Comments and discussion

In this section, we will give you some suggestions on things you might want to comment upon, approach, and discuss in Barack Obama’s remarks on Trayvon Martin. Remember that your arguments should be well supported and that you should avoid making personal or emotional claims without justification.

For example, you could consider the fact that Obama refuses to talk in detail about the ruling that acquitted Zimmerman of murder. Remember that Zimmerman was acquitted because the jury’s verdict stated that he killed Trayvon Martin in self defense. The public response after Zimmerman’s trial was seen in several protests and marches, held by people who believed that if Zimmerman was African-American as well, he would have been accused of murder. It is likely that many African-Americans would have wanted Obama to talk about this aspect (which many considered unfair), but Obama chooses to demonstrate his trust in the American legal system instead (ll. 23-29). What might be the effect of this?

You could also discuss the “stand your ground” laws in some states that Obama mentions in his speech (ll. 152-170). These laws refer to a defendant’s right to protect ...

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