A music and cultural critic said the shootings of black teens Trayvon Martin in Florida and Michael Brown in Missouri were really proxy killings of the president.

Greil Marcus, who taught a course in American Studies at University of California, Berkeley, told Salon that “in a certain way,” the men who shot the teens — George Zimmerman and police Officer Darren Wilson — were really “killing Barack Obama.”

“I’m not a psychiatrist. I haven’t sat down and interviewed George Zimmerman or the cop who shot Michael Brown,” Mr. Marcus said. “I don’t know what their motives are. I don’t know what kind of people they are, what kind of childhood traumas they have experienced. But I don’t think it’s nuts that in a certain way, when that cop killed Michael Brown, and when George Zimmermankilled Trayvon Martin, they were killing Barack Obama.”

He also said that racism was alive and well in America — especially among tea party types and Fox News followers.

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