Obama: "Trayvon Martin Could've Been Me 35 Years Ago"

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 19 2013 2:15 PM

Watch Obama's Surprise Remarks About Trayvon Martin, Race, and Himself

President Obama made a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room this afternoon, where he spoke at length about the George Zimmerman verdict. "When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said this could've been my son. Another way of saying that is, Trayvon Martin could've been me 35 years ago," the president said during his extended remarks that included personal anecdotes about his experience being a black man in the United States. "When you think about why in the African American community at least, there's a lot of pain around what happened 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." Watch his full remarks above.

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.