web analytics
April 21, 2015 / 2 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


The President Plays The Race Card

President Obama is playing a cynical and dangerous game with his comments in the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The problem is not that Mr. Obama may feel that by acquitting Mr. Zimmerman the jury was saying race played no role. That is his prerogative. But it is a problem when the president, in introducing a national dialogue on race relations at this time, indelibly links Trayvon Martin’s death with race and thereby inserts himself in the middle of a concerted effort by some, who will simply not accept the jury’s verdict, to have Mr. Zimmerman indicted on federal anti-hate laws.

This is an unprecedented role for an American president and should worry all those who value the rule of law – especially those of us in the Jewish community – and see it as the foundation for their liberties. Moreover, the careful way the president structured his remarks indicates he was well aware of what he was doing.

In an unscheduled appearance at a White House press briefing last Friday, Mr. Obama read a handwritten statement and noted that the judge presiding over the Zimmerman case “conducted the trial in a professional manner. The prosecution and the defense made their arguments… [the jurors] were properly instructed that in a case such as this reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict .”

But then he said: “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago…. [I]t’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.”

He went on to say that 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” or “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,” the president dramatically added, “includes me.”

So the president spoke about George Zimmerman in racial terms without even mentioning his name. Yet it is hard to imagine that the president’s remarks – which carried the suggestion that the jury didn’t quite get it – won’t have an effect on Justice Department officials tasked with the question of whether to bring a federal indictment of Mr. Zimmerman.

If even the president of the United States is intimidated by the likes of Al Sharpton, what can we expect of Attorney General Eric Holder?

It is ironic that the federal civil rights laws that allow separate federal and state prosecutions for the same acts were never designed for cases like the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Separate legal tracks were established to address palpably deficient or discriminatory state proceedings – which is hardly an accurate description of the Zimmerman state prosecution.

It will be recalled that prosecutors were criticized for overreaching in their attempts to have Mr. Zimmerman found guilty of second-degree murder rather than the lesser charge of manslaughter. Moreover, the complete lack of evidence as to Mr. Zimmerman’s purported racism – a thorough investigation by the FBI failed to turn up any racist statements or behavior in Mr. Zimmerman’s past – showed that prosecutors were hardly in the tank for him.

If the president felt duty bound to put Trayvon Martin’s death in a broader context, he should have waited until after a decision was made and carried out concerning federal charges against Mr. Zimmerman. In the meantime, if he thought he should intervene at all, perhaps he should have weighed in on the side of the rule of law, not emotion.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The President Plays The Race Card”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Amb. Thomas Pickering testified before the  House Armed Services Committee,  about Iran's nuclear program on June 19, 2014.
Brandeis Commencement Speaker Leads Iran Cheerleader Squad
Latest Indepth Stories
Rav Aharon Lichtenstein

What was supposed to have been a 15 minute interview, turned into an intense learning session and intellectual battle, the likes of which I had never experienced in my entire life.

Rabbi Lichtenstein (z"l).

Rav Lichtenstein did not learn Tanaim, Amoraim, Rishonim and Achronim, rather he learned with them

Israel Supreme Court at Night

How can NIF claim they don’t support BDS when they try to repeal laws forbidding boycotts of Israel?

Rabbi Lichtenstein (z"l).

“Rav Lichtenstein’s vision and inspiration served to guide the development of Tzohar.”

As Holocaust survivors decline rapidly attacks on the veracity of the Holocaust rapidly escalates

The Constitution created history’s most powerful legislature & inherent foreign policy power battle

The S-300 poses a major problem; Israel will have to get creative as to if, when & where it strikes

“The resentment towards us (Jews/Israelis) was really intense. They clearly hate Zionism & Zionists”

Egypt has been more effective against Gazan smuggling tunnels than Israel’s military operations

She had many names and was many things to many people, but to me she was just Babineni.

Is ISIS in Gaza? “No, but there are ISIS loyalists here..we pray to God they unite under ISIS’ flag”

Rabbi Portal was that great “inspirer,” changing people for the better, enriching the lives of all

Iran knows Obama, Putin, and the Europeans don’t have a Red Line beyond which they will go to war

There is no way to explain the Holocaust. I know survivors who are not on speaking terms with G-d. I know many who are the opposite. I have no right to go there…

When a whole side of your family perishes, friends become the extended family you do not have.

“We stand with Israel because of its values and its greatness and because its such a wonderful ally”

More Articles from Editorial Board

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

He went on to say that the United States would defend Israel if it were “attacked by any state.”

In their zechus may we all come to appreciate that life is a fleeting gift and resolve to spend every precious moment of it as if it were the last.

A worthy idea any way you look at it.

If nothing really changes in the hearts and minds of the Palestinians, is Israel obligated to provide them and its other adversaries launching pads for attacks?

The United States placed enormous pressure on Israel to relinquish its gains, which Prime Minister Ben-Gurion did with great reluctance.

The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.

Former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, writing in the Washington Post on Sunday, provided one of the clearest and most compelling analyses we’ve seen of the importance of the prime minister’s speech.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-president-plays-the-race-card/2013/07/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: