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Obama Remarks on Verdict Followed Black Prodding

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Commentators Criticized President's Silence on Race

Smiley Dismisses Speech; Book Recalls Obama-West Clash

Native American Journalists Association Marks 30 Years

Jet Magazine Announces Cover-to-Cover Redesign

Henri Cauvin, Rachel Swarns Leaving D.C. for New York

Study of N.Y. Times Finds 3.4 Times as Many Male Sources as Female

Short Takes

President Obama said Friday, "When you think about why, in the African American community at least, there's a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it's important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away." (video)

Commentators Criticized President's Silence on Race

President Obama's surprise remarks Friday on the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case, in which Obama declared, "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," came after public prodding by some of his supporters, sometimes on op-ed pages.

Mark Landler and Michael D. Shear reported Friday for the New York Times that the speech followed "anguished soul-searching by Mr. Obama" and that "Aides say the president closely monitored the public reaction and talked repeatedly about the case with friends and family."

They also wrote, "The White House's original plan — for Mr. Obama to address the verdict in brief interviews on Tuesday with four Spanish-language television networks — was foiled when none of them asked about it." The story also identified the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who is also an MSNBC host, as among those urging the president to speak out.

In the Washington Post on Tuesday, Janet Langhart Cohen, the actress and wife of former Defense Secretary William Cohen, wrote, "We have waited and watched the president address issues of importance to women, gays and lesbians, Latinos and the security of our allies. . . . But just as one does not have to be black to speak to the issues of race, black people should not have to wait for white leaders to be elected before they feel free to vigorously petition their government to redress their legitimate grievances.

"I say this with respect: To use Dr. [Martin Luther] King's phrase, there is a fierce urgency of now for the president to talk boldly and truthfully about race and racism and why it still matters in the United States. I hope that President Obama will speak not just to black people or just to white people but to the good people in America. We can never have racial reconciliation without discussing the truth.

"The sound of silence is a song that we can no longer sing."

The same day's editions of the Post carried a column by Courtland Milloy saying, "America, and Obama, need to hear, loudly and clearly, that African Americans are angry and alarmed and will not accept any diminution of the freedoms and protections we've fought so hard to achieve. . . ."

And on the front page was an analysis by White House correspondent Scott Wilson recounting the tightrope Obama has walked in dealing with race. "Obama's response to the Zimmerman verdict has satisfied some, but many African Americans would like to hear more from the first African American president," Wilson wrote.

However, Wilson concluded, "As of now, White House officials say, that is unlikely to happen as the Justice Department considers a federal civil rights case against Zimmerman. . . ."

That all changed Friday in the White House press briefing room. Obama "showed his brother card. He talked about being an African American, [about] being racially profiled as a kid," Angelo Henderson, Radio One Detroit host, said on NPR's "All Things Considered. "He connected with so many African American men who have been in those same situations. ... He revealed that, yes, he's part of this community."

Obama's remarks were unusually personal as he sought to explain the historical reasons why African Americans felt pain after Zimmerman was found not guilty in the shooting death of the unarmed Florida black teenager. He implicitly rebuked Zimmerman's defenders, who insisted the case was not about race.

He called for discussions about "How do we bolster African American boys?"

Obama said Americans should question whether "stand your ground" laws "are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than [defuse] potential altercations."

He added, "And for those who — who resist that idea, that we should think about something like these stand your ground laws, I just ask people to consider, if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman, who had followed him in a car, because he felt threatened? And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws."

CNN reported that the speech resonated with African Americans. "Washington Post columnist Clinton Yates said the speech was historical.

" 'This is one of the most important, if not the most important thing he's said while he's been in office,' said Yates.

" 'To take the context of race and explain it as the reality that exists for many people of color in America is something a lot of people simply don't want to believe is true. But when the president stands in that room and makes that statement, it is a very forceful comment about the state of affairs so far today,' said Yates."

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, CNN commentator and vice chair of voter registration and participation at the Democratic National Committee, told John Harwood of the New York Times last month that the White House was stuck "in this postracial box" and was determined, in Harwood's words, "to present Obama as a leader who does not reflexively promote the concerns of fellow African-Americans over others."

Unboxed, Obama made it clear Friday that he does not believe the United States is "postracial."

Brazile tweeted this response to her followers, "President Obama statement was strong, powerful & truthful. Let's respect what #POTUS said without any notes. He speaks for the voiceless."

