Black Youth Continue to Die as Racism in America Prevails

In 1955, Emmett Till*, a 14-year-old from Chicago was visiting his family in Money, Miss. While on this trip, he was reportedly goaded into flirting with a shopkeeper, who happened to be a 21-year-old white woman. Several nights later, the husband and brother of the woman kidnapped Till, beat him, tortured him to death and then threw his body off a bridge.

An all-white jury took 67 minutes to acquit the brothers—taking that much time so they could enjoy a soda before rendering their verdict. The brothers then boasted of the killing after their conviction in a Look Magazine article, knowing they could not be tried again.

Sanford, Florida has a long history of Ku Klux Klan activity. The town was chronicled recently in the movie “42” as a place where baseball legend Jackie Robinson, in 1946, had to flee in the middle of the night for fear of his life.

Fast-forward 66 years and the remnants of that mentality still exist in Sanford. In the early part of 2012, George Zimmerman stalked and killed Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American boy. With malice in his heart, armed with a gun, Zimmerman called Martin—a person he didn’t know—an “asshole” and a “fucking punk” while talking to a police dispatcher. After being told not to follow the juvenile, Zimmerman got out of his car and stalked Martin. Moments later, the boy was dead.

The only real question in the trial that ended Saturday, with Zimmerman being found not guilty of murder, is whether Trayvon Martin had a right to stand his ground as allowed under Florida law. The only real witness was Zimmerman, with conflicting testimony coming from neighbors and a friend of Martin’s.

The simple fact is Zimmerman is the legal instigator of the incident. He got out of his car, with malice, armed with a weapon, and targeted a 17-year-old because he was black.

The cases of Till and Martin are linked because of the cultural mentality that still exists in many places in this country, especially the Deep South.

There is a large, vocal segment of the white population in the South who still revere the confederate flag. Last month in Biloxi, Miss., the “sons of the confederacy” opened a “Presidential” library in honor of Jefferson Davis. A statue of Davis, America’s greatest traitor, is actually in Statuary Hall in Congress, as Mississippi has deemed him one of their greatest citizens. Each state gets two statues.

Not to be outdone, Virginia has a statue of Robert E. Lee in the hall—also a famous traitor to the United States of America.

To deny that there is still powerful and cultural support for institutionalized inequality in some parts of our nation is to deny reality. U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts’ recent decision regarding the voting rights act of 1965 gives credence to those who believe civil rights for all has been achieved, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

The Deep South and the nation have made tremendous strides in civil rights. Because of civil rights laws, communities such as Sanford, Biloxi and Money have had to change. But the change is not complete, as there are still many people today who remain apologists for the philosophy of Jefferson Davis. There are those who still refer to the Civil War as the “war of northern aggression.” Some still cling to the belief that President Abraham Lincoln was evil and Jefferson Davis was a saint.

Simply go to the 50 State Strategy Facebook page and read the comments left by those who have never left the 19th century.

We have a long way to go in this country. Only in the last 50 years have we, as a nation, recognized and tried to correct our long history of institutionalized racism. The struggle is never easy and it is not complete.

The Trayvon Martin incident is a reminder of how far we still have to go in some parts of this nation. To quote the late Ted Kennedy, “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream (of Martin Luther King) shall never die.”

*Emmett Till would have been 72 years old a week from today.

Rich Robinson is a political consultant in Silicon Valley. He helped found 50 State Strategy, a federally registered political action committee.

Rich Robinson is an attorney and political consultant in Silicon Valley. Opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside.


    • Thank you president, you just encourged any idiot to protest not in peace but in violence.  ‘thank you, Tray does not look like you.  And do you remember you were not born in this country!


      • President Obama says that we have something of a problem in this country having to do with race. He says, I understand the pain felt by black families in America today.


        Anyone who actively believes that the President of the United States is trying to incite “more worthless violence” and whose personal comments on the Trayvon Martin killing were beyond reprehensible, and anyone who believes that this nonsense needs to be disproved, is either desperately fearful of anyone challenging his own extreme privilege as a white man in this country or is a moron of the absolute highest order.

