Prof. claims Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown shootings were proxy killings of President Obama
Were the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown proxy killings of President Obama? They are, according to one music critic.
Greil Marcus, a famed Rolling Stone writer and author who teaches the occasional course on American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, claimed in an interview with Salon this week that “in a certain way” the shooters—George Zimmerman and officer Darren Wilson—were “killing Barack Obama.”
"[W]hen that cop killed Michael Brown, and when George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, they were killing Barack Obama.”
The shootings, he says, were “not unrelated to Obama being president.”
“[A]ll kinds of people saying to themselves, maybe never putting it into words, just feeling it, ‘There’s a fucking n—er in the White House? Well fuck you, n—er, whoever you are.’ And an inchoate loathing and hatred that seeks out its targets,” he said.
“I’m not a psychiatrist,” Marcus told Salon. “I haven’t sat down and interviewed George Zimmerman or the cop who shot Michael Brown, I don’t know what their motives are, I don’t know what kind of people they are, what kind of childhood traumas they have experienced. But I don’t think it’s nuts that in a certain way, when that cop killed Michael Brown, and when George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, they were killing Barack Obama.”
Marcus asserted earlier in the interview that racism in the United States has only worsened since Obama was first elected back in 2008.
“[W]ith Barack Obama, racism has become ordinary discourse since his election in a way that it wasn’t before, and the contempt and the ridicule with which Republicans treat him,” Marcus said. “Not even Bill Clinton, who they felt they could disparage because they thought he was a dumb white cracker, not even Bill Clinton has been treated the way Barack Obama has been treated. He’s been treated as if he’s an impostor, an interloper and as scum.”
That racism, he says, also extends to First Lady Michelle Obama, who he believes is scrutinized in a way that Laura Bush never was.
“I mean, the things that have been said about Michelle Obama, the way she’s talked about on Fox News, you know, forget about Twitter or comments on news stories or anything like that where all the morons live, but the way she’s been talked about, can you imagine Laura Bush ever being talked about that way?” Marcus asked Salon. “Laura Bush actually killed somebody. But that was never mentioned, that was never talked about, because it was impolite to bring it up.”
Marcus graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in American Studies and later did graduate work in political science.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @MaggieLitCRO