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Leading From Behind Al Sharpton


"The First Black President ... Spoke First as a Black American," ran the banner headline of Sunday's Washington Post.

But why, when the fires of anger over the Zimmerman verdict were dying down, did he go into that pressroom and stir them up?

"A week of protests outside the White House, pressure building on him inside the White House, pushed him to that podium," said Tavis Smiley on "Meet the Press." Black leaders demanded Obama come out of hiding and stand in solidarity with the aggrieved and outraged.

Belatedly and meekly, Obama complied.

"Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," said Obama.

But which Trayvon?

The one walking home with Skittles and tea? Or the one who sucker-punched Zimmerman, decked him, piled on, pummeled him martial arts style, hammered his head on the sidewalk, ignored his screams for help and got shot by the guy he was assaulting?

For that is the story Zimmerman told, Sanford police believed, the lone eyewitness confirmed, the defense argued, the prosecution could not shake and the jury believed. Not guilty, on all counts.

If Obama thinks the verdict was justified, why did he not urge that the demonstrations, marches, vandalism and violence cease?

If he agrees Zimmerman got away with murder — "an atrocity," Al Sharpton said of the verdict — why did Obama hide behind this mush: "Once the jury's spoken, that's how the system works."

The president sent his "thoughts and prayers" to Trayvon's family.

To George Zimmerman, painted as a racist monster for 16 months, hiding in fear of his life, his Peruvian mother and family under threat — not a word of compassion from the president.

Obama moved swiftly off the trial and into a rambling discourse on the black experience and racial profiling.

But why? The jury said Trayvon was not profiled.

What is Obama up to? Answer. A law professor, he knows this case, based on evidence and testimony, was open and shut. And he knows Eric Holder is not going to file any hate-crime civil rights charges.

Because Holder and Obama know they would be seen as caving to Sharpton & Co., they would get stuffed in court, and the nation would react with outrage to a double-jeopardy, murder-charge, racial prosecution of this persecuted man whose innocence was established in a court of law.

So Obama swiftly changed the subject.

"There are very few African-American men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me ... before I was a senator."

"There are very few African-Americans who haven't had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off."

"That happens often," said Obama. Undeniably. But why do black males awaken such apprehensions and fears? Is it their color?

Well, 13 percent of our population is black. Half of that — say, 6 plus percent — is male. Of that 6 percent, one in six — just 1 percent of the U.S. population — consists of black males age 18 to 29.

Of all black males 18 to 29, writes Ron Unz in "Race and Crime in America," 28 percent are in jail or prison, or on probation.

The "liberal Sentencing Project organization," says Unz, estimates that "one-third of all black men are already convicted criminals by their 20s, and the fraction would surely be far higher for those living in urban areas."

Twenty years ago in Chicago, where black kids are gunned down daily, Jesse Jackson was quoted, "There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved."

That's the same apprehension, Mr. President, those women feel on that elevator.

Obama traced the "violence ... in poor black neighborhoods" to "poverty and ... a very difficult history.

But slavery and segregation were far closer in time to the black America of the 1950s, and poverty was far greater. Yet we never saw crime and incarceration rates like we see today in Black America.

As Unz writes, El Paso, Texas, and Atlanta are cities of equal size and poverty rates. Yet Atlanta has 10 times the crime. Oakland and Santa Ana, Calif., are equal in size and poverty numbers. Yet Oakland "has several times the rate of crime." Why?

Why are white folks nervous about strange young black men in the neighborhood? Perhaps because they commit interracial muggings, robberies and rapes at 35 times the rate of whites.

As newspapers avoid the issue of black racism and rarely give the stats on interracial crime, Obama dwelt lovingly on the indignities of racial profiling — without really addressing the root cause.

It was an uncourageous commentary. Weak as Kool-Aid, said Tavis.

But Obama was where he likes to be, leading from behind — this time behind Al Sharpton.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at



3 Comments | Post Comment
"The one walking home with Skittles and tea? Or the one who sucker-punched Zimmerman, decked him, piled on, pummeled him martial arts style, hammered his head on the sidewalk, ignored his screams for help and got shot by the guy he was assaulting?"

My my, how certain this old coot is. What does he have, a special line to God?

The story Buchanan signs on to with God on his side might be believable had Zimmerman had the spine to testify and withstand cross examination. We sure can't raise Martin from the dead and get his side of the story. As Obama half pointed out, with his usual phony-baloney wimpiosity, maybe Martin was standing HIS ground, and it sure wasn't an equal fight, wasn't it?

The presumption should be that Zimmerman was the undisciplined fat punk he appears to be, having been too certain of himself to follow the instructions the 911 folks gave him. He would never qualify as a cop with that kind of insubordination.

Seems to me, and most Americans I would wager, white, black, or whatever, that if you choose to disobey the authorities you should not be able to cry for Mama's forgiveness when you get in over your head and have to rely on the BIG THING you are carrying to save your ass from a fight you would lose if it were a fair fight.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Masako
Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:03 PM
We may never truly know exactly what happened, since we only have George Zimmerman's account and the eye witness that observed Trayvon Martin on top of Zimmerman prior to being shot. What we do know is that the combination of these factors along with the injuries to Zimmerman were enough to have him declared innocent in a court of law.

In regard to a fair fight - it is not fair when on side has a gun and the other doesn't. On the other hand - if it is not fair when a person is slugged in the nose and not expecting it. From all accounts and the testimony given - Trayvon Martin likely assaulted George Zimmerman. Had he kept his fists to himself, we probably would never have even heard about this incident.

My son is a teenager, and sometimes passions can run high. I can see him getting frightened, angry, etc... and being tempted to fight. My caution to any teen of any color is that you never know when a person is armed, and that it is best to walk away if you can and run away if you can't.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Mike68
Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:48 AM
Re: Mike68. Nope, that's the point. We don't have Zimmerman's account. What we have is police testifying about what Zimmerman said to them. They were quite receptive, and quite unmotivated to save crucial evidence or examine critically what he said.

He did not testify. He didn't dare, is my wager.

He would have had to face cross examination, which might have revealed a very different story in spite of the prosecutor's utter incompetence.

Granted, that is his 5th Amendment right, but I question whether the system should allow him to invoke it when the shooting victim is dead and self-defense is the excuse. And as for standing your ground, which was part of the jury instruction even though it was not invoked as a motion to dismiss, I also question why you get to invoke it with a track record like Zimmerman's of proceeding to stalk Martin without a shred of justification and against the instruction of the 911 operator.

You have lost the forest for the trees, Mike, as did the jury, facing a cunning defense lawyer and a dopey prosecutor.
Look at the big picture. If Martin attacked Zimmerman after being stalked, he had every right to "stand his ground" and not wimp out.

I don't think Zimmerman committed murder, but his brash lack of judgment, which was likely to lead to disaster with a gun in his holster, should not be allowed to go unpunished as t least manslaughter, and he should not be allowed to hide behind "self defense" when his own actions provoked the attack, if indeed he did not attack himself, which, by the way, would have been entirely consistent with his stalking.

We will never know, and Zimmerman did not help us to find the truth, because the punk would not get up there and defend his own action before the jury. He will never get sympathy from anyone who doesn't go buying bridges from the latest con artist and has some kind of sense of fairness.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Masako
Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:07 PM
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