“We have listened to President Obama’s comments about the verdict in the Zimmerman Case. People are focusing on this quote: “Trayvon Martin could’ve been me 35 years ago.” To focus on this one line misses the nuances of the President’s message, which includes comments about how African Americans view the Zimmerman Case in the context of the history of racial disparity in America.
“For more than a year, we have been listening to the conversation about this case — from voices on every side — and we have become very sensitive to the racial context that surrounds this case. We acknowledge Mr. Obama’s remarks regarding the frustration felt by some when viewed in context of our nation’s history, which includes racial insensitivities spanning generations, and existing even today, including within our criminal justice system.
“While we acknowledge and understand the racial context of this case, we challenge people to look closely and dispassionately at the facts. We believe those who look at the facts of the case without prejudice will see that it is a clear case of self-defense, and we are certain that those who take a closer look at the kind of person George Zimmerman is — something we understand the Department of Justice is currently doing — we are confident they will find a young man with with a diverse ethnic and racial background who is not a racist, a man who is, in fact, sensitive to the complex racial history of our country.