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Michelle Obama On Trayvon Shooting: "There Isn't A One-Shot Solution To This"

In an interview with NPR's Michel Martin, First Lady Michelle Obama weighed in on reaction and coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting.

Obama says we live in a "complicated country that is America" and we need to have a conversation about the shooting. However, Obama said there isn't a "one-shot solution" to "the challenges that we face."

"It's all about, you know, continuing to get to know ourselves in a very diverse and complicated country that is America. It is a wonderful place to live. But because it is so diverse, our challenges are complex. So there isn't, you know, a one-shot solution to this," Michelle Obama said on NPR. Transcript below.

MARTIN: Well, before we let you go — and just a couple of other issues in the news we wanted to ask you about — and we really do appreciate the opportunity to talk with you. We've been spending a lot of time, as you might imagine, covering the aftermath of the death of Trayvon Martin. And your, you know, husband made the point that if he — if you and he had a son, he would probably look like Trayvon Martin. And you can imagine that this has been a particularly painful episode for a lot of people in this country. We've been hearing that there are parents of all backgrounds who find this story troubling, but then now we also hear that there are people who find this whole issue divisive. And I wanted to ask if you feel that there's something we could learn from this that might be healing to the country. Is there a way to talk about this that might be constructive or helpful for the country?

MRS. OBAMA: Well, you know, first, I — all I can say is that, you know, my heart goes out to the parents, because we all as parents understand the tragedy of that kind of loss, and I think that's really the thing that most people connect to. And it's important for us not to lose sight of the fact that this is a family that's grieving and there's been a tremendous loss. And we all have to rally around that piece of it.

Talking is good. Conversations have to be forever. You know, they can't come in spits and starts when there's an incident. I think we all need, as a country, to continue to talk about these issues, to understand our communities and the challenges that we face, which are different and unique depending upon where you live. It's all about, you know, continuing to get to know ourselves in a very diverse and complicated country that is America. It is a wonderful place to live. But because it is so diverse, our challenges are complex. So there isn't, you know, a one-shot solution to this. It is complicated. It takes time. It takes openness. It takes compassion. It takes patience. And it takes a lot of work. So we should all be ready to roll up our sleeves and keep doing that work.

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