Skip to comments.Trayvon Martin's parents visit Stephen Lawrence memorial (The roadshow hits London)
Posted on 05/09/2012 8:47:12 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
The parents of 17 year old Trayvon Martin arrived in London this morning, to thank the British people who have lent their support.
Among the many letters of condolence which they received was one from Doreen Lawrence, whose own son was killed in a racist attack in South London 19 years ago. The two families met today, at the memorial to Stephen's death, united by a search for meaning, amid their personal grief.
A day to look back, as well as forward: a reminder of a young man's killing that has become as totemic for America as Stephen Lawrence's death was in Britain.
For the Martins, their grief is still raw: it's been barely two months since the night when their son walked through a gated community in Sanford, Florida and was challenged by neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. There was a confrontation. Screaming. Gunshots. By 7.25pm, Trayvon Martin, armed only with a packet of Skittles and a soft drink, was killed.
The initial police investigation was so cursory, that Zimmerman was barely asked any questions about the shooting, his alleged injuries barely examined, charges never brought. Police said there was no evidence to disprove his claim that he shot Martin in self-defence.
Amid the growing backlash, and the growing distress of the black community, hundreds of thousands of people began signing an online petition demanding Zimmerman's arrest. Tapes of the 911 calls made on the night of the shooting emerged in the media. Finally the Justice Department launched its own investigation.
"If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon." President Barack Obama
Barely a month after the shooting, Trayvon Martin had become a cause: a symbol not just of America's dysfunctional relationship with race, and guns, but a powerful political statement. "I am Trayvon Martin" became a nationwide slogan, emblazoned on banners, T-shirts, bumper stickers.
Thousands of people took to the streets, holding rallies around the country to demand "Justice for Trayvon". They wore hoodies, in tribute to the one the teenager was wearing the night he was shot: some brandished bags of Skittles. President Obama spoke publicly for the first time, calling for some national soul searching: "If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon", he said.
The hoodie swiftly became a symbol in itself, worn by members of Congress, sporting stars, school kids. The rallies became known as the 'Million Hoodie March'.
The Zimmerman family launched their own publicity effort too, with a series of television interviews giving their version of what happened. Zimmerman himself, who was in hiding, set up a website, asking for donations to help with his legal expenses.
Focus on guns
Soon, the focus became not simply race, but America's relationship with guns, and Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law which allowed people to use deadly force to defend themselves if they felt a reasonable fear of death. 24 states have similar laws on their books.
Weeks after the fatal shooting, and the wounds are just as raw. Zimmerman is now on trial, charged with second degree murder: Sanford's new interim police chief has promised to reach out to those in the community who feel ignored by the authorities, along with an "A-Z review". Trayvon's parents continue their campaign for justice. Stand Your Ground laws and racial profiling rules are under the spotlight.
And America? America is just as divided: by race, by class, by generation.
What the shooting has achieved is a more meaningful national conversation about race, some of that soul-searching which Obama called for back in March. For anyone who thought the election of a Black American to the highest office in the land meant some kind of milestone in the fight against racism, a nasty wake-up call. As Newsweek put it: "Despite the powerful symbolism of Obama's election, blacks and whites are still living in different worlds".
So: back to those fault lines, which have shattered through the veneer of America's supposedly tolerant modernity. 23 year old Rachel Hislop, on the Daily Grind, writes that she had sat silently while white colleagues questioned whether racism still existed in their "post-racial", privileged world. "But then a young black man called Trayvon Martin was killed, and the dirty blanket was finally pulled off the taboo conversation of the very present demon that is race relations in America, and I've decided I am tired of staying quiet", she wrote.
A nation divided
According to polls, twice as many blacks and Hispanics think race played a major part in the shooting, as whites: 73% compared to 36%. Black Americans paid much closer attention to news about the incident, overwhelmingly saw George Zimmerman guilty of a crime, and believe he would have been arrested far more quickly had the victim been white.
"Trayvon Martin was killed by a stereotype. George Zimmerman is just the guy who fired the gun." Leonard Pitts Jnr
In the New Yorker, Jelani Cobb wrote that Trayvon's death "did not so much raise questions as it confirmed suspicions: that we remain stratified or at best striated by race, that innocent is a relative term, that black male lives can end under capricious circumstances, and that justice is in the eye of the beholder - ideas that are as cynical as they are applicable."
For the Pulizter prize winning commentator Leonard Pitts Jnr, it was never as simple as black victim, white perpetrator: at least some black men, he said, would have acted exactly the same as the neighbourhood watch volunteer. "To make this about Zimmerman is to absolve the rest of us for maintaining a society that, in ways both overt and covert, still makes criminality a function of skin. Trayvon Martin was killed by a stereotype. George Zimmerman is just the guy who fired the gun."
