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Obama explains the race issue in Trayvon Martin case

July 21, 2013

President Barach Obama made a surprise visit to the White House briefing room on Friday, to make some deeply personal comments on the Trayvon Martin case....

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Jul-26-13 4:37 PM

My statements were true for Minnesota. I can't speak for any other state. And, like I said it is easy for people to lie and receive benefits even though they are not eligible to receive them.

I have no problem with helping people in need. Our focus as a country should be first and foremost with helping our own citizens, however.

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Jul-26-13 3:02 PM

Zorro - We should punish those who profit from the illegals at taxpayers expense. I do not want to punish poor people who seek a better life, but should we not try to fix an extremely broken system, also?

Our Hispanic friends tell us that illegals send billions and billions of money back to Mexico. They are "poor" yet they send it back? Is that okay? And, how can that, along with the hundreds of billions spent to educate, house, give medical care, etc., etc., to them possibly help the US economy? Something is not right, & I can't see it ever changing.

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Jul-26-13 12:14 PM

JR-and your statement "Nobody who is undocumented can qualify for any welfare benefits." is not accurate-The existing landscape of immigrant eligibility is complex, shifting, and variable across and sometimes within states. Large variations in program choices and state and local implementation also add to the complexity.

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Jul-26-13 12:07 PM

JR-just some info-•In 2009 (based on data collected in 2010), 57 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal and illegal) with children (under 18) used at least one welfare program, compared to 39 percent for native households with children.

•Immigrant households’ use of welfare tends to be much higher than natives for food assistance programs and Medicaid. Their use of cash and housing programs tends to be similar to native households.

•A large share of the welfare used by immigrant households with children is received on behalf of their U.S.-born children, who are American citizens. But even households with children comprised entirely of immigrants (no U.S.-born children) still had a welfare use rate of 56 percent in 2009.

•Immigrant households with children used welfare programs at consistently higher rates than natives, even before the current recession. In 2001, 50 percent of all immigrant households with children used at least one welfare program, compar

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Jul-26-13 12:03 PM

Well punishing the poor for seeking a better life seems wrong-why not punish those who profit from the illegals at taxpayers expense?

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Jul-26-13 11:49 AM

cont.... It is a dilemma for both countries. The illegals are trying to find a better life. Companies in the U.S. are luring them, & their country is encouraging them. My relatives & members of their community find lots of garbage, including dirty diapers & used drug debris, among other nasty things on their properties. It's all a mess. What should be done?

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Jul-26-13 11:41 AM

Zorro - Our Hispanic friends say that they came to the U.S. to have a better life, to escape political oppression & to escape the horrific illegal drug industry. Yes. There are those who advertise for cheap labor here, but our friends say Mexico pays little to nothing, so what is offered in the U.S. is appealing. Both countries are in the wrong.

Our friends, also, say that Mexico encourages illegal immigration, even sending numerous criminals across the border, so their country doesn't have to deal with them. They, also, say that millions of dollars are sent back to Mexico from the illegals who earn money in the U.S. cont...

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Jul-26-13 9:57 AM


Just how does an "illegal" get benefits such as food support and medicaid ?

Nobody who is undocumented can qualify for any welfare benefits. It kind of shoots some pretty big holes in your theory. They do sometimes receive benefits anyway and do so by providing fraudulant documents - in much the same way they obtain these jobs from all of those greedy businesses.

There is more to the story than you either know or are willing to share.

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Jul-26-13 9:24 AM

Grandma D-I did not say it was Ok for ilegals to cross the border, my point was and is-it is wrong t assume. And grandmawhy do they cross the border? Here in MN we have companies that advertise for workers in southern border states to bring cheap labor here. They then pay wages too low to live on, and send them to the local human services for food support, medical assisstance, ect. So is the problem those seeking a better life or the companies trying to make a profit off illegals?

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Jul-25-13 4:52 PM

Zorromcgee - So, because there have been Spanish-speaking people of Spanish descent in Arizona since 1540, it is okay for thousands upon thousands of illegals to cross the border? If that is the point you are trying to make, I disagree.

