On Friday Obama gave a very personal and heartfelt speech about the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict, which caused outrage across America in the form of protests large enough to shut down freeways in L.A.
“You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son,” Obama said of the teen who was gunned down by the neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Florida in 2012. “Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
“And when you think about why, in the African-American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think 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 continued.
The president went on to say that he witnessed a great deal of everyday racism before entering politics, like being followed while shopping and seeing old ladies clutching their purses in fear.
He went on to touch on topics like racial profiling legislation, state and local laws that might encourage similar altercations, and how attitudes are positively changing in our country. Barack concluded with:
“We’re becoming a more perfect union — not a perfect union, but a more perfect union.”