On a day where President Obama spoke about Trayvon Martin’s murder and said the following:
“All of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen,” President Obama said Friday morning following a White House Rose Garden ceremony when asked about the 17-year-old’s death.
The president called the shooting a “tragedy” and says “every aspect” of the case should be investigated. Obama gave his condolences to the slain teenager’s parents and said if he had a son, “he’d look like Trayvon.”
At a shooting range in Louisiana on Friday, an onlooker encouraged Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum to pretend the target he was firing at was President Barack Obama.
“Santorum is shooting a 1911 Colt,” Politico’s Juana Summers tweeted from the sheriff’s office shooting range in West Monroe. “Range master says ‘Well, it’s not your first rodeo.’ Someone here says ‘pretend its Obama.’”
In a radio interview on Thursday, Newt Gingrich returned to one of his favorite recent themes, what he calls the “elite media” and their conspiracy to aid and abet the Obama administration.
In an article at Huffington Post, the former Speaker of the House is quoted as saying to Sandy Rios of the American Family Association that the “elite media” are “in the tank for Obama” and will do everything they can to see him re-elected.
“It is just astonishing to me how pro-Obama they are,” he said, “Do you think you are going to see two pages on Obama’s Muslim friends? Or two pages on the degree to which Obama is consistently apologizing to Islam while attacking the Catholic church?”
…and I just shake my head. I’m a black male who has survived to the ripe old age of 36 and is not incarcerated. I’m an exception in this country, it seems. I live in one of the 24 states that has a law that solely exists to justify the use of deadly force as the ultimate sanction against someone who is merely perceived to be a threat, without evidence, due process, or the right to face your accuser (because hey, you’re effing dead.) The legislative need to create laws like this is a symptom of a much more awful syndrome, and in every case these laws were passed by “pro-life” Republicans led by the gun lobbyists.
These laws are designed to allow vigilantism, period. It’s the worst impulse of the whole Glibertarian/Paulite/Somali Pirate anarcho-justice codified into “I get to decide who lives and who dies, and I reserve the right to exercise that impulse at any point.” We’re all castles stomping around killing each other, and may the best, most heavily armed castle win. And as far as Republicans are concerned, well that impulse extends to “We’ve decided that having a black President violates our right not to have one, so we’re going to do something about it from the ground up.”
Trayvon Martin’s awful, pointless murder is just a symptom of a much uglier sickness.
[UPDATE] Newt doubles down.
“What the president said, in a sense, is disgraceful,” Gingrich said on the Hannity Radio show. “It’s not a question of who that young man looked like. Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe, period. We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background.
“Is the president suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be OK because it didn’t look like him. That’s just nonsense dividing this country up. It is a tragedy this young man was shot. It would have been a tragedy if he had been Puerto Rican or Cuban or if he had been white or if he had been Asian American of if he’d been a Native American. At some point, we ought to talk about being Americans. When things go wrong to an American, it is sad for all Americans. Trying to turn it into a racial issue is fundamentally wrong. I really find it appalling.”