By: Amanda Anderson-Niles
The George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin trial invoked a national debate on race, and in the end most of Zimmerman’s supporters swear up and down the incident was never about race. Of course that can’t be 100% correct since Zimmerman thought Trayvon was a criminal even although he was not committing a crime by walking to his father’s home from the convenience store . President Obama has been vocal on the situation for a good minute, but he caught some major backlash when he said Trayvon Martin could have been him 35 years ago. The president made a recent appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and he talked more about why he made the statement. And according to Obama, Trayvon didn’t have to be a perfect kid to get justice from a justice system that is supposed to work for everyone. He says:
“I think all of us were troubled by what happened, and any of us who are parents can imagine the heartache that those parents went through. It doesn’t mean that Trayvon was a perfect kid, none of us were…You’re a teenager, especially a teenage boy, you’re gonna mess up and you won’t always have the best judgment.
“But what I think all of us agree to s that we should have a criminal justice system that is fair, that’s just, and what I wanted to try to explain was why this was a partiuclalry sensitive topic for African-American families because a lot of people who have sons know the experience they had being followed or being viewed suspiciously.”
The president also went on to say that the high levels of crime involving blacks doesn’t give the Zimmermans of the world a pass:
“We all know that young African-American men disproportionately have involvement in criminal activities and violence, for a lot of reasons, a lot of them having to do with poverty, a lot of them having to do with disruptions in their neighborhoods and their communities, failing schools and all those things. And that’s no excuse, but what we also believe in is that people, everybody, should be treated fairly and the system should work for everyone.”
Well said. Check out the clip below: