In light of the recent decision of the justice system to rule in favor of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin, the responses and perspectives of this outcome have been varied. You have people in the south whom experience police oppression as a part of their daily lives, their opinion is obvious; Zimmerman was wrong and Trayvon Martin has become a symbol of no justice and no peace to be found in America. Protests and rallies have been held all over the country, by celebrities and citizens alike who feel the injustice dealt by the court systems has been taken too far with this incident. Al Sharpton spoke at a rally the day after the ruling was decided in Stanford, Florida and was quoted as saying, “We are tired of going to jail for nothing and others going home for something. Zimmerman should have been arrested that night … you cannot defend yourself against a pack of Skittles and iced tea. Don’t talk to us like we’re stupid! Don’t talk to us like we’re ignorant! We love our children like you love yours. Lock him up!” In Memphis, Tennessee, former black panthers Lorenzo and Jonina Ervin held a protest in front of the Shelby County Jail on Monday, July 15th in which more than twenty people congregated and shouted chants such as, “no justice, no peace!”, and “Trayvon is all of us!”
I would have to say the most anticipated statement made by any American concerning this case, were the comments made by President Barack Obama. He basically took an empathetic stance, stating that he could have just as easily been in Trayvon Martin’s position 35 years ago. Obama believes that African Americans have reacted so negatively to the verdict because they are a people who are used to being oppressed. You had some people who thought Obama was speaking from a racially exclusive standpoint, and among those was Todd Starnes of Fox News, who titled Obama as the “Race Baiter in Chief.”
Starnes believes that Obama was playing the race card by supporting blacks only, and that Obama was supposed to be a president who supported all colors of people.
Obama’s stance on the Zimmerman verdict was very bold and indeed truthful. One could say that more justice was brought to the entire situation through his words alone, no doubt Obama has had the uniqueness of the African American experience, so for him to speak from any other standpoint would be a discredit to his presidency.
Written By: Brandon Shaw