WORD LISTS

President Obama's remarks on race

July 20, 2013
On Friday President Obama gave surprise remarks on race in America in the White House briefing room. Here are the definitions and the President's usage of 55 words from the address to help you untangle this delicate issue. (July 19, 2013)
preliminary
I gave an — a preliminary statement right after the ruling on Sunday, but watching the debate over the course of the last week I thought it might be useful for me to expand on my thoughts a little bit.
expand
I gave an — a preliminary statement right after the ruling on Sunday, but watching the debate over the course of the last week I thought it might be useful for me to expand on my thoughts a little bit.
grace
First of all, you know, I — I want to make sure that, once again, I send my thoughts and prayers, as well as Michelle’s, to the family of Trayvon Martin, and to remark on the incredible grace and dignity with which they’ve dealt with the entire situation.
dignity
First of all, you know, I — I want to make sure that, once again, I send my thoughts and prayers, as well as Michelle’s, to the family of Trayvon Martin, and to remark on the incredible grace and dignity with which they’ve dealt with the entire situation.
reiterate
The second thing I want to say is to reiterate what I said on Sunday, which is there are going to be a lot of arguments about the legal — legal issues in the case.
legal
I’ll let all the legal analysts and talking heads address those issues.
prosecution
The prosecution and the defense made their arguments.
defense
The prosecution and the defense made their arguments.
jury
The juries were properly instructed that in a — in a case such as this, reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict.
relevant
The juries were properly instructed that in a — in a case such as this, reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict.
render
The juries were properly instructed that in a — in a case such as this, reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict.
verdict
The juries were properly instructed that in a — in a case such as this, reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict.
context
But I did want to just talk a little bit about context and how people have responded to it and how people are feeling.
exaggerate
And you know, I don’t want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida.
interpret
And you know, I don’t want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida.
disparity
The African-American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws, everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws.
penalty
The African-American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws, everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws.
enforcement
The African-American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws, everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws.
naive
Now, this isn’t to say that the African-American community is naïve about the fact that African-American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system, that they are disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence.
perpetrator
Now, this isn’t to say that the African-American community is naïve about the fact that African-American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system, that they are disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence.
poverty
We understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history.
dysfunction
We understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history.
peer
I think the African-American community is also not naïve in understanding that statistically somebody like Trayvon Martin was probably statistically more likely to be shot by a peer than he was by somebody else.
deny
So — so folks understand the challenges that exist for African-American boys, but they get frustrated, I think, if they feel that there’s no context for it or — and that context is being denied.
scenario
And — and that all contributes, I think, to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, that, from top to bottom, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.
aftermath
And — and that all contributes, I think, to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, that, from top to bottom, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.
demonstration
You know, I think it’s understandable that there have been demonstrations and vigils and protests, and some of that stuff is just going to have to work its way through as long as it remains nonviolent.
vigil
You know, I think it’s understandable that there have been demonstrations and vigils and protests, and some of that stuff is just going to have to work its way through as long as it remains nonviolent.
protest
You know, I think it’s understandable that there have been demonstrations and vigils and protests, and some of that stuff is just going to have to work its way through as long as it remains nonviolent.
concrete
But beyond protests or vigils, the question is, are there some concrete things that we might be able to do?
legislation
You know, when I was in Illinois I passed racial profiling legislation.
potential
But the other thing was it resourced us training police departments across the state on how to think about potential racial bias and ways to further professionalize what they were doing.
bias
But the other thing was it resourced us training police departments across the state on how to think about potential racial bias and ways to further professionalize what they were doing.
altercation
Along the same lines, I think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if it — if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than defuse potential altercations.
confrontation
Along the same lines, I think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if it — if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than defuse potential altercations.
tragedy
Along the same lines, I think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if it — if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than defuse potential altercations.
commentary
I know that there’s been commentary about the fact that the Stand Your Ground laws in Florida were not used as a defense in the case.
ambiguous
And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.
bolster
Number three — and this is a long-term project: We need to spend some time in thinking about how do we bolster and reinforce our African-American boys?
reinforce
Number three — and this is a long-term project: We need to spend some time in thinking about how do we bolster and reinforce our African-American boys?
negative
There are a lot of kids out there who need help who are getting a lot of negative reinforcement.
reinforcement
There are a lot of kids out there who need help who are getting a lot of negative reinforcement.
invest
And is there more that we can do to give them the sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them?
prospect
You know, I’m not naïve about the prospects of some brand-new federal program.
convene
You know, there have been talk about should we convene a conversation on race.
clergy
And for us to be able to gather together business leaders and local elected officials and clergy and celebrities and athletes and figure out how are we doing a better job helping young African-American men feel that they’re a full part of this society and that — and that they’ve got pathways and avenues to succeed — you know, I think that would be a pretty good outcome from what was obviously a tragic situation.
tragic
And for us to be able to gather together business leaders and local elected officials and clergy and celebrities and athletes and figure out how are we doing a better job helping young African-American men feel that they’re a full part of this society and that — and that they’ve got pathways and avenues to succeed — you know, I think that would be a pretty good outcome from what was obviously a tragic situation.
politician
I haven’t seen that be particularly productive when politicians try to organize conversations.
stilted
They end up being stilted and politicized, and folks are locked into the positions they already have.
successive
Each successive generation seems to be making progress in changing attitudes when it comes to race.

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Comments from our users:

Sunday July 21st 2013, 8:57 AM
Comment by: Glitchminion (Singapore)
cool!
Sunday July 21st 2013, 2:59 PM
Comment by: katharine B. (Athens Greece)
I thought President Obama's comments were wonderful and reinforced my strong feelings for him as a President of the USA. I grew up in a rural community, which at the time had very few people with dark colored skin. The community itself was quite poor, made up of small farms and WWII small factories. We had moved there for two reasons.

Strange as it may seem, there was thought to be the possibility of Germany (Hitler)invading the USA, and my parents wanted my brother and me to have the right food. There we could grow our own food, the other reason was simply that it would be healthier to live out in the country.

There was one girl in the school who had dark brown skin, darker than President Obama's. I thought it was beautiful, while I had too white skin, which sunburned easily. We had a woman who helped my mother, she too had lovely dark brown skin and we took her with us when we went on a vacation.

Years later I visited Africa, first Dakar, then Bamako and finally Timbuktu. In those three places the skin color was really dark brown, one might say black. The openness of the people was so beautiful, their skin seemed to glow.
Tuesday July 23rd 2013, 10:29 AM
Comment by: Joann Z. (Rockford, IL)
The real clue to Obama's speech is to count the number of first person personal adverbs. "Me", "mine", "I","my". He responds as though it were all about himself.

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