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Pierce gets it right: Obama is only one-eighty degrees wrong

Charlie Pierce:

I think this controversy has some legs to it. What alarms me is not that Zimmerman hasn't yet been arrested, but the awful feeling that the Florida legislature, with the approval of the people of Florida, may have passed a law so idiotic that it prevents local law-enforcement from arresting him at all. (I can't imagine what the good cops in Sanford must be feeling today. The dispatcher told this clown not to pursue Martin, and he did it anyway. They must simply be angry at the world at this point.) And what makes me angry down to my soul is not that my children could have been Trayvon, but that, because of the way we have ordered our politics and our society, only someone like Trayvon could have been Trayvon.

Which is why Obama's opportunistic and weaselly blatheration is so wrong:

"If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon."

Yeah, he would. "Look like." But he wouldn't be like Trayvon Martin, sent to his death in a gated Florida hellhole while out getting Skittles and an iced tea. Trayvon Martin didn't go to Sidwell Friends. Trayvon Martin didn't vacation in Mexico or Spain. And Trayvon Martin didn't have a dad who could make jokes about protecting him with drone strikes at the White House Correspondents Dinner. In fact, Trayon Martin's dad couldn't protect him at all, in the end, could he?


I shouldn't have focused on the technical, political aspects of what Obama said, obvious though Obama's opportunism is, but on the moral ones. Kudos to Pierce for getting it right.

UPDATE I'm pleased to be of one accord with Michael Smith on Sidwell Friends:

The worst response was Obie's. He's a glib fluent fellow, usually, but he stammered and paused, groping for words like a recent stroke victim. Clearly weighing the electoral effect of every syllable. He slipped, for a likable moment, and observed that if he, Obie, had had a son, that son would have looked like Trayvon.

Did he mean it, I wonder? Though I loathe the guy, I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one. But if so, he was wrong. Obie's son would have gone to Sidwell Friends vel sim and would never have been wandering around some dreary Florida suburb fetching Skittles. He wouldn't have looked or acted like Trayvon, and it goes without saying that he wouldn't have 'stood his ground' against some self-appointed authority figure. He would have presented ID, and been conciliatory, and probably Zimmerman would have ended up asking him for his autograph.

And if he ever wore a hoodie, it would have been at a frat party. And it would have been an ironical hoodie.

An ironical hoodie. Damn. Smith's got it right.

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