July 19th, 2013
01:37 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama: 'Trayvon Martin could have been me'

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama spoke out publicly on Friday for the first time on the Trayvon Martin case following the acquittal of George Zimmerman last week.

Appearing at the White House, Obama injected a personal perspective on the verdict as well as a legal interpretation of the outcome.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Larry in Houston

    LOL – posts here are typically from the same 'ol same 'ol – – lol –
    people needs to chill – and listen to what the POTUS has said –
    the jury has spoken – he said this several different ways – sounds like we've got the "race card" (blk against wht) in this group as well.

    July 19, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. Irma marrero

    is so true mr president . i had experience racism my self and im 60years old.but i dont stay guiet i give right back to them im a citisen i pay taxes just like you.

    July 19, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Dan

    What a ridiculous statement. To think an entire jury made their decision based on race is just plain stupid.

    July 19, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. s cassidy

    digging a deeper hole for himself in the quest for political correctness , or is this just a way to distract us from the economy (Detroit) , drone attacks and the botched takeover of Syria and the PRISM fiasco ?

    July 19, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. Delta 2 Niner

    Except your half white like Zimmerman. Maybe from the gun running, race baiter aspect if it. And by the way thank you for setting a example for all of us and respecting the laws and verdicts. The whole world is watching you and Holder fanning the flames. Why have laws if your just gonna ignore them, sue, riot, or find other ways to undermine the system. Remember there is a difference between right and wrong, and legal and illegal!

    July 19, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. Name ella

    Yes our president is right if the travon martin case would have been black on black or black and white their would have been a different out come no doubt

    July 19, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. B.S.

    No, Mr. President, Trayvon could not have been you. You grew up in privilege, having attended one of most prestigious and expensive private schools (Punahou) in Hawaii. As a leader, you should stop race baiting and stop inciting division.

    July 19, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. Name lgourdinerolle

    As an Educator to African Americans and Latino males in Miami-Dade County, I felt that President Obama’s comments were heartfelt and genuinely spoken. I wish we all will use this tragic incident as a one of life’s lesson and begin to raise and educate a generation who are “color-blind” and united as one race, The Human Race!

    July 19, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Fed up in Maryland
    Way to fan the fires, Mr. President.
    You know what fanning the fires is? Watching a predominantly African American city drown while the President is giving his FEMA Director "Brownie" points.(pun intended)

    July 19, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. steve

    Like my sister said, Zimmerman wil have to answer to god

    July 19, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. Name jacqueline

    Hes right, there is so much injustice in our legal system, its takin travon tragedy to really bring it back to light.this is happening everywher in our justice, rather going to small court seeking verdicts over whites, filing discrimination complaints, not processed cause they fill to many blacks are filing.blacks not getting office jobs, cause they dont want to many blacks working in a particular office.dont allow blackss to use there brains on a job.these folks do all kind of stuff thats injust in this country to keep blacks in jail or broke, we must fight thus corrupt system and demand justice.

    July 19, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. Name ella

    This is america free speech and liberty for our president the only people that is mad is prejudice people

    July 19, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. NA

    Good grief... and to think people voted for him in office again. And for what? All he is doing is distroying this country that it once was. Don't get me wrong yet its sad that the kid died but sucks even more that his parents have to hear this day after day. But in all honesty they both made poor choices on what to do with their actions (Trayvon & Zimmerman) at that point in time. What should have been done ; zimmerman should have stayed his butt in the car till the police arrived and Trayvon should have just told his friend to call 911 and tell them where he was, hang up the phone and dialed 911 to report it simple as that. So in the end really no one is a winner in this case.

