I call upon all Americans to support our president's call to self-examine our nation in regard to race. Let's drop the emotions and gather the facts. Self-examination without facts is fantasy.
I do not discount our president's feelings or experience, but I suggest the solution is in rational analysis.
To that end we should gather all the data we know the government has on race: crime across racial lines; government inflows versus outflows across racial lines; volunteer rates versus client rates in service organizations across racial lines; military service across racial lines; and other data so we can say for a fact whether we are an apartheid nation as the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton suggest, or we are not.
TampaGain control of community
President Obama used his personal experiences as a black man to highlight the problems of racial profiling. I am confident that such incidents are common, but let's examine the reason they occur.
I am an old white guy who generally attracts no attention. But if I were to dress in the attire of a hoodlum I am confident I would be noticed. Why? Because my attire would cause me to be associated with undesirables and trouble-makers.
Unfortunately for the vast majority of black people, their skin color causes them to be associated with that minority of blacks who are hoodlums. So how can we address this issue?
We cannot demand that every white respect every black. We cannot demand that the government attempt to enforce universal love. We cannot demand that prejudice be banished from every human heart, black or white. The vast majority of blacks must accept the responsibility of gaining control of the hoodlums in their midst. The actions of the two black hoodlums who shot a baby in a stroller because the mother had no money reflect badly on every black.
Black leaders should lead the effort to gain control and take vigorous actions to rid the black community of uncontrolled and uncontrollable young men and women, drugs, wanton sexual behavior, parentless families, crime, excessive dependence on the government, failure to accept responsibility for oneself, lack of respect for others, and lack of respect for human life, etc.
James P. Whitaker
LutzObama and Antonio
Regarding the president "addressing race during a surprise White House speech:" It was noble of him to do so.
But he could have done more on the issue if he had given that speech a few months ago - maybe in Chicago, where black kids are shot every week by other black kids; it's my hometown, where gun laws are some of the strictest of any city).
He could have addressed the murder of a 13-month-old white child, shot in the face as he lay innocently in his mother's stroller in Georgia; two black teens have been charged with murder.
The boys did not get the media attention that George Zimmerman did - and they will not face the death penalty, according to the courts. But the baby, Antonio West, is dead - and it is as tragic as Trayvon Martin's death. And it was not called a "hate crime." And the president could not say, "If I had a boy, he would look just like Antonio."
Until the president, polititians and parents address the problems black kids face, in places like Chicago, there will continue to be race issues - that is where "soul searching" is needed most.
If Washingon would give black teens some hope (jobs and education), the race issue would slowly disappear.
There is much work to do - not just soul searching. Justice is for all colors. Little Antonio was someone's child.
I wonder if President Obama would have been so quick to demand that we "soul search" if George Zimmerman had been found guilty?
If he had watched the trial faithfully, as I did, he would have realized that the state did not have the evidence needed to convict Zimmerman of any crime. This in no way appeared to be based on race.
What if it was clear to our president that Zimmerman did act in self- defense, but the jury chose to vote him guilty? Would he still have respond so negatively against the verdict?
One would expect more from a president who is supposed to support our justice system for all, regardless the color of skin.
The people of Sanford asked for a trial and got it. Accept it, and move on.
Not an issue
The groups of students and young professionals that camped out at the Capitol in Tallahassee should do some research on their claims that "stand your ground" laws hurt the black community. According to statistics, one-third of the people claiming "stand your ground" reasons for shootings are black, double the percentage of the black population in Florida. A majority of their claims have been successful.
People are so quick to jump on the Trayvon Martin band wagon that they have not looked at the facts of the case and are using emotion to claim the moral high ground. They look foolish because they don't know what they are talking about. According to reports, "stand your ground" was never claimed in the trial and was not an issue.
I want to send a shout-out to the seventh-floor orthopedic section at Tampa General Hospital. My recent stay (hip replacement) of two days could not have been better. All the personnel, from medical to support people, made my stay and situation much more tolerable. Thanks to everyone.