Over the course of the weekend, news show after news show hosted panel discussions about the George Zimmerman not guilty verdict, the fallout of that verdict via nationwide protests and, specifically, the speech about race relations that President Barack Obama delivered at a press conference on Friday.
While some commentators, such as Professor Charles Ogletree of Harvard University, praised the president’s speech as well-intentioned and helpful, others such as talk show host and author Tavis Smiley, were critical of it. The exchange happened in a panel, that also included Congresswoman Marcia Fudge and National Urban League president Marc Morial, on Sunday’s morning’s Meet the Press on NBC.
In his Op-Ed piece, “Barack and Trayvon” published on Friday, New York Times writer Charles M. Blow eloquently shares his thoughts on the president’s speech, stating:
During a press briefing, Mr. Obama spoke of the case, soberly and deliberately, in an achingly personal tone, saying: “You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
With that statement, an exalted black man found kinship with a buried black boy, the two inextricably linked by inescapable biases, one expressing the pains and peril of living behind the veil of his brown skin while the other no longer could.
Read more at The New York Times.