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July 20th, 2013
The lead article in today’s New York Times, “President Offers a Personal Take on Race in U.S.,” provided a riveting description of the President’s remarks about race in America in the context of the Trayvon Martin case. While urging respect for the jury’s decision, the President tried to show how black Americans felt deeply hurt regardless of the facts of this specific trial.
Many of the President’s remarks cut to the quick, and I am sure white Americans who listened to his feelings outside the realm of politics will be greatly touched as well. I, too, am guilty in certain respects — when I’m in the city in an unfamiliar neighborhood, I, too have locked my car doors, sometimes in advance of actually seeing an Afro-American cross the street, but the precaution is still there.
And if I were walking down a dark alley, I would be much more afraid when confronted by a black man than a white one.
Racial profiling is a terrible thing, but it is a fact that I am much more likely to suffer violence at the hands of a black man than a white one. I hope my black American brothers can understand this self-preservation instinct, but, in any case, I wanted to do my part in starting the conversation urged by President Obama.
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