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 Friday at the White House, his first time appearing for a statement on the verdict since it was issued last Saturday.
“Trayvon could’ve been me 35 years ago,” Obama said.
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.