Who Will Answer His Cries?
By, Celli Arenas
At the beginning of this national tragedy, on February 26th, we were reminded of young Emmett Till; who was dragged through a Mississippi town for whistling at a white girl while at a service station, drinking a soda, and hanging out in a place that was vastly different from his Chicago home. Trayvon Martin stopped by a convenience store to get a snack of Skittles and Arizona ice tea; this would be his last snack. What happened in Sanford, Florida is just as appalling and unjust. Trayvon Martin, a Miami native, visited his father in Sanford Florida, and never returned home. His cries for help are still unanswered. His murderer, George Zimmerman, has yet to be brought to justice.
Zimmerman claims self-defense under the “Stand Your Ground Law”. Which court of his peers decided that this was indeed the case? As of April 9, 2012, there will be no Grand Jury to determine the fate of this case, thanks to State Attorney Angela Corey . There is enough evidence and reasonable suspicion that would require any court of law to, at very least, convict George Zimmerman of manslaughter. According to Corey, 57-year-old State Prosecutor and graduate of University of Florida Law says, “I just want to be fair.” Trayvon’s cries were unanswered by the Sanford Police Department. Zimmerman is still able to walk free, and even develop a web site to solicit money from citizens in an effort to fund his defense.
On March 22 and 24, the 100 Black Men of South Florida answered the cries of young Trayvon Martin, as they do for the several hundred, young African-American and other minority boys living in South Florida. The 100 Black Men of South Florida chartered a bus for anyone interested, to travel to Sanford, Florida for the first of many protests to bring justice to this unanswered tragedy. Several of South Florida’s political and religious leaders were aboard, reflecting on civil rights marches of the 60’s and wondering how something so heinous could be ignored. Reverend Walter Richardson, and State Representative Daphne Campbell, along with several others, availed themselves to take the ride to Sanford, with their male children in tow. “I was there for the march on Washington. I saw the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver the now famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. It is our duty to get involved,” says Richardson.
“Anything I can do to help and represent for us, here in South Florida, I am there. I would not miss this event,” says Campbell. The ride for justice sparked a fire in the hearts and souls of the 100 Black Men. “I have a son Trayvon’s age. As our President said, he could have very well been my son,” says Director of Programs of the 100 Black Men of South Florida, Cliff Thomas.
Saturday morning, March 24, 2012, there was a prayer breakfast at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Gardens Florida, led by Pastor Arthur Jackson III and the 100 Black Men of South Florida. The event was hosted by past Senator Kendrick Meek and was attended by several members of political office such as: Senator Oscar Braynon II, Vice Mayor of Miami Gardens Oliver Gilbert, and candidate for State Congress Dr. Rudy Moise. They gathered in the Youth Hall of Antioch to have a candid conversation with the young men about strategy and prevention. “Part of what our youth needs to know is how to diffuse situations as best they can.” says Meek. “As a former law enforcement officer, when I get pulled over, I turn on my dome lights, so that I am visible to everyone as the car is approached.” He adds, “Conducting yourself in a way that could possibly save your life may not prevent danger, but at least it can help bring clarity to a dangerous situation.” National President of the 100 Black Men of America, Al Dotson says, “this was a great opportunity for the boys to be up close and personal with elected officials and community leaders. The adult men met the boys at their level and had an honest discussion with them about the Trayvon Martin case, living in America as a black man, and other concerns.” The 100 Black Men of Greater Ft. Lauderdale were also in attendance. While the murder of Trayvon Martin is not yet resolved, at least we know that the 100 Black Men of America hears his cries for justice and peace.
Breaking News 4/11/12 @ 4:57 pm: George Zimmerman will be charged with second degree murder and is in custody!