Make the Call, Mr. President

Who will comfort the parents of Trayvon Martin?

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.

Make that call, Mr. President

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8 thoughts on “Make the Call, Mr. President

  1. A call to Trayvon’s parents by the president would give them maybe a little comfort that their grief is being recognized; especially in the sense that a terrible injustice was done; that this crime is unacceptable and will not be tolerated or go unnoticed. What would the harm be in the president taking five or ten minutes out of his busy schedule to perform a simple act of human kindness?

    I’ve always thought of Mr. Obama as a compassionate man. I believe he cares about the poor and struggling Americans. He probably cares about the rich too. I mean, I don’t think he actively wishes them harm. But he’s always seemed like a president of the people to me.

    Why won’t he call Trayvon’s parents? Sadly, I think in an election year, he doesn’t want to let himself open to the almost certain shitstorm of controversy that would follow by the right-wing nuts out there who think such a call would be reactionary and/or an appeasement to the people protesting the unprovoked death of an innocent. (And as we know, there are people out there who justify Zimmerman’s actions for whatever twisted reasoning.)

    Still, it would be a good compassionate thing for the POTUS to do.

    • I agree totally, McLesh. What is the harm of a private, personal call to Trayvon’s parents to express his sympathies? I am getting a lot of feedback on Facebook from folks who agree with you and I and others who say this is not something the president should have anything to do with at all.

      Frankly, I don’t understand why this would be controversial at all.

    • mclesh, I agree with you 100%. Only those right-wing nuts wouldn’t vote for Obama anyway, so I don’t see why he’s so careful not to upset them.

  2. As much as I agree with everything you said I still think it’s a bad call. If Clinton or either one of the Bushes were to do this cool, Obama doesn’t have that luxury. If I had money to waste on a winning bet I’d bet that those on Fox News and many other right wing nut jobs are praying for him to speak out about this. I mean the fact you had a few Primary candidates and Palin tripping out that he didn’t say anything about Casey Anthony shows he can’t do right in their eyes. If he says something about this there will be so many cases of children and teens wronged thrown at him with the question of why isn’t he saying anything about their stories? Then it will become a race thing and Obama has been avoiding anything racial since he has become President. As much as this should be something Obama steps up to so should the governor of Florida and the Mayor of the area. So should so many other people. There is something totally wrong when a black man young or old can’t wear a hoodie and walk down any street anywhere, and the lack of wanting justice as well as debating whether Zimmerman was right or wrong means people identify with Zimmerman and feel they may have done the same thing. Obama can’t speak against that, no one can.

    • Thanks for your response. I am struggling mightily not to give in to fatalism and despair. This story has depressed and angered me in ways I was not aware I could be.

  3. Those are my feelings — blackceezar was able to explain better than I did. It feels like Obama is being held to a higher standard and scrutinized about every little thing he does. Also, he’s avoided race, not wanting to set people off I think.

    I mentioned your post later to my husband, the idea of our president calling Trayvon’s parents. He immediately thought it was a great idea for the reason that the message has got to go out that this is completely unacceptable. The president making the call, besides just being a compassionate thing to do, would also send that message to this country that it is not open season on African American young men. (Good lord!)

    The DOJ is involved now. Things should happen.

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