If you didn’t hear the President’s remarks about the emotions stirred up as a result of the Trayvon Martin case and the George Zimmerman verdict, click on the video below. He preempted the first 18 minutes of the usual White House press briefing on Friday to speak about the reaction to the verdict, especially as it affects African Americans and African American males. It was a reflective and sobering talk, not designed to comment on the verdict itself or to rally people’s anger, but to encourage soul searching and dialog.
But if you scroll to near the end (minute 15:45) you’ll hear a remarkable comment that’s consistent with that we’ve been saying at SafeKids.com and ConnectSafely.org. The President was talking mostly about attitudes about race but, reading between the lines, I think he was speaking more broadly about a generation that is kinder, more socially conscious and more tolerant than previous generations. That applies — for the most part — to how young people treat each other, including people who are different from them whether that be based on race, gender, sexual orientation, body type, political beliefs and so many other ways that people can be special.
Speaking about his own children, the President said:
When I talk to Malia and Sasha and I listen to their friends and I see them interact, they are better than we were. … And that’s true with every community I’ve visited across the country.
We should also have confidence that kids have more sense than we did back then and certainly more than our parents and our grandparent did along this long difficult journey. We’re becoming a more perfect union. Not a perform union, but a more perfect union.”