Barack Obama | News | Trayvon Martin

Obama Speaks On Trayvon Martin Case: VIDEO

Martin_obama

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."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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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Comments

  1. ...did anyone ever see that film "Paris, Trout"?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 23, 2012 1:20:58 PM


  2. Markus,

    "hispanic" is a census term, it's a language group not a race. If you will read the census guidelines it says something like "hispanic can be of any race, do not add or subtract this number from racial statistics" .

    Of course people do subtract "hispanic" from cacuasian/white which is how they come up with these erroneous numbers in discussions. I usually point to a photo of Mel Martinez with Bush and friends and challenge someone to point to the "hispanic" in the crowd.

    White hispanic isn't a new racial term. "White non-hispanic" has been used for some time by demographers. Mexicans and most latinos who are not inarguably congoid have traditionally been considered white/caucasoid. If you look back, in about 1948 you'll find a case of a America woman of Mexican ancestry being prosecuted for marrying a Negroid/Congoid male.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 23, 2012 1:25:53 PM


  3. KIWI,

    Sorry about the "poor white trash looking for meth money" comment. Didn't mean to offend your Canadian heritage.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 23, 2012 1:30:26 PM


  4. @David Hearne
    You are absolutely right about you having the right to own a firearm and protect yourself and your home.
    HOWEVER you are completely wrong about this case, this so called vigilante, followed this boy because looked suspicious, called 911 to tell them to which he was told to stop following him. Not only did he continue to follow the boy but he got out of his car and attacked him. You can hear on a neighbor 911 tape that the boy was screaming help! Help! before he was shot to death, I’m not sure how anyone cannot see that this boy was not the aggressor, he was followed, confronted, attacked, and killed because he was black and therefore suspicious looking to this man.

    Posted by: jayson | Mar 23, 2012 1:32:56 PM


  5. "White hispanic isn't a new racial term. "White non-hispanic" has been used for some time"

    Exactly. "White non-hispanic" has been used for some time. "White Hispanic" used by a news organization is a term invented to get out of using "Hispanic".

    Posted by: MarkUs | Mar 23, 2012 1:35:16 PM


  6. Rich is a racist who should be permanently banned from this site.

    Posted by: josh | Mar 23, 2012 1:57:50 PM


  7. Markus,

    You're right, I haven't actually heard anyone else use 'white hispanic" but I have heard and read similar. This is a trashy reference, but on Craigslist you will find many men from points south who ID as "white latino" or "white Puerto Rican". As for Cubans, they do a funny thing- they refer to blacks by various names (some nicer than others), themselves as Cubans and/or white, but when they are together call Anglos "white boys". And they talk nasty about Puerto Ricans.

    People are tribal. All the bluster in the world isn't going to change that. If the world were to randomly rut until everyone was beige with slightly slanted eyes, people would find lines to draw. They would breed for a couple of hundred years and you would have races again.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 23, 2012 2:04:05 PM


  8. David Hearne, unless your elderly mother goes out stalking potential criminals in her neighborhood the gun in her nightstand absolutely effing NOTHING to do with this case.

    Like it or not, guns in America aren't going away in the foreseeable future. For that reason I'm not opposed to gay people owning weapons for their own protection but that doesn't have anything to do with case either.

    This case is about a self-appointed neighborhood watchman who followed, cornered, and killed a young man who was armed with a bag of Skittles and Iced Tea, after being told by a police dispatcher NOT to follow him. Zimmerman has a history of violent assaults on others, including the police, completely unrelated to his imaginary "duties." I would say that Trayvon Martin's race was immaterial to this case except his race is what caused Zimmerman to view him as "suspicious" in the first place.

    Posted by: Caliban | Mar 23, 2012 2:06:15 PM


  9. Caliban,

    People who are stalking don't generally have the police on their cellphone while doing so. Now do they?

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 23, 2012 2:17:26 PM


  10. see? David believes that Trayvon's crime of being Black is greater than Zimmerman's crime of murdering him.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 23, 2012 2:22:40 PM


  11. Judging people based on their membership in a suspect class? Gee, that sounds familiar somehow. If you do not see individuals, but only the group, you are a racist. Period.

    Posted by: melvin | Mar 23, 2012 3:12:37 PM


  12. These comment threads need moderation. There are out and out racists spouting their swill on towleroad.

    Posted by: melvin | Mar 23, 2012 3:14:18 PM


  13. KIWI-

    "see? David believes that Trayvon's crime of being Black is greater than Zimmerman's crime of murdering him."

    If you are going to make such an allegation, you should have the courtesy to quote the text which you claim proves it. So far, it's not difficult to understand why someone would choose to ignore you.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 23, 2012 3:59:16 PM


  14. "Judging people based on their membership in a suspect class? Gee, that sounds familiar somehow. If you do not see individuals, but only the group, you are a racist."

    I haven't seen where anyone here has done that. If you want to make the word "racist" completely without power, keep over using it for everyone you disagree with. It's already virtually meaningless thanks to the DU crowd.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 23, 2012 4:03:49 PM


  15. Apparently Hearne you don't read Rick's comments for one, where, since some black organizations fail to endorse marriage equality or whatever, all black people are undeserving of sympathy or aid no matter how outrageous the offence.

    This Zimmerman was a nut. He obviously called the cops every time he saw a black person walking down the sidewalk. You seem to think his loony phone calls argue in his defense. My question is, with a file of calls from this loon, why the police would put any stock at all in one more. His evidence is "Now he's looking at me." Who wouldn't look at an obviously crazy person obviously following them? I certainly would, if only to try and figure out how much danger I was in.

    Posted by: melvin | Mar 23, 2012 4:27:44 PM


  16. The Trayvon Martin case is outrageous to me. And it is a symptom of this sickening culture of glorification and justification for violence. "Conceal and Carry?" Stand Your Ground?".
    Along with Little Kiwi, most of the civilized world, where people are much safer walking down the street than in the United States, shake their heads in bafflement as they see so many Americans seeming to push toward a society in which every time any kid walks down the street to get an iced tea or go to school, they should be armed and ready for a deadly shootout.

    @Rick: First I go read an editorial by an anti-gay writer claiming that if Trayvon had been gay, the shooter would have been imprisoned on hate crime charges (using the Daehun Ravi case as support for the argument) and now I read a comment here (very predictably from you) based on racist us-against-them notions. The true civil rights leaders in the black community are, and always have been, on the side of fairness for everyone, just as gay rights leaders have been.
    And Little Kiwi's country is hardly "lily white.". Hic city was recognized by the United Nations as the world's most multiple-cultural city, and nearly half the people in it are non-white.

    In regards to the Trayvon Martin case, the laws and attitudes that allowed this to happen are very disturbing to me. It would really make me have reservations about even visiting Florida or any other state that seems to value weapons more than human life.

    Posted by: Gregv | Mar 23, 2012 5:59:46 PM


  17. SEAN IS 100% RIGHT about expecting Black folks to go for Gay rights in the forseeable future. I do think that since Towleroad covers liberal issues, the Trayvon thing is OK here.
    Trayvon, a Miamian, died for "Walking while Black" in the redneck part of Flawrida
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    BUT WHERE IS THE PUBLIC OUTCRY ABOUT THE 2 GAY WHITE MEN killed for walking drunk in the wrong part of Sarasota, by a Black kid Trayvon's age

    Posted by: Bob | Mar 23, 2012 6:27:26 PM


  18. Absolutely. And if he had a son, he could also look like Robert Champion, Jr., who died at the hands of peers "hazing" him.

    Where is the outrage? Missing, because he's gay? Because he's in the band, and not a football player? Because he was killed by peers?

