America has "a long way to go" before it ends the racial disparities brought to light following last week’s verdict in the George Zimmerman case, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said Sunday.
McCain said President Barack Obama’s impromptu speech about being a black American was "impressive" and proved there needs to be more conversation about the issue of race.
"We cannot become complacent in our society when we still have a dramatic disparity between black youth unemployment and non-black youth unemployment," McCain said on CNN's "State of the Union."
McCain called for legislative reviews of the controversial "Stand Your Ground" laws in Florida, Arizona and other states in the wake of the death of teenager Trayvon Martin at the hands of Zimmerman last year. He also advocated for affirmative-action programs without quotas.
"If you can salvage anything about this national clash of ideas, of thoughts, about this Trayvon Martin case, it is that we've still got a long way to go," McCain said.
Shifting to the Middle East, the Senate Armed Services Committee member warned of the instability in the area, specifically Syria, and the potential impact on U.S. security.
"It's an unfair fight," McCain said of the Syrian conflict.
"This is now becoming a proxy fight between different interests in the Middle East and outside the Middle East, including significant involvement by the Russians, while we sit by and watch these people being massacred. It's a disgrace. The Middle East is erupting into conflict, which will sooner rather than later affect American national-security interests," McCain said.
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