Andrew Rosenthal, editorial page editor of the New York Times, tweeted, "It's an amazing moment for the country to have a president who can talk about race like this. Sad that he has to do it."

Smiley Dismisses Speech; Book Recalls Obama-West Clash

Tavis Smiley, left, and Cornel WestAmong President Obama's biggest critics are Cornel West, the author and academic now at Union Theological Seminary, and Tavis Smiley, the activist and broadcaster. The two are friends and jointly appear on the public radio show "Smiley & West."

According to, a tweeting Smiley was quick to dismiss the president's Friday speech.

"Took POTUS almost a week to show up and express mild outrage. And still, it was as weak as pre-sweetened Kool-Aid," Smiley tweeted.

"The backlash to Smiley's broadside was just as swift, with numerous Twitter users calling him out for being 'pathetic,' " the Grio reported.

" 'I'm sending you the transcript as you clearly missed the speech, brother,' wrote MSNBC contributor Angel Rye.

"Others told Smiley it's 'time to move on' and mocked him for having his 'panties in a bunch' because the president 'hasn't kissed the ring.' "

Meanwhile, a new book on the 2012 presidential campaign by Jonathan Alter, a columnist for Bloomberg View and an analyst and contributing correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC, recounts Obama's now-famous confrontation with West at a National Urban League event in 2010.

"Among the dissenters was Professor Cornel West, who had campaigned for Obama in 2008 but grew upset when Obama stopped returning his phone calls," Alter writes in "The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies." "After the election, West learned that Obama's top economic adviser would be Larry Summers, who as president of Harvard had pushed West out of the university in 2002 in a dispute over whether a professor should record hip-hop songs. West gave speeches around the country saying that Obama wasn't a true progressive and that he couldn't 'in good conscience' tell people to vote for him, though he admitted that his failure to secure special inauguration tickets for his mother and brother contributed to his hard feelings.

"In July 2010 the president spotted West in the front row of the audience for his speech to the National Urban League. Afterward he came down to West's seat and grew angry. 'I'm not progressive? What kind of shit is this?' the president hissed, his face contorted. West said later that a brassy African American woman standing behind him told the president to his face, 'How dare you speak to Dr. West like that!' and argued after Obama left that the obscenity would have justified removal by the Secret Service had it come from anyone else.

"In the months following the confrontation West stepped up his attacks, calling Obama a 'black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.' He added, 'I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men. It's understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he's always had to fear being a white man with black skin.' "

NAJA convention runs through Sunday

Native American Journalists Association Marks 30 Years

Federal policy in the 1950s dictated that all Native Americans in the United States were eventually to be "terminated," meaning no longer wards of the federal government, in a quest to make them blend into America's melting pot, according to the years-later words of the Deseret News of Salt Lake City.

President Richard M. Nixon withdrew the termination act in 1971, but by then 490 members of Utah's Ute tribe had been stripped of their identity, land and mineral rights because their blood quantum was less than 50 percent Ute Indian. Of the 490, 260 were children. They still consider themselves Ute and are still fighting for their rights, according to Tim Giago, Oglala Lakota, a veteran American Indian journalist and NAJA's founding president.

When the terminations began, "the mainstream press had N.I.: no interest," Giago said Friday at the Native American Journalists Association convention in Tempe, Ariz. "They didn't care because they didn't understand. They took the word of Congress. . . . We couldn't depend on the mainstream media to tell our story."

And that, Giago said in remarks aimed at the next generation of Native journalists, is why Native Americans need their own media.

Giago and other veterans of the Native American press were honored Friday as NAJA celebrated its 30th anniversary at the National Native Media Conference, a collaboration with Native Public Media, which is described as "a lifeline to the Native Radio network and tribal communities."

Created as the Native American Press Association, expecting to emulate the Associated Press and United Press International in sharing stories among each other, NAJA was founded in 1983 by 30 Native American journalists who met at Penn State University. It was a print-oriented organization; there were no Native-owned broadcast stations then.

The current gathering attracted 205 registrants, according to Rebecca Landsberry, Muskogee (Creek), NAJA membership and communications manager. That is double the number at NAJA's last stand-alone convention, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 2011. The mix of participants, coming in a diversity of complexions and relationships with their tribes, included Lorena Walker and Mikaela Simpson, two Australian aborigines from the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association.