    Posted by: t | Mar 23, 2012 6:32:52 PM


  19. while young people of all races are being, both purposefully and accidentally, gunned down in the streets on a daily basis why did the president choose (the questioner was a plant) to make his opinion known in this particular case? considering obama's history of frequently referring to himself as a president who "doesn't look like the others" and who "doesn't look like the other guys on the money",etc., it's no great leap to assume, when saying that the teen who was shot looks like he could be his son, that he was not referring to his big ears but rather to the color of his skin. not letting this tragedy 'go to waste', he's exploiting the story to fit into his constant theme of america's being a racist society wherein those with the darkest skin tones are the most victimized.
    it's another example of obama espousing professor bell's marxist 'critical race theory' which obama championed as both a college student and as a 'community organizer'.
    as he did in the prof.gates incident ("the police acted stupidly"), obama is improperly inserting the office of the presidency into a local police matter of which we do not yet have all the facts. will he be calling another 'beer summit' if the facts of the case prove to be other than is currently supposed?

    Posted by: el polacko | Mar 23, 2012 9:44:49 PM


  20. as to the stafford piece, there is no reason why gay people in particular should choose to align themselves with anybody else's movement. over the course of the last several decades we have allowed the gay rights movement to be co-opted and diffused by a panapoly of leftist causes. we've marched for everything from feminism to trade unions to black liberation, not to mention those who are professed enemies of gay people like the communists and the palestinians. foolishly, we donned our 'fashionable' che t-shirts, oblivious to the fact that the man, personally, murdered gay people in cold blood for the 'good' of his marxist vision for society. we have draped ourselves in 'fashionable' keffiyah scarves in solidarity with societies that stone gay people to death. we have chanted and raised our fists in the air for people who were simply using us.
    meanwhile, our own rights were politically assaulted, we were burdened by the medical emergency of aids, and our movement for equality languished. none of the other groups, who had promised to 'scratch our backs' if we scratched theirs came to our defense and support. but what did we do? we stuck by them anyway and joined in their demonization of the political right, thereby alienating half of the population that we needed, and still need, to be persuaded that ours is a just cause that's not just another in the list of lefty rallying points. can we, at least, learn a little something from the recent vote in new hampshire where representatives from both sides of the aisle refused to strip away marriage rights and try to build on that? can we tell those who want to use us that we are kinda busy right now working on our own issues? the modern american gay rights movement is over 50 years old. isn't it time that we grew up?

    Posted by: el polacko | Mar 23, 2012 10:56:48 PM


  21. How do you know the questioner was a plan EL Polacko? You must have some sort of ESP to be so sure when there is no evidence supporting what you claim.

    Posted by: Frank | Mar 24, 2012 9:39:09 AM


  22. Maybe Obama commented on the story because it was personal to him. You do know a lot of black males in America are still racially profiled and searched on a regular basis. I myself have on various occasions been stopped walking down the street, pulled over in my car and asked point blank if I had drugs on me, and questioned about whether my car was stolen. And, given the fact that Obama attended Harvard during the 80's I'm sure that he not short on experience being profiled as well.

    Posted by: Frank | Mar 24, 2012 9:52:55 AM


  23. @El Polacko Nail on head. Most insightful comment I have ever read on this forum (not that that is saying much).

    The gay movement has floundered largely because it has been taken over by activists who act as automatons of the Far Left, who kiss the backsides of groups of people who spit in our faces at every opportunity--out of some delusional sense that if they do so often enough, these groups will become our allies.......and by so doing, alienate the much larger group of people in the social mainstream who would become our allies if the gay movement were not tinged by these Far Left associations.

    Really a sad state of affairs.

    Posted by: Rick | Mar 24, 2012 10:46:23 AM


  24. This is just hilarious to read the racists coming out of the woodwork about this story. Instead of being concerned that an innocent kid was a victim of a hate crime, they want to spew nonsense. As for people wondering where was the public outcry for this or that, I ask if you were trying to spread the word about that story....because that's how the Trayvon story got so much media attention.

    Posted by: SMH | Mar 25, 2012 3:04:13 AM


  25. Rick are describing black people or Republicans?

    Posted by: Frank | Mar 27, 2012 9:52:41 AM


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