  1. So far nobody has given a reason why Trayvon Martin would start an unprovoked fight with George Zimmerman. 

    A reasonable person would conclude either Trayvon was hopped up on Ice Tea and Skittles, or George Zimmerman provoked the incident.

    • Apparently identifying a person as a threat based on appearance only, following that person, confronting that person with a negative attitude (even being recorded talking with a police dispatcher calling Martin an “asshole” and a “fucking punk”) and armed with a gun is apparently not enough of a reason for you, old GreyGhost???

      I’d hate to meet you at night.

  2. Wow, I rarely if ever agree with anything RR posts here especially when RR’s logic is warped by his emotion and passion.

    But this piece is over the top. The Till matter (if true) is a despicable event from a time and time and place that was born out of hate – no doubt hate that strong that it’s stench lingers years later – Like a stench it dissipates over time – most hearts soften over time but memories are passed on.

    Memories should be passed on for educational purposes so that future generations are less likely to repeat the sins of the past.

    RR and others like him use the memories from our nations past and say, “See, nothing has changed – Whites hate Blacks always have and always will – Whitey wants apartheid in the USA and that is the first step towards camps with ovens!”

    Then there RR’s summation of events that lead up to Zimmerman shooting and death of Martin. A little (sparse little)ember of truth fanned until it burst into flame – then RR pours gasoline on it.

    Most of what RR SAYS happened in Sanford was never introduced as evidence in Zimmerman’s trial. Why not? Because the prosecutor is a racist complicit in the great “White Conspiracy” to acquit anyone (white, Hispanic, Asian…) who kills a black person????
    Probably not.  Most likely RR’s account of what happened wasn’t introduced into evidence during the trial because is simply was not true. 

    Either that (not true) or RR witnessed the event, and all that lead up to it quickly assessed both Martin and Zimmerman’s hearts and minds and somehow managed to avoid providing his version to the investigation.  Maybe he was forthcoming but like so many others “Who know what happened” managed to avoid getting their version out to any of the media outlets. Maybe the prosecutor intentionally left RR off her witness list in furtherance of the conspiracy.

    What do I really think? RR has lost most of not all credibility -that is, if he ever really had any. Me? I guess I’ll have to reassess the standards I use to give credibility to my fellow humans.

  3. GreyGhost, the converse is also true: no one at any point in the trial or since has presented a shred of reasoning or proof as to the notion that George Zimmerman provoked the attack. A lack of evidence one way or the other does not constitute validation of a conclusion.

    Furthermore, and unless there is some other factual information out there of which I’m unaware, there is no indication in the 911 tape that Zimmerman confronted Martin at any point preceding the fight in which an independent eyewitness observed Trayvon Martin on top of Zimmerman raining ‘MMA-style’ blows down on Zimmerman.

    The only voices on the 911 recording initiallly are those of the 911 call taker and of Zimmerman himself. It is only after he states that he is returning to his car (doing as instructed) that Martin comes into the picture.

    Furthermore, given that Zimmerman had no injuries on him to suggest he was striking Martin at any point, that he had a broken nose and lacerations on the back of his head and that Trayvon Martin had injuries on his knuckles, the REASONABLE person would conclude that, whatever the reason, it was Trayvon who initiated the actual confrontation.

    And, no. Being followed by a stranger does not constitute justification for an assault.

    • It probably wasn’t malice, but he was “cruising for a bruising”.  Did he focus on Martin because of his race?  Probably.

      Is Zimmerman going to lose in civil court?  I’d bet the bank on it.

      • Probably not wise to “bet the bank”….

        If he does lose in civil court it will be a gigantic loss for all of the rest of us as well. 

        I would pray hard, s randall, that neither you or anyone you love is EVER put into a position similar where you are forced to choose to defend yourself and go to jail OR take a beating that might well leave you dead or with a serious disabling closed head injury.

        • I don’t know about you, but I don’t follow black males with a loaded handgun.  That’s what you seem to be missing.  You can’t call yourself an innocent victim if you’re the one initiating the violence.

        • I’m not the one missing anything.  Please feel free to provide several links to REPUTABLE sources that will back up your claim that Zimmerman “followed” Trayvon.  The only official evidence is all to the contrary.  Pointing to Zimmerman “walking back to his car” when TRAYVON confronted him.  There ARE witnesses that backed this up in court.  What part of THAT are YOU missing?

          You can say anything you like on the internet.  That doesn’t make it fact or even remotely true.  Maybe you need to research ways to back up your claims.  If you find it hard to do so, perhaps you ought to re-examine WHY you believe what you do.

        • s randall,

          In the first place, carrying a concealed weapon cannot be considered to be a provocative act.

          In the second place, a handgun that isn’t loaded isn’t very useful if it’s needed to defend onesself

          In the third place, a neighborhood watch volunteer ought to be able to follow anyone who seems suspicious, regardless of race and report on those conditions to the police department.

          Lastly, you assert that George Zimmerman initiated the violence. You’re not alone in this. But I say again: there is NO proof of this. There is substantial proof to the contrary – that it was Trayvon Martin who initiated the confrontation and the attack.

          Repeating a lie or a misconception doesn’t make them true regardless of the amount of repatition in which you indulge. Again, I encourage you to do some actual research before you continue to comment. Ignorance of the facts and of the law does you a disservice.

  4. Objectifying white Hispanics.

    Objectifying whites.

    Objectifying Hispanics.

    And, oh by the way, objectifying blacks.

    I would say you’ve pretty much let your internal narrative all hang out.

    The jury said that Zimmerman was “not guilty”.  The FBI investigation found no evidence of racial bias.

    How did your narrative get so far removed from reality?  Have you ever considered replacing the voices in your head with different voices?

    Or, at least taking a pill of some kind.

  5. I’ve always read the offerings of a “political consultant” with a certain amount of skepticism, since that job is about shaping perception, not speaking the truth, but Robinson goes so over-the-top here that I’m going to have a problem taking seriously anything he says. This piece has little to do with the facts of the case or the law the jurors were required to apply.  From a legal perspective, the acquittal wasn’t surprising; It was predicted by many legal experts.

  6. The apologists.  If calling someone an “a-hole” and an “f-ing punk” isn’t ordinary malice, I do not know what is. . . the legal instigator of the event is Zimmerman.  He was told not to get out of his car.  Does Trayvon not have a right to “stand his ground”. 

    The Zimmerman statements are all self-serving and inconsistent.  He has a motive to lie.

    What is so disturbing is the lack of compassion that a 17 year old died.  If his name were Natalee Holloway and he was a blond woman who was followed and murdered.  If she had been her, what would the reaction of you apologists for injustice say?

    Oh yeah, we already know.

    • Meanwhile, Martin was on a phone telling Jeantel there was a “Crazy ass cracka” following him plus a few other “non-racial” racist things which were testified to…

      Malice? cuts both ways if at all. A dispatcher telling a caller to do something or not to do something has ZERO legal weight. About as much weight as me telling you to pull your head out… you don’t have to and probably won’t.

      Please one of these days you are going to have to give us the revisionist history of America where Jefferson Davis, Al Gore, and his father, George Wallace, LBJ, Robert Byrd and hosts of other DEMOCRATS and well documented racists were really Republicans and MLK was a Democrat.

    • > The Zimmerman statements are all self-serving and inconsistent.

      Really?  The voices in your head told you this?

      Luckily for the jury, they couldn’t hear what was going on inside of your cerebral vacuum, and the NSA neglected to provide them with transcripts.

      > He has a motive to lie.

      And the nattily dressed racial scab picker Al Sharpton DOESN’T have a motive to lie?

      In the past, Sharpton told a court he didn’t have any personal property to avoid paying a judgement against him.  He claimed he didn’t even own his suits!

      Can we at least agree that, as far as we know, Zimmerman has never denied owning his own clothes?  To my mind, that is at least SOME evidence of truthfulness.

  7. Mr. Robinson, again: where is your proof that Mr. Zimmerman did anything more provocative than following Trayvon or calling him an ‘a-hole’ or ‘f-ing punk’. These are certainly not grounds for an assault of any kind and never have been in any state of the union.
    And, if such language is all that is required to help identify prejudice of some kind then hundreds of thousands of Prius drivers must surely be the newest protected class.

