Former Florida Congressman Allen West has called President Barack Obama’s comparison of himself to Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old youth shot dead by George Zimmerman, "horrific."
Last week, Obama said "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," and noted he had personally experienced being followed by security while shopping and having people lock their car doors when he passed by.
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But West told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV that Obama's experiences were vastly different than his.
"I don’t recall being followed in malls or shopping centers. I don’t recall car doors clicking locked when I walked across the street, And I definitely have not had women clutching their handbags and purses when I got on the elevator," he said.
"I believe it comes back to being a respectful young man and maybe that's something that was missing out of President Obama and Trayvon Martin's life. But to try to play this and try to make it a personal experience, this was just absolutely horrific."
West, who represented Florida’s 22nd District from January 2011 to January 2013, said he was disturbed at the high volume of racial rhetoric after the trial which ended in an acquittal of Zimmerman, who claimed he shot Martin in self-defense.
"Instead of people trying to go out and educate the greater masses . . . on the legal system, I mean you'd have people like [civil-rights leader Rev.] Jesse Jackson going on TV [who] doesn't even understand that a jury of your peers means the defendant, not the victim," he said.
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“So this really has to scare people that you have these individuals, and I'll be very honest, these race baiters going out to try to make themselves relevant and stirring up the masses.
“And they don't even understand the judicial system themselves.”
Asked whether he’s thinking about running for public office again, West told Steve Malzberg, “Yeah, I’ll be back!”
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