Our current president is a disaster when discussing racism. From saying “There’s my African-American over there!” to lying about Black unemployment, Trump probably doesn’t even know the difference between race and nationality. On the other hand, President Barack Obama was brilliant when discussing race. Considering Melania Trump clearly studies Michelle Obama, Donald Trump should do the same when it comes to Barack Obama.
Here are notable moments when Obama gave an honest take on race in America.
Obama in 2013: The Trayvon Martin Verdict
On the night of February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin was murdered by George Zimmerman. In July of 2013, Zimmerman was shockingly acquitted. On July 19, 2013, Obama made an unscheduled appearance at the White House Press Briefing Room and gave a powerful speech on race and the Black community. President Obama famously said Trayvon could’ve been his son, which was one of the most memorable moments of his presidency. Watch below.
Obama in 2014: Discussing Police Brutality With BET
Shortly after the grand jury decision not to indict NYPD office Daniel Pantaleo for the chokehold death of Eric Garner, Obama gave an exclusive interview to BET about race relations. He dived deep into the tensions between Black communities and police officers, offering healing and possible solutions. This is how you handle police brutality, Trump — not encourage cops to break the law and be more aggressive. Watch below:
Obama in 2015: Eulogy For The Nine Members Of Emanuel AME Church
In June of 2015, the country was mourning the horrific shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, which left nine members of the Emanuel AME dead. Obama gave the eulogy and skillfully discussed the intersections of race and faith. “When there were laws banning all-Black church gatherers, services happened here anyway in defiance of unjust laws,” he said. “When there was a righteous movement to dismantle Jim Crow, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached from its pulpit, and marches began from its steps. A sacred place, this church, not just for Blacks, not just for Christians but for every American who cares about the steady expansion of human rights and human dignity in this country.” This is a must-see:
Obama In 2015: 50th Anniversary Of Selma March
For the 50th anniversary of the march in Selma, President Obama would give one of his biggest speeches on race. What some may not know are the interviews he gave beforehand — as he traveled to Alabama on Air Force One, five Black journalists joined him on the flight and were each given a chance to ask a question. The journalists, writing for publications such as the New York Times, ESSENCE and Grantland, published their stories after the anniversary. Watch the Selma speech below.
Obama in 2015: Talking Baltimore With David Letterman
Usually, Obama’s trips to late night shows are about campaigning or to escape Washington and connect with the American people. In this case, he was bidding farewell to David Letterman before he retired. Perhaps it was unavoidable given the tensions in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, but the President gave a nuanced answer about the climate of Baltimore. Unlike the current administration, he didn’t reprimand activists, he explained why there was an uprising.
At the start of Black History Month, we sincerely miss President Barack Obama.