Jewish World Review August 27, 2013/ 21 Elul, 5773
If President Obama Had a Son He Might Look Like . . .
By Bernard Goldberg
If Barack Obama had a son he might look like the alleged shooter, Chancey Luna (in the center) or maybe the 15 year old, James Edwards (on the left) who was also in the car. Michael Jones, 17, drove the car; he's white.
But you'll never hear the president utter those words. It's one thing to identify with a black teenager shot and killed by a white man (who was actually only half white; his mother is Hispanic). But it's quite another to link yourself, in any way, to a black kid who killed someone simply because he had nothing better to do.
And there's no reason Barack Obama should say his imaginary son would look like the shooter. But then, there was no good reason for the president to say if he had a son he would look like Trayvon Martin. But he did, needlessly implying that it's dangerous being a black kid in America when white people with guns are around.
When he heard about the shooting, Jesse Jackson tweeted that this was an example of "senseless violence" that should be "frowned upon."
Frowned upon? That's the best that he could come up with? When Trayvon Martin was shot to death Jackson said "blacks are under attack" in America, and "Killing us is big business," and Trayvon was "shot down in cold blood by a vigilante." Never mind that there was a fight right before Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. Murky details like that didn't matter to Jackson or other members of the civil rights business. Now we hear that the Oklahoma shooting should be "frowned upon." Where is the moral outrage Jackson was able to muster for Trayvon Martin? Later, after he came under fire for his lame response to the murder in Oklahoma, Jackson issued a statement calling on all Americans to "resist all forms of violence in our society." Thanks for not much.
So far the president has been silent too. The murder in Oklahoma will not get the attention that the Trayvon Martin case received not from the president and not from the media or the civil rights industry. Why not? Because in Oklahoma the alleged shooter is black and the victim is white. And that makes all the difference in the world.
It's true that there is no evidence that the teenagers targeted Chris Lane because he was white. But there is a tweet, allegedly sent by the youngest of the three that said:"90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM."
Imagine if a white kid put out a tweet like that and then was picked up for killing a young black man.
But who knows, maybe they would have shot a black jogger if that's who was out running that day. Maybe. But there was no evidence either that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin because he was black. That didn't stop the president from chiming in.
Maybe that's because Mr. Obama sensed Trayvon was shot because he was "guilty" of walking while black. After all, we got a similar message from the civil rights industry, which painted a picture of an America where white people were out hunting down young black men. White liberal journalists on television listened to this nonsense and didn't say a word. They played the part of potted plants.
Who knows, maybe the president would have had something to say if the jogger was black and was shot dead by a couple of white thugs who were out for some kicks. Al Sharpton and the rest of the black civil rights industry certainly would have had something to say.
And Sharpton finally did have something to say. "I protest when I'm called in and when there's an injustice.," he said on his MSNBC show days after the murder. "The three were arrested, there was nothing to protest. The system worked there, and racial? Not only did the police not say it was racial, one of the three were white," Sharpton said
But the police in Florida said the Trayvon Martin case wasn't racial either. But that didn't stop Sharpton. And one of the three thugs in Oklahoma was white? So what? Zimmerman mentored black kids and that didn't stop Sharpton from screaming racism.
Which brings us to the president, who still hasn't chimed in. But there's still time. And here's what President Obama still can say. He could use the tragedy to make some long overdue points. Here's what, in my most optimistic moments, I would like to hear President Obama tell the nation:
Let me say it before you do: I'm delusional. Still, it would be nice to hear something like that from the president. After all, there's no one in the entire country who could make the case better. But when I told a friend about this he laughed.
Anyone who says anything like that, he told me, would be seen either as a racist if he's white or an Uncle Tom if he's black. So no one, he said, will get any traction with that message.
Unfortunately, he's right.
Then there's John McWhorter, a black intellectual with guts, who wrote a piece in Time about the Oklahoma shooting. It ran under the headline: Don't Ignore Race in Christopher Lane's Murder. "[I]t's just fake to pretend that the association of young black men with violence comes out of thin air," he writes. "Young black men murder 14 times more than young white men. If the kinds of things I just mentioned were regularly done by whites, it'd be trumpeted as justification for being scared to death of them." Black leaders from President Obama on down should take note.
As for the three teenagers in Oklahoma, they've all been charged as adults. They may spend the rest of their lives in prison. Let's hope so.
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JWR contributor Bernard Goldberg, the television news reporter and author of several bestselling books, among them, Bias, a New York Times number one bestseller about how the media distort the news. He is widely seen as one of the most original writers and thinkers in broadcast journalism. Mr. Goldberg covered stories all over the world for CBS News and has won 10 Emmy awards for excellence in journalism. He now reports for the widely acclaimed HBO broadcast Real Sports.
He is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey and a member of the school's Hall of Distinguished Alumni and proprietor of BernardGoldberg.com.
© 2011, Bernard Goldberg