    And, contrary to your other assertion, while Zimmerman’s statements may seem to be self-serving, they also have been largely consistent. The investigating officer found them to be so. The jury found them to be so. They were consistent with testimony from Jonathan Good who witnessed the assault.

    As for compassion, well… the conviction or acquittal of a defendant cannot be predicated on compassion. Jurors and judges must make their best determination based on testimony and evidence.

    And, if you’re going to talk about compassion, why aren’t you talking about the thousands of African Americans who are killed by other African Americans every year. Oh. right. Because that 93% can’t be used to gin up rage, blame, chaos and used to enhance power and pocketbooks.

  8. I need help understanding the racism here.  Really, I kinda want to see it and understand but I just can’t find it.  People who suggest this was racially motivated must conclude that if Mr. Martin were caucasian, then Mr. Zimmerman would have never found him suspicious and hence never followed him.  That is to say that Mr. Zimmerman judged him on the color of his skin.  Where are the facts to support that?

    What if….Mr. Zimmerman sees a guy walking in the rain, in his neighborhood, looking about, so he calls police because there has been recent break ins in the neighborhood..  When asked by the dispatcher if he is white, black or Hispanic Mr. Zimmerman states he looks white. When asked what he is wearing he says he is wearing a dark , maybe gray hoodie with white shoes and jeans.  He tells the dispatcher he is just staring at the house and now he is staring at me.  He has something in his hands.  Dispatcher says the police are on their way.  Mr. Zimmerman says these A—holes always get away. Mr. Zimmerman says the person is running.  Mr. Zimmerman gets out of his car to follow and the dispatcher advises against that.  Mr. Zimmerman calls him a Fu-king Punk. A struggle ensues.  The person with the hoodie is seen on top of Mr. Zimmerman while someone is yelling for help.  One shot is fired.  The victim is a white teenager named Thad Martin. 

    Is this as I described above racism?

    “The simple fact is Zimmerman is the legal instigator of the incident. He got out of his car, with malice, armed with a weapon, and targeted a 17-year-old because he was black.”—-Mr. Robinson

    He got out of his car.  This is true.

    With malice.  Just because he used some choice words doesn’t mean he had the desire to inflict harm (malice).

    Armed with a weapon.  This is true again.

    targeted a 17 year old.  Followed a 17 year old so as to tell police where he was…True.  To follow him so as to shoot him, nope lacking evidence.

    because he was black.  Evidence?

    • Trayvon was black—that is the evidence.  He didn’t do this to a white guy named Thad Martin—no evidence he ever did harass a white guy named Thad Martin.

      These “A-holes get away with it”—infers that he was not going to let the “a-hole” get away with it again.  He was going to stop him—without facts.  That is malice, that is the intent or desire to do harm to a person. It could not be more clear.  To get to malice, you would have him say, I intend to inflict harm?  That’s what he was saying.  Zimmerman was not going to let the “a-hole” get away with it—whatever “it” was. . .

      This is a crazy argument.  One other point, if the victim were a white 17 year-old named Thad Martin, what would have been the verdict?

      • One other thing here:

        Using what passes for logic in Rich Robinson’s narrative we can also conclude that neighborhood watch volunteers – and probably, by extension, average citizens – can never express suspicion of someone who is not of their own race/ethic background, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the arousal of suspicion.

        Whites can only be suspicious of people who look white; hispanics can only be suspicious of other hispanics, Asians of other asians, and so on.

        Because racially homogeneous crime is the only crime which matters in Rich Robinson’s notion of a color blind, racially-neutral society.

        Except that the 11,106 African Americans killed by other African Americans between the time of Trayvon’s death and Zimmerman’s acquittal ACTUALLY don’t matter. Or so it would seem, because no one except conservatives – and especially African American conservatives – are the only ones talking about THOSE deaths. And, everyone knows: you can’t be a conservative African American and not be an ‘Uncle Tom’. Just ask your average liberal African American activist.

