Will Obama Call for Calm After Zimmerman Acquittal?
Following the acquittal of George Zimmerman for murder and manslaughter in the killing of Trayvon Martin, and threats of riots in Sanford, Florida and nationwide, President Barack Obama has yet to make a statement.
Obama contributed greatly to the national controversy over the case, and to mounting political pressure on Sanford officials and Florida authorities in March 2011 by stating: "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." His response came in reply to a question allegedly planted by the White House with a sympathetic NBC reporter.
The president's reference to Martin's appearance amplified the racial element of the case, which was fanned by perennial race-baiter Al Sharpton and by a news media that strove to portray Zimmerman as "white" and then "white Hispanic," and which--at NBC, CNN, the New York Times and elsewhere--selectively edited or distorted Zimmerman's 911 call to suggest that he had acted out of racism and had targeted or "profiled" Martin.
Following the verdict, with rallies and protests being held across the nation, and the NAACP and Al Sharpton vowing to take matters further, the President might be expected to remind the nation of the importance of the rule of law and respect for the judicial process.
That would be especially appropriate given his role in fanning the flames of outrage and division--arguably, in an election-year attempt to drive voter turnout.
But as of early Sunday morning, with the country on edge, the White House had yet to issue any statement.