killing unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. It is the kind of speech political aides are loath to counsel, and Obama would never have dared make the remarks in his first term, fearful as he was about alienating the voters in Middle America who made him the first black president.

But I suspect that deep in some corner of his heart, Obama knew the narrative about a post-racial America just wasn’t going to hold water for long. At some point, Obama knew he would have to address the volatile issue of race relations, and in death, Trayvon Martin liberated him and helped him find his voice. There could never be a better case than the one about the tragic death of this black teenager to open the door for a conversation.

By and large, young black men, in the U.S. especially, have two images: they are either sports and entertainment icons, or they are gun-toting thugs. They make millions of dollars and flaunt it, or they gun each other down. There is usually very little middle ground between the two narratives. But in Trayvon Martin, you have a case that defies conventional wisdom. An unarmed teenager on his way home in the rain and breaking no laws, is profiled by a white adult, followed, and in the ensuing altercation, ends up dead. The man who did the chasing and the shooting is then set free by a jury. The outrage in the black community is palpable, and if Obama was ever going to speak on the volatile issue of race relations, here was his chance. He took it with a vengeance in explaining why the verdict hit such a raw nerve in the black community.

He spoke candidly, fearlessly, taking on what would normally be taboo subjects. He was effective because he spoke from the heart in a very personal way. He spoke about racial profiling and of his experiences as a young black man. He acknowledged the high crime rate among young African-Americans, but he put it in the context of the historic poverty in black communities that has contributed to marginalization of the youth. And he lamented the injustices of a legal system that treats blacks worse than it does others.

“The African-American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of criminal laws — everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws,” Obama said.

And he gave voice to the belief of many African-Americans that the Zimmerman case had racist undertones from beginning to end when he noted that, “If a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, that, from top to bottom, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.”

This was Obama unglued, and in terms of significance, his statement — it was not really a speech — was far more profound and historic in terms of race relations than the 2008 speech he delivered in the wake of his former pastor Jeremiah Wright’s incendiary observations about the United States. Then, Obama the candidate was fighting for his political life when he made that speech explaining the complexity of race relations and the residual pain that led to Wright’s admittedly offensive comments. In 2013, there was no political high-wire act to perform. There was no straddling the middle, and he spoke as a “brother,” directly to the African-American experience, and validated it. And he challenged Middle America to acknowledge it. If you were a young black man and you heard Obama speak or read his statement, you saw it as an acknowledgment and affirmation of your life experience by the president of the United States. This was not some no-good young African-American complaining, it is the president telling the world that he understands it because he has lived it. Here was the president identifying with you.

The other thing about Friday is that Obama was also addressing the broader American society. He was telling them that the black experience may not be their experience, it may not be their life, but it is real, and they should not dismiss it. That’s why he called for self-analysis by all Americans.

“I think it is going to be important for all of us to do some soul-searching ... At least you ask yourself your own questions about, am I wringing as much bias out of myself as I can? Am I judging people as much as I can, based on not the colour of their skin, but the content of their character? That would, I think, be an appropriate exercise in the wake of this tragedy,” Obama said.

For a child of an interracial marriage who wrote about not being sure where he belonged growing up, but who became the first black president and studiously avoided talking about race, last Friday was Obama’s epiphany.

Not everyone agrees with Obama’s observations, and there has been criticism. But he spoke about race relations in a way that will reverberate for a long time to come.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/co ... story.html
Last edited by paulsweeney on Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:41 pm

Don't forget the source link:
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/Obama+finally+speaks+black+president/8693374/story.html

And I suggest you brace yourself, and enjoy the topic until it is abused to the point of being deleted by the bigots.

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:46 pm

The irony of this speech is that Obama has more in common with George Zimmerman than Trayvon Martin. Here are some astute observations from Rush Limbaugh:

Barack Obama Has More in Common with George Zimmerman Than Trayvon Martin
July 22, 2013 http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2013/07/22/barack_obama_has_more_in_common_with_george_zimmerman_than_trayvon_martin

RUSH:
He bops out there Friday, didn't even need his teleprompter, and he starts talking about how, yeah, 35 years ago, that coulda been him -- and if he'd had a son, he would look like Trayvon. But when you get down to it, Obama doesn't have anything in common with Trayvon Martin, other than the color of his skin, and that's it. Thirty-five years ago, old Barry was in Hawaii being raised by two rich white people, and he went to one of the most exclusive prep schools out there, Punahou.

(interruption)

He did.

(interruption)

What are you laughing about? What in the world is funny about that? It's the absolute truth. You know, all this coulda, woulda? The fact is that Barack Obama has more in common with George Zimmerman than he does with Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman is a mixed-race man. His mother is a black Hispanic and his father's white.

