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George Zimmerman
Seeing Michael Brown
Seeing Michael Brown

In the chorus of voices last week protesting the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., one stood out: President Obama's. On the surface, what he said was routine in a presidential, consoler in chief kind of way: We've lost an 18-year-old whose family would "never hold Michael in their arms again." The significance was not the particular words, but the fact that Obama was defining Brown first and foremost as a human being — a son whose parents are grieving his sudden and permanent absence. With that standard presidential pronoun "we," Obama was implying something else radical: The death was a loss not just for the Browns and Ferguson, but...

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