Obama, who early on had said that if he had a son, the boy would have looked like Martin, on Friday drew an even more personal connection, saying that “Trayvon Martin could’ve been me 35 years ago.”
He said that as people process the Zimmerman verdict, it’s important to put the angry reaction of many African-Americans into context. Protests and demonstrations, he said, are understandable, adding that “some of that stuff is just going to have to work its way through — as long as it remains nonviolent.”
“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,” he said.
He said that distrust shadows African-American men, that they sometimes are closely followed when they shop at department stores, that they can draw nervous stares on elevators and hear car locks clicking when they walk down the street — experiences that he personally felt before becoming a well-known figure.
“It’s inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear,” he said.
#FightingForTrayvon: Images of Nationwide Protests
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Folks Jailed While Zimmerman Walks Free
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