President Obama Speaks On Zimmerman Verdict: “Trayvon Martin Could Have Been Me, 35 Years Ago”

July 19, 2013  |  


Source: YouTube

In a surprise speech during the daily White House briefing, President Barack Obama spoke further in depth about Trayvon Martin and the verdict that freed George Zimmerman last week. He started the speech, “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.”

 He went on to list the ways in which people tend to stereotype black people in this country, how women clutch their purses when a black man steps on the elevator and how employees follow black people around in a department store. He even said that before he was elected to public office he recalls people locking their car doors when he walked past. In response to those stereotypes and assumptions President Obama discussed the pain many in the African American community feel because of the discrimination we have and continue to experience in this country. President Obama said this history does not go away.

He didn’t outright speak about his thoughts on whether the verdict was right or wrong, but he did say that Florida should look at state and local laws like “stand your ground” to determine if they will “encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in Florida case, rather than diffuse potential altercations.”

This was the speech I was waiting for. Throughout President Obama’s first term I understood that he was trying to get reelected and couldn’t afford to alienate the general population. So I got why he couldn’t necessarily speak out on “black” issues. But now that he’s comfortably settled into his second term, I’ve been waiting for him to speak out on causes that concern the African American community, beyond absentee fathers. And thankfully today was that day. President Obama’s remarks were thoughtful, enlightening for those outside of the community and gospel for those within it. It was nothing short of beautiful and while I’m always proud of our president, today I was especially thrilled.

If you missed his remarks, you can watch the video on the next page.

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  • Tony Williams

    I WILL NEVER DATE A BLACK WOMEN EVER AGAIN,. i haven’t been on a date with a black female since 2005. October the 5th.

  • I think that this was a very honest, not to mention courageous, thing for the President to say. I know that the right is going to be swarming all over this, saying that she shouldn’t get involved, that he’s biased, but whatever. The president demonstrated that at the end of the day, for all he’s accomplished, he still is a Black man, one who is subject to the same disrespect that Black people face. He also showed that he does care.

  • Tony Williams

    WOW they deleted my comment about black women not liking black men this days, yet yall have an article up right now calling good black fathers/men ugly.

    • You’re kidding right? Black women are VERY loyal to black men. To a fault.

      • bluekissess

        Why are people entertaining this fool? Its obvious this individual wants to ruffle some feathers. What he said had nothing to do with the speech. But, I do agree sometimes black women don’t know when to stop being loyal.

        • I’m sayin. You’re right shouldn’t feed the trolls.

    • First of all, what does that have to do with the article at hand? And that’s just not true at all.

    • Kenedy

      I’m having a hard time seeing a connection between your statement & the article

      • Tony Williams

        I have come to see that some black women on this site just want to pick a fight. I didn’t come here to fight , just to speak my mind. Have a great weekend everyone. Im going to the Trayvon Martin rally Saturday, everyone be safe. 🙂

        • Kenedy

          No, not at all, no fights, I was just trying to understand you. Have a great weekend as well!

  • Tony Williams

    No comments cant say i am shocked. black women this days hate black men and boys as much as southern racist white men do.

    • Hannibal


      • Monica

        Ahhhh, I’m sorry you feel that way…but that’s how black men make us feel all the time. Get over it.

        • Hannibal

          I HATE YOU!