      • WOW!  Mr. Robinson, YOU are apparently in the wrong field!  I’m thinking perhaps your true calling in life was to be a prosecutor, since you SOOOOO clearly (somehow) grasp what happened that night better than anyone closer to the case.  What, with all their “evidence” and all…….  WHAT are they thinking?

      • Just Anon: also how about the fact that a young black kid gets stalked in his own neighborhood because some other guy thinks he looks suspicious, then he gets shot to death by that guy and there’s no penalty for that homicide because the guy was defending himself in a situation that he himself created by following the kid who wasn’t doing anything to arouse suspicion apart from being a black kid walking around in the neighborhood?

        • News flash: merely following a person is not provocation for an assault, much less legal justification for said assault or making a claim of self-defense. If Zimmerman had not been in possession of a gun, and the assault pretty much began and ended with Trayvon beating the crap out of him as one eyewitness described, then Trayvon would

          a. have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon (bashing another man’s head into a paved surface),

          b. charged as an adult, and

          c. been convicted of the ADW and sentenced as an adult.

          I realize you feel like you’re advocating for Trayvon, for other African American kids like him, and advocating for justice, but your lack of informed opinion and ignorance of the facts of the case do you a disservice.

      • Mr. Robinson and R Gomez:
        I tried to alter one fact in the situation and remain the others untouched. I tried to provide another way of looking at the situation.  The reality is that I could have changed the color of both their skins.  Mr. Zimmerman to purple and Mr. Martin to pink.  Your conclusion would remain the same.  Mr. Zimmerman killed Mr. Martin because he was pink, despite no evidence of Mr. Zimmerman disliking pink people.  Think of it like a math problem.  If you change the equation, are your results the same?  If X+Y=Z can Y+X=Z?  Can X+X=Z?  If X and Y have no value can you still get to Z? 

        I realize it is a deep thought process for some.  Perhaps I’m trying to quantify the unquantifiable. However in my opinion, if you really want to see the end of racism and bigotry in this country and in this world for that matter, I suggest you first try to have this conversation without injecting colors and ethnicity into the conversation. 

        Lets try to see people not in black and white and shades of gray, but for the human beings that they are. I think we can all agree on that.
        Good Day.

        • Just anon: I’m glad that race isn’t an issue, as far as you’re concerned. I guess just some deep thought process that Rich or me cant stop seeing, while enlightened people like yourself are now color-blind.

  9. Rich,
    As someone who works with families of homicide victims, at risk youth, gangs, the judicial system, law enforcement, elected, etc. I have a very different perspective on this entire situation. I can guarantee you that many who read this aren’t going to like what I have to say, but that’s okay with me. This is America and we can always agree to disagree.

    Having said that, I believe that the majority of the problem lies with parents and the values they are instilling in their children. Regardless of their race, they are bringing up their children with THEIR fears, generational biases, bigotry, and feelings of racism. 

    WE are teaching them to fear the Police, use the race card, act with a sense of entitlement, disregard the law, bully people, avoid personal accountability for our actions, etc.  I see this everyday in my line of work. It is truly heartbreaking because I believe that children come into this world pure, and they follow our example.

    I feel that this applies to this case too. Had both of these young men been respectful to one another, had a civil exchange, and communicated their situation with one another in a non combative manner, this entire incident would never have happened.

    The 911 tapes show us that BOTH of these young men went into this situation with anger and malice, an ill conceived, preconceived, prejudiced idea of the other.  Unfortunately, one of them died because of it.

    To blame this on racism is, in my opinion, irresponsible and does a serious injustice to our youth. We are sending them a very clear message that you can assault someone, shoot someone and get away with it by standing your ground or physically harm someone who is talking to you in a combative manner, rather than treating one another with respect, or just simply walking away from conflict.
    This is why I truly think the discussion needs to focus on what we are teaching our children, how we must look into our own prejudices, and behaviors.  In Dr. King’s speech on, “Loving Your Enemies,” he tells us to look into OURSELVES, to see what it is in them that we hate in ourselves. He tells us to love one another even when people gossip about us, hate us the most, and treat us with disdain.