In the day's first plenary session, Deborah Parker Tsi-Cy-Altsa, Tulalip/Yaqui, described her successful fight to restore coverage of Native American women in the Violence Against Women Act, which gives tribal authorities the power to prosecute non-Indians for abuse committed on tribal lands. Parker said that members of the Senate felt the bill did not have a "face" and that many did not believe the figures showing non-Indians to be committing the vast majority of the assaults.

NAJA honored Andy Harvey, a well-liked Navajo former television journalist and NAJA board member who died last year at 35.

Mark Casey, vice president and news director of Phoenix's KPNX-TV, known as 12 News, said the station plans a scholarship in Harvey's name at Northern Arizona University by fall 2015, "to make sure there are more Native journalists in Arizona and around the country for a long time to come."

The latest diversity census of the American Society of News Editors, released last month, showed 141 American Indians in online and newspaper operations, or 0.4 percent, up from 0.3 percent the year before. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, American Indians and Alaska Natives are 1.2 percent of the population. ASNE does not count tribal newspapers.

NAJA announced two initiatives Friday. In a partnership with the Native Health News Alliance, funded by a $157,537 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, " will serve as a health information cooperative for American Indian media. Any journalist covering Native health can create a username to login, contribute and share their stories."

The association also announced a free member hotline on legal and ethical issues affecting Native media.

"By contacting the hotline, NAJA members without current legal representation seeking assistance with pre-publication issues or freedom of information requests can receive free legal advice from attorneys like Matthew E. Kelley of the media law firm of Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP, located in Washington, D.C. Other media attorneys around the country are also being recruited to assist," a news release said.

Kelley is a former news reporter and NAJA representative to Unity: Journalists of Color, Inc., now Unity: Journalists for Diversity. Kevin R. Kemper, assistant professor and diversity coordinator for the School of Journalism at the University of Arizona in Tucson, is NAJA's legal hotline intake liaison. NAJA members may email legalhotline (at) or call 520-903-4461 day or night, the organization said.

At a news conference announcing the initiatives, Lori Edmo-Suppah, Shoshone-Bannock, editor of the Sho-Ban News in Fort Hall, Idaho, said she was pleased with the hotline. "At least people will know there is a resource once you go up against your tribal council," she told Journal-isms. To the council, "You're the bad guy."

Jet Magazine Announces Cover-to-Cover Redesign

"Johnson Publishing Company is announcing the first cover-to-cover redesign of JET magazine in the history of the publication along with the re-launch of the website," the company said Friday.

"Led by Editor-in-Chief Mitzi Miller, readers can expect an overall modern and engaging feel that makes each section easy to read." The redesign takes effect with the Aug. 12 issue.

The announcement added, "The cover of the new issue features Oscar winner Octavia Spencer and NBC's Friday Night Lights actor Michael B. Jordan, who both star in the critically acclaimed film Fruitvale Station. Spencer and Jordan gave JET the details on preparing for the roles and their emotions that were sparked while reenacting the tragic story of Oscar Grant, a young Black man who was killed by a police officer in 2009. . . . "

The pocket-sized Jet faces increased competition from the Internet for readers seeking entertainment and celebrity news, increasingly the magazine's staple.

Jet reduced its frequency to once every three weeks effective Jan. 1. It published nine issues from January to June, according to the Public Information Bureau, compared with 13 the previous year. Its ad pages declined by 25.8 percent. Desiree Rogers, CEO of the Johnson Publishing Co., which publishes Ebony and Jet, told Journal-isms in April, "The revenues from a magazine as you know are made up of subscriptions, ad revenue and newsstand. Jet is trending positive over last year in newsstand and subs," referring to subscriptions.

The print publication no longer supplies all of many magazines' ad revenue. Some have launched editions for tablet devices and smartphones and sell advertising there.

Henri Cauvin, Rachel Swarns Leaving D.C. for New York

Henri Cauvin"Henri Cauvin is leaving The Post to become an assistant metro editor at The New York Times. His last day is July 24. It’s best to just say it, and get it over with, because his departure is a real loss," according to a note Tuesday to the staff of the Washington Post.

Cauvin's wife, Rachel L. Swarns of the New York Times Washington bureau, is returning to New York as well, she wrote to her Facebook friends. She did not disclose what her job would be. Swarns has been a correspondent for the Times since 1995 and is the author of "American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama."

Rachel L. SwarnsCauvin, a native New Yorker who is the Post's development and transportation editor, previously covered the social services beat, federal court in suburban Greenbelt, Md., and D.C. Superior Court at the Post, and was a foreign correspondent in Johannesburg for the Times. He also worked at the Daily News in New York and at the Miami Herald.

