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As a general rule I don’t follow murder trials, especially those, such as the Zimmerman trial, in other communities.

My own community has enough problems to demand my time and attention without the distraction of keeping up with another town’s local news story that has no direct bearing on my family and neighbors.

This is all the more true when media power brokers cherry-pick their way through the rubble of human tragedy looking for ratings. Which is just a polite way of saying they’re looking to exploit human misery for money.

Added to the media’s loathsome pandering is the equally loathsome pompousness of some politicians who, in an effort to bolster their popularity, pontificate on local stories as if they were national concerns. In truth, I don’t know which is more despicable—the greed of the media or the ego of the politician.

For these reasons, I purposely avoided, as best I could, the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Marin case.

I find it contemptible that the media harped on a story where a supposed white man (he’s actually Hispanic) shot an unarmed black boy, while hundreds of beautiful black boys and girls are anonymously gunned down everyday on the streets of Chicago.

And I find it nauseating when national politicians, most notably President Obama, insert themselves into local matters. Before the investigation was complete and Mr. Zimmerman had his day in court, the president sided with the Martin family, saying that if he had had a son, that son would look like Trayvon.

From the little I gleaned from news reports and overhearing others discuss the case, it seems what happened on the night of February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, was the result of a disastrous misunderstanding—of human folly leading to human tragedy.

Now that George Zimmerman has been found not guilty it appears that Trayvon Martin, on that night, was no burglar, and Mr. Zimmerman is no racist.

But you wouldn’t know that if you listened to President Obama when he spoke to White House reporters on Friday, July 19, 2013—at least the part about Zimmerman not being a racist. Obviously, the president assumes Zimmerman is a racist, though he didn’t mention Zimmerman at all, except to speculate whether Martin, if he was armed, would have been justified in shooting Zimmerman because he was being followed.

The President’s statement, as so many are, is filled with tiresome narcissism. But more importantly, it is unhelpful and deceptive, not just to the particulars of the Zimmerman/Martin case, but to race relations in the United States.

The president praised the judge for her professionalism, and acknowledged that once the jury has spoken we must abide by their verdict. At first glance it appears the president is not taking sides in the case.

But he belied his objectivity when he said:

I think, to a sense, if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, that, from top to bottom, the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.

The president can only mean that if a white male teen had been shot by a black man, instead of a black male teen shot by a “white” man, then the jury would have ruled in favor of second degree murder. Therefore, when it comes to the Zimmerman/Martin case, Zimmerman may not have pulled the trigger out of racist motives, but it seems clear, from the president’s perspective, that the jury failed to pull the trigger of conviction out of racist motives.

How anyone could read the president’s statement differently is incomprehensible.

But this isn’t the worst part of the president’s comments. In an effort to explain why the African American community reacted to the verdict the way it did, the president, at least five times, referred to the experience and history of blacks in the United States.

In a not too veiled reference, the president blamed eighteenth and nineteenth century slavery for the twenty-first century problems facing the black community. He said (emphasis mine):

We understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history.

This is a classic leftist view perpetrated on modern African Americas. Blame white slavers for your current problems. History, experience, society—these—not the disintegration of the black family, the epidemic of fatherlessness and out-of-wedlock births, and the moral destruction among young blacks—are the poison roots in the black community.

It is a damnable lie!

And yet, the president peddles the lie.

And he must. For how else could he seriously offer government solutions to problems of the human heart?

But what makes the lie damnable is not because the solutions have been tried (for forty years) and found wanting, or because the lie itself is racist, but because it re-enslaves the very community who’s ancestors bled and died for liberty. Listen to the clanking of the slaver’s chain in the president’s words:

When you think about why, in the African American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that—that doesn’t go away.

It bears repeating, the president mentioned history or experience at least five times as the reason for the black community’s outrage over the Zimmerman verdict. History is important. But it’s important for us to learn from history so we can move beyond history. So, I have a few questions.

Does the president really believe that blacks in the United States cannot learn from their history and get on with their lives? Does he really believe that the slavery experience of their ancestors is somehow equivalent to their current experience in liberty?

Does Obama really believe that African American are so dysfunctional, so traumatized, or so ignorant that thy can’t separate the realities of history from the realities of the here and now? Does he really believe that free blacks are incapable of free thought and free action in the present?

And does the President really believe African Americans, because of a godless and inhuman past, are destined to remain shackled to the prison of the past, that every slight and sling that comes into their lives is a result of slavery and racism?

The president closed his remarks with an appeal that we “should do everything we can to encourage the better angels of our nature as oppose using these episodes to heighten divisions.”

How ironic then, that an American president should use the Zimmerman/Martin episode to divide blacks and whites, pretending that twenty-first century America is not better than nineteenth century south.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter @derrickjeter and sign up for my e-newsletter.



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