Protests and the Trayvon Martin Foundation: “Trayvon is Down but we’re Rising Up”

Small protests were held in about 100 cities throughout the US on behalf of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old unarmed victim in a shooting incident in Florida whose armed killer was found not guilty this week. Some were demanding that the acquitted killer, George Zimmerman, be charged with depriving Martin of his civil rights. Martin’s parents helped lead the protests in Florida.

The Martins have impressed many observers with their calm dignity and their determination to turn their family tragedy to good. They have created the Trayvon Martin Foundation:

“The Trayvon Martin Foundation was established by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin in March, 2012 as a not-for-profit organization, under the auspices of the Miami Foundation. The Foundation’s purpose is to create awareness of how violent crime impacts the families of the victims, and to provide support and advocacy for those families”

American criminal law is peculiarly focused on the state taking revenge on criminals for their crimes, but offers the victims of crime almost nothing. The Foundation is thus a wonderful idea and worthy of support.

ITN Reports:

7 Responses

  1. After the Rodney King and many other KKK-like events and talk about bringing change that went nowhere, let’s hope this new foundation honoring Trayvon will be the one that clicks. But don’t hold your breath. Too many people are making lots of money selling guns and like things just the way they are.

    With regard to the trial and all the comments from the talking heads on television, I find it mind-boggling that no one seems to have focused on the last few seconds of Trayvon’s life from the time Zimmerman got his gun in his hand to the time he pulled the trigger.

    Giving Zimmerman the benefit of lots of doubt, let’s assume he genuinely felt his life was in danger. With his gun in hand, he had a number of options to stop Trayvon’s alleged aggression. Zimmerman had at least three non-lethal options: (1) Point his gun at Trayvon’s face; (2) Shoot Trayvon around his hip; and (3) Shoot Trayvon in the leg. Instead, Zimmerman chose the most likely fatal option to shoot Trayvon in the area of his heart.

    That looks like murder to me, but obviously the Mickey Mouse state thinks otherwise.

    • I don’t think you can say that the post-Rodney King efforts “went nowhere.” Compare the Darryl Gates LAPD to that of today. Look at the community policing movement. The old “occupying army of outsiders” model of policing in minority neighborhoods has declined a great deal.

      • “I don’t think you can say that the post-Rodney King efforts “went nowhere.” Compare the Darryl Gates LAPD to that of today. Look at the community policing movement.”

        In the grand scheme of the racist block in America, steps taken toward better behavior were just band-aids when major surgery was called for. Whatever improvements were made in Los Angeles apparently didn’t make it up the coast to the BART police in Oakland or across to New York where blacks are continually frisked by the NYPD because they are black and walking or driving in public spaces.

        I didn’t see any signs at the Trayvon Martin rally in Los Angeles thanking the LAPD for their enlightenment and telling the rest of America to follow the LA model.

  2. What’s shocking are the comments in various media that black men basically are collectively guilty of various things and thus deserve to be shot. Many blacks are describing abuse at the hands of the police despite being affluent older men. Whites say blacks deserve to be abused because they haven’t earned respect. But it seems whatever a black man accomplishes is immediately invalidated by right-wing media as suddenly un-American and unjust, all the way up to beating white men out of the Presidency twice in a row. Unless that black man creates a corporation like Chik-Fil-A that kisses bigot ass by openly denigrating gays. Then he’s a Real American, especially if he agrees that the rest of his race deserves to be punished for not being rich like him.

    This is not a game that blacks can win except by disappearing.

  3. Before Zimmerman was acquitted, I was very critical of comparing his trial to the Roman’s using the circus and bread to distract their citizens. Now that the verdict has been reached it obviously wasn’t just a public distraction, but not much else can be done, IMO. A few stand your ground laws will be overturned but Zimmerman himself is not really in jeopardy since the DOJ has to prove he killed Martin because he was black and not in self defense.

    • While a federal civil rights conviction would be a stretch, given the burden of proof for a criminal conviction, George Zimmerman will almost surely lose (cut a deal to avoid trial, most likely) in a wrongful death civil suit.

  4. “When the createdness of the other person is not viewed as necessary as our own—then there is no reason (beyond expediency) to treat the other as a person. All injustice and cruelty come, basically, from this distorted view of reality.”
    ― Sydney J. Harris

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