The President took a few moments today to address the Trayvon Martin case, when reporters caught him outside the White House and asked the question.
"I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this,” Mr. Obama said. “All of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen......
“Obviously, this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through,” Mr. Obama said, his face grim. “When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids.”
to the parents of Martin-
“You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Mr. Obama said, pausing for a moment. “I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
The President was careful to NOT stray into the territory of pre-judging the legal issues on the Trayvon Martin killing, sticking to a personal statement of his feelings as a parent. That was prudent, and Obama's words were carefully chosen and not objectionable. But oddly enough, I found myself wishing that the President had used the phrase "the rule of law."
Because any one of us could have died in that Gated community in Sanford, Florida. When any American is killed in a manner that seems unjust, it has to do with every American. Not just those among us who look like the victim. This is not a black/white issue, this is about being an American. On that basis, I would like to urge white Americans to attend a "hoodie demonstration" if they can find one within driving distance. Because the problem with Trayvon Martin was not that he was black, but rather that he appears to have been killed for frivolous reasons, as one of us would swat a fly buzzing around a picnic table- and that none of us want to live in a nation in which human life is so valueless.
What the death of Trayvon Martin teaches us is not that we are part of an American sub group to which we are more loyal than we are loyal to the USA. No, it teaches us that the rule of law is what makes us want to live here, and if we ever lose the rule of law, our nation as we know it and love it will no longer exist. Important as the life of one American is, this is about something more important, something that all of us have to care about if we truly want to call ourselves Americans. Trayvon Martin is dead, and he is going to stay dead, sadly. George Zimmerman is always going to be known, sadly, as the guy who killed him. The question is: where do we go from here? Do we want this to happen again? If not, what do we try to change?