Fox News host Dana Perino on Sunday wondered why President Barack Obama would talk about how his experience as an African-American man related to the Trayvon Martin case but would not give a speech after black teens allegedly shot a white baby in the face.
In remarks on Friday, the president had reacted to the acquittal of neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman by acknowledging unfairness in the justice system for African-Americans and saying that he could have been slain teen Trayvon Martin 35 years ago.
“Many African-Americans believe that they won’t get the benefit of doubt if they use ‘stand your ground’ on their behalf,” ABC News Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas explained during a panel discussion on Sunday. “And they believe in this case that Trayvon Martin would not have had an opportunity to stand his ground.”
“And you can talk about this all you want, look, race permeated that case,” Thomas continued. “And many African-Americans feel like that Trayvon Martin did not get justice.”
But Perino immediately dismissed those African-Americans by pointing to an FBI report that included statements from a homicide investigator who said that Zimmerman was not racist.
“Also when a president speaks, it’s to multiple audiences,” she added. “If you think of the young mother whose 2-year-old son was shot in the face by the two black teens that approached her in Atlanta and that baby had died, why do presidents choose to speak about one case and not the other? That’s why it’s better maybe not to talk about any of them.”
Earlier this year, a Georgia woman said her 13-month-old son was fatally shot by two African-American teens who approached her and asked for money.
In contrast to the Martin killing, 17-year-old De’Marquise Elkins and 15-year-old Dominique Lang were charged with first-degree murder about a day after the crime. And the 13-month-old victim in the Georgia case was never profiled as criminal and blamed for his own death.
Watch this video from ABC’s This Week, broadcast July 21, 2013.