President Obama Comments on Trayvon Martin’s Death

                                                                        By Roger Caldwell


In the last two years, there is no event for African Americans like Trayvon Martin’s death, which has galvanized, motivated, and unified our community. There have been rallies around the country and the world for justice and the rightful indictment of George Zimmerman.

For two weeks the president was quiet about this story, and in the past he has always tried to take a neutral position on stories that focused or impacted the African American community. There were a few times that the president had weighed in on stories such as Professor Henry Gates and Shirley Sherrod, but his philosophy is to stay away.

But as the Trayvon Martin’s death continues to explode and grow, the media and the African American community has began to put pressure on the president for a comment. After three weeks of major rallies for justice and each day on the news, the president made a short statement on the incident.

In the president’s brief comments on the death of Trayvon Martin President Obama said, “All of us have to do some soul-searching to figure out how does something like this happen. That means that we examine the laws and the context for what happened as well as the specifics of the incident.”

President Obama is urging all law enforcement agencies involved with the case to conduct a thorough investigation. The federal government has entered the investigation with the Justice Department to determine if a potential civil rights or hate crime has been committed.

“If I had a son he’d look like Trayvon. And I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this,” says the president. Trayvon Martin’s death is an American tragedy and at a justice rally in Sanford where there were 10 to 15 thousand people, there was a wide cross section of many different races and cultures.

There were many different civil rights leaders such as Rev. Sharpton, Dick Gregory, Martin Luther King III, Ben Jealous, and Michael Baisden who traveled to Florida to participate in the rally. At this rally and many more around the country, everyone is demanding justice for the Martin family, and the arrest of George Zimmerman.

The Sanford police made many mistakes in this case, and Chief Lee has stepped down, because he feels that he is a distraction in the case. It is my belief that the Sanford Police had expected this case to blow over, therefore there was no need for forensic records and an autopsy on Trayvon Martin, and they refused to treat this as a murder case initially.

 Once this case did not die and begins to blow up, there is panic in the police department, because they knew they had not done their job. There was now a national public outcry for justice, and Sanford Police and the Florida Justice Department knew they needed answers to justify their position.

On April 10, 2012, the grand jury is scheduled to release information on the investigation and it will be determined if there is a need for an arrest. The president is correct when he asked the African American community to be patient and refrain from violence.

It is ironic that this death has created an epiphany in the African American struggle for justice and human rights. Black men die every day and many times the incident is not reported to the media, but this story has created a national movement.

 Trayvon Martin’s story is a lesson in the senseless violence with guns in our community and the total disregard for African American men lives in our country. It is time for Americans to look in the mirror and ask,”Do we all need so many guns, and do we value human life in America?”