(interruption)

How come Obama doesn't identify with Zimmerman? Obama is a mixed-race man. His mother was white.
(interruption)

His mother was racist?

(interruption)

The grandmother? The "typical white woman." The grandmother, her mother, his white mother's mother, grandmother, was "a typical white woman." Yeah, racist. And his father, Barack Obama Sr. was African-American; his mother was white. There's more in common there with Zimmerman. Well, he has less in common with Trayvon Martin.

(interruption)

Snerdley says, "You like being in the frying pan, huh?" No, I don't like being in the frying pan, but I'm not afraid of being in the frying pan. I'll tell you what I'm really not afraid of is truth. I am not afraid of it, and I don't have any guilt. So...

(interruption)

I know I don't fit the current mold, but I just think if we're gonna get real here, Zimmerman's mixed race, and Obama's mixed race. Obama didn't have the life Trayvon Martin had.

(interruption)

Well, but you think...? Do you think...?

(interruption)

Well, now, wait. I take it back. I take it back, 'cause Trayvon smoked dope, right? So did Obama. He was in a "choom gang." So there is something in commonality there. I just inconveniently forgot that. But in terms of what Obama's talking about, Obama's clearly talking about race. He has far more in common with Zimmerman than he had with Trayvon Martin.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT
RUSH: A lot of people think this is profound -- that Obama has more in common with George Zimmerman than with Trayvon Martin. They're both mixed race. Far more in common. But now they're saying Obama is probably not like Zimmerman all that much 'cause I don't know if Obama has ever rescued a family from an overturned truck. Do you? I don't know if Obama's ever done that.

END TRANSCRIPT
Last edited by Mike C on Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:52 pm

Mike C wrote:Here are some astute observations from Rush Limbaugh ...


Here we go!

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:57 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mike C wrote:Here are some astute observations from Rush Limbaugh ...


Here we go!


Did you actually read what he said? It does make one think.

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:17 am

Im no Limbaugh fan,but his point is a good one.Obama had nothing in common with Martin.You gotta admit it absurd to compare the two.Those two were never on the same path.The article once again injects race into a case that a jury,local police and the FBI found no evidence of a civil rights violation.Its obvious that people's own sense of justice and perception is smothering the outcome of the trial.Do the facts presented in the trial and the lawful outcome mean nothing?Do any of you actually believe the police and jurors were all involved in a conspiracy?Why can't people just acknowledge the system worked and came to the proper conclusion?Personally I believe Obama is a sincere person.Im sure his speech came from his heart.I don't know what it's like to be the victim of rascism.I actually agree with the context of his speech.Its just that it doesn't apply to what happened in Florida.He should have said that no evidence of race was found in the case.Save you're anger and rage for when it's actually warranted.

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:33 am

It's a shame that Elvis in Atlanta 76' isn't here to offer his astute and literate observations!

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:03 am

jak wrote:Im no Limbaugh fan,but his point is a good one.Obama had nothing in common with Martin.


Actually he does. What he pointed out in his speech was that he was in the past (as I believe Martin was) judged or 'profiled' based on his skin color.

jak wrote:Personally I believe Obama is a sincere person.Im sure his speech came from his heart.I don't know what it's like to be the victim of rascism.I actually agree with the context of his speech.Its just that it doesn't apply to what happened in Florida.


The results of jury trials are not based on what the reality of certain situations are, they're based on which party can argue their interpretation of that reality. The defense may have won the argument, they didn't do it based on a unanimous jury.

With that said, I also agree with what the president had to say, what I take issue with is that I don't believe that any president should single out situations that are either in the process of a trial or after the outcome of trials.
Last edited by intheghetto on Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:10 am

Mike C wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mike C wrote:Here are some astute observations from Rush Limbaugh ...


Here we go!


Did you actually read what he said? It does make one think.


I don't listen to racists.

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:16 am

"The results of jury trials are not based on what the reality of certain situations are, they're based on which party can argue their interpretation of that reality. The defense may have won the argument they didn't do it based on a unanimous jury. "

The man was acquitted by due process.Dont forget the FBI has looked at the case for a year.They have found no evidence of a civil rights violation.The perceived rascism is the cause of the outrage.

"With that said, I also agree with what the president had to say, what I take issue with is that I don't believe that any president should single out situations that are either in the process of a trial or after the outcome of trials."

Well said.

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:43 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mike C wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mike C wrote:Here are some astute observations from Rush Limbaugh ...


Here we go!


Did you actually read what he said? It does make one think.


I don't listen to racists.


