Obama to travel to Jacksonville port for economic development speech
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
President Obama will travel to Jacksonville Thursday and deliver remarks at the Port Authority as part of a series of events scheduled to focus on the economy, the White House announced today.
The larger trip, which was announced last week shortly after the president spoke about racism in the wake of the not guilty verdict in the Zimmerman trial, is intended as part of a nationwide campaign aimed at emphasizing the administration's attempt to build the economy by boosting the middle class. But in Florida, the president's remarks also are likely to be viewed in the context of the racial issues festering since the Zimmerman verdict.
At his surprise visit to the White House briefing room last week, Obama called on states such as Florida to reexamine Stand Your Ground laws and he invoked concerns that the laws may "encourage the kinds of altercations, confrontations, and tragedies as we saw in the Florida case, rather than diffuse potential altercations.”
Since then, dozens of protesters continue a sit-in outside Gov. Rick Scott's Tallahassee office, demanding the Legislature convene a special session to repeal the Stand Your Ground law and address the disparities in sentencing for black teens. The governor and legislative leaders have said they oppose changing the law and refuse to call a session.