    I do not think that he would agree with the way the media, violent protestors, community leaders/activists, and some groups are behaving through this. I think he would ask us to come together in peace, prayer, and to discuss how we can avoid these types of tragedies in the future.

    On another very important note: Our City has experienced 29 homicides to date. Almost ALL of these homicides involve people of color. The same can be said of our homicide rates last year.

    As one poster on here said, “Hispanics and blacks continue to die because of brown on brown and black on black crime.”  Even our President gave a speech on this very topic in a city heavily populated with African Americans.
    Why aren’t we looking at how poverty, the lack of family involvement/intervention, the lack of education, the lack of personal integrity, and the lack of personal accountability applies to these horrific and avoidable situations?

    The answer to my question is obvious to me. Because it is less painful, and it is much easier to point the finger elsewhere then it is to have these honest, difficult discussions.

    It is easier to use race as a scapegoat then it is to take ownership for our part in what happens in our lives.  And while yes, it is true that bad things happen to good people, and yes, bad laws need to be changed, in the end, we are all in this thing called life together. So we need to work together to solve our problems as brothers and sisters, not as enemies.

    • You are very correct.  It’s only when you acknowledge a problem within your own community that you stand any chance of making a change.  Don’t look to anyone else to solve your problems for you.  Why not take your destiny into your own hands and work to put an end to black on black, brown on brown violence?  If people within your own community are going to listen to anyone, it will most likely be people that they share everyday life with.  Not me or anyone else that is an outsider.

  10. I’m getting awfully tired of having to explain to white people that a) your own personal experiences are not the same as everyone else’s personal experiences; b) it’s pretty hard to empathize with someone who’s different from you if you’ve never spent any time talking with them about their experiences; or c) not everything is always all about you.

    Given the many worries and fears associated with raising a child, you’re incredibly fortunate not to have to deal with these negative racial issues that people of color face every day. Purely by virtue of your white skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes — you will never have to deal with issues such as warning your children that some people might not like them simply based on their looks.

    • You make an awful lot of assumptions here, sir.  Please don’t tell me what you think my or anyone else here experience is.

      What you should be getting tired of is being asked again and again to provide something, ANYTHING to back up your assertions.  OA continues to back up his point of view with a variety of credible sources.  Can you say the same?

      So, maybe you haven’t had it spelled out clearly enough to you, RACE WAS NEVER A PART OF THIS CASE. Only in the sense that some would love to make it so to further their cause.  Which is not to say that fighting racism isn’t a valid cause because it most certainly IS! 

      The point is, if you call fire too often when there isn’t one, no one is going to believe you when there is.  My momma taught me that when I was five.

      • This is a perfect example of someones absolute refusal to see the world from anyone else’s perspective OR to try to empathize in any way with someone who isn’t apparently just like you.

        I can’t think of a nicer way to say this. And I’ve actually been trying.

        • In that, you are completely off base.  I do try to see this case from another point of view.  The difference between you and I is that I require something other than just YOUR word that your point of view is correct.

          If you could just provide one credible link that would back up your point of view, I would be ecstatic to consider it.

          I and a lot of others here are not sheep.  We don’t go along with the crowd just because the rest of the herd is heading for a cliff.

          You can continue to comment but until you back it up with SOMETHING, I’m just going to keep telling it like it is.

          Thank you for your courtesy.

        • first I have only suggested that Zimmerman shot an innocent kid to death that he stalked him based on his own preconceived ideas about who was suspicious, and that THIS tragedy would have been avoided if he had not done any of the things he did. I’ve also suggested that race us an important problem. and i’ve suggested that a whole bunch of people on this blog thread dont want to deal with that in anyway, shape or form.

          As for one credible link that would back up my point of view: Listen to what President Obama says:

          And THIS

    • r gomez,

      With all due respect, I think you need to re-examine how you see “white people,” and stop lumping us into this unfair and unsubstantiated stereotype.

      “White people” have had a long history of marching with people of color, fighting for equality, starting civil rights organizations to ensure equal treatment/rights, and have been instrumental in creating vital changes in how people of color are seen/treated. Many “white people” have been killed, beaten, and bashed for doing so.

