This is a BIG DEAL!
President Obama states in the briefing room of the White House,
“I think it’s important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that — that doesn’t go away,” There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me.”
A jury on Saturday found George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, not guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin in early 2012. The verdict has elicited marches and protests across the country, although there has been little violence. The killing of Mr. Martin, an unarmed black teenager, ignited a national debate on racial profiling and civil rights.
President Obama issued a statement shortly after the verdict. But on Friday, he said he wanted to talk more broadly about his own feelings about the verdict and the impact it has had among African-Americans.
“I don’t want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida,” he said. “And it’s inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear.”
Mr. Obama also said he and his staff were examining policy options, and he raised questions about the wisdom of laws like Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
“I think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if it — if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than diffuse potential altercations,” the president said.
Mr. Obama spoke in deeply personal terms — which is amazing considering discussing race relations is very tricky for OUR PRESIDENT.
Trayvon Martin’s life and death is not in vain.
Kudos to President Obama for speaking our truth!
America YES WE CAN!
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