Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Matt Barber

7/22/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The death of Trayvon Martin was a horrible tragedy.But not all tragedies are crimes.

My fellow Americans: I am your humble servant. You have entrusted me with the tremendous honor and responsibility to serve you as president. I am not president of black America, Hispanic America or white America. I am not president of liberal America or conservative America. I am president of the United States of America. Regrettably, as a nation, we have become divided. I confess that I have contributed to this division. For this failure in leadership, I ask your forgiveness. We were each created equal by a God of forgiveness. It is now time that we do as He commands; that we forgive one another as we are forgiven and that we come together, once and for all, as one America.

President Obama comments on the Trayvon Martin/ George Zimmerman tragedy

President Obama comments on the Trayvon Martin/ George Zimmerman tragedy

Highlights

By Matt Barber

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/22/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Trayvon Martin, George Zimmeramn, President Obama, Sanford, Florida, Al Sharpton, racism, profiling Eric Holder, Civil Rights, Matt Barber


LYNCHBURG, VA (Catholic Online) - My fellow Americans: I am your humble servant. You have entrusted me with the tremendous honor and responsibility to serve you as president. I am not president of black America, Hispanic America or white America. I am not president of liberal America or conservative America. I am president of the United States of America.

Regrettably, as a nation, we have become divided. I confess that I have contributed to this division. For this failure in leadership, I ask your forgiveness.

We were each created equal by a God of forgiveness. It is now time that we do as He commands; that we forgive one another as we are forgiven and that we come together, once and for all, as one America.

With this goal in mind, I ask that every American join me in praying for the family of Trayvon Martin. No parent should have to bury a child. I also ask that you join me in prayer for George Zimmerman and his family. This tragedy has taken an unimaginable toll on both families. Finally, I ask that you join me in praying for national calm and racial reconciliation.

Today I will share with you certain truths that may be difficult for some to hear. But truths they remain.

First among these truths: The death of Trayvon Martin was a horrible tragedy.

But not all tragedies are crimes.

This case should never have gone to trial. Probable cause for charges of second-degree murder did not exist. Unfortunately, it has become evident that charges were filed based upon a purely political calculus, rather than upon the legal merits of the case. This is legal malpractice, and those responsible should be held accountable.

Before charges were even filed I publicly and inappropriately said: "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." This was irresponsible of me. It was a politically motivated abuse of the presidential bully pulpit. It presumed Mr. Zimmerman guilty until proven innocent. The implication was racially charged and cynical. To the extent that I may have contributed to the spurious filing of charges, I apologize to Florida. I also apologize to George Zimmerman, his family and the American people.

Nevertheless, the trial did go forward and, after 20 days in court and 16 hours of thoughtful deliberation, a jury of George Zimmerman's peers ultimately found him not guilty. Whether or not we agree, this is our criminal justice system and the system worked as designed.
Justice was served.

Although none of us were there - and few can know for sure - the not guilty verdict indicates that the jury found, based upon the weight of the evidence, that this tragic shooting was, in fact, legally justified on self-defense grounds. This is true whether or not George overreacted by following Trayvon in the first place. Florida's "stand-your-ground" law was never even triggered.

The jury further found, by all accounts, that at some point during their interaction, Mr. Martin turned, pursued and attacked Mr. Zimmerman without legal provocation. This decision ultimately cost him his life.

How does this make sense? How could this have justified the shooting? Although initially unarmed, witness accounts and forensic evidence suggest that Trayvon punched Mr. Zimmerman, jumped on him and began slamming the back of his head into the concrete sidewalk while allegedly proclaiming, "You gonna die tonight, [expletive]." At this point the sidewalk became a deadly weapon. From this, any reasonable person could conclude that George Zimmerman feared for his life and, therefore, took defensive action.

A needless tragedy? Yes.

A crime? No.

Here is another truth: This case is neither now, nor has it ever been about race. That is, it wasn't about race until I and others made it so.

There are those who, under the guise of "civil-rights advocacy," have a tarnished history of exploiting this and other such tragedies for their own political and financial purposes. This is race-profiteering. It is shameless, dishonest and never productive. For the good of our nation, it needs to stop.

Furthermore, much of the media are likewise to blame. It is clear that, for whatever reason -ratings, perhaps - many journalists chose to intentionally fan the flames of racial discord. NBC even went so far as to splice and edit the recording of Mr. Zimmerman's 911 call to make him sound racist. This may well be defamation per se, and NBC should be held to account.

In reality, the overwhelming evidence indicates that Mr. Zimmerman is anything but racist. He is just as much a "person of color" as am I. He is Hispanic, not white as the media narrative goes. George is half Hispanic, just as I am half black. He is no more a "white Hispanic" than am I a "white black." This is the theater of the absurd. It's but another example of the media's disingenuous bid to sensationalize this case as a white-vs.-black civil-rights clash.

It is not.

In reality, George Zimmerman's past strongly suggests that he is utterly color blind. He once went to bat for a black homeless man against the police department he desperately hoped to join. He also has a history of mentoring black children, has dated black women, has black relatives and is a registered Democrat who voted for me - the first black president in American history. Finally, an extensive FBI investigation determined that Mr. Zimmerman is simply "not a racist."

