My Views on The Trayvon Martin Case
The Trayvon Martin case outcome reinforces how African Americans, in particular African-American males, who are seen as a problem in America, feel about being devalued and marginalized in America. Equal justice in America has not come as far as some profess since Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have Dream” speech 50 years ago and Lyndon B. Johnson famous speech about affirmative action at Howard University 48 years ago.
Some would say why everything has to come down to race. I say you damn right it does! Civil rights organizations are still as relevant as ever. Look at what has occurred with voter’s rights laws, challenges against diversity and inclusion in employment and education.
Should African Americans be angry, absolutely! But this anger must be turned into positive energy and creative responses to social injustice. For example, Stevie Wonder has publicly avowed that he will not perform in Florida again until the “Stand Your Ground” law is discarded. Florida was the first state to enact this law and now over thirty states have a similar version.
Cohesive action is required on the part of the civil rights community and the visibly diverse protesters of George Zimmerman’s acquittal, within the confines of the law. Dr. King was the master of this kind of action through the non-violent approach.
One thing for sure, racism has always had a purpose in America and race has always been a dividing distraction. This is where the rubber hits the road and real diverse leadership on racial injustice in America has been fundamentally absent. It’s time they step up or are creatively persuaded to step up. The conversations about race must become more honest if it is to take us anywhere. Truth telling about race can no longer be side stepped in the face of America’s increasing diversity.
Gregory T. Chambers