Speaking about the George Zimmerman verdict, President Obama correctly stated that "the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away."
Scientists agree that there is no biological basis for the word "race." Rather, the concept has been used historically to justify discrimination against people with dark skin.
This history in America started in the mid-1600s in Virginia, when black indentured servants were forced to work for life while whites were freed after their term of service. The U.S. Constitution contained a fugitive slave clause and gave slave states House representation for their slave populations. We fought the Civil War over slavery, but the postwar Reconstruction amendments were practically ignored. Despite the 1960s civil rights laws, racial profiling and voter suppression still exist, and prisons are overflowing with black inmates.
American attitudes on race must change.
Robert W. Holdenvenzon
Instead of furthering his dubious legacy of racial divisiveness, Obama would have done better to address the real scourge this nation faces: that of gun violence.
Rather than singling out one tragic altercation between an African American and a Latino male, he could have addressed the unpublicized and unpunished murders of young black males taking place almost every day in his adopted city, Chicago.
This case had nothing to do with race and everything to do with the right of every Tom, Dick and Harry in this country to possess a firearm.
Obama totally missed the point.
Obama is way off base in declaring that Trayvon Martin could have been him.
First, the president grew up in Hawaii, a state known for its multicultural makeup. Hawaii is a true mix of many races and ethnicities that get along well.
Second, Obama's mother was white. For part of his life, he was raised by his white grandmother.
Finally, the president attended a prestigious high school in Honolulu, then continued on to Occidental College, Columbia University and finally Harvard Law School. Martin was struggling through public high school.
The lives of Martin and a young Obama do not come close to comparison.