THE COLOUR OF JUSTICE

President Barack Obama said on Friday 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.

In an unexpected press call, Mr Obama said very few black men in the US had not experienced racial profiling.

Mr Obama said the pain that African Americans felt around the case came from the fact that they viewed it through “a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away”.

He shared his experiences of being racially profiled in the past, such as being followed when shopping in a department store.

“There are very few African American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars.

“There are very few African Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she has a chance to get off.”

He also hailed the “grace and dignity” of Trayvon Martin’s parents in the way that they reacted to the verdict.

Justice in US isn’t blind after all.

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