It Could Have Been Obama

Does anyone really want to live in an America where a young black man can’t even pound some creepy-ass cracker’s head against the pavement without fear of being shot? We do, to be frank, but being of such a pale hue that some angry young black man or another might mistake us for a creepy-ass cracker we are grateful for any deterrent effect that the recent acquittal of George Zimmerman on charges of murdering Trayvon Martin might have. The President of the United States is apparently among the many who would prefer different rules for our cross-racial social interactions, on the other hand, and on Friday he declared in an impromptu appearance before the press that “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
One might take this to mean that it could have been Barack Obama pounding that creepy-ass cracker’s head against the pavement, but we are hopefully willing to give him the benefit the doubt. It seems well within the realm of possibility that Obama’s only knowledge of the case has been gleaned from the more Obama-friendly media and is thus unaware of the eyewitness testimony and physical evidence that proved Martin was pounding Zimmerman’s head against the pavement at the time he was shot, or that Martin had described Zimmerman as a “creepy-ass cracker” during a cell phone conversation shortly before the attack, or that Martin was a self-proclaimed “thug,” or that Zimmerman had once been a loyal Obama supporter. It is a sad state of affairs when the best one can hope for that the president simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but here we are.
There has been much speculation that the president is talking about the case in order to divert attention from a variety of other issues, including an Internal Revenue Service scandal that can now be traced to a presidential appointee, the continuing train wreck that is Obamacare, or the part-time economy it has spawned, or the bankruptcy of Detroit, or any of the several deteriorating situations abroad, or even the extraordinary number of young black men dying violent deaths in his old hometown, but once again we’re willing concede the possibility that Obama truly believes that Martin’s right to pound a creepy-ass cracker’s head against the pavement is of greater importance. Or perhaps he believes that his preferred solutions to all those other problems will be more easily imposed upon a country divided by race, and that frank talk about the racial aspects of such problems as the Detroit bankruptcy and all those murders in Chicago will lead conclusions he does not prefer. The theory that it’s all a diversion is more comforting, but not at all satisfying.

— Bud Norman