"Henri brought his A game to work every day, and he always spoke up when he felt the need. Usually, that was when he didn't think we were doing enough to cover neighborhoods where working class people and poor people live," the staff note said.




Study of N.Y. Times Finds 3.4 Times as Many Male Sources as Female

"The New York Times is one of the world's leading news organizations. But there's room for improvement — especially when it comes to diversity," Alexi Layton and Alicia Shepard reported Tuesday for the Poynter Institute.

"In an analysis of 352 front-page stories from the Times in January and February 2013, we found that Times reporters quoted 3.4 times as many male sources as female sources."

They continued, "We reached out to Jill Abramson, the first female executive editor of The New York Times, for her reaction to the analysis. She referred us to Associate Managing Editor for Standards Phil Corbett.

" 'I'm not surprised that there is a significant discrepancy between male and female sources,' Corbett said by email. 'But I am disappointed to see just how big the gap is, and how pervasive it is across various types of stories."

"Corbett recognizes the Times and other news outlets can look within to help solve this problem.

" 'This situation illustrates the importance of pushing for a more diverse newsroom — in gender, race and ethnicity, background, religion and other factors — which remains a priority for us,' Corbett said. . . ."

In 1990, the Women, Men and Media Project, based at the School of Journalism at the University of Southern California, under the direction of feminist Betty Friedan, produced a study on the number of female bylines and sources appearing on the front pages of 10 major American newspapers. When told that the New York Times ranked last in sources, Executive Editor Max Frankel was angered, calling the report "unfair and bizarre," the Los Angeles Times reported at the time.

"Noting that different newspapers have different missions, he added: 'By that I mean, if you are covering local teas, you've got more women (on the front page) than if you're the Wall Street Journal.' "

This so outraged the New York Times women that they wore tea bags in their lapels the next day, Friedan later wrote.

Although he said he still believed he was right, Frankel later conceded that his comments about tea parties were "defensive" and "stupid."

Short Takes

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Cross-postings from the Root


Yeah Right! See all of this furor. Then there is Marrisa Alexander also of Florida who is facing 20 years in prison when the Judge ignored the "Stand Your Ground Law" and Marrisa just shot the wall...not her abusive husband. (20 years for just firing a gun...hmmm). But still the point is Zimmerman killed a young Blackman and does not have to pay for it. He is free! I a glad it happened so people in this country can see there still White Supremacy and racism alive and well in this country and things have not gotten better.

The Justice Department is not going to do anything because it really and simply wants the case to go away. Florida tried make it go away in the first place by burying it and there will be no real justice until Zimmerman is punished for what he has done.

My own son is 30 and I shutter ever time I think Trayvon could have been him and he knows it as well as I do...and Trayvon can still be Cleveland, New York, San Antonio or Stockton.

When is the Justice?


Mr. Prince once again either patting Black journalist on the back or begging for attention.

This speech benefits only Black race-baiters, not Black boys. Tomorrow another one will needlessly die at the hand of another Black boy, but Jesse and AL and the whole host of Black Commentators will flood the news with useless points-of-view and Preacher fund raising.

Congratulation,'re relevant for 36 more hours.

Think Smart

Four 4 years BLACK DEMOCRATS---------say Obama can't address no black issues

Well he just proved them wrong

He just proved that they were only making excuses for him.

crisco j

Obama: Tool extraordinaire for hire. Tomorrow he will be giving support to the Zimmerman camp because Z is half hispanic and his supporters will cry enough to get heard.

crazy d

I thought we were going to get our march on. Dammit !!!!


Speak with your actions. Boycott Florida Mr. and Mrs. or Ms. Black Journalist. Show us your commitment. Obama is the President of the United States, not the NAACP. We should be so very proud and grateful of his powerful and eloquent words. He did it not because of you backstabbing journalists but in spite of you

DRT Goodman I just love the way so called black leaders pretend the have power, most of them couldn't get a free cup of coffee.


Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton get a lot more than a cup of coffee. They continually extort huge amounts of money from large corporations, threatening boycotts, etc. Racial strife has been good for these two... very good.