Today in London, then, two families whose lives have been fractured by loss will meet to mourn the loss of their sons. Personal tragedies, vastly magnified into political symbols, begging the most fundamental questions of our time. The nature of innocence, of justice, and of fair treatment: of the struggle to overcome generations of racism, suspicion, and mistrust.
A chance to make some sense, then, out of otherwise senseless deaths. Perhaps that the civility of great nations is not a lost cause, after all.
To top it off they probably even had an entourage. Did these two live together before their son died? Will they be interviewed on TMZ???
These Libs are like me reading at Costco in the bestseller section...they read about 3 pages out of 300 and leave out 99% of the story...
Left Wing man-bites-dog nonsense
who paid for their plane tickets?
First off, she's too young to know any better. Really. 2nd, WHY did she sit silently? Doesn't she have a mind of her own? If before the Martin/Zimmerman incident, she couldn't point to concrete examples of racism, then how after ONE incident can racism be declared "rampant"? The whole politicization of this tragedy makes Black people look like weak whiny punks. That's why I hate it (the situation).
And the Democrats LOVE it that way!
Once again, just damn flabbergasted that the media portrays the evidence in such a biased way. "Skittles and soft drink, was killed"?
Geeze, do these people NOT research, ever?
My guess is that was paid for by YOUR TAX MONEY, laundered through NGO's and Unions, and Acorn, and the CBC.
When is that desperately needed cathartic trial scheduled to occur? An air-clearing, open, thorough revelation and examination of all relevant evidence is so much needed.
Black Americans paid much closer attention to news that is, to anti-white race propaganda about the incident, overwhelmingly saw George Zimmerman guilty of a crime, and believe he would have been arrested far more quickly had the victim been white.Just as overwhelmingly, they dont know that
- George Zimmerman led the charge to get justice for a black man who had been sucker punched by the son of a cop,
- George Zimmerman tutored black kids,
- George Zimmerman weighed about 175 pounds at the time of the incident (not the reported 240 pounds, as he had 5 years earlier).
- Trayvon Martin was where he was because he lacked adult supervision, even though he was on a 10 day suspension from his high school,
- Trayvon Matin was taller than George Zimmerman, and looked like a young grown man, not the old picture of him as a 12 year old,
- Trayvon Martin was not headed home when he and George Zimmerman had their fatal confrontation,
- or much else factual.
Hopefully someday, they will figure out that they are being used.
From the rallies and also at church services, thousands of dollars in pledges have been made to help them pay expenses including travel to events.
[[”By 7.25pm, Trayvon Martin, armed only with a packet of Skittles and a soft drink, was killed.” ]]
The reporters forgot to mention trayvon was ALSO armed with two fists, and a slab of concrete whicbh he used to bash george’
s head agaisnt in an effort to murder him
[[Among the many letters of condolence which they received was one from Doreen Lawrence, whose own son was killed in a racist attack in South London 19 years ago. The two families met today]]
Not sure why they met since trhe deaths were two unrelated deaths with nothign in common
[[Hopefully someday, they will figure out that they are being used.]]
The are too filled with prejudice and hatred of white folks to come to that understanfind I’m afraid
"I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint."Last and, by comparison, pretty much least:
--Hesiod, 8th century BC
"What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?"
"Our youth have an insatiable desire for wealth; they have bad manners and atrocious customs regarding dressing and their hair and what garments or shoes they wear."
--Plato, 5th century BC
"Our young men have grown slothful. There is not a single honourable occupation for which they will toil night and day. They sing and dance and grow effeminate and curl their hair and learn womanish tricks of speech; They are as languid as women and deck themselves out with unbecoming ornaments. Without strength, without energy, they add nothing during life to the gifts with which they were born - then they complain of their lot."
--Seneca, 1st century AD
"The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence [respect] for their parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint; They talk as if they alone know everything and what passes for wisdom in us foolishness in them. As for the girls, they are foolish and immodest and unwomanly in speech, behaviour and dress."
--Peter the Hermit, 11th century AD
"The world is passing through troublesome times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint; they talk as if they alone know everything...."
--Matthew Paris, 13th Century AD
People try to put us d down (talkin' bout' my generation)
Just because we g g get around (talkin' bout' my generation)
Things they do look awful c c cold (talkin' bout' my generation)
Hope I die before I get old (talkin bout my generation)
Why don't you all fade away (talkin bout my generation)
And don't try to dig what we all s s say (talkin bout my generation)
I'm not trying to cause a big sensation (talkin bout my generation)
Just talkin 'bout my generation (talkin bout my generation)
--Pete Townshend, The Who, 1965, age 20 (could explain his rudimentary command of language and oil slick depth of insight)
The hoodie was already a symbol. A symbol of gang banging, car jacking, armed robbers and thieves. And it still is.
I have no reason to doubt you are correct.
However, don’t you believe that there is some ‘other’ funding going on. They went overseas. They got passports awful quick.
Actually, I heard that Trayvon tripped over the curb, because it was out of place, and was just using Zimmerman's head to realign the concrete.
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