On MSNBC this afternoon, network contributor Michael Eric Dyson said President Obama's refusal to wade into the Ferguson situation is a "low point" for his presidency. Dyson said Obama "failed" black people and the nation for trying to come up with an excuse to "not speak about race."
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: I think he has far more latitude than he's exercised so far. He's got the bully pulpit. Be a bully in the pulpit but don't bully black people. Yesterday was a low moment in the Obama presidency because he distracted attention away from the facts of the case. A white police officer armed to the teeth with a gun has killed an unarmed black youth. The president turned this into a referendum, if you will, on internal machinations of black criminality and the politics of black respectability as opposed to the facts at hand. He was a poor teacher yesterday and he's such a brilliant and insightful man, but he failed us not only as black people but he failed the nation.
He failed to deal with the particular instances not only of Michael Brown -- he doesn't have to deal with Michael Brown. The president said, I don't want to put my thumb on it too much to weigh the scales of justice. Don't even talk about Michael Brown. Talk about what led to Michael Brown. Tell us as a nation what happens when festering rage in a community then begins to ignite and then begins to consume not only that community but the people around the nation who are empathetic. So I think the president has a lot more latitude. Does he have opposition? Yes. But when he opens his mouth on Iraq, he's opposed. When he opens his mouth on the environment, he's opposed. When he opens hi mouth on gay marriage, he's opposed. He's oppose every step. Don't use this as an excuse to not speak about race.