Tag Archive for Subjunctive Mood

'Trayvon Martin could have been me' - Barack Obama


'Trayvon Martin could have been me' - Barack Obama
20 July 2013 Last updated at 01:43 GMT

President Barack Obama has said that "Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago1", in his first comments on the case since last week's verdict.

The unarmed black 17-year-old was shot and killed in Florida in February 2012.

George Zimmerman, 29, said he opened fire on the teenager in self-defence and was acquitted of murder by a Florida court last week.

In an unexpected press call, Mr Obama said very few black men in the US had not experienced racial profiling2.

Mr Obama said the pain that3 African-Americans felt around the case came from the fact that3 they viewed it through "a set of experiences and a history that3 doesn't go away".

He said African Americans were also keenly aware of racial disparities in the application of criminal laws.

"That all contributes to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different," Mr Obama said.

"When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that3 is Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago."

He shared his experiences of being racially profiled in the past, such as being followed while out shopping.

"There are very few African-American men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars.

"There are very few African-Americans who haven't had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she has a chance to get off," he said.

Mr Obama also hailed the "incredible grace and dignity" of Trayvon Martin's parents - Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton - in the way they reacted to the verdict.

Calling for "soul-searching" from Americans on issues of race, he also sounded a hopeful note, saying that race relations were improving with each generation.


Trayvon Martin was shot dead by Mr Zimmerman, a neighbourhood watchman, after an altercation in a gated community in Sanford, Florida.

Florida police did not arrest Mr Zimmerman for six weeks after the shooting, provoking mass rallies throughout the US.

  1. この文は仮定法過去完了です。日本人にとっては概念的に少し理解しづらいものです。仮定法は全部で4種類あります。まずはその名前と役割を箇条書きにしておきます。
    ● 「仮定法過去」: 現在の事実とは逆の事柄(願望)をあらわす。
    ● 「仮定法過去完了」: 過去の事実とは逆の事柄(願望)をあらわす。
    ● 「仮定法未来」: 現在や未来のありえない事柄をあらわす。
    ● 「仮定法現在」: 用法は慣用的。(「要求」系の動詞・形容詞につながるthat節の中で動詞の原形を使う。)
    仮定法と聞くとIf節で始まる文を連想するかもしれませんが、実際の仮定法と呼べる部分は主節の中のwould, could, should, mightの助動詞部分なのです。その部分が「~である(あった)だろうに」という意味を表すのが仮定法なのです。
  2. このfewは「ほとんど~ない」という否定語です。ということは「ほとんどいないアメリカの黒人男性は~を経験していない」という直訳すると非常に分かりづらいものになってしまいます。こういう場合は文の主語等にこだわらず、まずは一般的な日本語解釈で理解できる形にしてしまいましょう。「人種的選別を経験していないアメリカの黒人男性はほとんどいない」あるいは二重否定ですから肯定です。「ほとんど全部のアメリカの黒人男性は人種的選別を経験している」
  3. thatは文法的にたくさんの役割があります。単なる「代名詞」あるいは「接続詞(that節)」、「接続詞(同格のthat)」、「関係代名詞」、「関係副詞」。毎回このthatが文法的に何なのかを分かっている事が大切です。TOEIC700までならなんとかなるかもしれませんが、800点以上になるためには文法の完全クリアは不可欠です。この場合は順に「関係代名詞」、「同格that」、「関係代名詞」、「代名詞」となります。

verdict 判決
acquit 無罪であることを言い渡す
racial profiling 人種的選別
disparity 格差
application 適用、申請
contribute to ~の一因となる
scenario 筋、脚本
outcome 結果
aftermath 余波
hail 歓迎する、受け入れる
grace 寛大さ
dignity 威厳
soul-searching 自己分析
neighborhood watch group 自警団
altercation 口論
provoke 挑発する
rally 集会

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