Examiner: Obama Says Black Men Have "Less Margin for Error"

Originally published at the Washington Examiner.

President Obama in an interview airing Monday evening said that much of the public backlash to police-involved killings in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City is driven by the belief that minorities have “less margin for error” with law enforcement officials.

“Part of what I think is so heartbreaking and frustrating for a lot of folks when they watch this is the recognition that simply by virtue of color, you’ve got less margin for error,” Obama said in an interview with BET. “That’s particularly true for black boys.”

Obama has been on the defensive in the wake of grand juries deciding not to indict white police officers in killings of black men in Ferguson and Staten Island, with some accusing the nation’s first black president of being too passive.

He insisted in the interview that his administration was doing everything within its power to address the concerns of predominantly minority communities.

“Sometimes people’s concerns are not based on fact,” Obama said. “If you look at what happened after Michael Brown, what happened after Trayvon [Martin], if you look at the decision after Eric Garner, I’m being pretty explicit about my concern … the fact that this is a systematic problem, that black folks and Latinos and others are just not making this up.”

The president added that some people are frustrated because he hasn’t said, “This is what the outcome should have been.”

“That I cannot do institutionally,” Obama explained. “I’m not putting my thumb on the scale of justice. It could compromise investigations.”

Since the lack of indictments in Missouri and New York, protests have continued across major cities nationwide.

The president commended peaceful protests, saying that a “country’s conscience sometimes has to be triggered by some inconvenience.”

Read more at the Washington Examiner.


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  • williamC says:

    December 11, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    Then Stop committing crimes and try to get an education and look for work.

  • williamC says:

    December 11, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    Black or white or otherwise, if you dress like a thug, act like a thug, talk like a thug – how else would you think people look at you? The key is to try to look, act and speak respectfully, which will get you a whole lot more sympathy and support than looting, rioting, attacking others just because you are angry. How much did destroying a large part of Ferguson accomplish? Nothing, except to make the town poorer and attract the National Guard and other police forces.

  • Kevin Hancock says:

    December 11, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Hi Dinesh, I am an X-Scientologist. I know there is a lot of negative propaganda about the Scientology, but if it wasn’t for the classes in ethics, and self responsibility I took to understand what contra survival acts, and withholding contra survival acts do to your own integrity, I would probably be dead by now.
    I really appreciate all you are doing for our country! There are 2 basic books that Hubbard wrote Introduction to Scientology Ethics, and Problems of Work which I am sure you would really enjoy reading, and along with these books the confronting drills which the psychologists, and psychiatrists hate are truly essential.
    One of the biggest confusions in society is the differentiation between confronting, and affronting. These 2 terms seem to be purposely confused by the liberals who want to control, and be in everyone’s minds.
    Hope you read the 2 books I suggest here, you can buy older versions off E-Bay which are preferred to the newer versions which have been modified by people who have infiltrated Scientology, to water down the technology.

  • dragonflash says:

    December 11, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    Too bad they aren’t protesting all the black babies murdered by abortion. Grow up, take responsibility for your actions and become productive ADULTS. NOT children playing at being adults. Quit having babies and raising them to be criminals, if you don’t abort them.

  • William Smith says:

    December 11, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    As I see it, the problem is NOT mainly a Black issue, at least not as portrayed by those who cannot interpret reality in any other way but racially. The problem is a criminal behavior issue. And it is no secret that criminal behavior is to be found in the Black community in shockingly disproportionate numbers to their population as a whole. If the rates of criminal behavior of the white and black population were equal, I do believe the rates of police/criminal confrontation would also be nearly identical. And if any significant disparity were to be found, then it might REASONABLY be attributable to the remnants of racism. But until the black community decides to focus , not on racism, but on altering the self-destructive culture of anti-white, anti-police, anti-authority, misogynistic, anti-education (it’s a ‘white’ thing) self-hating, and, yes, thuggish persona emanating from their culture, the disproportionate number of confrontations, sometimes deadly, between the police and the black community will continue, ….and so will the the blind, knee jerk slogans of racism from the charlatans.

  • Marilyn says:

    December 11, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    They left out the word—-Bro. Blacks are killed more by other blacks.

  • Claudia says:

    December 11, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    Maybe you should talk to your ‘brothers’ and make a pact to quit killing each other. Then get an education and go to work. Keep your wiggle wanger in your britches and stop siring kids unless you want to stay with mom and help raise them. Children need good fathers. And while you’re at it, wear your britches at your waist and stop showing off your underwear!

  • Missy says:

    December 12, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    @ williamC – OMG so much ignorance coming out of the mouth of a fool; I wish the hell someone would judge me by my appearance (stereotyping, labeling and passing judgment is your forte without giving and individual a benefit of a doubt) and not the character within. Do you know how foolish this sounds? Judging a book by it’s cover is pure ignorance. I could careless what someone thinks of me. I have a degree, work (been on my job for 16 years and counting) and dress however the heck I want to. That’s The Problem With People Like You Today!!!! Shame On You!!!

  • Missy says:

    December 12, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    This is also for the rest of you ignorant fooks like Claudia white people kill each other too, Marilyn stop lying to yourself and check the statistics, dragonfish whites have abortions too, stop eliminating your culture for their crimes too like you all are Saints, NOT. We all have a judgment day, there’s is only one God whom created us All!!!

