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Hope Obama Was No Martin

Whites are more likely than blacks to agree with the decision the Florida jury made in the George Zimmerman trial according to a Pew Research Center poll done last week. The fact that the jury found Zimmerman not guilty has brought about protest across the nation.

The poll found that around half of white Americans said that they were satisfied that Zimmerman was acquitted on the charges of murder in the Trayvon Martin case while only five percent of black Americans felt the same way. The survey of 1,400 adults showed that 86 percent of black Americans were not pleased with the jury verdict compared to 30 percent of whites.

The numbers were almost the same in a Gallop poll of more than 2,500 adults that was also done last week. It found that 54 percent of whites surveyed felt that the Zimmerman verdict was right compared to only seven percent of blacks. Both surveys found that whites were more likely than blacks to not state an opinion on the case.

The Pew poll found that Americans are also split politically on the verdict with Democrats more in disagreement that Republicans, who were more positive about the verdict. The survey showed that 80 percent of Tea Party Conservatives were satisfied with the decision compared to 61 percent of all Republicans and 22 percent of Democrats.

The survey also showed that younger Americans were less likely to be satisfied with the verdict than older Americans and that women were less satisfied than men.

The Pew poll also found that Americans are split on what the trial means concerning race in the United States. Seventy-eight percent of black Americans feel that the Zimmerman case raised issues about race compared to 28 percent of whites. Sixty percent of whites felt that race was getting more attention than it should a feeling that was shared by only 13 percent of black Americans.

The Gallop poll found that more than two thirds of black people believe that the American justice system is against blacks, a number that has stayed about the same since the question was asked in polls conducted in 1993 and 2008. Only 25 percent of white Americans feel the same way and the number has decreased over the past two decades.

President Obama has said that it is time for Americans to search their souls on race and look for ways to move forward after the shooting and trial in Florida. He went on to say that if he had a son the boy would have looked like Martin and that Trayvon Martin could have been him 35 years ago.

The President said that distrust follows black men. Sometimes they are followed when they shop at department stores, when they walk down the street and when they are on elevators, things that he had felt before becoming a well-known person.

Obama also said that black Americans feel there are racial differences in how laws are applied on the death penalty and in drug cases.

We all certainly hope that our president was not the type person Martin was 35 years ago because the evidence showed that the young man did not have a good reputation and had been involved over his short life span in things we would hope that none of our elected officials would do.

From the political standpoint it is hard to understand how Obama could feel that this country is racially divided because he surely knows that a large percentage of white Americans voted for him on two occasions.

Finally, former President Jimmy Carter said in an interview following the Zimmerman verdict that he felt the Florida jury made the right decision and my feelings are the same as Mr. Carterís.

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