George Zimmerman

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The MSR 2013 year in review

The local Black press continues to publish stories “from our own lens”
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

This year, 2013, was historic as well as a year-long full of highs and lows: Two MSR reporters were among the national and international press that covered America’s first Black president’s second inauguration in January. Said Atlanta Daily World reporter Kenya King, a member of the Black press who was covering the Obama inauguration for the second time, “I’m here to capture…the moment of this historic occasion [and] to make sure that the message that should get across, does get across.”

A ‘new Black agenda’ was discussed by the Council on Black Minnesotans and others during the organization’s Lobby Day at the State Capitol on March 19. The MSR asked several Blacks in attendance that day if they felt new voices and perhaps a new message is needed from Black Minnesotans. “I think it is time for new voices to be heard,” believed Greater Friendship Missionary

Baptist Church Pastor Rev. Billy Russell in our March 28 front-page story. The MSR also continued its coverage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the introduction of MNsure, the state’s new health-insurance exchange program and how the new healthcare law will benefit Blacks. Continue Reading →

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Recent rulings an attempt to restore confidence in the system

 

 

 

The recent decision by a judge to limit New York City’s Stop and Frisk program, which targeted Black and Brown New Yorkers, and the decision to reduce crack sentences were neither coincidental nor accidental. The folks that are in charge, the real folks, the monied class, the ruling class, the real bosses recognize that the whole Trayvon Martin tragedy took some of the wind out of the sails of the system. Anyone paying attention had to recognize that the system just doesn’t work. Or that it does work, but only for the wealthy and sometimes White upper-class folks. In the case of Trayvon Martin the system worked. Continue Reading →

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Barack Obama needs to free Marissa Alexander

 

 

The problem is not the Stand Your Ground law. It’s with its application. A cowardly predator like George Zimmerman can hide behind the statute, but, Marissa Alexander got 20 years. This is, as anyone can tell you, because Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, a young Black man and Marissa Alexander is a Black woman. That is why the law worked for Zimmerman and did not work for Alexander, sent her to jail for protecting herself, her home and her children from her abusive ex. Continue Reading →

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Sebelius and Holder address NAACP convention — Speeches focused on Zimmerman verdict, Affordable Care Act, voting rights

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

In light of the recent George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict, both U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week stressed the importance of civil rights during their scheduled appearances at the NAACP national convention in Orlando, Fla. The attorney general called for “a respectful, responsible dialogue about issues of justice and equality.”

“The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy for his family, but also for our country,” Sebelius pointed out. “So are the tragedies of all the children we have lost because of gun violence before and since Trayvon was killed.” She and Holder spoke separately to the NAACP July 16, three days after the Zimmerman trial ended on July 13. “Across America, diverse groups of citizens, from all races, backgrounds and walks of life are instead overwhelmingly making their voices heard” in disagreeing with the verdict, said Holder. “I hope that we will continue to approach this necessarily difficult dialogue with the same dignity that those who have lost the most — Trayvon’s parents — have demonstrated throughout the last year, and especially over the past few days.”

“The president hasn’t given up on pushing forward on commonsense gun violence prevention efforts,” reaffirmed the HHS secretary. Continue Reading →

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Zimmerman trial watch

 

 

 

 

 

Below is a series of commentaries written by MSR staff writer Charles Hallman exclusively for the MSR Online regarding the George Zimmerman trial. They are being posted several times per week. Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to challman@spokesman-recorder.com

 

 
Zimmerman update #16 (July 23, 2013)
 

It’s been over a week since the George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict was handed down. Marches, vigils, and other such events have taken place in its aftermath. “There’s going to be a lot of arguments about the legal issues in the case,” admitted President Obama in his unexpected address to the press last week. Continue Reading →

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Investigate the racial context behind Martin’s death

 

By Jesse Jackson

Guest Commentator

 

If Trayvon Martin were not a young Black male, he would be alive today. Despite the verdict, it’s clear that George Zimmerman would never have confronted a young White man wearing a hoodie. He would, at the very least, have listened to the cops and stayed back. Trayvon Martin is dead because Zimmerman believed that “these guys always get away” and chose not to wait for the police. Trayvon Martin’s death shatters the convenient myths that blind us to reality. Continue Reading →

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Matthew Shepard and Trayvon Martin: bigotry knows no boundaries

 

 

The nation is once again divided along the fault line of race. In a perceived 2013 post-racial society, William Faulkner’s prophetic quote of the last century — ”The past is never dead. It’s not even past” — has come back to haunt us in this century. Faulkner’s quote haunts us because of the recent verdict of the George Zimmerman trial. The story, as you well know by now, of how George Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watchman of a Florida community, was acquitted of all charges — murder and manslaughter — related to Trayvon Martin. Continue Reading →

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Trayvon Martin: this generations’ Emmett Till? — Zimmerman verdict confirms broken judicial system for many Blacks

 

 

 

News Analysis

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

Organizers of Monday’s downtown rally in front of the Hennepin County Government Center estimated the peaceful crowd of all ages and ethnicities at between 3,500 and 4,000 people. “I’m supposed to be here with my people, elbow to elbow and cheek to cheek, side by side,” proclaimed local poet Tish Jones, who was among a host of speakers addressing the crowd before marching down South Sixth Street to Hennepin Avenue and returning to the Center. Another protest is scheduled for Saturday as part of a national day of protest over the Zimmerman verdict. (For more information about Monday’s demonstration, go to the MSR website at www.spokesman-recorder.com.)

Similar marches are being held all across the country. And despite last weekend’s jury verdict, the national NAACP has requested that the U.S. Justice Department resume its investigation in the Trayvon Martin murder case. Continue Reading →

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God bless Rachel Jeantel,  a courageous witness

 

 

During the first week of July, some in America showed their true colors by once again viciously attacking, with malice aforethought, a 19-year-old Black woman, Rachel Jeantel. She was the last person to speak to 17-year-old Trayvon Martin just seconds before he was to die at the hands of George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012. Ms. Jeantel was born in the nation of Haiti but has been a resident of the United States since age three. But English is not her native tongue. It is her third language. How many languages do her tormentors speak? Rachel Jeantel is important for two reasons. First, she teaches us about the lessons of respect. Second, she brought credibility and truth to her testimony. Continue Reading →

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Trayvon, we failed you once, but we will never fail you again!

 

 

By Michael Skolnik

Guest Commentator

 

We didn’t mourn with the family from the church pews when 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was sent to his homecoming with God. We had not yet heard of his name. We couldn’t stop the one shot fired on that drizzling night in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012. We, too, were watching LeBron, Kobe and D. Wade on our television. We didn’t raise our voices when the man who pulled the trigger was allowed to sleep in his own bed the night he ended the life of the young man from Miami. Continue Reading →

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