Tracy Martin, Trayvon Martin’s dad, spoke to members of congress about the importance of family in relation to raising black males. The hearing was formulated by the Congressional Black Caucus in relation to a program chaired by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton called “Congressional Congress on Black Men and Boys.”
The hearing was titled, “The Status of Black Males: Ensuring Our Boys Mature into Strong Men.” It was the first of its kind by the newly established caucus. The caucus formed in March was the brainchild of Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Rep. Danny Davis of Illinois. The politicians hoped to start a dialogue on the plight of black males in the American society.
The timing of the Caucus’s inaugural hearing comes on the heels of the verdict in the George Zimmerman shooting case. The hearings, less than two weeks after the verdict seeks to address the discontent felt by many in the society as a whole. George Zimmerman being pronounced not guilty raised outrage concerning the profiling and unfair prejudice towards black males.
Trayvon Martin’s dad spoke to members of congress about the importance of family and supporting those with similar problems related to his situation. He vowed to work with helping the public understand more about gun violence, the black male, and open dialogue concerning the issue. He referred to remarks President Obama made in a speech concerning the Zimmerman verdict.
“It’s moments and comments such as the president made, that, you know, it sparks the conversation in every household over the dinner table,” said Tracy Martin. “And that conversation is what can we do as parents, what can we do as men, what can we do as fathers, what can we do as mentors, to stop this from happening to your child. And I think that’s where the conversation begins.”
“We’ve taken that negative energy and we’re trying to turn it into a positive,” he continued. “A lot of people will tell you that nothing positive can come out of death but I disagree and I disagree wholeheartedly because it is what we can do tomorrow as a nation, as a people, to stop someone else’s child from being killed.”
“There’s nothing we can do to bring Trayvon back, but if there’s something we can do as a foundation to help other families from going through this, than we’re here,” he added.
“When I’m dead and gone, I would like to see that Trayvon Martin’s name attached to some type of statute or amendment that says you can’t simply profile our children, shoot them in the heart, kill them, and say that you were defending yourself.”
“With everything I have left in me, we’re going to try to make sure that his name won’t be dragged through the mud, that his legacy will be that Trayvon helped bridge the gap of America,” he later added. Trayvon’s dad speech to members of congress about family issues helped spark dialogue among congressional members on current relevant legislation.
Rep. Holmes Norton said, “The loss of 17-year-old Trayvon has focused attention on black males as nothing else in decades.” She also stated that it was coincidental of the hearing timings occurring just weeks after the verdict announcement.
By Thomas Barr