President Barack Obama today made his first full public comments in response to the verdict reached in the George Zimmerman case. I will be the first to say, the statement released by the White House before today I found to be lackluster and short on what we needed to hear from our leader. However, in his comments today, President Obama reminded me about why I have often been impressed with his leadership. In remarks made to the nation today, the president put a face on what racial profiling really looks like. He, much like the Attorney General days ago, announced he too has been profiled in the past. The profiling, just like in the case of Trayvon, had nothing to do with what he was doing, but more about what he looked like.
Every since I first heard of the Martin case last year it has been hard for me to discuss it too much. After last weeks verdict I still feel the same. Thinking about the case makes me feel more helpless than I ever have in life. No one who has not been in the position knows how it feels and won’t until you experience it. Profiling is wrong and has no place in an American society. As an American, a black American, I am happy we have a leader who agrees.
Listen to the President’s comments here:
Joseph Lynn Kitchen Jr. is an ordained Baptist minister from Prince George’s County, MD where he serves as a community leader on issues of education reform, public transportation and youth empowerment. Joseph is President of the Young Democrats of Maryland and National Policy and Platform Director of the Young Democrats of America’s Minority Caucus. Learn more about Joseph’s work at www.josephkitchen.com.