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-- -- -- -- 35 years ago there are very few African American men in this country -- haven't had the experience of being followed when they were -- and department -- That includes me.
There for very very few African American men -- -- experience.
Walking across the street and hearing.
A -- split on the doors of course.
Welcome to The Journal Editorial Report I'm -- ago that was President Obama.
On Friday speaking in very personal terms about race in the wake of George -- acquittal.
In the murder of Florida -- -- on -- the president's comments came as protests continue.
Across the country and pressure grows from some quarters.
To bring federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman wall street journal editorial board member Jason Riley joins me with more reaction of the president Jason.
That could've been -- -- -- could have been me 35 yours what's your reaction to bat in his room.
Well Paul is right.
That could have been him it could have been me 101520 years ago the question is why is that why have.
Perceptions of blackmail criminality persisted for so many decades.
In this country can't be because we haven't made progress on race he's saying that as president.
So what is behind this perception I would argue it's hard statistical data showing that young black males.
Just like they did 35 years ago continue to commit a disproportionate number of crimes and that is what is beating.
This this percent.
But I thought he respond you're calm making that point that was very that was controversial in some quarters but -- a lot of response and I thought the president was responding to you at one point in that speech.
Where he said that doesn't mean the African American community is night -- that young black men are not disproportionately.
-- that was his words involved in the criminal justice system.
As victims and perpetrators do you think that.
He went far enough and that explanation.
I think that needs to be the whole discussion and clearly I think President Obama wanted to drag other.
-- relevant factors into this but that needs to be the whole debate if we want to change the black -- perception and perception of black males in this country.
Young black men need to change their behavior and again Paul this is not just.
Oh whites who have these perceptions remember Jesse Jackson famously -- -- -- in -- dark Alley and look behind -- and -- white people.
I feel relief so this is something that that permeates both races all races and it's and it's common sense this is not -- Irrational.
Response given the data on constant.
But you know its interest in the president talked in personal terms -- Eric Holder.
Did that earlier this week to the NAACP he said basically I had been stopped in in Georgetown as a young prosecutor.
When I was late to a movie.
Running to a movie and an -- and they're both saying this is why this case resonate so much with people in the in the African American community isn't that.
Isn't responding to that sense.
And and it becomes anger at some point frustration certainly isn't that an appropriate role for the president and attorney -- Well I think.
The more responsible thing for them to do in the positions that they hold.
Is to say that the black community need to top -- that black leaders.
Parents children ministers teachers what have you but that this is -- conversation that we need to have.
About -- behavior.
But when I saw the president in this conference -- I thought.
Barack Obama as community activists here real activists typically.
Do not unite people they divide people here we have the president.
Dragging race into a case.
And giving sort of comfort or justification.
To the black civil rights leaders and who have who have who have been trying to racial -- this case from day one and I think holder and Obama's responsibility here with.
Cool down the temperature and -- what they were saying what they -- and saying is that.
There is some justification.
For what we've been hearing from the Al Sharpton -- -- Jesse Jackson's out there.
And that is not helpful but he did say that the jury has spoken and that we hear -- and he -- said there's no justification here for any kind of violence that was an important confession because it looks like justice has no case that.
They can't go after her thumb Zimmerman on -- hate crime which is what some of the civil rights community are helping our our hoping the justice I think I heard the president -- -- -- -- -- -- At least as I interpreted I think I heard him say two to his supporters look I don't think there's a case here I don't think we're going to be able to bring up.
And therefore I'm siding with -- I'm I'm going to show you demonstrate to you how much I I understand where you're coming front where you think that was part of the political calculus.
Sure but we also know that the political calculation speaking political calculations that.
This president has not.
To use racial division.
To further his political agenda I think that this is -- -- -- with calling you know voter ID laws throwback to Jim Crow.
With saying that the civil right of the voting rights act of 1965 every aspect of it is still relevant today and -- you don't thinks you're some sort of -- us.
Out of continue to promote racial preferences in higher education so that's -- President and his attorney general -- this administration.
Has not hesitated to drag race and issues to divide the country along racial lines when it served their political agenda.
All right Jason Riley thanks very much glad to have you here for this.
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