In response to It’s Deja Vu All Over Again With Obama’s Trayvon Speech:
In all fairness, the President did make a few oblique references to crime problems in the black community, although it was very understated compared to his race-baiting and the official launch of his Destroy All Stand Your Ground Laws crusade. As you noted, he had absolutely nothing to say about race-baiting or the Trayvon mythology spread by professional agitators, or black-on-white violence. Mentioning either of those topics would have enraged and dismayed his base, and he doesn’t want his supporters spending a heartbeat thinking about anything that would make George Zimmerman’s behavior look reasonable.
With the weekend behind us, it seems clear that Obama’s press conference was a set of instructions for the media, announcing the official end of the Zimmerman aftermath story – which they’ve all obligingly dropped in unison today, to fret over the Royal Baby.
Obama’s little speech was like an update being downloaded into a computer system. He inserted himself into the story and made it all about him, giving the media a weekend to swoon over his latest Great Racial Healing Speech – some of them needed a change of underwear. Buried about halfway through his remarks was a softening of expectations about federal civil-rights prosecution for Zimmerman (in other words, it ain’t gonna happen, and Obama wants his supporters to begin backing away from it, while Attorney General Eric Holder wastes a bit more time and taxpayer money pretending he’s working up a case.)
And most importantly, there was the official presidential declaration of war on Stand Your Ground laws. That’s an important set of instructions for his loyal media bots, because it’s their job to refocus public energy onto these supposedly horrible laws and the movement to repeal them. Since SYG was not actually invoked by the Zimmerman defense, it’s important for the media to shift public attention away from the details of the case, with a few key bits of mythology permanent implanted in many minds – Zimmerman’s a racist, Trayvon Martin was an innocent child, young black men are treated unfairly, etc.
There’s not much more work for the Obama campaign auxiliaries in the mainstream press to do on that front; everyone who’s going to buy into Trayvon mythology has already ordered a lifetime subscription of it. Now it’s time for the media to move away from Zimmerman and begin a Great National Conversation about the formless hypothetical menace of Stand Your Ground laws, whose repeal would be a much-needed shot in the arm for the dejected gun-control lobby. Obama sang the coda to the Ballad of the White Hispanic on Friday.