President Obama took to the podium this afternoon to deliver an impromptu diatribe that left many Americans puzzled. “When Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could’ve been my son,” Obama said. “Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could’ve been me 35 years ago.” We were dutifully reminded of America’s violent past. We were reminded that black people in this country have long suffered at the hands on inequality and racism. President Obama even shared his own “Eric Holderesque” experiences, by stating “There are very few African American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were in a department store, and that includes me.”
So what, exactly, are we to glean from this recent address? As far as I can tell, it comes to the point of this administration’s desire to further interject race into an already volatile situation. That being said, there was yet another nod to The DOJ, and to their commitment to investigating this matter as a violation of civil rights.
At this moment, the Congressional Black Caucus is meeting with the Department of Justice to discuss the impending investigation into the Zimmerman case. “I know that Eric Holder is reviewing what happened down there, but I think it’s important for people to have some clear expectations here,” Obama said. “Traditionally, these are issues of state and local government, the criminal code. And law enforcement is traditionally done at the state and local levels, not at the federal levels.” At least he acknowledges this fact. However, he neither comes out in favor of or against said investigation, nor will he.
Finally, in regard to the recent “protests”, Obama said, “I think it’s understandable that there have been demonstrations and vigils and protests, and some of that stuff is just going to have to work its way through, as long as it remains nonviolent. If I see any violence, then I will remind folks that that dishonors what happened to Trayvon Martin and his family.” That, in itself, speaks volumes. If he sees violence, he will give us a friendly reminder. He will not take measures to subvert the violence. Not because he does not possess the authority, simply because he is incapable of action.