When someone lives as a minority, they experience the world differently than those of us who live in the majority.
We may occupy the same physical space, but we don't occupy the same psychic space. I think it's important to look at the issue through the eyes of experience.
Let's start with a review of some of today's stories:
Today on Fox News, Geraldo Rivera blamed the hoodie for the killing of Trayvon Martin.
Today in Louisiana, a woman at a gun range yelled to Rick Santorum to pretend that he was shooting president Obama.
Today in North Carolina, we learned that a cartoonist from a conservative think tank resigned after drawing a chained Obama wearing high heels and standing over a bucket from Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Today, a mother in Detroit instructed her 10-year-old honor student, "don't ever run down the street. Keep your hands out of your pockets, son. It's not your fault. It's just the way it is."
Every day in America, African Americans are reminded of their race in ways large and small. Every day. Today in America we are no more "post-racial" than we are "post-partisan." We have a long way to go.
But today in America, something else happened. In a garden surrounded by roses, a leader said this: "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon."
Ten words. Those words opened the ears of some and soothed the hearts of many.
And unfortunately, those words rekindled the rage of others. The usual suspects all came out to squeal.
Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin accused Obama of "political opportunism" and trying to "pour gas on the fire" for empathizing with Trayvon's parents.
Conservative Matt Drudge's Web page stoked fears of "retaliation," and cited Louis Farrakhan. And there were more.
It's got to be frustrating to be so predictable.
Follow Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JenGranholm