Watch All In with Chris Hayes tonight for a conversation about the unexpected remarks President Obama made Friday afternoon on race and the Trayvon Martin case. Speaking from the White House Press Briefing Room, the president discussed the suspicion black men regularly face from a personal perspective.
“There are very few African-American men in this country,” he said, “who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. 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. That happens to me–at least before I was a senator. 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 had a chance to get off. That happens often.”
The president acknowledged the frustration the African-American community faces both from this culture of racial bias and the Zimmerman trial verdict. Protests are expected to continue through the weekend and a group opposing “stop and frisk” laws remained gathered Friday in Florida Governor Rick Scott’s office. However, the president expressed his desire to move forward as a nation towards fairness and understanding through informal discussion, reflection and what he described as “some soul-searching.”
“Along this long, difficult journey,” the president concluded, “we’re becoming a more perfect union–not a perfect union, but a more perfect union.”
Guest host Ezra Klein will be joined by msnbc Contributor Joy Reid, msnbc host Melissa Harris-Perry, Director of Africana Studies and msnbc Contributor James Peterson, and Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol Khary Lazarre-White to discuss their perspectives on the president’s powerful words.