Recently President Obama offered some much-analyzed comments on the Zimmerman verdict and racism in America. But I believe I could have written his comments far more effectively than did his current advisers.
As someone who was born in Africa, grew up as a persecuted Christian, and now pastors a racially-mixed church (where people love one another and love their African-born pastor), I have a different perspective than our current president.
This is what I would have said:
“Before I begin, I want to be clear—by speaking about racism, I am not attempting to take the nation’s attention away from Benghazi, the IRS, the NSA, or any of the other controversies about which Congress is trying to determine the truth. I merely want to speak about the truth of racism as it exists today.
“I am aware that racism—which really means that one race feels superiority over another—is a problem of the heart. Racism will exist until the heart is thoroughly converted to Christ (like I claim happened to me under the leadership of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright). Only then will the heart love God and all people, regardless of their ethnic background.
“I feel so honored and privileged that a majority of white people in America elected me twice—a clear indication that racism, in its proper definition, is a thing of the past.
“Despite that victory over racism, I am troubled and sorry that some profiteers are making a very good living by constantly stirring up the issue of “racism.” I will not appease them. I will not act as if I’m in agreement with them as long as they propagate an industry that intentionally incites hatred based on skin color.
“After all, Americans are decent and fair-minded, and their election of me has proven that characteristic to the world. My election—along with the support that Michelle has received as First Lady—has relegated our country’s past to exactly where it belongs: in the past.
“As the president of all Americans, I want to state emphatically that, regardless of what Mr. Zimmerman did or did not do, I personally forgive him. For that’s what we Americans are good at. A man found innocent by the law should not fear for his life and have to go into hiding. We forgive; just as O.J. Simpson was forgiven when he was found innocent by a jury of his peers.
“I know that the hearts of all Americans go out to the family of Trayvon. Nothing we can do or say will bring back their precious boy. But in honor of his memory, I, the President of the United States, call for a day of prayer. Additionally, I invite both families to a prayer meeting at the White House on that day. They can join me in kneeling before our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Together, we will ask for His forgiveness and for His healing from the pain that seems to have gripped our nation.
“In the name of the only One who is pure and guiltless—yet sacrificed Himself on the cross for our sins—we the people of the United States, under my leadership, will join together for a day of reconciliation and forgiveness.
“May God heal, forgive, and bless the United States of America.”