WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama, in his first public comments about the verdict in the Trayvon Martin shooting death, delivered on Friday some of his most extensive and personal remarks on race since entering the White House as he described what it’s like to be a black man in America.

“When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” Obama said in an unscheduled appearance before reporters at the White House. “It’s important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.”

The president detailed how most African-American men, including himself, have been followed when shopping in department stores, heard the locks click on car doors when walking across the street and seen women clutch their purses nervously when getting on elevators.

“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.”

Obama called on Americans to engage in “soul searching” as they ponder last Saturday’s acquittal of George Zimmerman, 29, who shot Martin, 17, as he was walking home through a gated community in February 2012, and what “concrete steps” they might take to prevent other such deaths.

The president made the surprise appearance at the daily White House news briefing to speak about a case that’s generated scattered demonstrations across the nation since the jury in Sanford, Fla., found Zimmerman not guilty. Zimmerman argued that he was defending himself.

Examine laws

The president said he and his staff were considering an examination of state and local laws, including so-called stand-your-ground laws, a type of self-defense measure in more than two dozen states, including Florida and Texas, that gives people the right to use reasonable force to defend themselves without requiring them to retreat from dangerous situations.

He also said he was considering asking federal, state and local officials to work with law enforcement on more training and pondering how to engage in a long-term project to prop up African-American boys.

He dismissed the prospect of a national conversation on race that he’d organize — former President Bill Clinton led one — saying that a dialogue would work better if it happened in homes, churches and workplaces.

(6) comments

Dr Strangelove

Barbie500 the MSM is in bed with this administration. They never ask them or him a hard question. When this first happened he said, “If I had a son it would look like him.” He started the race baiting. As President he should have kept his mouth shut about this.


I looked up the roderick scott case and found it to be true. Someone needs to send this to the President and ask him what he thinks of this. I am beginning to feel we all don't have a President, just the black people do. I have never known a president to get away with what this one does.

Dr Strangelove

Well Mr. President if Trayvon had been your son he would not have attacked another man, he probably would have been home, he wouldn’t have guns, wouldn’t post photos of himself smoking drugs, he would have went to a lily white private school, and lived in a two parent household on the rich side of Chicago.

So Mr. Race Baiting President we noticed you didn’t comment about the story below. Black neighborhood watch man shot and killed a 17 year old white teen:

Now this guy was also found not guilty and should have; he was being attacked by a 17 year old thug and defended himself just like Zimmerman did. Noticed the major media markets didn’t run with this story?



@The president detailed how most African-American men, including himself, have been followed when shopping in department stores, heard the locks click on car doors when walking across the street and seen women clutch their purses nervously when getting on elevators.

Maybe these experiences have happened to others, But, I doubt they have happened to the president, not if we are to believe his background as he says it was.

We have been led to believe the man came from a background where he attended 1st a school in Indonesia up until he was approximately 6 years old, with his stepfather being a hotshot working for the government and his mother being a very well educated female at the time plus with the country of Indo. being dominated by a Muslim dictator type government, the kids of the country weren't allowed to run wild and scare citizens of the country or rampage through shopping districts. I doubt if he would have went anywhere by himself ,to a store or anywhere else. He even stated before, his mother was Very Protective of him.

Then he was sent to live with grandparents in Hawaii, where he attended an exclusive hi cost school and from photos of him at the time, he again looked like he was living the life of the rich and famous, he went onto attend noted universities in the states. He then went onto travel world wide into countries like Africa ,Pakistan, not many black Americans I know have lived the lifestyle of the man who is President, Doesn't sound like too bad of a lifetime to me.

So I would rather ,he not continue to use my fellow Americans, especially a dead 17 year old boy, as a method of gathering tallies for any future campaign for the liberal political party in the country.No I do not believe he identifies with anyone no matter what race they happen to be. Not in the U.S.A. anyway.


Has anyone examined the reason why people follow you around, clutch their purse or lock their doors? Their is a reason, you might see someone who you think "I don't feel safe" so you try to protect yourself. Unfortunately young black people have been known to do things to other people and so you protect yourself from being in a situation where you can be harmed.



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