      “White” Police Officers/Firefighters/doctors/nurses/paramedics save the lives of people of color every day. THEY don’t discriminate. THEY fight to save people regardless of color.

      “White” legislators throughout history have dedicated their lives to changing Jim Crow laws, and legislation to ensure the rights and treatment of people of color.

      By teaching your children to fear “white people,” and by telling them that “white people” don’t understand people of color, you are doing a grave disservice to them and yourself. You are intentionally dividing us into “us” and “them” instead of into “us,” and “we,” thus you’re not only encouraging division, you are teaching your children to be victims, not equals.

      Please stop perpetuating our differences and start looking at the fact that we can only be colored blind, equals, and brothers/sisters if we STOP instilling our fears and generational biases into our children.

      Many “white people” like me, have relatives, or spouses, or friends who are of mixed races. Believe me when I say, we DO understand your struggles and because we DO, we are fighting for you every day.

      In closing, I want to add one more thing, EDUCATE YOURSELF! Look at the facts, not at people’s race.

      Remember that we are ALL of mixed race, even us “white people.” 

      Stop believing everything you read and hear in the media. They are making huge profits off of this, and are instilling and promoting fear and racism by misinforming the public on the facts. Do some reach before you climb on the bandwagon. 

      STOP putting people into convenient categories of “us” and “them.” It creates division and inequality.

      Challenge yourself to change your view of the world and people in it.

      STOP looking for racism to justify bad behavior in cases like these. It only serves to further hatred and division.

      START looking at everyone as an individual.  Then and only then will you achieve the “equality and understanding” that you are seeking because there are good people and bad people in this world, and race does NOT define us. 

      I wish you peace my brother.

      God bless~

      • Kathleen Flynn, I wish I had more positive things to say. But in my opinion the legal system did not deliver justice, if justice would have been served,  Zimmerman would be going to prison.

        In fact. Zimmerman might never have stood trial at all if people, black and white, across America had not taken to the streets. Remember 6 weeks passed between the night he was released, after having claimed self-defense, and the date he was finally charged with second-degree murder. In that time, his case had become a national cause. Many of the people who rallied together after the verdict had stood together, marched together, during those six weeks in 2012, as people around the country called for Zimmerman to face a jury. Yes, even politicians donned hoodies like the one Trayvon wore that day he was killed and stood in protest in the halls of city councils and state legislatures and on the floor of the House of Representatives.

        This apparently worked—Zimmerman was arrested and faced a jury of his peers. But that jury, which was almost all white, didn’t convict him, apparently finding the antics of a defense attorney who at one point claimed that Trayvon had been armed with nothing but Skittles and an iced tea in his pockets.

        But as someone, in your opinion that needs to be educated on this matter, I only have to say, “The whole damn system is guilty.”Trayvon was not killed by a police officer, but was killed, and a killer that was given a pass by a broader criminal justice system that sees young black men as suspicious, and uncontrollable except through violence.

        I also would like to share with you a story that I think is relevant. About friends of mine in high school, we were teenagers in high school who liked to smoke marijuana and yes even shoplift 40-oz malt liquor bottles on occasion, and yes boys who got in fights sometimes, and who even got chased by the police for skateboarding on private property. And some of us even committed petty crimes, got caught, and even went to jail.

        But we all–each and every one– rebuilt our lives, and today are what almost anyone would call contributing members of our community.
        My point is this: all of us got that chance because of the way we looked. Some of us were working-class, some were upper-middle-class, and I can bet that had a major impact on how long we spent in jail if we did get caught. But in the end regardless, what anyone tells me, I also know we also got out far faster than we would have had been black.

        But in the end, I don’t expect others to see it this way and apparently my lack of education according to you may have me naïve – to expect justice from a courtroom in a country whose Supreme Court just a few weeks before gutted the Voting Rights Act, declaring in effect—and wrongly—that the fight against racial discrimination has succeeded.

        • r gomez,

          I respectfully disagree with your perception of the facts and evidence regarding the Martin/Zimmerman case, so we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this topic.

          I agree with your position on voting rights. That is a travesty! I must also agree with one other very valid point that you made, and that is that our justice system needs serious improvement, but not because of the Martin/Zimmerman case.

