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The White House has issued this statement from President Barack Obama on Trayvon Martin and the trial that ended in George Zimmerman being found “not guilty” of the 17-year-old’s murder:

The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.

JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief
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Copyright 2013 The Moderate Voice
  • sheknows

    For sure Obama had to run defense on this one. So many believe it is a gross miscarriage of justice, and the fact that he took the time to address it may tell us a little about how he feels in this decision as well.

  • Smooth Jazz

    “So many believe it is a gross miscarriage of justice”

    And just as many, if not more, believe justice prevailed in this case – eg There is more than enough evidence to suggest if Martin had not attacked Zimmerman, he would still be alive. Either way, perhaps Obama can comment on every black 17 year old gunned down by other 17 old African Americans, like what happens in my old neighborhood of Brownsville, Brooklyn or his native Chicago all the time. Why does he have to make this this 17 year old a special case.

  • Today

    I think President Obama addressed this senseless tragedy and weird decision as well as possible. I am still amazed that it is now apparently legal to leave the safety of your home, pursue someone because you do not like the way they look and if they confront you for following them, you can shoot and kill the person. This is a big game changer.

  • dduck

    SJ nails it.

  • StockBoyLA

    I don’t know how Zimmerman can credibly claim self-defense when he got out of his car with a loaded gun and chased Martin down. Growing up I was taught that the people doing the chasing with a gun were the bad guys. Especially if they were chasing unarmed children.

  • Smooth Jazz

    I don’t know how Zimmerman can credibly claim self-defense when he got out of his car with a loaded gun and chased Martin down. Growing up I was taught that the people doing the chasing with a gun were the bad guys. Especially if they were chasing unarmed children.

    Reasonable people can disagree whether that happened as you described. When I first head the initial news reports, I thought that was the case. As the case unfolded, I thought another possibility was just as reasonable: That Zimmerman never “chased Martin down”, but got out of his car so he could have a better vantage point to lead police to what he thought was a suspicious person. Getting out of his car to better guide police does not make him guilty of murder or justified getting his head and nose bashed in. We do know the jury looked at the evidence and came to a reasonable conclusion.

    There is no evidence to suggest he got out of the car to hunt or chase down Martin as you are suggesting. I know that is the race baiters & race hustlers position – But there is ZERO evidence to support that. Besides, Zimmerman as hispanic not white, and many people in this country consider hispanics a minority.

    At any rate, as I mentioned previously, in the Bed Stuy & Brownsville neighborhood I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, 17 year olds Black teenagers die at the hands of other 17 black teenagers all the time. Sometimes after being chased. I jsut don’t see the President making comments or mass rallies protesting these situations which happen quite often in our communities.

  • SJ, “race baiters and race hustlers”? Care to share more on this? It seems to suggest that there’s no historical context for the profiling of a young black male that ended in his death.

    Zimmerman hispanic? I suppose you could say that, if also by that logic you see Obama as black, rather than half-and-half.

    While I agree that there was not enough evidence to prosecute Zimmerman on Murder-2 or even manslaughter, that doesn’t mean that race didn’t play into this situation. Would Martin have even been assumed to be a criminal had he not been black?

    And let’s also consider this was not as a result of gang violence or drug-related violence; i.e. not a status-quo death. It also ginned up a lot of controversy; hence why Obama commented on it.

  • JSpencer

    As we can see from comments above, some people are comfortable rationalizing a two tiered system of justice and are comfortable rationalizing non-accountability itself. Clearly the struggle for reason and justice is as important now as it ever was.

  • dduck

    “some people” are not “comfortable”, but given the screw up, in “their” opinion, with the decision to bend to the politically correct folks to charge murder, spoiled the whole effort. And, of course race entered into the complex equation that led up to the tragedy. To deny that GZ ignored it given the past incidents at the housing complex is debatable, and one could say that GZ was perceived as white or Hispanic and TM may have reacted, or not reacted differently if TM thought he was black.

    All of this does not mean that I am comfortable with the verdict. “Some” may recall I was asking how could GZ draw his weapon rack a round and click off the safety all while on the ground being pummeled. I also said I would hit the guy with the gun to get him off me.

    Bottom line, we weren’t there to record the events and the jury felt there was reasonable doubt, and hey it was Florida.

  • roro80

    “There is more than enough evidence to suggest if Martin had not attacked Zimmerman, he would still be alive.”

    And what evidence is that, prey tell?

  • roro80

    “and hey it was Florida”

    Yep, same state where a woman who fires warning shots at the wall in order to get out of the house is then charged and sentenced to 20 years. White kill “stands his ground” and kills a kid — not guilty. Black woman stands her ground, kills nobody, gets away from abusive husband — guilty.

  • JSpencer

    Justice mocked, denied, and then applauded. Pathetic.