  • Michelle says:

    December 12, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    By this logic, we should lump all white people together as serial killers, child molestors and cannibals? Gimme a break! EVERY RACE has the same problems: disease, economic issues, and death, etc. and at the end of the day, we all want justice when a person and worse, a person in authority, murders your child, period.

  • J mitchell says:

    December 16, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Stop being pimpin,producer,wanabe rappin,thug ass criminals get a square job and take care of those poor kids you brought in the world and the19 year old girl with 4or5 kids your sorry black ass left her with. Stop blaming whitey and marching up and down the road and go your sorry ass to work!

  • MEL says:

    December 16, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    For those commenting on how these individuals dress you are falling for the propoganda. It DOES NOT MATTER HOW A BLACK MAN DRESSES OR BEHAVES ITS SIMPLY BECAUSE HE IS BLACK…I don’t care about your denial of it. I black off-duty detective was profiled by the police….his video has been posted on youtube….Stephen Smith the newscaster from ESPN stated he GETS PULLED OVER MONTHLY…….his video has been posted…..so UNTIL YOU WALK IN A BLACK PERSON’S SHOES….YOU HAVE NO PLACE (not that we care anyway) TO SPEAK ABOUT HOW THEY SHOULD OR SHOULDN’T BE REACTING……funny how the oppressor wants to keep telling his oppressed how to behave and what to think…..

  • Randy says:

    December 20, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    The folks at the top, are winning, its the oldest plan in the book, divide and conquer, cops don’t just shoot black folks, they shoot whites as well, but the race baiters don’t make a scene over that, it don’t fit the narrative, I am a white man, I have been imprisoned for 13 years of my life, Cops tried to set me up many times, tried to shoot me as well, I have had my rights violated on the side of the road, but these problems will never get solved, because there is to much division, We the People will have to come together, and see it for what it truly is, a tyrannical government, and they don’t care what color you are, bullets do not discriminate, the demoncrats have managed to trick 95 percent of the black community, that’s 12 percent of the population, some are waking up, but until we are all on the same page, the powers that be will continue to use that wedge, to keep the people divided, because if we as a people would wake up, and unite, we would throw both political parties out on their ass, and that my friend is just the way it is….

  • Charles O McVey Sr says:

    December 25, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    When I was a child living on the reservation, I learned very quick that there were those who hated me on both sides. There were those who hated me because I was not pure blood, and there were Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics who hated me because they looked at me as being a Native American. Around the age of 5 my mother and father left the reservation and moved to Ohio, I attended school there until I was 17 years of age, and enlisted in the Army. I finished High School in the Army, got a College Education also while in the Army, and am now retired and 100% disabled veteran. I got away from the hatred from both sides, and took the initiative to get an education. I am 71 years of age and back in college to get an MA in Political Science, I have never stood still in getting an education, I learned it is not what you are but who you want to be that matters, if you want to be a punk or thug and blame every person who is not a part of your minority then that is all you will ever be. Each person must take the initiative to improve their lot in life, it is not up to anyone but YOU. It has nothing to do with the pigmentation of your skin, or the blood in your veins, because we all bleed red. Wake up and smell the coffee and look around at the damage and destruction that you have done, you have put people out of work because you got angry at Nine White People and three Black people who did not see things as you did and you then decided to destroy you home town and the business there in and putting you neighbors out of work, now that is just plain stupid.

  • blackirish says:

    January 3, 2015 at 3:52 AM

    i was doing well lurking until i read mel’s politically correct diatribe. i guess according to him i cannot comment on the israeli/’palestinian’ situation because i am not jewish, or comment on abortion since i am not a woman.

    at least my mirror tells me i am black, so i guess i have his permission. /sarc

    i am fortunate enough to have experienced very few instances of overt racism. then i do encounter it, i do not hit the speed dial for sharpton, jackson or any other poverty pimp.

    when i realized that i was followed for 15 minutes by a security guard in one store, i went straight to customer service, showed them the $200 i planned to spend there, and politely informed them that since i was considered a potential shoplifter rather than a customer, they just lost business.

    when i was a delivery driver, i was in the elevator when two white men in suits entered, with one of them telling an off color and thinly veiled racist joke, i informed them that their humor was execrable and suggested they purchase a good dictionary and thesaurus. if stunned silence could be turned into gold, i would have been rich.

    i am a substitute teacher, teaching all grades from kindergarten through high school. i always dress with slacks, a dress shirt and tie. not because i am black, but because children need a good role model. when i am not in work clothes, i still dress that way, even if i am just going to the supermarket.

    if you dress, talk and act like a thug, do not be surprised when you are treated like one. many people may not give you another chance to counteract a negative first impression. i act they way i do not because i am black, but that being black is just a part of me. if you leave an encounter with me and all you can think of is ‘the black guy’ then the failure is mine for not showing more of what makes me unique.

    not that i care about how people dress. i gave a student a compliment on his two foot multicolored mohawk and he was shocked. i told him that it was well done, was not greasy, and showed style. i looked beyond the obvious shock value and saw the artistry.

    by the way mel, america is a free country and the first amendment still applies. i will talk about anything i want.