If President Obama can express his horror over a U.S. soldier shooting down innocent men women and children in Kabul, Afghanistan, why isn’t he equally horrified over a vigilante shooting down an innocent teenager in Sanford, Florida?
If President Obama can offer his apologies to Afghan President Karzai and promise an investigation into the killings over there, why can’t he offer his condolences to Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, the parents of Trayvon Martin and promise the Justice Department will investigate his killing if the Florida officials fail to act?
If President Obama can offer his support to Sandra Fluke when she is denounced by Rush Limbaugh, why can’t he offer his support to parents of Black male teenagers for but the grace of God could suffer a similar fate as Trayvon?
If President Obama can invite British Prime Minister David Cameron to join him to watch a NCAA Tournament basketball game, largely dominated by young Black men, why can’t he make it equally clear acial profiling and “walking while Black” will not be tolerated by his Administration?
If President Obama can denounce acts of terror and brutality against innocents abroad, he can do likewise when the innocents live in America. If he’s appalled by acts of cruelty and brutality far from home, he should be equally appalled when it happens close to home.
Unlike Samuel L. Jackson, I didn’t vote for Barack Obama because he was Black and I certainly wasn’t expecting him to “act like a nigger.”. I voted for him because he was a better choice than John McCain. I’ll vote for him again because he’s still a better choice than Romney or Santorum.
But if Obama can’t find his voice when the innocent blood spilled is of a young Black teenager instead of a young White woman then he’s as shallow and as useless as any Republican seeking to replace him. I already know Mitt Romney doesn’t give a shit about Black folks. I can’t accept President Obama proving he doesn’t either.
There was both simple decency and possible political gain to the president lending his involvement in the Sandra Fluke situation. If he can find his spine then he can find it once again now because Trayvon Martin’s spilled blood is every bit as much of a national outrage. There’s no obvious political gain to the president by speaking out. It’s only the moral thing for him to do as a man who holds a position of prominence and leadership.
But will he?
Some will say, “Hey, back up off of Obama.” This isn’t remotely the same thing as what happened in Afghanistan. That was premeditated murder and this is probably an unfortunate accident. Taking on a gasbag like Rush Limbaugh is a good deal. The president can’t go around commenting every time a Black kid gets shot and killed.
Who’s asking him to?
If Obama spoke up every time a Black kid was gunned down, he’d be making sad speeches every damn day. But if an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere, it isn’t expecting to much for the president to make it clear this kind of tragedy does not escape his notice. Obama invoked his daughters, Sasha and Malia in his show of sympathy for Sandra Fluke. There are millions of families with sons whom they love and for whose futures they fear for just as much as the president fears for his own daughters.
Those families are just as deserving as Fluke’s parents that the president shares their concerns.
Wearing a hoody when it’s raining is nothing to die for. Eating Skittles isn’t a crime punishable by death. Walking while Black shouldn’t mean an unnatural death and a early grave.
Pick up the phone, Mr. President. Make that call to Trayvon’s parents. I bet they would like to hear from you and they need to know you care as much about their dead son as you do about a living law student. I happen to think a young man who was robbed off his future by an idiot with a gun is as important as a young woman whose future has been made by an idiot with a microphone.
- march thirty one: poetry for justice- In Recognition of #TrayvonMartin Blog-In Day (marchthirtyone.wordpress.com)
- Re-Nigging on the Promises: #Justice4Trayvon (theobamacrat.com)
- Re-Nigging on the Promises: #Justice4Trayvon (crunkfeministcollective.wordpress.com)
- poetry for justice: In Recognition of #TrayvonMartin Blog-In Day (lifestyle30.wordpress.com)
- Trayvon Martin: When “Suspicion” Leads to (Wrongful) Death (decadentdiva.wordpress.com)