WASHINGTON—You can be black. You can be candid about the pain of race in America. You can be the president of the United States.
But if you’re Barack Obama, combining each of those conditions at the same time has been the electrified third rail of his historic presidency.
America’s first ever African-American leader built two victories on inclusivity: “hope and change” in the star-struck fall of 2008, which gave way to a much messier campaign in 2012 seized with class, not race, when No-Drama Obama claimed Mitt Romney’s 47 per cent — and many others besides — with colour-blind messaging in what proved to be a cakewalk.
Then came Friday afternoon. After a week of mounting pressure to offer more than a written statement on last week’s George Zimmerman acquittal, Obama stepped up with 20 stunning, unscripted minutes on race.
“Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” said Obama, not just acknowledging but slaying the elephant in the room.
- ‘Trayvon Martin could have been me,’ Obama tells press corps (thestar.com)
- Obama: ‘Trayvon Martin could have been me’ (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- President Obama Says ‘Trayvon Martin Could’ve Been Me 35 Years Ago’ (blackchristiannews.com)
- Trayvon Martin’s Parents Respond To President Obama’s Speech! (kysdc.com)
- Trayvon Martin could have been me: Obama (smh.com.au)
- Transcript: President Obama’s Remarks On Trayvon Martin Ruling (npr.org)
- Hannity’s Awful Reaction To Obama’s Trayvon Martin Comments (huffingtonpost.com)