Who said listen? I asked if you read it as you asked of us in a previous thread about Obama's Friday remarks.
Last edited by Mike C on Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:53 am

The liberal media wants you to hear their side and no one elses. Watch this with an open mind.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcVGNQJwEeY

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:19 am

Obama said that could've been him 30 years ago.

Was Obama making a drug cocktail out of codeine, skittles, and sweet tea? :facep: :facep: :facep: :facep: :facep: :facep: :facep: :facep: :facep: :facep: :facep:

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:19 am

You got your verdict; how much more pain do you wish to gratuitously inflict on his parents by throwing this dirt about their dead kid all over the Internet? Since it serves no litigation purpose to insinuate their son "got what he had coming," does this merely give you guys pleasure?

rjm

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:31 am

Um sorry i didn't throw it all over the internet, he did, it's on his own twitter account thank you very much.

Perhaps his parents should've said something to him when he was alive doing it? :facep:

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:49 am

The other thread was deleted. This needs to be here. Your President's words, true words, meaningful words. It's sad to see some Elvis fans are so close minded. But I guess that's all a part of life...

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:23 am

I'm not being close minded the people portraying Trayvon Martin as innocent boy, and throwing the race card because its convenient for them to do so, is close minded.

Jmo, President Obama is flaming the situation. First it could've been one of his kids, then it could've been him. I mean why!

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:23 am

I am not close minded about anything...but I think both sides of the story needs to be told and not just what the media wants us to hear. Wake up. Get a grip.

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:25 am

Fairchild1171 wrote:I am not close minded about anything...but I think both sides of the story needs to be told and not just what the media wants us to hear. Wake up. Get a grip.

EXACTLY. All media does is brain wash people , they see what everyone is saying on facebook, twitter, cnn, and go along with the rest instead of getting the nitty details of the whole situation.

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:15 am

"...is profiled by a White male adult", "... a White male teen". By my reckoning George Zimmerman is not white but is mixed race. Or have they revised racial profiling in the States? Correct me if I'm wrong but a 'white' person didn't have anything to do with this incident apart from follow due diligence in a court of law?

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:45 am

Here's another thought provoking piece on this topic from Shelbey Steele, an African-American who is a senior fellow at Stanford University, which was published on The Wall Street Journal on Monday (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... _opinion_0)

The Decline of the Civil-Rights Establishment

The verdict that declared George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin was a traumatic event for America's civil-rights establishment, and for many black elites across the media, government and academia. When you have grown used to American institutions being so intimidated by the prospect of black wrath that they invent mushy ideas like "diversity" and "inclusiveness" simply to escape that wrath, then the crisp reading of the law that the Zimmerman jury displayed comes as a shock.

On television in recent weeks you could see black leaders from every background congealing into a chorus of umbrage and complaint. But they weren't so much outraged at a horrible injustice as they were affronted by the disregard of their own authority. The jury effectively said to them, "You won't call the tune here. We will work within the law."

Today's black leadership pretty much lives off the fumes of moral authority that linger from its glory days in the 1950s and '60s. The Zimmerman verdict lets us see this and feel a little embarrassed for them. Consider the pathos of a leadership that once transformed the nation now lusting for the conviction of the contrite and mortified George Zimmerman, as if a stint in prison for him would somehow assure more peace and security for black teenagers everywhere. This, despite the fact that nearly one black teenager a day is shot dead on the South Side of Chicago—to name only one city—by another black teenager.

This would not be the first time that a movement begun in profound moral clarity, and that achieved greatness, waned away into a parody of itself—not because it was wrong but because it was successful. Today's civil-rights leaders have missed the obvious: The success of their forbearers in achieving social transformation denied to them the heroism that was inescapable for a Martin Luther King Jr. or a James Farmer or a Nelson Mandela. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton cannot write a timeless letter to us from a Birmingham jail or walk, as John Lewis did in 1965, across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., into a maelstrom of police dogs and billy clubs. That America is no longer here (which is not to say that every trace of it is gone).

The Revs. Jackson and Sharpton have been consigned to a hard fate: They can never be more than redundancies, echoes of the great men they emulate because America has changed. Hard to be a King or Mandela today when your monstrous enemy is no more than the cherubic George Zimmerman.

Why did the civil-rights leadership use its greatly depleted moral authority to support Trayvon Martin? This young man was, after all, no Rosa Parks—a figure of indisputable human dignity set upon by the rank evil of white supremacy. Trayvon threw the first punch and then continued pummeling the much smaller Zimmerman. Yes, Trayvon was a kid, but he was also something of a menace. The larger tragedy is that his death will come to very little. There was no important principle or coherent protest implied in that first nose-breaking punch. It was just dumb bravado, a tough-guy punch.

