New York Times columnist David Brooks effusively praised President Obama’s speech on Trayvon Martin last week, calling it a “highlight” of Obama’s presidency.
“I thought this speech was one of the highlights,” Brooks said on NBC’s Meet the Press today. “I thought it was a symphony of indignation, professionalism, executive responsibility, personal feeling. It had all these different things woven together, I thought beautifully.”
Brooks emphasized how thinking about race issues had played an important role in Obama’s intellectual formation. “It’s important to remember race is his first subject, as it would be if you had a black father and a white mother,” he remarked. “And all the mental habits he brings to all the other issues grow out of the way he framed race and the way he started thinking about race, his tendency to do on the one hand, on the other, his desire to reconcile opposites, his ability to see different points of view, all the stuff we’ve come to see him come to apply to every other issue, it started with race.”