Speaking at the White House on Friday, President Obama addressed the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin for the first time since 2012, when he declared that if he had a son, he’d look like Martin. This time, Obama said, “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
Obama added that he had experienced racial profiling personally: “There are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of being followed in a department store — that includes me.”
Obama also said, “Reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict. Once the jury’s spoken, that’s how our system works.”
Obama said he was “bouncing around” ideas with his staff on how to respond to the Zimmerman verdict, adding, “I think it is going to be important for us to do some soul searching.” Pushing against Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, Obama stated, “If Trayvon Martin was of his age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?”
Finally, Obama went into the racial complexities of the Martin situation: “A lot of African-American boys are painted with a broad brush…If a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.” He did say, “As difficult and as challenging as this whole episode has been, I don’t want us to lose sight that things are getting better…We’re becoming a more perfect union, not a perfect union, but a more perfect union.”
Obama took no questions from the press.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).