    July 19, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Jmac823200

    So when he speaks out on Sandy Creek, he's great but when he speaks out on Trayvon he's being divisive??? You guys kill me! Why on earth do you think blacks are still talking about this? It's a real issue and something we've had to worry about for a while. The fact that some show very little empathy is appalling. I mean it's not EVERYONE pulling the race card. I actually hang with mostly people outside of my own race so I definitely don't think in black and white. I've had my encounters with profiling but was never discouraged because I figured not everyone thought that way. Now, I tend to wonder who doesn't think that way. This is something that we should be talking about and until we really address it, it's going to be a problem.

    July 19, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. The Elephant In The Room

    I might recommend that all you making harsh statements against the President for these commentsbrealize that one day soon your highly educated, Ivy league degreed boss will be black. Your police chief will be black, Your commanding officer or Chairman of the joint Chiefs will be black, your attorney General will be black, your emergency room surgeon will bew black, your son_in_law will be black. You might want to lose your arrogance and at least TRY to HEAR what many of these black men are saying and adjust your ways. Sooner or later, it WILL BE in your direct interest to do so. Do it now while you can preserve your dignity instead of doing it to blatantly pander to those who hold your fortunes & future in your hands.

    July 19, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  16. D

    I fully appreciate that this fiasco is bringing to light a more important underlying social condition that needs to be addressed in our society, but it's really unfair when the president doesn't even accept the courts decision. Please lets stop focusing on the trial and focus on what issues this is really bringing up.

    July 19, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. PJ

    Amazing. Some of you have made comments for days about this case, including all of those comments in todays
    Florida "Prayer Day" story, yet you don't allow the President to speak his thoughts. He has as much right
    as any of you to express his opinion---- like it or not!
    It's called Freedom of Speech!

    July 19, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Oh the RWNJ's are going to have a field day with this!"

    Let them. They've only themselves to damage.

    July 19, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. RT

    Being Black and in a position almost the same i took the stand at trial why didn't ZM.

    July 19, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. just me

    we only wish we could turn back time...666obama is half white also and so is Zimmerman...if it were Zimmerman that was shot by the teen we wouldn't be going through all this racist crap now...al, jackson and 666obama need to shut up our justice system has been screwed for years and it's taking an HISPANIC man defending himself from a black teen to realize that? geez i have been gripping about the justice system for years!! but you didn't see our white president and the kkk getting up in riots and such when oj was acquitted of 2 counts of murder when he killed his white ex wife and her white boyfriend...let me put on my white pointed hoodie and see what happens when i just walk down the street with a snickers and an orange crush soda lets see how many blacks jump to conclusions (sarcastically speaking)...and no i am far from racist have more hispanic and black friends then i do white...

    July 19, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. Just a thought

    LOL....I already see the vapid remarks of the GOP/Tea idiocy ...keep it up folks. Make sure reasonable and tolerant Americans see the racial hatred up front, close and personal...guarantees your extinction and the rest of us couldn't be happier

    July 19, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Patrick

    So is the POTUS saying he would have sucker punched a creepy azz cracka for following him? I would have never expected that from him. If I had a President, he would look just like Ronald Reagan. Just sayin.

    July 19, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. Pete

    Let's see how everyone judges his comments..Pres.Obama was in a damned if he did or damned if he didn't situation in commenting about this incident and now its out ..Let's put a question to all the Bush fans out there and would Bush have ever commented about something like this I doubt it because how long did it take for him to comment and fly over Louisiana after Katrina,days later and even then he had to be pushed probibly to do it!!It's time for these red states almost all of them to repeal the SYG law and its loosely administered interpetation...It's known that acquittals have soars since its inception in 2005 and with the surge it should of been investigated just because of the way its been implimented in all 22 states thanks to the NRA,ALEC who's money,political power pushed it across in all those states!!Time for it to go or wait till a reps family member or friend is involved and then the change will happen like it or not!!

    July 19, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. frank

    Bravo....El Presidente...I love this man

    July 19, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. Just a thought

    GOP / Tea toads...make sure you include the foolish perception that if Trayvon had a gun and he had is rights to defend himself that he would be walking around free today. Yeah right!

    July 19, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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