Election Year Civility: Obama’s Tucson Memorial vs. Trayvon Martin Reactions
There was a time when liberals fancied themselves the keepers of civility. Who can forget when, after the Gabrielle Giffords tragedy, the President spoke at a memorial in Tucson where he exhorted the nation to more courteous conversation by insinuating that right-wing hate speech had fueled the brutal attack on the Arizona congresswoman?
After the shooting, in one of his typical lectures to America, Barack “Together we Thrive” Obama maintained that “at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized - at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do - it's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”
More recently, after the controversial shooting death of black Florida teen Trayvon Mart, one can’t help but wonder if Barack Obama truly meant those words.
Based on his reaction to the racially-tinged incident in Sanford, Florida, it seems the President’s exhortation applies exclusively to political adversaries, because lately we’ve come to find out that if dissension should crop up anywhere besides Arizona, ‘pausing for a moment’ is apparently not something Barack Obama advocates.
The truth is, when comparing the hoodie-wearing congressmen, bounty-placing New Black Panthers, terror-tweeting Hollywood directors, and a President who has lots to say about conservatives’ conduct but remains mum when out-of-control liberals behave badly, indignant hypocrites on the left have succeeded in making Rush Limbaugh’s recent improper innuendos seem relatively benign.
After the shooting in Tucson that killed six people and injured 12, the President implored a stunned nation to embrace civility, saying, “For the truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack. None of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped those shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man's mind.”
Yet, after uttering such cogent words, Obama has chosen to remain relatively silent as George Zimmerman, the man who claims that he shot a black teen in self-defense, is pursued by an outraged lynch mob chanting “No justice, no peace.”
Even more disturbing is the fact that those shunning the assistance of law enforcement are some of Obama’s closest friends. The group attempting to avenge a death deemed by some to be the result of racial profiling turned into a cold-blooded execution includes the New Black Panthers, Democrat ultra-liberals like Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Al Sharpton, and Hollywood progressives like Roseanne Barr.
Famous African-American “40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks” director Spike Lee even chose not to “do the right thing.” Jumping into the fray and hoping to direct an angry mob to George Zimmerman’s doorstep to accomplish God knows what, Lee tweeted out a home address he thought belonged to the perpetrator. Spike might as well have strung a noose on a tree outside the man’s house.
The house number Lee tweeted was incorrect, but his communiqué resulted in Elaine and David McClain being driven from their home fearing for their lives. Spike Lee, a $1.6 million fundraiser for Obama’s bid for reelection, finally apologized and reached a financial settlement with the elderly couple. But thus far, the Tucson Healer has yet to utter one word about the shameful incident.
After mentally disturbed Jared Lee Loughner shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the head, Barack Obama made a concerted effort to temper the violence by promising justice, and did so while encouraging everyone to exercise measured restraint. Now, in response to Trayvon’s death, a posse with the Twitter handle @Kill Zimmerman is advertising that, without an investigation or trial, an American citizen should “be shot dead in the street the same way Trayvon was.”
Yet, the President who once challenged the nation with the words “We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future” has been eerily silent about the growing unrest surrounding the teen’s shooting. Obama has spoken once, only to mention that if he had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.
Whatever happened to President Obama advising Americans to use a violent situation such as this “to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and to remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together?”
If we were listening to each other, exercising empathy and reminding ourselves we are bound together, then Attorney General Eric Holder and his Justice Department would have reacted appropriately to the New Black Panthers trying to take the law into their own hands by placing a bounty on a Zimmerman’s head and circulating “Wanted Dead or Alive” posters.
Moreover, why is President Obama, who in Tucson warned that we should never use “tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another,” stoking aggression by purposely ignoring the growing animosity toward a man who is supposed to be “innocent until proven guilty?”
At the Tucson Memorial, Barack Obama quoted Scripture and discouraged the nation from “pointing fingers and assigning blame.” Now, with an election just months away, the Keeper of Civility, desperate to renew his base, has found a racial issue to exploit and has aligned his 2012 reelection campaign with a hooded uniform that symbolizes a slain teen whose culpability in his own death has yet to be determined.
And so, not only has the President proven that his recent righteous indignation toward so-called right-wing “hate speech” is a reaction directed exclusively toward political foes, and while contributing to growing tension in a nation he’s supposed to be leading, Obama has once again managed to expose his own duplicity.
The Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case has left a young man dead, an accused shooter hiding from an angry mob of bloodthirsty vigilantes, and has caused the nation to be sharply divided again by racial tension. But above all, what the Trayvon Martin tragedy has done is reveal to America that every word uttered by Barack Obama at that Tucson Memorial was nothing more than politically-motivated empty rhetoric.