(CNN) - White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday he's unsure when President Obama will talk about the country's racial issues, which have been front-and-center since the George Zimmerman trial. But he added he's sure the president will comment on the matter when asked about it.
"I don't know when he will next address these matters. In some regards it is up to people who interview him, but he hasn't shied away from these issues in the past and I'm sure he won't in the future," Carney said in the daily press briefing.
The parents of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager shot and killed by George Zimmerman last year, said the "not guilty" verdict in Zimmerman's trial is sending the wrong message to minority teenagers.
"You can't walk fast, you can't walk slow. So what do they do? I mean, how do you get home without people knowing or either assuming that you're doing something wrong? Trayvon wasn't doing anything wrong," Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mom, said Thursday on "CBS This Morning."
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida, followed Martin while the teenager was walking home in February 2012, saying Martin looked suspicious. During an ensuing confrontation, Zimmerman shot Trayvon, claiming he did so in self-defense.
After the weeks-long trial, the six-member jury acquitted Zimmerman, concluding there was not enough proof to convict him of second-degree murder or manslaughter.
Martin's parents pushed for the federal government - which is considering whether to file criminal civil rights charges against Zimmerman - to examine the case closely. Fulton told CBS she wants Obama to go through the case "with a fine-tooth comb."
A number of large protests erupted in the days following the verdict, with many expressing anger over the jury's decision. MoveOn.org, a progressive political group, and the NAACP have collectively collected more than a million signatures for a petition urging the federal government to get involved.
Carney reiterated Thursday that the Department of Justice is investigating the matter but the White House, nor the president, would comment "on the specifics of that process."
The president released a statement on Sunday, one day after the verdict, calling for "calm reflection" following the acquittal of Zimmerman. While he nodded to the emotionally charged climate, he concluded that "we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken."
However, he has yet to speak publicly about the verdict. Obama took part in a round of Spanish-language interviews on Monday, but he was not asked about the jury's decision.
Others have called for Obama, the country's first African American president, to address racial tension in the United States, given the role that it played in the recent trial.
Obama has spoken on race in the past, notably in a 2008 speech during his presidential campaign. The president also addressed racism in a recent commencement speech to graduates at Morehouse College, an historically black, all-male school.
Furthermore, the president weighed in on Martin's death last year, saying the incident requires some national "soul-searching" and added that if he had a son, "he'd look like Trayvon."
Asked by CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin if the president has a desire to speak again about race, Carney said Thursday he is sure the president "will address this when asked."
"The president has talked about the issues of race obviously in the past and has acted on a number of issues that have to do with improving the racial dynamic in our country," Carney added.
He pointed to Obama's comments on voting rights, affirmative action and economic policies as steps the president has taken to improve racial divides in the U.S.
But, Carney added, he doesn't "have a scheduling announcement to make about remarks or speeches."
"(The president's) belief is that Trayvon Martin's death was a tragedy and it was a tragedy for his family, for his community and for the country because of what it symbolizes," Carney continued. "He hopes that we all take the opportunity here to reflect calmly here on what we can do to foster compassion and understanding and also to take action to reduce gun violence."
Some, however, argue the president has not done enough to tackle racial issues from the Oval Office.
Janet Langhart Cohen, author of the play "Anne and Emmett," wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post this week, saying the president has a responsibility to deliver a signature address on race relations now that he's in his second term and "liberated from the racial harness that politics forced him to wear" during his first four years in office.
"To use Dr. King's phrase, there is a fierce urgency of now for the president to talk boldly and truthfully about race and racism and why it still matters in the United States," she wrote. "I hope that President Obama will speak not just to black people or just to white people but to the good people in America. We can never have racial reconciliation without discussing the truth."
Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat who's now running for the comptroller's office in New York City, told CNN's Piers Morgan Wednesday that he hopes Obama will give a "good speech" on the debate surrounding the recent Zimmerman trial.
"(The president) has done great things at those moments when we need to crystallize," he said.
- CNN's Josh Levs contributed to this report.