The civil-rights leadership rallied to Trayvon's cause (and not to the cause of those hundreds of black kids slain in America's inner cities this very year) to keep alive a certain cultural "truth" that is the sole source of the leadership's dwindling power. Put bluntly, this leadership rather easily tolerates black kids killing other black kids. But it cannot abide a white person (and Mr. Zimmerman, with his Hispanic background, was pushed into a white identity by the media over his objections) getting away with killing a black person without undermining the leadership's very reason for being.

The purpose of today's civil-rights establishment is not to seek justice, but to seek power for blacks in American life based on the presumption that they are still, in a thousand subtle ways, victimized by white racism. This idea of victimization is an example of what I call a "poetic truth." Like poetic license, it bends the actual truth in order to put forward a larger and more essential truth—one that, of course, serves one's cause. Poetic truths succeed by casting themselves as perfectly obvious: "America is a racist nation"; "the immigration debate is driven by racism"; "Zimmerman racially stereotyped Trayvon." And we say, "Yes, of course," lest we seem to be racist. Poetic truths work by moral intimidation, not reason.

In the Zimmerman/Martin case the civil-rights establishment is fighting for the poetic truth that white animus toward blacks is still such that a black teenager—Skittles and ice tea in hand—can be shot dead simply for walking home. But actually this establishment is fighting to maintain its authority to wield poetic truth—the authority to tell the larger society how it must think about blacks, how it must respond to them, what it owes them and, then, to brook no argument.

The Zimmerman/Martin tragedy has been explosive because it triggered a fight over authority. Who gets to say what things mean—the supporters of George Zimmerman, who say he acted in self-defense, or the civil-rights establishment that says he profiled and murdered a black child? Here we are. And where is the authority to resolve this? The six-person Florida jury, looking carefully at the evidence, decided that Mr. Zimmerman pulled the trigger in self-defense and not in a fury of racial hatred.

And here, precisely at the point of this verdict, is where all of America begins to see this hollowed-out civil-rights establishment slip into pathos. Almost everyone saw this verdict coming. It is impossible to see how this jury could have applied the actual law to this body of evidence and come up with a different conclusion. The civil-rights establishment's mistake was to get ahead of itself, to be seduced by its own poetic truth even when there was no evidence to support it. And even now its leaders call for a Justice Department investigation, and they long for civil lawsuits to be filed—hoping against hope that some leaf of actual racial victimization will be turned over for all to see. This is how a once-great social movement looks when it becomes infested with obsolescence.

One wants to scream at all those outraged at the Zimmerman verdict: Where is your outrage over the collapse of the black family? Today's civil-rights leaders swat at mosquitoes like Zimmerman when they have gorillas on their back. Seventy-three percent of all black children are born without fathers married to their mothers. And you want to bring the nation to a standstill over George Zimmerman?

There are vast career opportunities, money and political power to be gleaned from the specter of Mr. Zimmerman as a racial profiler/murderer; but there is only hard and selfless work to be done in tackling an illegitimacy rate that threatens to consign blacks to something like permanent inferiority. If there is anything good to be drawn from the Zimmerman/Martin tragedy, it is only the further revelation of the corruption and irrelevance of today's civil-rights leadership.

Mr. Steele is a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. Among his books is "White Guilt" (HarperCollins, 2007).
Last edited by Mike C on Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:48 am

paulsweeney wrote:The other thread was deleted. This needs to be here. Your President's words, true words, meaningful words. It's sad to see some Elvis fans are so close minded. But I guess that's all a part of life...


Paul, just because we disagree with the President's view, this does mean we are close-minded. The fact that we are discussing this piece shows the exact opposite.

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:50 am

Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson...now there are two dandy ones...race baiters!!!!

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:43 pm

paulsweeney wrote:The other thread was deleted. This needs to be here. Your President's words, true words, meaningful words. It's sad to see some Elvis fans are so close minded. But I guess that's all a part of life...

I agree Paul.

Re: Obama finally speaks as a black president

Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:19 pm

jak wrote:"The results of jury trials are not based on what the reality of certain situations are, they're based on which party can argue their interpretation of that reality. The defense may have won the argument they didn't do it based on a unanimous jury. "

The man was acquitted by due process.Dont forget the FBI has looked at the case for a year.They have found no evidence of a civil rights violation.The perceived rascism is the cause of the outrage.



This wasn't a civil rights case so of course they're not going to determine anything based on that. But to your other point; you seem satisfied with 'due process', so basically your implying that ALL trial outcomes you agree with? Let me ask you, way back when in October of 1995 you were okay with a 'not guilty' verdict in the murder case of a certain sports celebrity? You must've been since after all that person was also 'acquitted by due process'.