Melissa Harris-Perry, 7/21/13, 10:43 AM ET

The Trayvon Martin generation responds to Obama

President Obama said that Trayvon Martin “could’ve been me 35 years ago.” That statement was met with both ire and acceptance on both sides of the...

What it feels like to look like a threat


One young guest on Sunday’s Melissa Harris-Perry knows all too well what President Obama meant when he described being profiled and suspected simply because of the color of his skin.

CJ Morrison, a sophomore at Central Connecticut State University shared his frightening experience with being profiled with Melissa Harris-Perry Sunday. After attending a party near campus, Johnson and several friends were walking to their car when they were surrounded by police. With guns trained on him and his friends, but not on other partygoers who were also on their way home, the police appeared to suspect the young men of being involved in a shooting that had happened nearby.

Despite repeated pleas to be allowed to go home, “I asked the woman, she came up to me with a gun pointed right at me what was going on, to which she responded, ‘we just gotta do this as a precaution’,” and while they were eventually let go, “they basically gave us no reason why they came at us,” he said.

Morrison and his football teammates are black and most of the other students leaving the party were white.

In addition to Morrison’s moving story, the panelists, who included organizers with the Dream Defenders and the Black Youth Project, shared their hopes for greater racial tolerance and safety for young people of color from being profiled and from being funneled into the school to prison pipeline.

Watch CJ’s full story and the full discussion above.


What it feels like to look like a threat