Obama: Black Americans feeling pain

2013-07-19 19:59

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Washington - President Barack Obama says black Americans feel pain after the Trayvon Martin verdict because of a "history that doesn't go away."

Obama spoke in a surprise appearance on Friday at the White House, his first time appearing for a statement on the verdict since it was issued last Saturday.

Obama says African Americans view the case through "a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away." He says black men in particular are used to being feared and blacks see a disparity in the way they are treated under the law.

He says he also has heard drivers lock their doors and has seen women clutch their purses tighter when he walked by, before he was elected to public office.

President Barack Obama said that the death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager shot dead in Florida last year, has raised questions about why young African-Americans experience racial profiling.

"You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago," Obama told reporters at the White House, in his first public remarks after the acquittal by a Florida court of Martin's shooter, George Zimmerman.

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