Barack Obama | News | Trayvon Martin

Obama Speaks On Trayvon Martin Case: VIDEO


Obama commented on the Trayvon Martin case today in the Rose Garden:

"I think about my own kids. and you know, I think every parent in america should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this. and that everybody pulls together, federal, state and local, to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened. so I'm glad that not only is the justice department looking into it, I understand now that the governor of the state of Florida has formed a task force to investigate what is taking place...My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon. and, you know, I think they are right to expect that all of us as americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and that we're going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened."


Petition to prosecute Trayvon's killer, George Zimmerman, here.

In related news, activist and writer Zach Stafford writes, in the HuffPost, about everyone's civil rights movement, how they relate to the Trayvon Martin case, and why LGBT people should be involved:

Trayvon Martin's story is a tragedy, but we need to look at this instance and see it as a battle on a few levels. On one level it is a battle for justice for the Martin family, who rightly deserve it, and on another level it's also a battle for all folks who face violence when being in public -- even gay folks. Although I can never say that "I Am Trayvon Martin!" (even though I do understand that protesting tactic), what I can say is that I have been in the "wrong" place and policed by folks who live in that place far too many times just for looking "suspicious" (translation: not white, not heterosexual, or not what is thought to be an upstanding member of that place). And I believe many of the gay folks in the world could say they have to been thought of as suspicious -- suspicious for being gay...

...In a previous blog post I wrote, "It's time for us to stop saying that the gay rights movement is the new civil rights movement, because my civil rights movement hasn't stopped: as a person of color, for me it's still going." I would like to point to the Travyon Martin case as an example of my civil rights movement not stopping, in terms of my race. Many people responded to this statement by saying that the civil rights movement is the gay rights movement, that we all should be working together toward equality. So with that I challenge you to show that this proclamation is true; that we are all in this together for equality; that you, as a gay man, lesbian woman, or transgender person, can see the movement for racial equality and sexual equality as a fight we are all apart of; and that you can start showing that by helping seek justice for Trayvon Martin, who was killed just a few weeks ago for being outside, for being in public and looking "suspicious."

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  1. Thanks Andy for staying on top of this story, few gay blogs seem to know or care about this horrific crime, and, Zach Stafford, I applaud him on his words as well, which sadly will ring hollow to many who will reply to this post with total indifference.

    Posted by: Sebastian | Mar 23, 2012 12:14:03 PM

  2. I'm just stunned at how the whole thing is playing out. The police-corruption angle is galling, and there isn't an intellectually honest person around who will disagree that if it had been a black man shooting a white teen, he'd be in jail from Moment One.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 23, 2012 12:26:37 PM

  3. Why would gay blogs have this on their sites? There is nothing gay related about it. Meanwhile, it's on CNN and other news outlets every 3 mins. If people haven't heard about it yet, they're living under a rock.

    Why is he even chiming in on the matter? Why not comment about all the other horrific acts of violence in the country each day? Oh yeah, because he needs to score points with the black community, for whom he's done nothing. Unemployment in black communities is still double that of other groups. In no way are African Americans better off now than 4 years ago.

    Not PC enough for my super-liberal gay brethren? Perhaps. But absolutely true? Yup.

    Posted by: Sean | Mar 23, 2012 12:31:05 PM

  4. What a bitter individual you are, Sean.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Mar 23, 2012 12:34:35 PM

  5. That's right Sean. Obama is terrified that black Americans will suddenly all lose their minds and vote for Romney.

    Posted by: melvin | Mar 23, 2012 12:35:20 PM

  6. Stafford's comments represent just another ludicrous attempt to analogize the problems gay people face with those blacks face....and pretend that there is some kind of mutual sympathy/alliance between the two groups under some kind of progressive umbrella--and some kind of parallel between the civil rights movement and the gay movement, when the reality is that the vast majority of blacks are homophobic--including, no doubt, the vast majority who are protesting in this instance.

    If this were the case of a gay man having been killed, you would see neither sympathy nor empathy from these protesters--and if the gay man were white and the murderer black, not only would you see no sympathy, but you would see outright hostility.

    So please, gay white liberals, stop with the civil rights movement analogies--your message is stale and has largely fallen on deaf ears in the African-American community, who see no parallel, no common cause, and no reason for any alliance, as politically inconvenient as that may be....and if they haven't by now, they are never going to.

    It is not because they don't understand the argument--problem is, they have rejected your argument, like it or not.

    Posted by: Rick | Mar 23, 2012 12:36:06 PM

  7. The Martin case is not a review of the stand your ground law or the second amendment. If Zimmerman was righteous in his use of force, and he would be if Martin attacked him, then he's covered by the SYG law. If he wasn't righteous in his use of force, then the SYG law doesn't apply and isn't the issue.

    it's nice that so many people think that they are sufficiently safe and protected by their wealth, location, or attitude. Most of them are way wrong, including any of them who live in major cities. Remember that it was not that long ago that two men got in a stolen car and drove a long way to attack a gay man in Westhollywood. Because he was gay, because he was white, or because they thought it would be fun, it makes no difference. He did not have the means to defend himself.

