Navy Yard Shooting Suspect Aaron Alexis is Black, So Obviously Twitter Jerks Are Making Identical Obama/Trayvon Martin Jokes

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 16 2013 5:47 PM

"If Obama Had a Son He Would Look Like Aaron Alexis"

In the great lexicon of "Obama Quotes That Make Conservatives* Furious," almost nothing compares to his reaction to the legal quagmire that followed the killing of Trayvon Martin. Last year, after the Martin case had been simmering for a few days, the president made some short, prepared remarks about how the case disturbed him. "My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin," said the president. "If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon."

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Supporters of the Martin family swooned; one popular photoshop meme placed Martin, who was 17 when he died, in an Obama family photo. Obama's critics accused him of racial division and bias. The "if I had a son" quote really stuck in the craw, and the acquittal of Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, didn't unstick it.

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To wit: Shortly before 5 p.m., the FBI released a photo of Aaron Alexis, the (deceased) suspect in a mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. that's claimed at least 12 victims. Alexis was a 33-year old black man. You know who else is a black man? Gentlemen, start your memes. Radio host Joe Pags:

Richard Buckley, a Boston-based "law enforcement" specialist:

"Fred from Brooklyn," a podcaster with (obviously) a great sense of humor:

Elizabeth Nelson, a Jacksonville, Florida blogger:

Travis McMahon, who I point out largely because he makes sure followers know he is a "#Christian."

And if you so choose, reader, you can find more people with noms de Internet and small follower lists knocking this same funny bone. It's very important for the Internet to remind liberals that they're wrong and naive about guns, and the Zimmerman case is the most ready proof of this. After Piers Morgan tweeted that it's an "undeniable fact that mass shootings in America have surged since 2007," Zimmerman's brother Robert swooped in to demolish him.

*Obviously I'm not trying to indict the tens of millions of conservatives who AREN'T thinking this when I point out the individuals who are. Just saying that "if I had a son..." has been a fury-making quote on the right for a while; independently, these people who self-ID as conservative reacted to the Aaron Alexis news by remembering and boomeranging that quote.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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