Previously, President Barack Obama delivered a measured statement the day after George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin, calling for “calm reflection.” Today during a White House press briefing, Obama spoke candidly about the verdict, mentioning the reality of Black men being racially profiled, himself included.
“When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son,” began the POTUS. “Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago.”
Obama went out to describe how Blacks are racially profiled, citing examples like being followed when shopping in a department stores or having a woman clutching her purse when they enter an elevator. He tied that reality back to the Zimmerman case.
“I don’t want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences informs how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida,” said Obama. He also mentioned the “racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws” in the United States.
Zimmerman was acquitted of Martin’s death on Saturday (July 18).
Watch video of President Barack Obama’s comments below. Let us know what you think in the comments.
UPDATE: Full video courtesy of the White House below and here is the full transcript.