Yesterday morning, President Barack Obama addressed the Trayvon Martin case in some brief remarks at the White House, expressing upset that the young man was gunned down and his killer not prosecuted, but essentially saying that his hands were tied in the matter.
When we wrote up the Commander in Chief’s remarks, I expressed proxy frustration for the president, as it seemed he couldn’t say more due to the likelihood his comments would be spun as some sort of favoritism for black people. (Prosecuting white people for murdering black people? Next they’ll want to let them vote and marry white women!) It seems silly that we’re even debating that the murder of Trayvon Martin wasn’t due to race, at least to some degree. Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that Martin would be dead today if he were white?
Still, the obvious fact that Martin’s lack of foresight in not being born caucasian is a matter people like Newt Gingrich seem to think is divisive to even hint upon. Let’s recap what Barack Obama actually said yesterday when acknowledging that a black minor child had been shot by a clear aggressor, and that police did not even arrest the shooter despite compelling evidence he was not acting in self-defense:
“When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids… I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative to investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together – federal, state and local – to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.”
It’s like you can almost hear the sounds of presidential footfalls on eggshells. And yet even in his extreme caution, Obama’s commenting managed to set off the racially tone-deaf Newt Gingrich, who last spoke up on racial issues when he said he wanted to give black people jobs, not food stamps. Not only did Gingrich not agree with Obama, he basically said the president is inciting racial tensions in even speaking up about the case, as if there was no issue about Trayvon Martin’s blackness until President Blacky Blackerson had to go mentioning it.
Gingrich was talking to pal Sean Hannity on Hannity’s show when he riffed on Obama’s comments, saying:
“What the president said, in a sense, is disgraceful… It’s not a question of who that young man looked like. Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe, period. We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background.”
Gingrich then really gets into the spinning groove, achieving level 99 in racial insensitivity in his assessment of the president’s comments:
“Is the president suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be OK because it didn’t look like him? That’s just nonsense dividing this country up. It is a tragedy this young man was shot.”
“It would have been a tragedy if he had been Puerto Rican or Cuban, or if he had been white, or if he had been Asian-American, or if he’d been a Native American. At some point, we ought to talk about being Americans. When things go wrong to an American, it is sad for all Americans. Trying to turn it into a racial issue is fundamentally wrong. I really find it appalling.”
Yes, Newt. It’s all a part of the plan to begin getting Americans to accept random killings of white kids- how can anyone even begin to think about an actual black kid getting killed at this horrible time for white people? What was Barack Obama thinking?
Do you think the role his race played in Trayvon Martin’s murder is as inconsequential as Newt Gingrich does?