Abruptly Obama appeared in White House room for press briefing for offering his thoughts over trial of Zimmerman, Sanford, Florida, volunteer for neighborhood watch who was considered not guilty regarding murder of shooting Martin, aged 17, in one struggle during 2012.
Without specifically saying so, Obama did side with the ones who say shooting didn’t have to happen, expressing sympathy towards Martin’s family and also appreciating them for incredible dignity and grace with which they dealt with this whole situation.
However, Obama said that Americans need to understand perspective of black community that has suffered long racial discrimination history.
He somberly said that when he got to know Trayvon Martin got shot, I said this could’ve been my own son or even myself, 35 years back.
Obama, aged 51, born to Kenyan black father and mother who was a white American, in Hawaii, recalled his encounters with racial profiling and racism. He said, that there were very few of men in the country who are African-American who never had experienced being followed at the time of shopping in any department store and that included Obama himself.
Clarence V. McKee, the one who held many positions in Reagan administration and presidential campaigns of Reagan, said that he was able to relate with some parts of the remarks by Obama as one African-American, though wondered why president took this long for making them.
According to McKee the president essentially had ducked this issue regarding race till the surprise visit in briefing room of White House on Friday.
Also, he doubts that some national discussion concerning race will be productive. But, he also said that all what it would be doing would include winding up being huge political fight in which there won’t be any race discussion.
One communications and political science professor, Jason Johnson, at the Hiram College located in Ohio, said that it was for the 1st time that he spoke like one bridge in USA.
According to him, Obama’s comments did create wonderful bridge which could open the dialogue regarding race. He said that Obama, in his speech,
has also said,
“Look, there are some real, empirical reasons why black people in particular are disappointed in this ruling. It has to do with history. …and we can’t just ignore those things because it is politically convenient to ignore history,”
In his speech, Obama also described the times that he heard clicks locking car doors when he walked in the streets the day he was younger.
Citing experiences about his daughters at teenage, he said younger generations tend to have quite fewer issues where racism is concerned. He said it didn’t mean they were in a society that is post-racial or that racism was eliminated. It was just that, he added, they were becoming some quite perfect union, not perfect but quite perfect.
Zimmerman verdict had mixed reaction coming from Americans. One online poll showed 34% agreed with verdict, while 39% opposed it. Also, it found 68% didn’t approve this racial profiling practised by police.
After one written statement this Sunday, Obama publicly kept silent on this case while some angrily reacted to this verdict.
Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s parents, issued one statement this Friday praising President Obama. They said that it was beautiful tribute for their boy when Obama identified with him and say himself in their son, Trayvon.
Obama urged Justice Department that it should work with the local governments in order to reduce the mistrust in justice system.
Specifically, Obama mentioned the Florida law of standing one’s ground that allows the individuals to make use of reasonable force for defending themselves without obligation of retreating or fleeing.
Obama also said,
“I just ask people to consider, if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman, who had followed him in a car, because he felt threatened? And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.”