Obama’s powerful words about Trayvon Martin

By Jonathan Capehart

When President Obama waded into the messy arrest of renowned African American scholar Henry Louis Gates in his own home in 2009, the depth of the trouble he got into went right up to his neck as he slammed the police involved. “Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home,” he said in response to a question.

Obama would not make the same mistake this morning when he was asked about the Trayvon Martin case. In fact, his response was pitch-perfect.

I’m the head of the Executive Branch and the attorney general reports to me so I’ve got to be careful about my statements so that we’re not impairing any investigation that’s taking place right now. But, obviously, this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through. And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids. And I think every parent in America,” he said, “should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative to investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together — federal, state, and local — to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened….

I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen. And that means we examine the laws and the context for what happened, as well as the specifics of the incident. But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. And, you know, I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.

Last night, before a crowd of thousands, Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton told the throng, “Trayvon is your son.” It was an emotional message that found its echo in the Rose Garden this morning when the president of the United States personalized this tragedy by saying, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” For many, myself included, those powerful words have created an enduring image.

watch video here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/obamas-powerful-words-about-trayvon-martin/2011/03/04/gIQA1tzyVS_blog.html

By Jonathan Capehart | 11:54 AM ET, 03/23/2012

Where Have All the Black Men Gone?

Michelle Alexander

Author of “The New Jim Crow,” Race-Talk contributor

A recurring question has surfaced in mainstream and ethnic media for more than a decade. The phrasing of the question differs depending on who’s asking the question and why, but the question tends to boil down to this: Where have all the black men gone? They’re missing in churches, missing from their families, missing from college campuses, and absent from work. Black women can’t find a man to marry. Black children don’t know where to find their fathers. Where are those guys?

Last Father’s Day, presidential Barack Obama wagged a finger at all the missing black fathers. At the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago he stepped to the podium and said: “If we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that too many fathers are missing — missing from too many lives and too many homes. Too many fathers are MIA. Too many fathers are AWOL. They have abandoned their responsibilities. They’re acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it. You and I know this is true everywhere, but nowhere is this more true than in the African American community.”

The next day, social critic and sociologist Michael Eric Dyson published a critique of Obama’s speech in Time magazine. He pointed out that the stereotype of black men being poor fathers may well be false. Research shows that black fathers not living at home are actually more likely to keep in contact with their children than fathers of any other ethnic or racial group. Dyson chided Obama for evoking a black stereotype for political gain, noting that “Obama’s words may have been spoken to black folk, but they were aimed at those whites still on the fence about whom to send to the White House.” Dyson’s critique was a fair one, but like other media commentators, he remained silent about where all the absent black fathers could be found.

Here’s a hint for all those still scratching their heads about those missing black fathers: Look in prison.

The mass incarceration of people of color through the War on Drugs is a big part of the reason that a black child born today is less likely to be raised by both parents than a black child born during slavery. The absence of black fathers from families across America is not simply a function of laziness, immaturity, or too much time watching Sports Center. Hundreds of thousands of black men have disappeared into prisons and jails, locked away for drug crimes that are largely ignored when committed by whites.

Most people seem to imagine that the drug war — which has swept millions of poor people of color behind bars — has been aimed at rooting out drug kingpins or violent drug offenders. Nothing could be further from the truth. This war has been focused overwhelmingly on low-level drug offenses, like marijuana possession — the very crimes that happen with equal frequency in middle class white communities.

In 2005, for example, 4 out 5 drug arrests were for possession and only 1 out of 5 were for sales. Most people in state prison for drug offenses have no history of violence or significant selling activity. Nearly 80 percent of the increase in drug arrests in the 1990s — the period of the most dramatic expansion of the drug war — was for marijuana possession, a drug less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. In some states, though, African Americans have comprised 80 to 90 percent of all drug convictions.

This is The New Jim Crow. People of color are rounded up — frequently at young ages — for relatively minor drug offenses, branded felons, and then relegated to a permanent second-class status in which they may be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries, and subjected to legal discrimination in employment, housing, access to education, and public benefits. Those who are lucky enough to get a job upon release from prison find that up to 100 percent of their wages may be garnished to pay fees, fines, and court costs as well as the costs of their imprisonment and accumulated child support. What, realistically, do we expect these folks to do? When those labeled felons fail under this system to make it on the outside — not surprisingly, about 70 percent fail within 3 years — we throw up our hands and wonder where they all went. Or we chastise them for being poor fathers and for failing to contribute to their families. It’s a set up. This system isn’t about crime control; it about racial control. Yes, even in the age of Obama.