For that reason, they will do their very best to ensure that there is continued animosity and distrust between the races. And they will get plenty of help from the media, since dissention sells, but peace and tranquility do not.


how right you are, seattle ralph


Sad that you folks who come here to complain and whine have some silly, misologic idea that African Americans are a monolithic race that looks, thinks, acts the same when it's always been an untruth. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Tavis Smiley, Cornell West,all have their own agendas,missions and do not speak for every Black person. But from what I've seen this week, the real fear on your part is the realization that we are awakening to a new power. And all you can do about that is log on to the Internet and talk about what you think you know, in hopes someone will actually believe you. Nope. But go ahead, it's annoyingly amusing.

Pea Scott likes this.

Pea Scott



I am a Florida resident, and need to know, what is the purpose of boycotting Florida.? Did the white's boycott California, when OJ Simpson was acquitted of a double murder of two white people.? Blacks, seem to be never satisfied, unless they are demanding something. Why don't you and your leaders do something about the out of wedlock babies, you lead the nation in. How about the food stamps, that have become an integral part of your everyday life. Better yet, spend some time in Chicago, where your black brothers and sisters are killing each other on a daily basis. Now that would be a worthwhile endeavor. I am convinced you would probably want to see Zimmerman executed. Sick.


Why are you here whining? The President is Black,not a Black President. That's why we have governors and mayors. If he did go to Chicago, you'd be complaining that he overstepped his authority. Wonder if you can be honest enough to admit there's nothing this President could do that you'd be satisfied with. Cathy McIvor


The purpose of the boycott is to make Black people be understood — to be heard. A lot of White people are on food stamps also, and for the gangs in Chicago, yes, it is a problem, one that begs for a solution. I, for one, don't want to see Zimmerman executed, but I do believe he was in the wrong for killing Trayvon. The law needs to be changed... Pea Scott

******I am a Florida resident, and need to know, what is the purpose of boycotting Florida.? Did the white's boycott California, when OJ Simpson was acquitted of a double murder of two white people.?

johnsnare, I don't think you're going to understand even if it's explained over and over again. Because you think in terms of Black vs White. NOT RIGHT vs WRONG.

Not EVERY Black person thought OJ was not guilty, but WE ALL must ACCEPT our justice system, even in the Martin case. And the VICTIMS families in the OJ case accepted the result of the criminal case, but filed and WON a civil case.

And in the end karma IS a b**** because OJ is serving 33 years in a Nevada prison for armed robbery.

Verbal protests, marching and writing letter only goes so far. What folks DO understand is MONEY. SO by boycotting (the old form of protesting), Florida official will feel the pain for the lousy justice system the state has.

Ask Arizona how they faired when folks boycotted the state for their immigration policies.

There is something wrong when a man racially profiles, chases and murders an UNARMED teenager and goes free. There is something wrong when a woman gets 20 years for standing her ground against another assault from her husband. There is something wrong when a women murders her baby, lies about the baby being alive for months. And STILL gets off.

As for Zimmerman? Black folks DO NOT have to do a thing to Georgie.

Like I said KARMA IS A *****, and if you do wrong, you must pay. George will find that out soon enough.


Shellie Zimmerman was arrested this past Tuesday, but I haven't seen a word about it in the major media cycles. Interesting. 5 Hours Ago from theroot · Reply Eranoswatch Thank you very much for this very useful revew, Richard! I think Obama has done his best to respond to their requests. Actually, he found the best posture and occasion to deliever his remarks. Aside the usual dumbheads who always disagree with Obama no matter what, the remarks have been quite well received. The ball is now on the court of the GOP. Do Republicans have any policy to address this issue?

cmck and Pea Scott like this.


I read the article and I am in dismay, not by the author, but of the comments, some were good and others not so good. Can this president do anything right? If Obama got up one morning and said that the sky is blue, he is a socialist, primarily by the social media and Fox. If Obama said hello to a female, he would be criticized for being too friendly, the same happened to him in 2008, when he responded to a reporter “that I will be with you in a second sweetie”, who tried to interrupt his process at a plant he was at with the company executives. The reporter herself said she was offended by his remarks, which prompted CNN to put journalists in the field to question normal everyday women going back and forth “how would they feel if called a sweetie”, which most, approximately 99% said, it would be fine with them, some even said, they would be overjoyed.

Recently, Obama gave a powerful and eloquent speech at Howard University, for this, he was criticized because several blacks thought that he went too far; he was also criticized for the eloquent and powerful speech he gave on fatherhood as many saw it as demeaning of black people. Are we forgetting that Obama is the president for all Americans, not only black people, and that in his capacity his words have to be carefully stated? No, wonder why the brother often used a teleprompter. The arrogance and ignorance in our society by many, educated fools and uneducated idiots – blacks who despised this brother; some think that as the president he should pay more attention to black people and white people who resent the fact that he is the president of United States.

It is clear that many whites wish that Obama was not in the White House, several of them are in the Congress, and their behaviors are reflected everyday of their contempt for this president. They have steadfast unrelenting at the peril of the American people and country, even with things that they knew within their hearts would put thousands of people back to work. Then you have many blacks, though small, think that Obama should be representing black people, often expressed in the words of Tavis Smiley and Cornell West. I have equal respect for these two brothers (Cornell and Tavis), but I am extremely disappointed with their behavior and attitude towards the president, and under no circumstances am I in support of their overzealous and envy views of the president.

Pea, QT, a couple others, and I have expressed here before that Obama is not the sole answer for our people. As a people, especially to those in acknowledgement positions, working hard Americans, Church Leaders, Teachers, Parents and the White community need to step up to the plate and address these issues with the president, Obama alone cannot do this Smiley - has you have stated. Obama gave a distinguish speech on race in Philadelphia in 2008, one that drew several criticisms in the conservative forum and many accolades by others who are not partisans. Obama recent speech on the aftermath of the Trial of Trayvon Martin, regardless of how many days later, again, is receiving the same (greatness and insignificance).


A thought, the speech Obama gave is impeccable, warranted and should have us all thinking again, renewing our minds and our thought processes. Where there is hate, let there be love, and love for all. We must search the heart, where there lies all things, that is express from us on a daily bases. We must also question ourselves – what country and life do we want to leave for our children, meaning the younger generation? Do we want hate to persist to be the hallmark infinitely? What purpose does it serve to hate your own humankind, when everyone of us are made up of the same internal and external organs…the only difference is our color, one that is still very vague to me because honestly, no person is white, and no black person is truly black? White people have no clarity to the color white itself, the contrast is so huge (very far apart) – and as for black people, though some of us are very dark, especially when you go to certain parts of Africa, the contrast is inconstant, close in some cases, but still not predominantly/chiefly black.

ralph-seattle and Pea Scott like this.


Before the modern civil rights struggles in the fifties and sixties in Florida, that state was considered "South of the South" because of the outrageous racism practiced by the local sheriffs and KKK , often one and the same repressive authority. White people there had no respect for the law and when a black man was accused of a crime and tossed into a jail white mobs often stormed the jail, pulled the accused out and lynched him. That's how they respected the law. It is that sad legacy that hovers over Florida today, despite the improvements that have come about, thanks to the NAACP and Thurgood Marshall and his team of lawyers. cmck likes this.


I like your comment, but i will say to you, it is time for us to let go off that and focus on the future...let us all work together in building a new future accommodating for all.

ralph-seattle likes this.


The irony is that Democrats were in power throughout the South, and it was a Republican (Eisenhower) that had to send troops to force them to desegregate. But then came Lyndon Johnson with his Great Society and all his free goodies. A corroborated quote from Johnson says it all, "“I’ll have those (N-word) voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” And it appears he will, despite the fact that the lives of a huge number of black people has gotten worse, not better.


There are many persons of different colors in America. These colors include White and Red.

I worked in the Emergency Medical Service for over 40 years and it did not matter to me what color the person was that was in the back of my ambulance. The person was either sick or injured and needed my help. Now why did I include White and Red? It is very simple. If a person had a laceration the blood is Red; if a person had a broken bone the bone is White. Skin color did not change this fact. As far as which skin color causes the most crime in the world...I believe that it is an even divide. Every race, color, or creed has their trouble makers. ralph-seattle, cmck and Pea Scott like this.


Obama said after the veredict. This the country of laws “We must respect the law"

ralph-seattle likes this.



I have faily that are bi racial and grew up in Oregon raised by their white families they are taught what all white people are taught that blacks bring killings on to themselves. That is why Obama started talking about how young black man are high crime. We have yet to see a black president in the country Obama will never understand a black daddy coming hoe beaten and bruised by white cops. He does not have stories like I do of a grandfather coming home from night school and being murdered because they thought he was someone that was flirting with a white girl. Obama didnt sit at his grandmother feet and cry about how she saw her daddy being slaughtered by of gang of Klansmen. Obama doesn't hear the cry of teh black man because Obama is not the average black man. The average black man was not raised by white people.