    Every gay person should be armed.

    As for George Zimmerman, the police acted according to the law. Many people are cheering the effect of a mob demanding "justice". Does justice come from petitions, mobs, and popularity contests? Why didn't Lawrence O'Donnell make any mention of Zimmerman's wounds to the back of his head or the fact that he had wet grass on his back? So people who are about to commit a random act of violence usually call police while they are doing it?

    Don't tell me about "intellectually honest people" when you aren't being intellectual or honest, much less objective.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 23, 2012 12:39:33 PM

  8. ignore Rick, who once again posts from cowardly closeted anonymity.

    also ignore "Sean" who is yet another Alias for a resident troll.

    Trayvon's death is a tremendous loss for not only his family, but indicates just how far Our Culture Has To Go to work past the prejudices that still mire this country.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 23, 2012 12:40:16 PM

  9. i repeat: had a black man shot and killed a 17 year old white teen, the man would have been in immediate police custody.

    this is obvious to everyone who isn't a giant turd.

    a world where "everyone is armed" is a world that has failed. that's my idea of Hell.

    i truly hope you gun-nuts arms yourselves, and then kill each other. for real. like that story a few years back about the two hunters in a squabble over "who was hunting the deer" in Michigan who, when the fight escalated, shot and killed each other.

    "great", i thought. "two less trigger-happy assholes walking around"

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 23, 2012 12:46:43 PM

  10. Jesus H

    Following Rick's "logic" I shouldn't endorse an increase in the minimum wage until I see polling reports on how minimum wage workers vote on equality.

    Please read Julian Bond's testimony on behalf of marriage equality in the New Jersey senate, for starters. The civil rights hero and former NAACP head explicity makes the case that gay rights are civil rights. The black community is no more monolithic than is this comment forum.

    Posted by: melvin | Mar 23, 2012 12:49:34 PM

  11. David Hearne, "self-defense" hardly applies when it's YOU who follow and corner the person you claim "attacked" you. The police told Zimmerman not to follow Martin but he did anyway. If someone followed you wouldn't you confront them?

    You know what you call someone who "patrols" their neighborhood but doesn't join the official Neighborhood Watch and follow its rules? A vigilante.

    Zimmerman isn't Batman, he's a loser with a cop fetish who was possibly drinking when this happened, though of course we'll never know for sure since the police didn't follow their own protocols for testing in the wake of a shooting.

    Posted by: Caliban | Mar 23, 2012 12:50:20 PM

  12. Rick, I agree with you completely. You are spot-on.

    There's a clear line between idealists and realists on this blog.

    Posted by: Sean | Mar 23, 2012 12:54:12 PM

  13. there's also a clear line between Commenters and The Same Cowardly Idiot Who Posts With Various Names to Agree With "Himself"

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 23, 2012 12:57:33 PM

  14. Here's an idea KIWI, instead of speculating, make your case with some facts. Instead of hoping that law abiding people kill each other, respect the constitution (assuming you are an American).

    When I go riding in a few minutes, I will be in danger for part of that ride. I should not, and will not, avoid a section of the public path simply because it runs through a neighborhood which has a history of attacks on white people. Likewise, I don't avoid going to Pinellas Park when I have need to go there, for fear of poor white trash looking for meth money. I don't cower and look away from the criminals crawling the aisles of Walmart. I don't cloister myself on Treasure Island where bridges protect me.

    If you choose to live your life in fear or the bliss of ignorance, that's your business.

    My second amendment rights are not open for compromise or debate. My mother's house is all windows and in a "transitional" neighborhood. She sleeps with a gun next to her bed. Should we move to the Castro for safety? How about West Hollywood? Why don't you tell us where and how you live so we can be the judge of your level of objectivity here.

    Shall not be infringed.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 23, 2012 12:57:55 PM

  15. littlekiwi

    there actually is a case in florida of a black man who shot a white person and used the stand your ground law as self defense...

    the black man was arrested immediately and is in jail awaiting trial

    Obama responded excellently

    (The msm isn't highlighting the beginning which is also extremely important)

    Obama stated as head of the executive branch he is the boss of the AG and thus must be careful on his responses on the case...........(so as to not allow the anti-obama people make it about Obama let alone case an issue with the case that would result in a mistrial) and then he went into thinking about his daughters and that if he had a son he would look like Trayvon............not said but easily inferred is Obama himself when young could have been a Trayvon.

    Excellent response by our POTUS.

    Justice for Trayvon's family!

    Posted by: say what | Mar 23, 2012 12:58:03 PM

  16. @Melvin That's like saying that because Jimmy Carter is in favor of gay rights and is an Evangelical Christian, that we should sympathize with Evangelical Christians when it comes to their issues and claims of being victimized by "intolerance".

    The bottom line is that many gay people who are not black are sick and damn tired of being expected to be sympathetic towards a group who--as a group--have no sympathy at all towards gays and who have repeatedly gone out of their way to defeat our efforts to attain equality--including at the ballot box in every single state that has held referendums on gay marriage (by a 71-29 margin in California and by margins of 90-10 in some other states).

