Posts Tagged ‘Trayvon Martin’

“Too Many Trayvons”

July 20, 2013

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Many of us can’t get the story about Trayvon Martin and the recent court verdict on his homicide out of our heads. It is a story about the senseless killing of a young man who was shot dead as he made his way home in the rain, with a bag of skittles and a bottle of ice tea in his hands. What is so painful is that Trayvon was a model teenager who “majored in cheerfulness” and yet because of racial profiling, that didn’t prevent him from being preyed upon.

Adding insult to injury is the derelict way in which the justice system handled the case, ultimately resulting in a verdict which declared that George Zimmerman, Trayvon’s killer, was innocent of committing a crime. However, the real and disturbing message issued in the Trayvon Martin Case is that the lives of young African American boys are worthless in the eyes of our justice system and in the eyes of many in the American public.

The Trayvon verdict has sparked outrage and served as a wake-up call, and the unfortunate reality is that there are too many Trayvons in our nation — too many young men who have been racially profiled and lost their lives senselessly to gun violence. Indeed, even President Obama stated on yesterday that “Trayvon Martin could have been me” and that he has been racially profiled — treated suspiciously because he is a black man (click here for the President’s speech). In addition, the facts about gun violence and young African American men are alarming. In 2008 and 2009, gun homicide was the leading cause of death among black teens and young black males die from gun violence at a rate 2.5 times higher than Latino males, and eight times higher than white males

While we may not be able to makes sense of the outcome of the Trayvon Martin case, we do know that we need to do more to counteract the culture of violence, to advocate against state laws like the “Stand Your Ground Law” in Florida which promote racial profiling and derelict vigilantism, and to spread the love of Jesus. When young students are struck down in the streets while simply walking to school or playing in their yards, or walking home from the convenience store with a bag of Skittles, then we must face the reality that we are living in an environment of domestic terrorism and this is unacceptable!

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Kip Banks, Sr.

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