Social media buzz: Obama's remarks on Trayvon and Justice Department vs. Texas

Two issues that got USA TODAY Opinion readers talking this week involved the president's impromptu speech on race relations and the federal government takes on one of the largest state's election laws.

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  1. Were Obama's comments healing or divisive?

  2. President Obama made an impromptu appearance at a White House press briefing to speak about race relations in America, both at large and through his own personal experiences, saying "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago."
  3. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster, AP)
  4. In the opinion column "Obama's Trayvon remarks struck right notes" Kirsten Powers wrote, "Obama has treaded lightly throughout his career on this issue. Because he speaks of race so infrequently, his words and experience carry extra weight when he chooses to go there."
  5. He purposely turned a non racial issue into a racial issue. This was about "Stand your ground" and self defense. Where is he on black on black murders? Those are much more frequent. I don't see him dealing with that because that won't further his own agenda. It's all form over function with Obama.
  6. So it wasn't over racism? Why do you think Zimmerman assumed Martin wasn't from the neighborhood?
  7. He speaks of race all the time! When has he not spoken of race? He started his first election speaking about race and his second pitting them against each other.....He uses race as an excuse every chance he gets. If you want to know why American blacks are so messed up just look to Obama cause he's doing hs best to make it worse. Race should not even be an issue in politics/government but it has been made more and more about race since day one of Obama. Pretending he is not dividing American people into basic color does not mean it is not happening and as an employee of the American people it's surprising how much is tolerated or flat out ignored. Race is not the issue. People making things into a race issue is the problem.
  8. plenty will say he's being divisive simply because it fits their political narrative to do so. they are paid to say that. Presidents often are forced to speak out on controversial social issues that come up sometimes simply because of a media feeding frenzy that's reached that level. i heard nothing in his comments that was divisive. why can't he use his personal experience to relate? it makes sense. if we are honest, we can't see his remarks as anything other than an effort to assuage the hurt and continue a conversation that deserves to be continued. we still have a race problem, and the rise of racism since a black man moved into the Oval Office proves it.
  9. Obama should shut his big mouth and not comment on issues that do not concern him!
  10. Watch the president's speech:
  11. President Obama Speaks on Trayvon Martin
  12. Here's what people were saying outside USA TODAY:
  13. Editorial cartoons:
  14. (Steve Benson, The Arizona Republic)
  15. (Joe Heller, Green Bay (Wis.) Press-Gazette)
  16. Should voting laws reside primarily with federal government or states?

  17. Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. Department of Justice went to court attempting to require Texas to get federak approval before making change's to the state's voting laws. This move was widely seen as a direct challenge to June's 5-4 Supreme Court decision striking down a major provision in the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
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