I am NOT assuming anything. I posted what was stated by my relatives who have lived in Tucson for almost 40 years. Once, again, they made their statement based on illegals who committed crimes & were CAUGHT. Nothing was assumed - they were illegal.

My relatives have numerous Hispanic friends who are legal residents, many of whom feel the same way as my relatives. Are they discriminating against their own people?

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Jul-25-13 4:25 PM

GrandmaD-there have been people of spanish decent in Arizona since 1540, how long have your friends lived there. Since spanish speaking people have lived there for almost 500 years, how can you assume they are illegal?

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Jul-25-13 10:04 AM

cont... The rape happened several years ago. I don't know what the statistics of black on white rape was. I just said what she said at that time, which wasn't clear in my original post. He was convicted, but served very little time. Protestors claimed it was discrimination because he was black & she was white.

Again, I know that discrimination exists. I asked in these situations if this was discrimination or if they were justified in how they feel. In my opinion, my friends, relatives, & my classmate's friend were justified in how they feel.

I ask, again, how do we fix it? Just saying that they were discriminating isn't the answer because they don't feel that they were. My relatives invite anyone to come live where they do & experience what they are going through.

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Jul-25-13 9:39 AM

coschno - Friends in Willmar reported their stolen items immediately & could see their items a few houses away from theirs. It was their word against those who took them. They were told they should take it up in court. With several Hispanics crying discrimination, they said to tell you that it wasn't worth the ill will being directed at them.

Relatives in Tucson say to tell you that they base their statements on the thousands of illegals caught. When they meet as a community to try to find solutions, they are accused of being racist. cont....

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Jul-25-13 12:34 AM

GrandmaD, your anecdotes are puzzling. If your Willmar friends knew the thieves were Hispanic and tried to reclaim their items directly, why didn't they go to the police afterwards? Your Tuscon friends are afraid to go out of their homes because of the crimes of "illegals", but if the criminals were caught, they would already be deported, and if they weren't caught, there's no way to know they were in AZ illegally. Your college friend "states that black on white rape is rampant", even though (by one national study) over 75% of white and black rape victims were assaulted by members of their own race. I don't actually know if these people discriminate, but I'm certainly not convinced otherwise.

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Jul-24-13 12:02 PM

cont... Are they guilty of discrimination? Are they justified in feeling fear? How do we fix it?

Going back to Fischer's comment from July 21st - YES- White teenage boys, as well as white girls DO get watched at Target, in gas stations, etc. I have family down South, and white teenagers get watched there, also. Is that discrimination, also?

We have White, Hispanic, Black,& Asian friends. We all treat each other the same, & we all know there are problems with discrimination. We all feel that all races are guilty of it in some situations.

As for clutching purses in elevators and locking our car doors, we always do it because people of every color are perpetrators, and people of every color are victims as well.

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Jul-24-13 11:50 AM

What happened in the past in regards to slavery is horrific. I am ashamed that my country was a part of such a travesty, but I didn't do it, & I cannot change it. Sometimes I just get tired of the race card always getting played in every situation.

Our friends in Willmar moved to the other side of town because of the rise in Hispanic crime where they lived. They were accused of discrimination when they tried to reclaim items that were stolen from them. They moved after two stabbings in their neighborhood.

Relatives in Tucson say they are afraid to go out of their home at night because of crimes of illegals. They are accused of discrimination.

A classmate moved from the West side of Chicago after her pregnant friend was brutally raped by a black man. She states black on white rape is rampant. She is accused of discrimination. cont.....

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Jul-23-13 1:47 PM

I think that although MT may not be racist he is prejudiced. I believe there is a difference. I believe we are all prejudice to some extent...especially in places like New Ulm where there is really no exposure to other people other than middle class white. Also, I want to say there is a huge difference between African Americans and Africans. Doing missionary work in Africa is not getting to know and being nice to the African Americans that live in the States. I have been to Africa a few times and have some African American friends...same color skin does not mean they have the same culture... Just another example of prejudism...thinking all people with dark skin is the same.