    Continually calling on society to behave with principle towards you as a group and asking them to care about injustices directed at you, as blacks do......when they do not, by and large, as a group (although there are individual exceptions) behave with such principles towards any other minority or care when injustices are directed at not justifiable.

    Blacks as a group are no more favorably inclined towards gay rights than white Evangelical Christians are....and are less favorably inclined towards gay rights than most Republicans are, even, but you don't see any sympathy at all being extended to the latter two groups on this site or anywhere else in the gay world, do you now?

    Enough is enough.

    Posted by: Rick | Mar 23, 2012 1:00:21 PM

  17. PS


    a reporter yelled out asking Obama about it

    what should he have done? Ignored it like romney did the other day! Romney walked away saying nothing to a reporter who asked him about the Trayvon case

    get a clue dude, your racism isn't veiled at all

    translation of sean = "Don'tch all know Trayvon is black and the POTUS is black so who cares. We have to get that black man out of the white house."

    (trivia....The presidential residence/ mansion was officially changed to the name The White House by Teddy Kennedy as a gift to racists from a man who refused to ever acknowledge black soldiers' outstanding achievements let alone involvement in spanish american war)

    Posted by: say what | Mar 23, 2012 1:02:08 PM

  18. @David, i was lucky enough to be born n'raised in Toronto. In Canada.

    in a country where citizens are smart enough to work harder at creating a culture where people feel no need to carry guns, as opposed to the USA where millions of blithering idiots would rather defend their "right" to own and carry a gun rather than work to create a culture where folks don't feel a need to "act upon" that right.

    as for me giving info about myself, click my name, find my blog, i'm all over it.

    unlike you. such strong opinions from a man who posts from a place of complete anonymity. feel free to link us all to your own web/youtube page so we can share the same level of transparency.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 23, 2012 1:05:54 PM

  19. "(assuming you are an American). "

    He's not; he's a self-righteous Canadian spouting off from his lily-white country about issues in another country that he doesn't understand and whose domestic issues he has no more business involving himself with than any other foreigner.

    Just so you know.....otherwise, I would have followed my usual policy of pretending he doesn't exist.

    Posted by: Rick | Mar 23, 2012 1:06:24 PM

  20. Rick pretends I don't exist because I ask Rick to prove that he is what he says he is.

    He ignores because he can't. Because he's not what he says he is.

    He's a closeted, cowardly grown-adult who never got over the fact that his father hated having him for a son.

    the good news: he'll die in that closet and thus won't have any negative impact on LGBT people in the real world.

    as for my lil-white country (nice jab, racist!) Toronto is among the most multiculturally diverse cities in the entire world.

    but, as canucks have a culture of multiculturalism and not some False White National Myth, the cultural aspects don't relate to violence.

    sorry, sad white boys who carry guns because their daddies never loved them :D

    so hey, Rick, how about that URL where you show us all what a strong masculine manly empowered Out gay male role model you are? HAHAHAHA!

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 23, 2012 1:10:18 PM

  21. MSNBC has introduced the new race category "White Hispanic" which I assume a white-hispanic would select on the census form. Well, unless you're a black hispanic.

    Posted by: MarkUs | Mar 23, 2012 1:11:36 PM

  22. sorry messed up LOL

    teddy kenedy = teddy Roosevelt

    OY huge mistake there

    Posted by: say what | Mar 23, 2012 1:16:32 PM

  23. Well said, Mr. President. And nothing the GOP can grab on to to twist and turn to use for their own political gain. "If I had a son he would look like Trayvon..." Powerful words.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Mar 23, 2012 1:16:43 PM

  24. Not to feed the trolls, but let me understand this- we teach our children not to talk to strangers and if approached by one to either run away or scream and fight as if their life depended on it. Then you have a case of a stranger in a car with a gun that follows a teenager home. Gets out fo his car when explicitly told by the 911 operator not, but it's the child's fault. Mind you, Zimmerman has 100 lbs. on the boy. Seriously, some are questioning Martin's actions. He did everything right. Had this been some little white girl there's no doubt Zimmerman would be in police custody and no one would be questioning why he suffered attack marks because we'd know that at least the girl fought back before she was killed. Everyone would be applauding the fact she didn't just let her attacker do what he wanted. It's truly sickening that some think Zimmerman was at all justified in his actions at all. A boy went out for candy and never came home again all because someone thought he looked supicious because of his skin color. Anyone that believes his murder was justified is truly horrible.

    Posted by: sugarrhill | Mar 23, 2012 1:18:02 PM

  25. "there actually is a case in florida of a black man who shot a white person and used the stand your ground law as self defense...

    the black man was arrested immediately and is in jail awaiting trial

    Apples and oranges. You can't simply compare all cases of people who claim SYG and then say "See, if it was a black man...." Well you can, but it won't make you credible.

    In the case you refer to, Trevor Dooley brandished a firearm at a man who was with his children and disagreeing with Dooley over community policy on skateboarding. When Dooley brandished, he threatened James, who then grabbed the gun in defensive response. Dooley is charged with manslaughter and is out on bond. Totally different scenario.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 23, 2012 1:19:31 PM

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