Trayvon Martin and Vigilantism

The killing of an innocent person in a "Stand Your Ground State."

The haunting lyrics of Billie Holiday's song Strange Fruit is a poignant reminder of our past when black Americans were lynched for the smallest transgression against a system of segregated subservience to white supremacy.

Today, we still witness vestiges of a virulent racism as reflected in Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” legislation and similar legislation in 20 other states. Florida’s statute is a license to kill as it embraces the concept that if a citizen feels threatened he/she has a right to use deadly force.

A vigilante mentality is being legally sanctioned.

Trayvon Martin (140 lbs.) was a 17-year-old black child visiting his father in a gated community in Sanford, Florida. He was sent to the store on an errand. Trayvon had no record or gang affiliation.

A self appointed white 28-year-old male neighborhood watch person (250 lbs.) was, it appears, a zealous guardian of the neighborhood. George Zimmerman had called the police 46 times since 2011. He packed a 9mm weapon and Trayvon had a bottled drink and packages of Skittles in his possession.

A witness claimed that she “heard the crying of a little boy,” followed by a shot and an eerie silence. Trayvon was dead, a modern day lynching.

The witness said that the police did not want to listen to her. Also, according to Jasmine Rand, (attorney for the Martin family) audio tapes revealed that Zimmerman used a racial slur and actively pursued Trayvon in order to met out vigilante justice—death.

The police have refused to arrest Zimmerman on the basis that he acted in self defense. Such a claim is absurd and reflects a racial climate in which African American lives are not granted equal protection under the law.

A firestorm has been ignited and the “self defense” laws being promulgated in various states must be rolled back by an enlightened citizenry as these laws create a climate of vigilante justice that will result in the destruction of innocent lives.

—Don Torrence

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nick April 03, 2012 at 04:16 AM
THE POOR IN AMERICA Television newscasts about poverty in America generally portray the poor as homeless people or as a destitute family living in an overcrowded, dilapidated trailer. In fact, however: * Over the course of a year, 4 percent of poor persons become temporarily homeless. * Only 9.5 percent of the poor live in mobile homes or trailers, 49.5 percent live in separate single-family houses or townhouses, and 40 percent live in apartments. * 42 percent of poor households actually own their own homes. * Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person. * The average poor American has more living space than the typical non-poor person in Sweden, France, or the United Kingdom. * The vast majority of the homes or apartments of the poor are in good repair. By their own reports, the average poor person had sufficient funds to meet all essential needs and to obtain medical care for family members throughout the year whenever needed. Of course, poor Americans do not live in the lap of luxury. The poor clearly struggle to make ends meet, but they are generally struggling to pay for cable TV, air conditioning, and a car, as well as for food on the table. The average poor person is far from affluent, but his lifestyle is far from the images of stark deprivation purveyed by advocacy groups and the media.
Sara Waters April 03, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Michael - Every year instead of buying presents at Christmas, we donate food. When I worked downtown, I never hesitated to buy someone a sandwich that needed it. I am not a business owner, so I am unable to offer anyone a job. When I was a teenager, I worked with an adult that couldn't read. I helped assist him in learning to read and set him up with a program at his local library where someone could help him. Every time we worked together, we worked on his reading.
Sara Waters April 03, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Michael - for the record, I called Fox News idiots. I did not directly call anyone on this posting an idiot.
Rob P April 03, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Mike- 2 weeks ago over 45 people were shot over a single weekend in Chicago. Im not sure how mant died as a result but it was close to 8. Where are the tv promted marches run by the leaders. We see news reports on the victims and neighborhoods, but no outpouring like this recent Florida incident. I sure hope all the recent media and news conferences are not a political skewer in the fire to be used for the upcoming election. This Florida death was tragic, but police, prosecutors do this job almost daily. There are reasons to arrest, evidence to go to trial steps to take for proper conviction. Rush to judgement, jail or wrongful prosecution will always end up back in court with the victim being the survivor.
Michael M. April 03, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Why do you only donate food at Christmas? Why not more often? Like weekly or monthly or daily. Oh and don't ask me what I do for the poor, This is about you since you decided to complain about the poor. And I have some good stories for you about the poor I have met and serviced that would make your head explode. Why would you call anyone an idiot? it doesn't help your cause. The poor will always be with us. Fox news apologizes more than others? Where is your proof of that? Where is the news story that Fox ran saying there are no more poor? I am not taking sides, I am saying this to you and everyone else, that when you make a statement of fact, you have to back it up. Not backing it up makes it an opinion, and you know what they say about opinions.


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