July 19th, 2013
01:37 PM ET
9 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. B4Real2Me

    The really sad fact is is that even in 2013 unless you're Black and no matter how much we try to explain whites just aren't going to understand. Ooh but they're learning because they're interracial children are having to suffer the same experiences if not worse... not Black enough but ain't white enough. But at least the door to honest conversations reference to race related issues has been opened again. Hopefully everyone will come in and work together in finding solutions.

    July 19, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. NameFrank Deery

    Please! Hasn't he done enough to stir the
    Violence we are seeing in Oakland and LA
    by sticking his 70's nose into this? The fact that he is The First part-Black President to come along ever negates his argument, plus his residence in Honolulu, not Birmingham, Al
    in the 70's. Meanwhile, the country is A Mess, Obamacare is tanking, and Syria and Egypt are gone, and Boston marathon might be just the beginning-under this Lousey President!
    Then the liberal media, which has fostered Obama,whose second term is dismal,continues to ignore the elements of his end: fubdraising, preening. Leadership ?

    Benghazi and IRS, to win, wonder "why" are
    ratings sink!

    July 19, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. michael

    I think the President brought the point home! If, conservatives and concealing gun lovers do not understand what he is saying due to their polarized view; maybe, they would understand, if every white teens are now followed by black and brown men, shot killed, then use stand your ground as a defense to getaway with the murder! This would me horrifying and shocking. But, judicial decisions like these will open the doors to more of this violence! Because no one took Travon Martins side, tried to understand his fear, or his right to protect himself! George Zimmermans sold his view, which could have been thought out, planned, just in case of eventual death in a confrontation. Many have deceived, manipulated, and fleeced the jurors into making wrong decisions. What, if O J Simpson would have said, he was threatened, cut by his wife used stand your ground as a defense. White people would have been appalled at the thought that he got away. Well, most white despite of the courts decision of not guilty think that was an unjustice decision vehemently! The O J verdict should have been received as justice, if the Travon decision is justice! Stop the hypocriscy!

    July 19, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Tony D

    Another first for Obama. The nations first race baiting President.

    July 19, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Cherokee Morrisson

    I think I've heard just about all the slander I care to being aimed at Trevon Martin. Might I remind the president that 35 years ago things were different, and now that he's brought the turbulance of gang land Chicago to anytown USA by waiting until now to acknowledge the damage that racism and racial tension causes, how dare you compare a deceased teen to yourself so as to imply that he would have grown up to be a criminal. Remember that you've had your 'moment as Treyvon' when 'Jesus' declared you 'the Anti-Christ' and you simply down-played that moment of 'voter dissatisfaction' in the press, as you do everytime, with your glammed up over-idealization of yourself, where people matter very little in comparison to you.

    July 19, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Jyoeru

    This is the biggest crock of BS ever unloaded. Black on white happens all of the time, but no one cares. Black on black happens all of the time, but no one cares. Zimmerman was heralded as white, but he isn't white. If he profiled anything, it was a dude in a hoodie who seemed to represent the thug life from his *older* FB posts and pics. Obama would have been playing golf with old white dudes. No comparison. Screw this country and this liberal media. This story should have never been in the news.

    RIP Trayvon. Sorry you lost your life. I will never say you deserved it, because I don't have enough unbiased information.

    July 19, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. bianca

    I find the President's comments inflammatory to the situation. I believe the jury, based on the evidence, made the right decision. This country will never move forward and beyond racism if the African American community continues to use the race card every time they feel dissatisfied with a political or judicial outcome or a situation, such as the response to Hurricane Katrina in LA. Furthermore, for all those who believe this is a country full of white racists can someone explain how Obama was voted in as president then? A substantial amount of Obama supporters were/are white. And a majority of the protesters in Times Square for example, who supported the prosecution of Zimmerman were white. I live in NYC, I know. President Obama's comments along with other African American's who are using the race card in this situation should be ashamed of themselves. It is a slap in the face to those who fought for equality.

    July 19, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. Bereel

    why is this guy white, i thought he was hispanic,

    July 19, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Wes

    A hispanic kills a black and obama blames whites. Amazing.

    July 19, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. MGVET

    Its too bad obama was not trayvon
    Perhaps our country would have had a real American President.

    July 19, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. Your Black, Volvo Drivcinf Neighbor

    Maybe I should get a gun and a concealled carry permit, then shoot anybody that my self serving mind remotely feels is potentially up to no good. How many politicians woulds I shoot? How many scamming WallbStreet Financiers? Howmany industrial polluters? Do we want our black teens armed to shoot down the Zimmerman's pre-emptively?

    July 19, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Tried of the rhetoric

    The president should value the legal system of the country he leads. This case was tried in a court of law, the outcome must be respected. His comments will only serve to undermine this process and fuel unrest. If he was discriminated against, he should consider the host of other subgroups that join him: women, the aged and virtually every other immigrant class that entered this country. To undo any discrimination, be self sufficient and a contributing member of our society.

    July 19, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. Ah. I see...

    vince duran said:

    If you were Zimmerman with a person on top of you, slamming your head on the sidewalk repeatedly in a primarily black area, what would you do.... encourage him, feel sorry for his life situation?

    Underlying connotations of white supremacy from the rest of your post aside, this bothered me most. First, Zimmerman wasn't getting his head bashed in, he was punched a handful of times in the face. Seeing pics of Zimmerman on that night is obvious to see that head smashing didn't occur. Second, if I was a fat vigilante, I would figure that I'd get beat down against anyone slightly more agile and I'd carry Metal Courage too. The fact Zimmerman was told not to follow Martin, then did, then got beat down like any stalker deserves shouldn't be grounds for murder OR self defense since he STARTED the encounter...unless youre a fat vigilante pos with a gun in Florida with a terrible, or possibly purchased, prosecuting team. Guns make weaklings strong which is why they're called equalizers...only when you shoot an unarmed man, you aren't equalizing, you're murdering.

    Thanks for promoting a return to the Wild West though. I can't wait for the first time I get to follow in Ned and Jimbo's (from South park) footsteps and wreck some family forever with the simple credo now reinforced by this ridiculous trial: THEY'RE COMING RIGHT FOR US! *blam blam blam*

    July 19, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. T. Cwelqin

    So 35 years ago he was a drug dealing, occasional thief? He also would have been going to the store to buy ingredients for his sizzurp? He would have also gotten back home, then gotten mad, then doubled back and attacked someone for just looking at him from down the street? If Obama really means that, then I guess it's too bad he wasn't just like Trayvon 35 years ago.

    July 19, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    One can only imagine the situation had it been reversed. A black man shooting a white teen throught heart dead, and claims self defense. The black man would have never been able to leave the police station the same night under his own free will. The crime scene would have been better secured and investigated as proof was sought that this teen may been murdered.

    Should the black man been found innocent, it could be the aftermath of the OJ trial all over again.

    July 19, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. ST

    I do not care what color of skin one has. The way blacks are treated is horrible and should not exist at this century. What annoys me most is: people know what they are doing and when they are told the truth they make them pretenders. Zimmerman's case was beyond any understanding. I wish everyone of us could read news paper from outside the country and understand what is written about discrimination in US.

    July 19, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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