web analytics
March 5, 2015 / 14 Adar , 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
US Secretary of State John Kerry with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier before P5+1 talks. (Nov. 22, 2014.)
Fears Over US Iran Deal Trigger Mideast Nuclear Race, Saudi-South Korea Deal
Latest Indepth Stories
Ron Prosor

Values at the very heart of the UN are threatened by extremist ideologies targeting our way of life

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Anti-Semitism today focuses on Israel and the quest to delegitimize it.

Ballots for elections "made in Samaria."

Any Jew who ties his fate to Israel should be able to vote in Israel’s elections-even before aliyah

A young Moshe Meir Weiss introduces his mother, Mrs. Agnes Weiss Goldman, to Rav Moshe in 1979.

There were no airs about him. Rav Moshe was affectionately known as the Gaon of Normalcy.

Israel’s full sovereignty over a united Jerusalem is the only path for true peace in the region.

Just like Moses and Aaron, Mordechai decides to ruin the party…

The president has made clear – I can’t state this more firmly – the policy is Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.

Obama has an apparent inability to understand Islam in particular and Mid-East culture in general

Pesach is a Torah-based holiday whose fundamental observances are rooted in Torah law; Purim is a rabbinic holiday whose laws and customs are grounded in the rabbinic tradition.

In honor of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s successful speech before Congress.

Mr. Spock conveys a message with painfully stark relevance to our world today, especially in the context of PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.

Obama created the “partisan politics” by asking Dem. party members to avoid Bibi and his address

Enough is enough. The Jewish community has a big tent, but the NIF should have no place in it.

I vote for the right and get left-wing policy. Every. Frigging. Time.

More Articles from Editorial Board

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.

Gone are the days when an anchorman sitting in a New York studio could, after sharing 22 minutes of carefully selected and edited news items, trumpet in stentorian tones, “And that’s the way it is.” No it wasn’t. It never was.

President Obama has frequently cautioned that Americans should take great care to avoid fomenting anti-Muslim passions in our reaction to the murderous activities regularly being perpetrated by terrorists in the name of Islam. One wonders why, though, he seems to have no concern with the potential for anti-Semitic fallout from his full-court press against Israeli […]

Typical of the administration’s milquetoast approach is the lack of any call for a substantial increase in military resources in order to crush ISIL, only a tepid mention of the need to “ultimately defeat” it.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

In this particular case, the issue was whether the Arkansas prison system could prohibit, for security reasons, a devout Muslim’s maintaining a beard of a certain length as a matter of religious practice.

According to Natan Sharansky, director of the Jewish Agency for Israel, France was the largest source of Jewish emigration to Israel last year and he believes as many as 15,000 French Jews may make aliyah in 2015.

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: