Rep. Richmond sees racial prejudice on a ‘daily basis’

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Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) on Sunday praised President Obama for addressing the controversy over the Trayvon Martin case, saying he also shared Obama’s personal experiences with discrimination. 

“The president said that was him 35 years ago. That's me on a daily basis, and especially when I'm home in New Orleans and I'm dressed down,” said Richmond on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “It's something that black men still go through to this day, which is women clutching their purses, hitting the lock button on store, or just basic attitudes

“Even as a U.S. congressman, as a black man, it is very, very frustrating, and you build up an internal anger about it that you can't act on,” he added.

In remarks on Friday Obama said that African-Americans experienced prejudice on a daily basis and that he had also been a victim of racial profiling.

“Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” said the president. 

Obama spoke about his own personal experiences and expressed hopes the nation would “learn some lessons from this and move in a positive direction.”

“There are very few African American men who haven't had the experience of being followed in a department store,” he said. “That includes me.”

Obama’s remarks where his first on-camera comments since neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges in the shooting death of Martin, a 17-year old unarmed black teenager. 

The case sparked a national debate over racial profiling and gun laws, with calls from many civil rights groups for the Justice Department to press federal charges against Zimmerman. 

Appearing with Richmond, Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) also praised Obama’s speech.

“I've never seen a president of the United States address this, address it personally, and that's a big difference,” said Becerra.