I understand that many people are very upset over this verdict. I sympathize with them. My heart also breaks for Trayvon's family. Still, we are a nation of laws, not a nation of mob rule. Make no mistake, threats to George Zimmerman's safety and civil rights will not be tolerated and will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Moreover, I have instructed Attorney General Eric Holder to cease and desist in all efforts to manufacture federal civil-rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman. There is simply no case and to pursue one would actually violate Mr. Zimmerman's civil rights.

Let's get back on track. Let's return to Dr. King's dream of an America in which people are "judged by the content of their character," and not "by the color of their skin."

It's time to move on. It's time to heal. It's time to come together as "One Nation Under God".
God bless you.

And God bless America.

-----
Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action. (This information is provided for identification purposes only.) 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2016
Universal:
Human Solidarity: That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may find-even within the huge cities of the world-opportunities for encounter and solidarity.
Evangelization: Seminarians and Novices: That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Why don't people like Hillary Clinton? Yale researchers have an answer! Watch

Image of The reason many don't trust Clinton could just be a feature of her personality.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Apparently there's a scientific reason why people don't like Hillary Clinton. Two Yale researchers have found why she comes across as untrustworthy. Their findings also explain why Trump is popular. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - About 60 percent of voters view ... continue reading


Bernie Sanders dominates first night of Democratic primary Watch

Image of Bernie Sanders did a masterful job handing off his supporters to Hillary Clinton. But not all of them will go.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The first night of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia was much better than the first night of the Republican convention. It was also the most dangerous one. Fortunately, the evening was masterfully handled by Bernie Sanders in particular. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Abortion Poll: Trump-Pence Mainstream, Clinton-Kaine Extreme Watch

Image of Tim Kaine,Hillary Clinton,Donald Trump,Mike Pence

By Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski

Although Hillary Clinton and the beleaguered Democratic National Committee (DNC) are attempting to paint Donald Trump and Mike Pence as out of step with the country on abortion, new polling shows that a majority of Americans actually agree with Trump-Pence on ... continue reading


Here is a list of what the DNC has done, proving how corrupt it is Watch

Image of Hillary Clinton's campaign continues to tank as more evidence of corruption is revealed.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Eagle-eyed reporters are finding scandalous emails galore in the 20,000 email dump from Wikileaks. The list of sins of the DNC and Hillary Clinton continues to grow by the hour as people sift deeper and deeper into the trove of scandalous documents. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'Shame on you!': ex-DNC Chair booed and jeered after shocking emails reveal party schemed against Bernie Sanders Watch

Image of Debbie Wasserman Schultz attempts to stand against her critics (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

What is it with Democrats and emails? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After several thousand emails were leaked this weekend, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was asked to resign from her position.The emails revealed the ... continue reading


Why Obama's own BROTHER isn't voting for Hillary Clinton Watch

Image of Malik Obama supports Donald Trump.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Barack Obama may have endorsed Hillary Clinton, but his half brother is voting for Trump! The president's half brother told the New York Post he is voting for Trump because Trump "speaks from the heart." LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - President Obama has ... continue reading


'I would ask her to step aside': DNC chair pressured to resign Watch

Image of Debbie Wasserman Schultz pressured to resign.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Controversial emails continue to haunt the Democratic party. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The emails suggested the Democratic National Committee (DNC) favored Clinton during the primary and revealed possible evidence of the DNC attempting to destroy Bernie ... continue reading


Ted Cruz did WHAT at the Republican National Convention? Watch

Image of Ted Cruz was booed when the crowd realized he wouldn't be endorsing Donald Trump.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ted Cruz was booed during the Republican National Convention Wednesday night when it became clear he wouldn't be endorsing Donald Trump. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When the Texas senator took the stage Wednesday night, his 23-minute remarks began well.He ... continue reading


The people have won! Trump becomes official nominee Watch

Image of Donald Trump is the people's choice for president.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump is the official Republican nominee for president. Last night, Trump was officially awarded 1,725 delegates to become the nominee.  The total is well above the 1,237 required by the party rules. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - America has a ... continue reading


RNC convention opens with plagiarism accusation, Dems have worst record Watch

Image of The Republican National Convention opened last night with controversy over Melania Trump's speech.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Republicans kicked off their convention in Cleveland last night with a list of speakers addressing the theme, "Make America Safe Again." The event conveyed low energy, possibly because of the subject matter involved, but it was topped with an appearance by Donald Trump ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • How to be a missionary of mercy: Bishop Caggiano blows minds at WYD
  • St. Martha: Saint of the Day for Friday, July 29, 2016
  • Daily Readings for Friday, July 29, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Sunday, July 31st, 2016 HD Video
  • Popular country singer sings powerful, MUST-HEAR song to 'Pray for Peace'
  • A Prayer for Special Intentions HD Video
  • A world without nuclear weapons

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 18:1-6
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh as follows,2 'Get ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 146:1-2, 2-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, my soul!2 I will praise Yahweh all ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:47-53
47 'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet that is cast in the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 28th, 2016 Image

St. Innocent I
July 28: Innocent was born at Albano, Italy. He became ... Read More