Saturday, July 20, 2013


The aftermath of the Trayvon Martin case came as no surprise.  The comments pro and contra continued the whole week at nauseam.

The President intervened on July 19.  In few words he addressed the "race issue" head on.
He broke with his usual "reserve" and spoke in the most personal terms maybe since he became president.  After Newtown and Boston he was the eloquent spokesman for the psyche of a country in shock.  Here he laid bare his own hurt as a black man in America.

His words were not programmed, his personal emotion was for all to see.  Suddenly the man of yesterday's "yes we can" was returned to a public and press who felt that the moment suddenly was one of existential personal catharsis.  Gone were the teleprompter or the politics. The America of the Gettysburg Address and Martin Luther King raised again to the occasion.
Obama avoided all the pitfalls and wisely refrained from steering his narrative in the treacherous corners of criticism, polarizing or divisive demagogy.

His personal experience with humiliation and profiling was the message.  His "if..." lifted an almost sordid case of structural deficiencies both ways to the noble level of hurts and pain. Facing the eye of the storm and assuming his own memory of often perverse disguised racial collision he may have alienated some, rallied others.

History was made, whatever the tidal aftershocks will be. 

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