8/29/2013

"March on Washington": Mentions of Trayvon Martin

From Martin Luther King III:
The task is not done, the journey is not complete.  The vision preached by my father a half-century ago was that his four little children would no longer live in a nation where they would judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.  However, sadly, the tears of Trayvon Martin’s mother and father remind us that far too frequently the color of one’s skin remains a license to profile, arrest, and to even murder with no regard to the content of one’s character."
From Fox News:
Performers also included Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey, their voices thinner now than when they performed at the original march as part of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. They sang "Blowin' in the Wind," as the parents of slain black teenager Trayvon Martin joined them on stage and sang along. . . .
From the beginning of a piece in the LA Times:
The struggle continues.  So said many of those who turned out Wednesday for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, saying they were there to mark the historic occasion but also to call attention to causes ranging from joblessness to "justice for Trayvon Martin." . . .
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley told the crowd:
"still too much apathy when the lives of people of color are too often valued less than the lives of white people." 
From the Huffington Post:
The most memorable moment of the march occurred when Trayvon Martin's family walked within feet of where I was standing. I wanted so badly to say something to them -- but nothing I could conjure up in a few seconds could convey the anger, grief, and helplessness I felt towards the tragedy of their loss. Trayvon's presence was felt throughout the entire event, making me question how much progress we've truly made in these 50 years. If I still share Dr. King's dream in 2013, what have we accomplished? . . . .
The Chicago Teachers' union issued this statement:

A mass email sent out to the Chicago entire Teachers Union’s mailing list urges union members to attend the march to protest foreclosures, the Second City’s recent rash of school closings and, of course, the verdict in favor of George Zimmerman, a Hispanic man who shot a black teenager during an altercation. 
“The attack on the working people of Chicago and the country — school closings, high rates of unemployment, evictions and foreclosures, mass incarceration of our youth, lack of access to affordable health care and clinics — highlights the structural racism in our society,” the email beseeches. “We are marching for Trayvon, for jobs, for schools, for health care, for justice and for dignity.” . . . 

From WBUR: 
[Rep. John] Lewis said he never thought 50 years later that some of the same issues would be back on the table."I thought we had completed the fight for the right to vote, the right to participate in the democratic process. I thought we were in a process of reforming the justice system. But when I see something like what the Supreme Court did, or what happened to Trayvon Martin, it tells me over and over again that we're not there yet. We have not finished."
(Lewis was referring to the verdict in the killing of unarmed black teen in Florida, and the Supreme Court's decision in June striking down a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.) . . .
In some parts of the country, the rally was billed: "MARCH ON WASHINGTON/JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON MARTIN." (Richmond, VA)

From Fox News:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AUG. 24) JULIAN BOND: We march because Trayvon Martin has joined Emmett Hill in the pantheon of young black martyrs. We march because the United States Supreme Court has eviscerated the voting rights act for which we fought and died. We march because every economic indicator shows gaping white/black disparities. We march for freedom from white supremacy.  (END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: . . . Juan, I'll start with you. You know, a lot of people, there have been numerous high-profile cases that the American people are following. For example, the president spoke out on the Cambridge police acting stupidly, spoke out about Trayvon, but yet has not spoken out publicly -- I know he sent a letter to the family earlier today -- about the Chris Lane case, an 88-year-old World War II veteran beaten, a Florida bus beating, three kids, black kids against one white kid. And some people question why these civil rights leaders, why the president are selective in the instances in which they speak out on?
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you can't speak out on every crime in America, Sean, I don't think by the way that the racial cover you would put on those is always the case. Certainly not in Oklahoma where you had one kid who was white and another who's biracial involved in that shooting. I think that there are criminals of all colors and types.
But I think a lot of this is now sort of popular and it worries me that we are inflaming racial tensions by trying to voice this interpretation --
HANNITY: You mean like the Trayvon case? Was there inflaming racial tensions there?
WILLIAMS: Sure, I think that -- I think there are people who tried to exploit it. I happened to think that the verdict was an injustice to Trayvon Martin's family because I think there's a dead child there.
HANNITY: Oh, good grief.
WILLIAMS: But that's my feeling.
HANNITY: All right, Larry, weigh in.
LARRY ELDER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, the so-called black leaders don't like to talk about the fact that when you're talking about black/white violent crimes, most of the time it's a black perpetrator and most of time it's a white victim. It's much easier to talk about the rare instance when a white person does something violently to a black person.
The fact is that the criminal justice system is not a racist criminal justice system. In 1994, the Justice Department examined 75 major metropolitan areas to find out if it's true that blacks got longer sentences for the very same sentences because of racial reasons. They found out nothing like that, this is 1994 under Bill Clinton.
And yet, the mantra continues that race and racism remain major problems in America. It just isn't true, we've elected and re-elected a black president. 
We've had back to back black secretaries of state. If black America were a separate country, Sean, it would be the 15th or 16th wealthiest country in the world. . . .
On a related note, former Secretary of State Colin Powell commented on the Trayvon Martin case this past Sunday.  He called the jury verdict "questionable."  Interestingly, I found a post noting that Powell had a different view of the OJ Simpson verdict.
People will try to suggest that because there were nine blacks on the jury, it was a racial judgement. I think that’s unfair. These are people who can understand the facts put before them.
The crowd in 1963 was about 250,000 people.   The crowd on Wednesday was only about 20,000.

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