"Things are getting better. Each successive generation seems to be making progress in changing attitudes when it comes to race. It doesn't mean that we're in a postracial society. It doesn't mean that racism is eliminated. But you know, when I talk to Malia and Sasha and I listen to their friends and I see them interact, they're better than we are. They're better than we were on these issues," he said.
Obama underscored that "in a case such as this, reasonable doubt was relevant, and [the jury] rendered a verdict. And once the jury's spoken, that's how our system works."
On behalf of himself and the First Lady, the president offered his thoughts and prayers to the family of Trayvon Martin, saying they have dealt with the situation with "incredible grace and dignity."
"I can only imagine what they're going through, and it's -- it's remarkable how they've handled it," he said.
Martin's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, issued a statement saying, "We are deeply honored and moved that President Obama took the time to speak publicly and at length about our son, Trayvon."
They said the president's comment that he "sees himself in Trayvon ... is a beautiful tribute to our boy."
Zimmerman's legal team also put out a statement.
"We acknowledge Mr. Obama's remarks regarding the frustration felt by some when viewed in context of our nation's history, which includes racial insensitivities spanning generations, and existing even today, including within our criminal justice system," the statement said.
"While we acknowledge the racial context of the case, we hope that the president was not suggesting that this case fits a pattern of racial disparity, because we strongly contend that it does not," the statement said.