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."
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.
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:
If Obama had a son he would look like Aaron Alexis http://t.co/CWpPObavg4— Fred from Brooklyn (@FredBrooklyn) September 16, 2013
Elizabeth Nelson, a Jacksonville, Florida blogger:
What, Obama is going to react to local news, again? "If I had a son, he would have looked and acted like Aaron Alexis."— Elizabeth Nelson (@ElizabethNels0n) September 16, 2013
Travis McMahon, who I point out largely because he makes sure followers know he is a "#Christian."
If Obama had a son, he would look like Aaron Alexis.— Travis McMahon (@travmac94) September 16, 2013
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.
.@piersmorgan It is also an undeniable fact that areas sought out for these massacres are areas w/strict gun control. Like DC... Like today.— Robert Zimmerman JR (@rzimmermanjr) September 16, 2013
*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.
TODAY IN SLATE
Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.
The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly
A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently
How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully
On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.