Obama Takes Over White House Press Briefing to School the Nation On Trayvon Martin and Racism (+video)

Photo Credit: globalgrind.comObama Takes Over White House Press Briefing To Speak On Trayvon Martin

By Jennifer Bendery. President Barack Obama made an unexpected appearance at Friday’s White House press briefing to talk about the outcome of the Trayvon Martin case and, more broadly, how the United States continues to grapple with racial bias.

“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 said.

Obama said he understands why people are so upset that George Zimmerman was found not guilty for shooting and killing Martin, an unarmed teen who was walking down the street in Sanford, Fla., in February 2012. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, pursued Martin for no clear reason and ultimately shot him in what he said was self-defense. Read more from this story HERE.

Here’s a full video of Obama’s remarks:

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Obama Says that the Disproportionate Criminal Conduct of Black Young Men is an “Excuse” for Treating Them Differently

By Neil Munro. President Barack Obama took the White House podium Friday [and] acknowledged that African-American males have a higher-than-average crime rate, shortly before he dismissed the data as an “excuse” for treating black youths differently.

“Now, this isn’t to say that the African-American community is naive about the fact that African-American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system, that they are disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence,” he said.

He immediately suggested that Americans should ignore the data. ”The fact that a lot of African-American boys are painted with a broad brush and the excuse is given, well, there are these statistics out there that show that African-American boys are more violent — using that as an excuse to then see sons treated differently causes pain,” he said.

A November 2011 report by the Justice Department said that young African-American men comprise only 1 percent of the population, but commit 27 percent of the murders. Read more from this story HERE.

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Obama Calls For Review Of ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws After Trayvon Martin Verdict

By Amanda Terkel. President Barack Obama is calling for a review of the controversial Stand Your Ground laws that were at the heart of the killing of Trayvon Martin.

“I think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if it — if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than defuse potential altercations,” Obama told reporters in a surprise press conference at the White House on Friday.

Florida was the first state in the nation to pass a law that allows an individual who feels threatened to “stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force.” There are now about 30 states with such statutes. Read more from this story HERE.