By www.Huffingtonpost.com

 

Police chief in Trayvon Martin case to step down “temporarily”

Police chief in Trayvon Martin case to step down..”temporarily”
In Uncategorized on March 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm

By Zachary Roth | The Lookout – 2 hrs 23 mins ago

Sanford, Fla., Police Chief Bill Lee is “temporarily” resigning amid widespread criticism of his department’s handling of the Trayvon Martin case, he announced moments ago.

“My role as the leader of this agency has become a distraction for this organization,” Lee said at a press conference Thursday afternoon. “It is apparent that my involvement in this matter is overshadowing the process. I have come to the decision that I must temporarily remove myself from the position of police chief of the city of Sanford.”

Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. said in a letter released Wednesday evening that police were “prohibited” from arresting George Zimmerman, who had confessed to shooting Martin, “based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time.” Zimmerman told local police he acted in self-defense.

Sanford police have been criticized for not conducting an alcohol or drug test on Zimmerman, as is standard practice in a homicide probe, among other alleged missteps. And a witness has said that a law enforcement officer “corrected” her when she said she heard Martin screaming for help. Lee had emerged as a focal point of the criticism.

Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, was patrolling the streets of a gated community in Sanford on Feb. 26, when he spotted Martin and told a police dispatcher that a “black male” was acting “suspicious.” Zimmerman, 28, ignored a warning from the dispatcher not to pursue Martin, and a violent confrontation ensued, leaving Martin dead.

JSAIS: Temporarily is not enough, he must lose his position! If Police chief, Bill Lee, had lost a son the way the Martin’s lost theirs, Zimmerman would have been thrown under the jail, period! My question is who are the laws made to protect, really? Why didn’t at least one officer involved in this case step up and say, “Hey this is not right”? Outside of how one may feel personally at the end of the day those officers had a job to do. No one did it. The law cannot protect their unprofessionalism. I’m a nurse I have to treat everyone the same and I do. I don’t want to know if you raped you mother, because I have to take care of you with the same respect and with the same professionalism as if you were Mother Theresa. Every officer involved in Trayvon’s case needs to lose their job!

..

Planned Rallies For Trayvon Martin



Rallies in honor of Martin have been and will continue to be held nationwide.
Contact your local news for information of rallies in your area.  Listed below are a few, plan to be there!!

Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia activists, Chris Norris, is organizing a rally in Center City’s Love Park next Monday at 6:30 p.m. for Trayvon Martin. Plan to be there.

Trayvon Martin: Rally in Peninsula Park Will Call for Justice

Portland mom Mary Hill organized rally to support Trayvon’s family

Portland
March 21, 2012
Portland mom Mary Hill is organizing a rally to demand justice for Trayvon Martin. Hill is asking Portlanders to show their support for Trayvon’s family by turning out for the rally at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 24 in Peninsula Park.

CBS Miamie:

Trayvon Martin Bus Trip:

The bus holds 55 passengers. Seats are $25 each. Deposits can be made via Pay Pal, no later than March 23rd. The bus will depart on Monday, March 26th at 8AM.

For more info:

call: Nicole at 954.325.8293

msnicolecarr@gmail.com

jonatha.carr@gmail.com

Trayvon Martin Peace March:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 @ 5 pm

Beginning at Sherdavia Jenkins Peace Park (Corner of NW 62 Street & NW 12 Avenue)

Richmond VA:

At 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 22, students will hold a silent rally at the Fountain at Harris Hall on the Virginia State University campus. Participants are asked to wear hoodies in support of Trayvon Martin.
At 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, a candlelight vigil for Martin is planned at Richmond’s African Burial Ground in Shockoe Bottom, located at 16th and East Broad Streets.

JSAIS: Help get justice for Trayvon Martin, click on the following link and sign the petition.

http://www.change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-killer-of-our-son-17-year-old-trayvon-martin?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share

The Nation Reports: Justice for Trayvon Martin

Mychal Denzel Smith

March 19, 2012

Here’s what we know: Trayvon Martin is dead.

On February 26, during halftime of the NBA All-Star game, the 17-year-old high school junior went to a nearby store in the Orlando suburb where he was visiting his father and stepmother in order to buy some candy for his younger brother. He returned to his family a six-foot, three-inch, 140-pound corpse.

We know who killed him.

JSAIS: Take action, help get justice for trayvon Martin. Click on the followng link, sign the petition.

George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old college student who had appointed himself captain of the neighborhood watch for the Retreat at Twin Lakes gated community, admits to shooting Martin with a 9mm handgun. Zimmerman spotted Martin and followed him in his car before placing a 911 call to report a “suspicious” person in the area.

