The subject of race in America is something this President has had to deal with more than any other President in recent times.
In 2008 race threatened to derail his candidacy and he had to address controversial remarks by his former pastor Jeremiah Wright.
He could have been talking about Ferguson when he discussed the anger many African Americans carry because of structural racism.
A very contemplative President Obama boldly addressed it again last summer after the George Zimmerman not guilty verdict in the killing of Trayvon Martin.
He was roundly criticized for making those remarks before that speech and then repeating them again during that speech.
Then, earlier this year, there was the “My Brother’s Keeper” speech and initiative announced at the beginning of this year by the President aimed at helping young men of color get the help and support they need to stay on track.
And just this week, Ferguson, about which the President has announced another initiative to address the chasm of mistrust between police and communities of color.
President Obama has repeatedly said that we, meaning all Americans, need to have this critical race conversation.
But how much talking can we do?
How many announcements will it take?
Fairly or unfairly he has been taken lumps from just about everyone, including his own party, including everyday black Americans, including black lawmakers, for not doing enough to help his own people.
He has been asked to do a whole lot of soul searching on this issue.
Perhaps it’s time for all Americans to do some soul searching of our own, but with a caveat.
How might we have contributed to the first African American President feeling so hamstrung when it comes to discussing and dealing with issues of race? Have we unwittingly boxed him in?