President Obama’s emotional siding with Trayvon Martin in the Rose Garden Friday, hailed by some as a moment of leadership on race relations, is an egregious abnegation of duty that could help lead to race riots and further deaths.
Obama Friday expressed sympathy for Trayvon and said if he had a son “he’d look like Trayvon.” Obama’s comments gave the highest official imprimatur possible to a variety of people who are attempting to create mass protest in response to the tragedy.
Speaking just as the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King riots approaches, Obama has now aligned himself with these forces.
And yet the facts of the case are not clear and, as our readers have pointed out, local reports currently being ignored by the media indicated that Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman, was being beaten by Martin after being attacked by him, and was screaming for help when he shot him.
This doesn’t mean that Zimmerman is innocent. He acknowledged following Martin, and it could be Martin was the one acting in self defense, or that he perceived himself to be in danger. The point is, we don’t know. If Obama has new information, he should share it. Otherwise his job is to calm the situation, not throw in with those who want to ignite it.
Like Jesse Jackson, who declared that “blacks are under attack,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Jackson predicted that the protests will continue to multiply in number and that the ranks of protestors will swell until Zimmerman is arrested.
This is exactly what is known as “mob justice.”
The New Black Panther Party is printing “Wanted, Dead or Alive” posters for Zimmerman.
Al Sharpton is on hand, insisting he doesn’t want violence. But if Al Sharpton has ever entered on a scene that subsequently became calmer and less prone to violence, I’d like to know about it.
Obama is the nation’s chief law enforcement officer and protector of the Constitution, not its chief moral authority. While it’s understandable as a black man he would have a particularly emotional stake in this, Obama must act first as president of all of us and ensure due process and, at the very least, avoid inflaming the situation.
After the officers who beat Rodney King were initially declared innocent, Los Angeles erupted in violence and there was real fear the rest of the nation was about to go up in flames as well. It could happen again. Obama, the president, may now be partially complicit if it does.