Viewed by many black folks as a case of racial profiling and acts of civil rights, president Barack Obama had to move in to cool the rising tempers among African-American communities. In his address, the President reminded law enforcers of the historical injustices that the people of color had undergone. Therefore, the killing of Trayvon Martin, an African-American, by George Zimmerman, a Hispanic, meant a lot to the black community since they held different analogies to the incident. Even though Obama defended the operations of the continent’s justice system, he went further to raise critical issues that need needed quick redress. For example, he left it to the jury to decide on whether it was justified for armed people to resort to using the firearms even if there are other exit routes or strategies (Washington Post Staff, 2013, p. 22).
The President moved swiftly to make non-black communities to understand the frustrations that the people of color had gone through so that they could resort to conflict resolution avenues that enhance peaceful co-existence with the African-American communities. From the President’s arguments, there is need to reexamine the laws that tend to protect the rights of armed persons in shooting the defenseless groups. From another perspective, Obama’s speech tried to bring out the ambiguity that could have arisen if Trayvon Martin was to be the assassin. This sentiment was meant to make the non-black communities to pursue different exit strategies in case of confrontations with the blacks. He wanted a peaceful and unified society in which judgment does not befall on one depending on the color of his/her skin, but by the content of their character.
While demanding that African-American communities should not be violent in their protests in pursuit of justice, Obama reminded Whites to understand the frustrations that African-American boys go through (Washington Post Staff, 2013, p. 23). In addition, whites have to remove the negative perceptions that they hold on black male teens. The President played down the judgment as racially instigated, even though he held that if Martin could have been a white teen, everything could have been different from bottom to up.
The President made it clear that African-American communities should keep vigil on their boys so that they feel part of the bigger American society. As a way of cooling the discontented blacks who had been holding peaceful protests, Obama reminded them that the current situation is better than the past. He gave the example of the deep interactions that his daughters, Malia and Sasha have with their friends; it has shown signs of generational progress.
Even though the Black President is at pain to accept the reality, some African-American communities are still racially abused. However, there are positive progresses in handling issues of race in America in order to have a comparatively perfect union. The American society remains racially divided, and the suggestion by the President to come up with programs to reduce the gap can be fruitful if the program encompasses religious leaders, mayors, and other political leaders. The program will enable different states to invest in the African-American boys, as well as enable the White community to increase their interactions with the blacks. According to the President’s speech, the shooting incident remains delicate and controversial given that Zimmerman had been acquitted of murder or manslaughter, as the jury held that the shooting was an act of self-defense for fear of death or bodily harm by the defendant (Alvarez & Buckley, 2013, p. A7).
Alvarez, L., & Buckley, C. (2013). Zimmerman is Acquitted in Trayvon Martin Killing. The New York Times, p. A7. Web.
Washington Post Staff (2013). President Obama’s Remarks on Trayvon Martin (full transcript). Washington Post, pp. 22-23. Web.