Historian: Trayvon Martin will be dark moment in U.S. history, Obama now part of story

Historian: Trayvon Martin will be dark moment in U.S. history, Obama now part of story

Being the first African-American president has put President Barack Obama in an interesting, sometimes difficult position when it comes to issues involving race. Back in 2008, then-candidate Obama distanced himself from controversial remarks made by his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

“The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we have never really worked through. A part of our union that we have not yet made perfect,” Obama said in Philadelphia in 2008.

“That was a brilliantly crafted speech, that’s one for the ages,” Douglas Brinkley, presidential historian with Rice University, said of the 2008 remarks.

Friday’s speech – when in unscheduled and unusually personal remarks Obama tried to explain why African-Americans were upset about last week’s acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin – were less historical, according to Brinkley.

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