President Barack Obama has proven — again — that systemic and structural racism is not high on his priority list by mimicking the stereotypical, condescending and prejudiced ‘call for calm’ in the wake of the disgraceful ‘not guilty’ verdict reached by 6 jurors in the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman.
Read the President’s statement below:
The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.
President Obama once said that if he “had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin.” Now, apparently, the slain teen is just another gun violence statistic.
We may be a nation of laws, but as St. Augustine famously said, ‘an unjust law is not law at all,’ and it is our responsibility to fight against a system that doesn’t even consider a dead, Black child bleeding out on the grass “probable cause” for arrest — not calmly reflect on it.
Though some Black Americans are disappointed with Obama’s statement, it should not be surprising.
This is the same POTUS who remained absolutely silent when Troy Davis was murdered by the State of Georgia — even though there was more than reasonable doubt that he was innocent. This is the same POTUS who sat back while public schools were being closed in Chicago and Philadelphia — which amounts to a hate crime against Black children seeking education.
This is the same POTUS who supports Israel’s murderous regime, even in the face of the slaughter of innocent women and children in Palestine.
Bottom line: True justice for Trayvon Martin is not coming from this country; not from its police departments, not in its courtrooms, and not from the White House. And anyone who is surprised or hurt that President Obama would deflect from the blatant racism that colors the killing of an unarmed Black child on a rainy night in Florida just hasn’t been paying attention.