Obama: “Trayvon Martin could have been me”

‘Trayvon Martin could have been me,’ Obama tells press corps

From the Toronto Star reporting on a press conference earlier today, Obama finally gives the world a bit more than a written statement about the Trayvon Martin case.

“Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” said Obama, not just acknowledging but slaying the elephant in the room.

A gape-jawed White House press corps sat astonished as Obama, himself the product of a biracial family — a black father from Kenya, a white mother from Kansas — described, as never before, what it feels like inside young, black male skin.

Time changes but history doesn’t. And it is “inescapable” that African-Americans will see the scot-free exoneration of Zimmerman in the shooting death of a Skittles-toting Florida teen through the lens of their own collective experience.

“There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me,” said Obama.

I am not Trayvon Martin.

“I am NOT Trayvon Martin. I am Not Troy Davis. And to the middle class, white, socially-concerned activist who wears a shirt emblazoned with those slogans, you are wrong.”

Phenomenal 3-minute piece here from another activist who wants us to recognize our privilege and use it to make things better for everyone.