Six years and three months into office, and the first African-American president still hasn’t solved race relations in this country.
There was Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida; the riots of Ferguson, Missouri; Eric Garner in Staten Island; 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland; and Walter Scott in South Carolina. And now there is Baltimore.
And once again, the son of a Kenyan father and a Kansan mother who avoided making race an issue in his groundbreaking run for president in 2008 is confronted both by those demanding that he do more to heal racial divisions and those who believe that his involvement only makes things worse.
Fixing race relations by himself is an impossible task, but Tuesday, the president made it clear: He’s choosing action.
In what amounted to a 14-minute speech, President Obama used the unrest in Baltimore to steer the national conversation toward the issues of poverty, community relations, and race. He wanted to go beyond the immediate case and put it in the context of the problems facing poor neighborhoods all over the country, the White House said.