In a newly-released interview, George Zimmerman criticized President Obama’s response to his acquittal, which he describes as “pitting Americans against each other solely based on race.”
The 13-minute interview was recorded by Zimmerman’s own attorney, Howard Iken, and posted on Iken’s website. Zimmerman says he wanted to do the follow-up interview because he is no longer worried about “retaliation” from the Department of Justice, led by Eric Holder.
When asked which government agency or person was most unfair to him, Zimmerman replies, “By far, the President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama. He had the most authority and in that sense I would hold him in the highest regard believing that he would hold that position and do his absolute hardest to not inflame racial tensions in America.
“Unfortunately, after even after Jay Carney, his press secretary stated in the White House briefing that the White House will not interject in a local law enforcement matter and at most a state criminal matter, President Obama held his Rose Garden speech stating, ‘if I had a son he would look like Trayvon,'” he said.
“To me that was clearly a dereliction of duty pitting Americans against each other solely based on race,” Zimmerman continued. “He took what should have been a clear-cut self-defense matter and still to this day on the anniversary of incident he held a ceremony at the White House inviting the Martin-Fulton family and stating that they should take the day to reflect upon the fact that all children’s lives matter. Unfortunately for the president, I’m also my parent’s child and my life matters as well. And for him to make incendiary comments as he did, and direct the Department of Justice to pursue a baseless prosecution he by far overstretched, overreached, even broke the law in certain aspects to where you have an innocent American being prosecuted by the federal government, which should never happen.”
Obama made his comments about Martin in March of 2012 under pressure from black leaders to speak about the case and from his own emotional connection to the case, in which Zimmerman shot Martin while the teen broke his nose and repeatedly smashed his skull against the pavement.
More than a year later, after jury found Zimmerman not guilty, Obama doubled-down on those comments saying: “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.”
Asked how he believes the President should have responded, Zimmerman says, “I think that throughout the process the president should have done what he said he was going to do and not interject himself in a local law enforcement matter or a state matter and waited until the facts came out. Instead of rushing to judgment, making racially charged comments and pitting American against American.”
Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, also criticized the media’s hyping of his Teutonic last name to cast him as a “racist white.”
“My last name carrying a Caucasian German connotation definitely helped them portray me as a racist white man, when in reality, I am — you know, my mother’s Peruvian, my father is American, and I was raised by my mother and my grandmother both fully Hispanic,” Zimmerman said. “By no means was I ever portrayed as a white racist prior to this but they used certain aspects of character, characteristics of my personality against me.”
When asked if he felt guilty for firing a single shot at a teenager who knocked him to the ground, straddled him, and pounded his head against the pavement in an aggressive frenzy, Zimmerman said he did not “feel guilty for surviving.”
“As an individual I’ve done a lot of soul-searching and the conclusion that many professionals have conveyed to me, and I have come to adopt is that it only in a true life or death scenario can you have mental clearness to know that you cannot feel guilty for surviving,” he said. “Had I have had a fraction of a thought that I could have done something differently, acted differently so that both of us would have survived then I would have heavier weight on my shoulders, that sense in the back of my mind. But in all fairness, you cannot as a human feel guilty for living, for surviving.”