DID OBAMA SAY ANYTHING WRONG?
Not many people thought so.
Trayvon Martin's death should not be dragged into politics and be made dirty, and even more so for Newt Gingrich, a Republican candidate running in the party's nomination race, to call President Barack Obama's remarks on the issue "disgraceful".
The African American kid has met his death under circumstances that indicated that, even though he was an American, he was not free to walk around anyhow; and that he was to be mindful of who he was, because of his color.
That kind of feeling was marked in American society, in every nook and cranny, that a young man would enter an office or a store, and the security of that place would suddenly go on alert, solely because he was a minority.
That surely gave one the impression that racism was culturally inherent in people to the extent that one could not trust one's own lawyer defending one in a criminal court case. That kind of emotion has a long history of race relations that had gone awry throughout the years.
That was what was disgraceful, and not a comment by Obama that, "If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon,"
The nature of people generally was one of mistrust between the races, because it had started pretty early, when a child was not to bring home a friend, who was of a different color after a football practice.
The parents would wash the the glass the friend had used for a drink like never before, and that gave the child the impression from the very beginning that there was something wrong with his friend, due to his (friend's) complexion.
If many Americans would come out of their shell and admitted that they were racists, and that their attitudes should change toward people of different color, then the nation would be safe for any child, no matter what his or her ethnicity, could walk around without fear; period.
Trayvon was in that situation, as he was on his way back home, after getting skittles and iced tea from the store. He then discovered that there was someone behind him, watching his every move, and he became scared.
The very next thing was that the man was using ethnic slurs directed at him and asking him questions that he thought were unnecessary. A scuffle ensued between the two; and just because the man had a gun and he was authorized to "stand his ground", he had to shoot and kill Trayvon.
More so, he (Trayvon) was unarmed and did not pose any threat to the man, who was following him. That man happened to be George Zimmerman, who was on watch duty in a gated neighborhood that day.
At the very start, if he had approached the young African American in a civil manner, there would not be a fight; but he did not. After all, Trayvon was just trespassing; and there was no sign that he was a criminal or acting in any way to that effect.
Zimmerman's contact with people like Trayvon was rare; and so his attitude would stem from his upbringing of "those are them, and we are us," and he was inadvertently reaching out and reacting on that basis, when he saw Trayvon.
The incident was tragic, and has touched many people to the point that, even strangers have come out to give moral support to the Martin family; with some remarking that, if it was not for the misunderstanding between the races, such a tragedy would not have happened.
However, for a seasoned politician as Gingrich, to take the words of President Obama and turned them inside out for political gamesmanship went beyond the pale. For there was nothing in the president's remarks that even slightly pointed to the race of Trayvon Martin or that of George Zimmerman.
The training Americans gave their children should count for what their attitudes should be, when they became grown ups, for they took that training very seriously; and it appeared in places like the military, and even in government, when a person's race came first, when he or she was being screened for a position of trust, or how he or she should be assessed in any frame of mind for almost anything, instead of looking at that person's character; and for the fact that he or she, as citizen of the United States, should be given equal opportunity, wherever he or she went, to demonstrate that America was really a free country.
For a better America, attitudes must change. Without that, Trayvon Martin's death would have been in vain.
P.S. Of course, it should be Iced Tea, and not Ice Tea.