In a press briefing July 19, President Obama responded to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin, saying, “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago...the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that - that doesn't go away.” Right-wing media figures responded to the president's remarks with attacks.
President Obama Reacts To The Acquittal Of George Zimmerman
Obama: “Trayvon Martin Could Have Been Me 35 Years Ago.” At a press briefing July 19, President Obama addressed the nation's reactions surrounding the acquittal of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman. From the Washington Post:
The judge conducted the trial in a professional manner. The prosecution and the defense made their arguments. The juries were properly instructed that in a -- in a case such as this, reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict. And once the jury's spoken, that's how our system works.
But I did want to just talk a little bit about context and how people have responded to it and how people are feeling. 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. And 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 -- that doesn't go away. [Washington Post, 7/19/13]
Fox News Figures Attack President Obama Over His Remarks On Race And Trayvon Martin
Fox News' Greg Jarrett: “Is The President Reducing Racial Tension Or Stoking Racial Tension?” Fox News host Greg Jarrett responded to the remarks by speculating on whether the president was “stoking racial tension.” He later wondered, “Doesn't the president now run the risk that he is going to provoke even more demonstrations, and let's hope not, but potential violence?” From the July 19 edition of America Live:
[Fox News, America Live, 7/19/13]
Sean Hannity: Did Obama Compare Himself To Trayvon Martin Because “He Did A Little Blow?” On his radio program, Sean Hannity talked about Obama's remarks and wondered if Obama compared himself to Martin because “he smoked pot, and he did a little blow”:
[Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 7/19/13]
Fox News' Todd Starnes: Obama Is “Unpresidential,” “Race-Baiter In Chief” Who Is “Trying To Tear Our Country Apart.” Fox's Todd Starnes reacted to Obama's remarks on Twitter by calling him “unpresidential” and alleging that he “is trying to tear our country apart.” Starnes added, “I thought when you got elected president - you were president of all skin colors”:
Fox News Contributor Tammy Bruce: “I Had No Idea Obama Sucker-Punched A Watch Volunteer & Then Bashed His Head In. Who Knew?” Conservative radio host and Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce reacted twice on Twitter, claiming Obama's remarks were intended to distract from other stories and tweeted, “So Obama 'could have been' Trayvon 35 yrs ago? I had no idea Obama sucker-punched a watch volunteer & then bashed his head in. Who knew?”:
Fox Nation: Did Obama's Remarks “Make The Racial Divide In Case Worse?” For an article linking to a FoxNews.com report on Obama's press conference, Fox Nation added the headline:
[Fox Nation, 7/19/13]
Other Right-Wing Media Figures Attack President Obama Over His Remarks On Race And Trayvon Martin
Pamela Geller: Obama's “Thugocracy” Is “Too Eager To Publicly Lynch Geroge [Sic] Zimmerman.” Conservative commentator Pamela Geller reacted to the president's comments by calling him a “buffoon,” “racist,” and “eager to publicly lynch Geroge [sic] Zimmerman.” She argued that the president is guilty of “sedition.” From Geller's blog [emphasis added]:
I know we must suffer this buffoon his on the job training but is there not a shred of decency in him? Is there not one iota of responsibility, or conscience, or goodness to this Jeremiah Wright disciple? He is inciting instead of calming , which is what a leader does.They picked the wrong case to exploit to their own racist ends and still he and his thugocracy persist in spite of the facts.
The bloody joke is on all those voters who bought the “uniter” ad copy. All of those voters who cast a vote for Obama if only to show that we were beyond racism and the 20th century's defects. But what America got was the opposite. Instead, we, as a nation, have been hurled backwards - horribly backwards. I have never known the country to be so race fixed, so race obsessed, so race abused as we are under Obama.
What an ugly transformation he has orchestrated. It is shocking. His sanction“Every F***ing Cop Is A Target”, of the mindless violence, the beatings of innocent people in the name of Trayvon, is sedition. But predicted: The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America.
His flapping tongue is too eager to publicly lynch Geroge Zimmerman but strangley silent on Banghazi, the IRS war on patriots, Fast and Furious, the Muslim Brotherhood, etc. Obama's flapping tongue is strangley silent on the hundreds of young balck men murdered by black men. Obama's flapping tongue is strangley silent on the failure of Trayvon Martin's parents. [AtlasShrugs.com, 7/19/13]
Breitbart.com's Ben Shapiro: “Shorter Obama: Look At Me! America Is Racist.” Ben Shapiro, editor-at-large of Breitbart.com, argued on Twitter that Obama “helped ignite this ginned up racial melee” and said that Obama called America “racist”:
Breitbart.com Editor-In-Chief: “Obama Backs The Race-Baiters On The Eve Of Sharptonpalooza. Identity Politics Above All. Shameful.” Breitbart.com's Editor-In-Chief Joel Pollak reacted to the president's comments on Twitter:
Breitbart.com's John Nolte: “Shorter Obama: I'm A Twice-Elected Black President Living In A Racist Country.” Breitbart.com columnist Nolte tweeted in response to Obama's remarks, “I like living in a country where a black president elected twice complains about racism.” He later added:
Washington Times' Emily Miller: “Obama Is The Most Irresponsible Presidnet [Sic] In History.” The Washington Times' Senior Opinion Editor Emily Miller reacted to the president's remarks on Twitter:
Dana Loesch: “It's A Combo Protest Diversion From Scandals And Attempt To Weaken Laws Protecting Right To Self Defense.” From Twitter:
Jim Hoft: Obama Is “Stoking A Race War.” On TheGatewayPundit.com, conservative blogger Jim Hoft said of Obama's remarks, “Good Lord - He's stoking a race war.”