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Beltway Confidential

Obama: Politician-led conversation about race wouldn’t be productive

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President Obama this afternoon addressed the Trayvon Martin tragedy at length — discussing the details of the case and giving voice to the African American community.

“I think it’s going to be important for all of us to do some soul searching,” Obama said. “There has been talk about — should we convene a conversation on race? I haven’t seen that be particularly productive when politicians try to organize conversations,” Obama explained. “They end up be politicized and folks or locked into the positions they already have.”

Obama added, however, that it was time for Americans to address their own biases.

"On the other hand, in families and churches and workplaces, there’s a possibility that people are a little bit more honest, and at least you ask yourself your own questions about, am I wringing as much bias out of myself as I can; am I judging people, as much as I can, based on not the color of their skin but the content of their character?" Obama said reflectivly. "That would, I think, be an appropriate exercise in the wake of this tragedy."

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