“This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something,” Zimmerman told the 911 operator. “He’s just staring, looking at all the houses.” What happened in the approximately twenty minutes between the time this call took place and when Zimmerman fired the shot that killed Martin is disputed—although recordings of the 911 call provide chilling hints—but what we do know is that Zimmerman claims he shot the young man in self-defense. This was enough for the police to let him go. Zimmerman was not and has, as of this writing, yet to be arrested.

We also know that Trayvon was black.

There are some who would argue that race is not a factor here. We’ve heard that Zimmerman is Hispanic—but this is not a defense. Neither is the statement released by Zimmerman’s father, which employs the “he has black friends” claim. Mentoring two black children and word from a black neighbor that she would entrust Zimmerman with her life doesn’t preclude him from holding racist views of black men. If it did, how then does he explain what made Martin a suspicious enough figure that it warranted Zimmerman leaving his vehicle and getting into an altercation with the young man?

What was the threat? We know that the only items retrieved from Martin’s person were a bag of Skittles, a can of iced tea, and some money, so unless Zimmerman felt he was in danger of contracting a deadly form of diabetes or a lethal cavity, he has more explaining to do. But whether the item is as innocuous as a bag of candy—or, as in Amadou Diallo’s case, a wallet—the assumption is that the natural state of black men is armed and dangerous.

If Martin was so threatening, why didn’t Zimmerman wait for the police to arrive, particularly after being told not to follow the suspect? (“We don’t need you to do that,” the dispatcher told him.) Why have three witnesses come forward to say that in the moments before the shooting they heard crying that stopped as soon as the bullet fired? Was Martin crying in anger? And what if he was? Would he not have a right to be angry that a man was stalking him for no reason? And if Martin was the aggressor, how did he manage to get a man over a hundred pounds heavier than himself to the ground? What injuries did Zimmerman sustain that would lead us to believe there was a struggle that left him in the grip of a life-and-death situation? The 911 tapes that have been released suggest that the two shots that were fired, one from a distance, the other the fatal one from close range. Does self-defense require a warning shot?

That these questions are likely to go unanswered in court of law is thanks to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which places the threshold for self-defense so low that you need little more than your word to show that your life was in danger. Zimmerman’s description of events was enough for the police, who evidently feel they know all that they need to know to determine that Zimmerman should be free to walk the streets while Martin’s family mourns. The crime of killing a black person still is not greater than the crime of being black. And, as one of the family’s attorneys asked, “Do we really believe that if Trayvon Martin had pulled the trigger, he would not have been arrested?”

We know that being a black man in America is a life-threatening occupation, whether you’re a 22-year-old in Oakland or a 13-year-old in Chicago or a 17 year-old in Orlando. The characters change, but the script remains the same. When everyone has had their say, another young black man has been killed for doing nothing more than being a young black man.

What we don’t yet know is what it will take to get justice for Trayvon.

A good place to start would be signing the Change.org petition started by his parents calling on Florida’s 18th District State’s Attorney to prosecute Zimmerman. Trayvon is dead, and black men everywhere live in constant fear they could be the next Trayvon. The very least we can do is put his killer in handcuffs.

 

JSAIS:  Help get justice for Trayvon Martin,  click on the following  link and sign the petition.

http://www.change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-killer-of-our-son-17-year-old-trayvon-martin?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=friends_wall

As reported by Mediatakeout.com,Zimmerman called Trayvon Martin a F__in Coon before murdering him.

March 20, 2012: If you listen closely to what Zimmerman says, between 2:21 and 2:23, he calls Trayvon, a f*ckin coon. By uttering that SLUR before murdering the boy the feds can get him on a MUDER CHARGE with a hate crime attachment – which is a DEATH PENALTY CASE.

Listen to the tape:

JSAIS: Help get justice for Trayvon Martin, click on the following link and sign the petition.

http://http://www.change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-killer-of-our-son-17-year-old-trayvon-martin?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=friends_wall

Black Militia Is Looking For Trayvon Martin’s Killer

New-Black-Liberation-Militia-300x226Members of a self-proclaimed “New Black Liberation Militia,” based out of Atlanta, GA, say they plan to attempt a citizen’s arrest of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who confessed to fatally shooting the unarmed Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fl last month.

One of the leaders of this group, which is “a multi-faith, spiritual,cultural, scientific, and political instructional institution,” according to its website, is a top student of the late Dr. Khallid Abdul Muhammad, a controversial National Spokesman and Representative of the Nation of Islam.

Najee Muhammad,who calls himself “the national commander and minister of the New Black Liberation Institute and Militia,” was active in protesting the execution of Troy Davis, who was convicted of and executed for the August 19, 1989 murder of police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, GA.