Pea Scott

****Obama doesn't hear the cry of teh black man because Obama is not the average black man. The average black man was not raised by white people.

More of this "Obama not Black enough"?

If you lined President Obama in a room with other Black men and you DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING about their parents. Would YOU guess President Obama had a White mother?

NO!! And NO ONE else would either!

America has lived with the one-drop rule since the 1900's. It's the reason CERTAIN Black folks were able to "pass for white". The looked "white enough" to fool White folks into thinking they were.

Just by looking at photographs of a young President Obama you can tell HE would NEVER pass for ANYTHING other than a Black young man. And that is how he's lived his life. Because THAT is what America saw.

It's absurd to think the President upbringing shielded him from the experiences all Black men have.

And if having YOUR SAME STORIES is what qualifies acceptance and understanding of being Black. Then I guess I'm not the 78 year old Black woman, born in the South, that I KNOW I am. Because I DON'T have stories or experiences exactly like yours.

One thing Black and living in America should have taught you. The one-drop rule NEVER went away.

cmck likes this.



I am pretty sure that you can relate to all of which you have mentioned? It appears to me that most of the stories were told to you or read by you from people with a partisan mindset? Obama, perhaps knows a lot more than you do and will ever appear young in your photograph, which means that the world as it is and moving forward is far better than Obama's days. I suggest you stop listening to your friends, members in your family, who may or may not already possessed a certain mindset and fragmented others and educate yourself with the appropriate tools that are available in various areas.


Corr: I mean to write that "I am pretty sure that you cannot, not can".


Every few years a case like this makes the news to keep the blacks and whites at odds with each other. It has become a ritual. The usual cast of characters come out and march the n> around like puppies looking for a bone. Obama is a coward and would not exist if it were not for brave blacks and whites of the civil rights movement. How many black men have been slaughtered for even looking at a white woman. If it were not for brave presidents that use their power to strike a blow against the racial inequality in this country Obama would not be in the Whitehouse today. I guess instead of beer and peanuts he will sip tequila and eat chicken with Zimmerman.

His speech was a rant and he tried to please whites by saying how screwed up blacks boys are as to show whites how he understands why Zimmerman thought Martin was up to no good. How can we encourage black youth of by using former drug dealers like Jay z who promotes immorality in his music. By encouraging the black young males that the path to success is to sell drugs to make create a mega business. Oh and look at woman who expose themselves on tv and shake their booties as role models like Obama said that beyonce is sasha and malia's role model.

ralph-seattle likes this.


You make some very valid points.


Go jump in a ocean. Pea Scott

Ocean, I ticked off at MYSELF for wasting time replying to your other INSNE comment.

Had I read this piece of **** FIRST, I would NOT have bothered!! cmck likes this.



Tavis Smiley and Cornell West have been critics of Mr. Obama since the president's first inauguration, not for anything of substance but for what was perceived as a social snub. Their reactions are petty and do not warrant the kind of coverage they are receiving from the press. Dr. West remarked angrily that a servant had obtained tickets to the inauguration, why not him. West should grow up and relinquish this childish posturing.


I have to believe that the President was listening to the discontentment of black folk. And as critical as I have been of him, I now see a contrite, yet decidedly clear response to an important historical issue from the President (with him now placing himself on the correct side of things).

To often it seems that the President has tried to place himself on the right side of history; trying to see how history would judge him. All great men of history seem to be propelled into a particular fight or position that essentially end up defining their legacy.

Maybe race and the issues of racism is not the topic Obama would have chosen for himself to make his mark, but it found him nonetheless. Now he must embrace the challenge. I believe he was placed in position for such a time as this.


Um, I believe President Obama speaks when he has something to say. As for Cornell and Tavis, they usually show up when book sales are slow. Tavis and Cornell both need to stop acting like to bitter biddies who didn't get asked to the prom. Does nothing for their credibility and simply serves the needs of the low information crowd who get all tingly when black men talk about a black man they don't like. Tavis, just grow up, you're too old to behave so poorly. But you are proving that you don't speak for the majority of us nor did you ever have what it takes to be a community leader. Time to re-invent yourself buddy.

cmck likes this.


two not to. That's what I get for posting without editing.

cmck likes this.


