In a surprise appearance at the White House press briefing, President Obama said he’d been a victim of racial profiling and empathized with African Americans outraged by Zimmerman’s acquittal.
When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son,” Obama said.
“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.”
The president said that blacks experienced, on a daily basis, the manifestations of prejudice.
“There are very few African American men who haven’t had the experience of being followed in a department store,” he said. “That includes me.”