In the wake of the not-guilty verdict in the Zimmerman trial, the president ventured into the White House press room today and passed along a few (no doubt carefully scripted) remarks on race, a little monologue consisting of incoherent fog, occasionally lit up by flashes of naked pandering. Perhaps the only real difference between the thrust of this chat and an earlier one on the subject is that Obama has gone from fantasizing about Trayvon Martin being his son, to imagining that Trayvon Martin might have been…him, 35 years ago (a natural enough thought; Trayvon was reportedly into drugs, too). I was struck by two comments, in particular.
The first: “I think it's important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away.” And never will, as long as there are professional race hustlers like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and, for that matter, Barack Obama, forever attempting to fan the flames and diminish the significance of the genuine progress in race relations that has been made in the United States over the last 50 years for the sake of maintaining their investment in the highly profitable victimhood industry. A sign of cultural maturity, one might suggest, is the ability of people to distinguish between the dead hand of the past, and the world they’re living in now, and to give more than, at best, an insincere and grudging credit to the reality that Sanford, Florida in 2013 is not anything at all like Selma, Alabama in the early 60s.
And then there’s this: "There are very few African American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping at a department store”. Here’s a news flash, Mr. Unifier: I ain’t African American, and I used to get followed around department stores when I was a long-haired teenager dressed in old jeans, biker boots and a khaki shirt with a frayed collar. Sometimes I would just be passing through a store to get to the mall area, and clerks would walk up to me and ask if they could help me (in that cool, stony voice that intimates that the real question is “What are you doing in here?”). To some extent, it’s a generational thing: the establishment is suspicious of the true intentions of impetuous youth – and rightly so.
Oh, and one final point, Mr. President: you took Florida in the 2012 election, and Zimmerman was one of the people who voted for you. He’s one of your supporters, man. I mean, just how much room is there under that bus?