Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rev. Al Sharpton speaks out on Trayvon Martin case

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Civil rights activist Al Sharpton has announced a national movement - to protest in front of courts over the course of a year - in reaction to the verdict where George Zimmerman was acquitted for the murder of Trayvon Martin. The verdict in this case is an affront to civil rights, a black teenager, unarmed, minding his own business, was pursued and murdered.

The verdict highlights that there is still a long way to go for true civil and human rights in America, that while much progress has been made, there is still a long way to go. We are a long way from a post-racial society.

This verdict is a huge step backwards, validating racial profiling. Also, for African-Americans in Florida - or in any state with "stand your ground" laws - they have very good reason to be worried about their safety and security. After all, George Zimmerman was let off for killing an African-American teenager who was unarmed.

In the United States, there is a very strong racial bias to stand your ground laws - which Zimmerman used to get let off - against African-Americans. This chart is very telling.

 Zimmerman was taken to the police station and let go, and Trayvon's parents were not notified for 24 hours, by which time their son lay dead in the hospital.

This is pure injustice.

Update: An interesting picture which appeared on the front page of the NY Daily News.

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