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Jul-23-13 10:43 AM

Michael, Ill will is precisely what you hold. When you attribute a certain human characteristic simply because of their skin color you are being racist.

Your previous comment stated people feel they are owed something only because the color of their skin. I interpret the "owed something" statement to them being motivationally challenged (or lazy in layman's terms). Your statement concludes that the reason for them being motivationally challenged is due to their skin color. This implies two things: First their skin color is the cause of their challenged state; and that people of other races do not display this same challenged position. Both of those points are false.

It's wonderful that you have, and will I'm sure, help your fellow man. I really think you need to re-think your stance on attributing certain behaviors based only on one's skin color.

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Jul-23-13 9:48 AM

MT-so when radicals on the left marched in Selma that was racism? When radicals on the left were murdered fighting for civil rights that was racism? When radicals on the left worked for integration that was racism? MT given that you have destroyed any credibility you may have had with your comments, it might be wise not to bring credibility into the conversation.

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Jul-23-13 9:29 AM

WOW! Racism was invented by the left to control free speech! Well folks the tin foil hat is tight on MT's head today! Did the left invent the "Jim Crow" laws to limit free speech? Did the left invent segregation to limit free speech? Every time I think MT has hit a new low he grabs a shovel.......

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Jul-23-13 8:28 AM

"I resent it when people of another race act as though I owe them someone simply because they are of that race."

I assume you meant "something" ?

For starters, what is it they are owed by you ? Is it like welfare programs ?

Can you demonstrate to me (all of us) just how someone uses their race and race alone to get "what is owed to them" ?

Could it more likely be the case that this "owed something because of their race" is nothing more than your own perception and in reality has no basis in fact ? If this is indeed the case (and I believe it is) it can only be described as racism.

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Jul-23-13 1:26 AM

Michael: You may want to take a moment to reconsider your attitude about race. "Leaning over backwards to be civil and considerate" demonstrates veiled racism. Isn't that treating or judging someone by the color of their skin and not the content of their character? People just want to be treated fairly and with respect. If you meet someone that has a Caucasian father and an African-American mother, would you only lean over backwards 50%? Please give an example of a person of another race acting as if you owe them something simply because of their race.

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Jul-22-13 5:45 PM


When you attribute the characteristics of some people to the entire group you are being prejudice. When you attribute characteristics or behaviors to a group of people merely due to the color of their skin you are being a racist.

You can decide for yourself whether those terms apply to you.

Both sides in this whole trial debate have been guilty of making gross generalizations. Each side should realize the other has valid opinions and beliefs. Leaders, such as our president, should recognize this and work to establish common ground for both sides to be able to stand on. Remember the beer summit ?

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Jul-22-13 12:55 PM

When it comes to advancing race relations on our planet, nobody alive can stand up to Nelson Mandela, not even our beloved president...


Do you find it acceptable when someone of the same race as you "think that you owe them something" ? Or is it just their race that you resent ? I can see where people will get upset over the "something for nothing" or the "there is a free lunch" crowd but to pin that attitude on a person's or a groups's race is way off the mark. Some would even say that it's racist...

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Jul-22-13 11:51 AM

Just because people do missionary work in Africa does not mean they can't be racist. Sometimes I think it may be the opposite. My sister was talking about her church doing missionary work in Africa and more or less talked about those "poor Africans" and how they were going to show them the light by showing them God. What is it called when you assume that your way is better than theirs? I also very much applaud Obama for his thoughts on the matter. Being married to one of those poor Africans has made me realize how far we still need to come to overcome racism and racial profiling. There is nothing like being pulled over at 9:30 in the morning a block from home and being questioned what I was smoking (not in New Ulm luckily) or eating here at a local restaurant and being stared at and having the waiter talk to about us with the table next to us. I have lived in small towns and large towns and it exists.

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