          Having said that, I see families of homicide victims of all races waiting years, and even decades for what you refer to as “justice.” (Zimmerman was tried and found innocent in less than a year! That in and of its self is quite an achievement!)

          These families rarely ever get the “justice” they seek or deserve. Between plea bargains, over crowded dockets, understaffed Police Departments/Detectives, etc., these families are re-victimized by the judicial system because offenders have more rights than these families do. 

          These families serve time right along with the offenders, only they never complete their sentences, offenders do. You don’t see protests, or media coverage for these innocent victims because the media moves on to other stories. People forget, and don’t care. Or because it was a black on black, or brown on brown, or white on white crime. That, my brother, is an indisputable fact.

          When black on black, or brown on brown murders happen, WHY aren’t these kid’s parents, community leaders, the Jacksons, and the Sharptons working to change the problems in these communities? Why do these folks only appear when camera’s are rolling, and profits are being made?

          Don’t these horrific murderers matter to them?
          Where are they when families struggle to handle their at risk youth, poverty, and a parents inability to pay for their child’s shelter, food, and clothes?

          On another note: Where are the protesters, Jackson, and Sharpton, and where is the outrage over the murder of an innocent, beautiful, 8 year old African American girl who simply answered a knock at the door in her own home? Oh that’s right, there are none.

          I have to wonder what will happen when the killer of the innocent, beautiful 8 year old African American young child is found. What if the murder is black? Or brown? Or white?

          If her murderer is of color, will your outrage, and advocacy extend to this child and her family? Will Jackson and Sharpton finally hold conversations about black on black, or brown on brown crime, and the kinds of messages/values we are instilling in our youth finally take place? I seriously doubt it.

          I choose to focus my energy on prevention/intervention, and assisting families who have lost loved ones due to homicide, as they wade through years of delays and feelings of hopelessness associated with our justice system.

          I don’t discriminate in who I help, regardless of race because in my heart, I know that Dr. King was right when he said, “We must learn to live together as brothers, or parish together as fools.”

          Go gently my brother.

  11. The video linked here portrays a very different view of Trayvon Martin.

    Some of the assertions in the video are easier to prove than others, but I think it is well and truly time that the nation stop thinking of Trayvon Martin as some kind of victim and starts being really really honest about what happened that night and how it is symptomatic of what is going on with many of today’s youth.

    And links in support of many of the assertions of the commentator:

    • Let me get this straight: a 17 year old, smoked pot, got into fist fights, perhaps said a bunch of things you don’t like, and so because of this- he’s not a minor anymore as far as your concerned and gunning him down is perfectly justified. Absolutely disgusting. Today, I’m thankful that I don’t know any of you people and am unlikely ever to meet you. Your utter lack of empathy is horrific.

  12. Mr. Robinson,

    According to multiple news outlets, the FBI has already investigated the Zimmerman case for any evidence of racial bias or civil rights violations. Their conclusion was that there was no evidence that George Zimmerman was motivated by racial bias or was, himself a racist and substantial evidence that he was not.

    What information do you possess that permits you to conclude otherwise and what are you qualifications as a professional investigator of any kind?

    • This has nothing to do with uncovering T.M.‘s failings and everything to do with exposing the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Every one of my posts has been factual, well-documented and consistent with relevant criminal and case law.

      I get the empathy angle, but the criminal justice system doesn’t work on empathy.

      In order to understand the incident, it is important to understand the context of the incident (crime wave), and the nature of the parties involved. No one is saying that G.Z. was – or is – perfect. Unfortunately, the media, advocacy leaders etc. have been hell-bent on creating a pair of wildly distorted pictures of these two parties: one in which G.Z. is a racist villain and the other in which T.M. is a cherubic little boy. The reality is that both depictions are grossly inaccurate.

      And, by the way, I know for a fact that one of the commenters here whom you’ve implicitly criticized so often is actually the president of the local MLK association and a thoughtful empathetic and tireless advocate for minority groups. Interestingly, that person’s sentiments very closely echo those of Dr. Reverend Alveda King, MLK’s niece. Just something to think about…

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