Trayvon Martin

Recent Articles

America is on a racial ‘Razor’s Edge’


Will entrenched injustices cut us to pieces?  

The death of Trayvon Martin on February 26 was not just another event in America’s troubled and tainted history of abusing the rights of African Americans. The controversy surrounding his death highlights a pivotal time in the history of our race relations. For every Trayvon there are 50 other Trayvon Martin cases that are never addressed for a variety of reasons: The community is not organized; the community is not aware; the community is frightened and intimidated; the community receives poor and ineffective legal counsel; and our community is often at war with itself. Not enough in Black and White America recognize that where there is a spark there is a potential for a full-fledged inferno that burns away and obstructs the quest for justice. Continue Reading →

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Obama: the White folk’s Black president



Where Obama’s hoodie at? Congressional Rep. Bobby Rush in March walked onto the House floor, stepped front and center, then, shedding his suit jacket, revealed a sweatshirt and put the hood up, declaring, “Racial profiling has to stop. Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.” This, of course, to protest the mindless murder of Trayvon Martin. Rep. Gregg Harper, not surprisingly a Mississippi Republican, had a fit in purple paint. Presiding over the chamber, he tried, as Rush kept speaking, to shout him down, but Rush wasn’t having any and kept talking. Continue Reading →

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Anti-Black stereotypes killed Trayvon Martin and profiled me in St. Cloud



By Dr. Luke Tripp

Guest Commentator


The Trayvon Martin case has sparked the mobilization of millions who are morally outraged because Trayvon symbolized the targets and victims of the deeply racialized U.S. criminal justice system. This case is socially and politically explosive. To understand the social and political dynamics of this case, we have to focus on the centrality of race and the criminal justice system. Americans profess to believe that the rule of law should be applied equally to all citizens regardless of race or status. Yet, it is beyond dispute that the criminal “justice” system functions from start to finish (definitions of crime, investigation, arrest, charging, conviction and sentencing) in a racially biased way. Continue Reading →

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Robinson honored with North Side baseball clinic




By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer


The city of Sanford, Florida today is known as the place where 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed. But almost 70 years ago, the city unfortunately earned another dubious distinction: Jackie Robinson wasn’t allowed to play there. He was the only Black member of the Montreal Royals, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ AAA club, and Sanford was the parent team’s spring training site. Because Jim Crow also was intact at the time, the rookie Robinson wasn’t allowed to stay or eat anywhere his White teammates went in the town. Reportedly, “a large group of White residents” went to the mayor and demanded that Robinson immediately leave town in 1946. Continue Reading →

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Minnesotans march for Trayvon Martin


Attendees call for a ‘new beginning’ on solidarity,
an end to racial profiling

By Charles Hallman 

Staff Writer


Thousands last week peacefully stood, marched, sang and chanted outside University of Minnesota’s Northrop Auditorium, protesting not only the tragic death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, but also the violent deaths of several other Blacks in recent weeks in other parts of the country. Third year U-M student Brianna Wilson urged the rally participants who attended the March 29 event to not “let this energy go to waste” but to “get energized…and fight for racial justice.” Ever since the Martin death made news, she said the emotions among her and others on campus “has been shocking and frustrating. You hear a lot of frustration, a lot of anger.”

Wilson recalled how a friend of hers “cried on the phone” after hearing replays of the 911 call with Martin and the man who shot him: “You could hear Trayvon in the background, screaming for help. That broke her heart, and broke my heart,” she said. Nick Muhammad of Torch Light MN estimated at least 10,000 persons were in the Northrop Plaza. Continue Reading →

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America has given up on young Black men, like Trayvon Martin



By Phillip Jackson

Guest Commentator

Trayvon Martin is more valuable to America as a dead young Black man than he ever was alive. As a dead symbol, the president can claim him as a son he never had; but as a living Black man, the American criminal justice system claims one out of three young Black men born after 2001. As a dead symbol, Republican presidential candidates can claim that Trayvon deserves his right to live as an American; but many living young Black men, like Trayvon, are stripped of their rights every day because of harsh, racially targeted and overly punitive laws created by and pushed by Republicans. Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, reminds us that more Black men are in prison today than there were Blacks enslaved in America in 1850. She suggests that we have not really ended Jim Crow, but have just given it another name: the criminal justice system. Continue Reading →

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Blame government inaction for the Trayvon Martin tragedy



I disagree with the brown-skinned man in the White House who said about the Trayvon Martin murder, “All of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen.” We know exactly how this kind of thing happens. The point is to do something about it, to create a society that allows for and encourages empathy and equal and fair treatment as well as equal opportunity for all of its citizens. And the entity that should take the initiative is the government. Malcolm X used to say that when Blacks were lynched or terrorized in this country, we shouldn’t just blame the racist who perpetrated the crime, but we should also blame the government for its failure to protect its citizens. After all, we live under certain assumptions that we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and that “governments are ordained of men” to provide such comfort. Continue Reading →

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Trayvon Martin murder exposes madness of Stand Your Ground laws




On February 26, 2012, unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot to death by George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old wannabe cop and self-appointed gun-carrying neighborhood watchman in a gated community just outside Orlando in Sanford, Florida. (No local or gated community rule authorized such an armed role.)

Trayvon was returning from a convenience store three blocks from the home of his dad’s fiancée to get snacks for watching a basketball game. He was essentially shot for SWB (shopping while Black). The 911 tapes (which police withheld until forced to release them by court order) make it easier to understand this latest American tragedy, as it reveals the use of racial hate language. The shooter was told by 911 to stand down and stop trailing the young man. Continue Reading →

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