Tom May

What ever the cost! BOYCOTT Florida! Trayvon's life is worth more that 1mil. And all the sound and fury means nothing if there is no willingness to sacrifice for the long term results. On another note for those who perennially criticize the President; West and the other guy, I see sheer jealousy in their verbage. Using their formula of 'shooting off at the mouth,' they would have never achieved what Obama has, and never will--and O, how that irks them. The President coming out was the right time, place and wording. Ofcourse West and Smiley have myopic vision and inflated perceptions of their worth. Obama has long range vision. There is also a 2014 race to be won, and winners know when to 'show.' Letting the GOP take over the House would be a mortal blow for all of America.

E_Joyce likes this.


Ah yes... the 2014 election. That's really what it's all about, isn't it? Trayvon Martin is just a prop to use, and then discard when not needed any longer.

You ought to be ashamed... but I know you're not. As Marx said, "The end justifies the means".


Poor "ralph-seattle", You ARE worried that African Americans are figuring it out aren't you?

cmck and Pea Scott like this.


E Joyce. You have chosen to use the overused word."AFRICAN AMERICAN. I am so tired of hearing that phony phrase, since Jesse Jackson coined it in 1966. First off, all blacks were not born in Africa, and the slaves were freed in the 1800's. Why not try to get acquainted with the 21st.centruy, and live in the real world. The last time I looked, we had a BLACK MAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

An American

You know, I used to walk the street feeling reasonably safe. Now I'm thinking: yo there might be a crazy person behind me with a gun.


Barack Obama's speech did no favors to the African-American community. It was a self-serving speech solely intended to placate those in the black community who criticized his lack of response.. Tragically, he subtly soft-peddled the primary destructive issues affecting young black men, that being their tendency toward violent criminal behavior.

If one wants a truly honest discussion of race in America, you cannot ignore the elephant in the room... Young black men represent less than 5% of the US population, yet they commit approximately 54% of the violent crimes. And despite the tragic death of Trayvon Martin by a Hispanic/white man, the FBI statistics show that of those African Americans who are murdered each year, 93% are killed by other African Americans. Why no vigils and marches for the many hundreds of black youth who have been killed since Trayvon Martin died? The "why" is because there is no political advantage to be gained by bringing up the issue of black-on-black crime. There must be that boogey-man element of racism in order to make it newsworthy, and to fire up the constituencies.

Vigils, marches, never-ending speeches, and even riots resulting from Martin's death are little more than feel-good events, allowing African Americans to once again avoid addressing their real problems.

An unhappy life is so much easier to tolerate when everything that's wrong in one's life is always someone else's fault.

ArizonaDude likes this.


Your stats are WAY (just like you) off...w/your "logic" if 54% of crimes are committed by black WHO IS COMMITTING THE OTHER 46%?!!!


It will take some effort, but figure it out for yourself, GUEST:

The logical answer to your question/accusation is that the 95% of Americans who are NOT young black males must be committing the remaining 46% of violent crimes. The crime ratios are horrendous. But go ahead and continue deceiving yourself.


Ah, we have yet another white guy anxious to tell us that what we do, who we are is a problem Yet 84% of white homicides are actually committed by white people. I know, it's catchy and fits the media meme to talk about black on black crime, but the reality is bad people are bad people,no matter the race. And here's the thing I've learned this week, the greatest fear Anglos have is that we finally realize the power we have to evoke change. The end game will be repeal/revoking of the Stand Your Ground laws and reassessment of how race and justice collide. The end game will be putting ALEC and Bradley Foundation on the national table of examination. We need to know our real enemy. We slept while ALEC & Bradley Foundation slowly crept state by state with SYG law but the sleeping giant is waking up and we see you. Change is coming after all.

cmck and Pea Scott like this.


E. Joyce - Your reply took me back to the books. I hate statistics, but these are directly from the 2010 Consus, and the FBI statistics for 2011, both compiled under President Obama and Eric Holder. Here goes:

Roughly 76% of the US population in the 2010 census was White. White murder victims in 2011 (last year available) were 3172

The same census shows that just 13.1% of the US population is Black, yet Black murder victims totaled 2695. In other words, a 13% segment of the population had total murders equaling 85% of a group comprised of 76% of the population. You figure out how many more times a black person stands to be murdered versus a white person.

193 Black people were murdered by Whites (7%)

448 White people were murdered by Blacks (14%)

Statistically, a white person is twice as likely to be killed by a black person than a black person is likely to be killed by a white person.

As for SYG laws. Roughly 15% of Florida's population is Black, but roughly 33% of the cases where SYG was used as a defense were made by black defendants, and the vast majority of those people were found not guilty.

Be careful what you wish for.

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