It wasn’t long after President Obama commented on Trayvon Martin last Friday that the Twitter hashtag #ObamaSufferedProfilingWhen began trending.
One good response:
Not true, Obama would say. He shared the following experiences he’s had over the years with reporters:
There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me.
And 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.
And you know, I don’t want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida. And it’s inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear.
Twitter lit up with the following thoughts on Obama suffering racial profiling:
And a screenshot from a collection on Mediaite:
And then there’s the famous prom picture: