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Stand up for Trayvon Martin and against racial injustice

Updated on December 11, 2014

Justice and Equality now

Abner Louima
Abner Louima
Latasha Harlins
Latasha Harlins
Oscar Grant
Oscar Grant
Sean Bell
Sean Bell
Danzinger Bridge Suspects
Danzinger Bridge Suspects

Stand for Justice

I will be at the Los Angeles version of the Million Hoodie March to honor and protest the death of Trayvon Martin on March on Monday just as I was on the streets the first night of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. I will be there because I am angry. I am angry that this keeps happening over and over again because Americans seem to never learn. How many more black men must we bury before we deal with the inequality in our justice system.

I worked for the Los Angeles Times in 1992 as a copy-editor for the Calendar Section. The day of the Rodney King verdicts, I sensed that something was in the air. I told my boss that if they were acquitted, I was going home. When the verdicts were announced that morning, I drove home to Redondo Beach only to find out that all hell had broken lose. I called Ed Boyer on the City Desk and asked if he needed help and he told me yes. I went down and he asked me to go out and be eyes and ears on the street. I was on the street from 7:30 pm until 4:00 am the next morning.

Most people remember the Rodney King incident, but they forget about another incident that was also the impetus for those riots—the killing of Latasha Harlins. Young blacks have been killed to many times in America because of the assumption that they are dangerous. Below is a list of those cases, including Harlins:

Latasha Harlins: 15-year-old Harlins followed her usual routine on March 16, 1991. She went to the local store to buy some juice. She put the juice in her bag and went to the counter to pay with money in hand. What she did not know was that the men who normally worked in the store were not there. They were so over-worked that they were sleeping. Soon Ja Du, the owner’s wife was manning the store and she did not know Harlin’s routine. When she saw Harlins put the juice in her bag she thought she was stealing. Du confronted Harlins. The video shows Harlins trying to leave. However, Du persisted and grabbed the backpack. Harlins punched her. Harlins put the juice on the counter and tried to leave. Du pulled a .357 magnum from under the counter that had been altered and pointed it at Harlins. The gun went off and the bullet struck the teen in the back of the head. Du was prosecuted and found guilty of manslaughter but Judge Joyce Karlin gave her probation.

Amadou Diallo: Diallo was coming from a meal in the early hours of February 4, 1999. Four plain clothes New York Police officers saw him and thought he looked like a rape suspect. They claim to have identified themselves as officers. Diallo ran into a doorway and pulled out his wallet. One of the officers yelled gun and Diallo was fired at 41 times. He died instantly. The cops were indicted but the judge granted a change of venue. The officers were acquitted of any wrong doing.

Sean Bell: Bell was leaving a Jamaica Queens club after his bachelor party on November 25, 2006, the morning of his wedding. He and his friends were confronted by an undercover police officer as they left the club. The officer reported hearing one of the men say, “Yo, go get my gun.” He called for backup. The officers say they identified themselves as the police but bell drove away brushing one officer with his car and slamming into another vehicle. Witnesses say the officers never identified themselves and started shooting at Bell and his passengers without warning. Whatever the case, Bell was killed and his passengers wounded. The cops were never convicted.

Oscar Grant: Grant was coming home in the early hours of New Year’s Day in 2009 in Oakland, CA. There was a fight on the subway platform and police were called. Grant and others were detained. Hundreds of people were there and many of them videotaped what happened next. Officer Johannes Mehserle said that Grant was resisting arrest. Mehserle claims that he only intended to tase grant, however the videos show Mehserle pulling his service revolver and shooting grant in the back. Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served 7 months in prison.

The list can go on and on, but there have been some victories:

One of the killers of James Byrd, a former convict who was killed and dragged behind a pickup truck in East Texas was recently put to death. The officer who sodomized Abner Louima in a police bathroom was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison. The officers who shot unarmed black men on the Danziner Bridge in New Orleans were convicted and sentenced and three men recently plead guilty to hate crimes in the death of James Anderson whom they beat and then ran over after a night of hunting blacks in Jackson, Mississippi.

However, with the death of Trayvon Martin, old wounds have been re-opened and we need to again seek justice for an unjust death. I will be at the Million Hoodie March on Monday because it will be historic and it is time to stand up to racial injustice in America. I am Trayvon Martin.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What if geroge did not have a gun you think geroge would have went up to trayvon and ask him some questions and started a fight with trayvon and trayvon slam my head on the ground and I was the one screaming for my life that's something to think about.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I can't lie and maybe you can't lie either rember this is big not a small case and geroge knows this and if he said yea I shot this kid you think geroge is going to tell the truth knowing im going to prison for what I did was wrong. That's why geroge said it was self defense and he said trayvon hit me from behind and the other one he slam my head on the ground and broke my nose and then another geroge said trayvon reach for my gun and so I shot him and then the other one that geroge was the one screaming for help and after the gun went off no more screaming all im saying geroge don't want to go to prison so he is going to tell the world what you want you to here and that's alie. If it was me I would not do bothing like that and the kid would be alive today and the family would have their son .

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Some people are missing the point it is race in some degree not saying geroge is but when he says these f------ holes are always getting away that's a problem for geroge and for others that don't have common sense. In this world we have to use common sense. What is a watch man a man watch and see what's going on in the neighborhood and if he see some body watch them until they go home or do something wrong you write it on the paper and call it in that's what a watch man does not take it in to his own hands and shoot the person now you just killed someone how about if that was you walking dawn the street minding your business and someone was fellowing you with a gun and no security shit on or no security jacket on and he did not tell you hes a security guard ? Or you got shot and you could not tell your side of the story because your dead. But hes telling lies on you and your family is sad and mad and other things going on in side their head. This guy goes home in his bed but my son or daughter goes in a body bag see I can't take nobodys like and live with my self honestly. One more thing sometimes you don't have to be their to figer things out you just have to put the puzzle together and ask your self as a teenage would I go back and see what this guy geroge want even do he has a gun and another thing is would I hit him from behind why I talk ti my girl friend on the phone or would I take his gun and shoot him with it in my yard almost to my house that is 70 yards or would I slam his head on the ground until hes bleeding to the point that he is almost dead because this guy was fellow me and he throw me on the grass come people woke up geroge is guilty point blank I don't care what color you are if your wrong your wrong plan as

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      6 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      I just listened to the 911 calls. You can check out my new hub about it.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      6 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      I am not sure what you mean by your questions. The hub is under the police and law enforcement subheading.

      I will attempt to answer and you can tell me if I make any sense.

      I referenced the stories/tragedies associated in your hub alone, not Trayvon Martin.

      I support the grieving family, the Martins. I do not support the public lashing of a man who has not been convicted of wrong doing.

      It is shameful how you and other protesters are using this tragedy as a political movement to usurp the rights of a citizen, Mr. Zimmerman.

      Also, just for your information, my OPINION--and that is all it is, an opinion--of Mr. Zimmerman is that he profiled the boy harassing him to the point where the boy finally confronted him.

      In a nervous attempt because he was threatened by this tall Black kid, who he felt threatened from, he fired his gun. Maybe Trayvon attached him first or not, I don't know.

      If I were Trayvon, I would have probably confronted him too. Maybe Trayvon was a hothead and struck first because George threatened him.

      My point is, it is absurd to protest because a private citizen was not placed in jail because public opinion thinks a crime was committed.

      The reason we have a system is to prevent lynchings. That is the sentiment of these mobs of people calling themselves protesters. There is no somber silent vigil for Trayvon, but a bloodthirsty cry for vengeance based on misrepresented photos and circumstantial information.

      I despise the media for their handling of this situation. It tarnishes Trayvon's memory, whether his memory is filled with goodness or not. I even hubbed about it! Check it out.

    • habueld profile imageAUTHOR

      Bruce Bean 

      6 years ago from Riverside, CA

      How does this apply to Trayvon Martin? George Zimmerman was not even associated with the Neighborhood Watch.

      "I gave this a fair reading and each of those situation were given a fair hearing and the circumstances warranted the judgement given."

      What does that mean?

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      6 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      I gave this a fair reading and each of those situation were given a fair hearing and the circumstances warranted the judgement given.

      Just because those things happened to Black people or minorities at all does not mean there is a conspiracy to get away with racism in any of those cases.

      I do not pretend that racism is a thing of the past because it is alive and well in your protests and victimization of people who made DUMB decisions.

      When dealing with the police total and full cooperation should occur even if you are innocent.

      I have relatives in prison who did stupid things. Don't cry to me if you resisted arrest or had the wrong friends in the wrong place. Have some common sense. Police and business owners should not have to be the one's wearing kit gloves.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 

      6 years ago from Space Coast

      You are preaching to the choir. I live in Brevard County Florida. That's right, the place where Harry and Harriette Moore (educators, founders of NAACP chapter, and moderates) were blown up in their home by the KKK on Christmas Eve of 1951. Strange . . . they named the 18th district courthouse (includes Sanford) the Harry T. And Harriette Moore Justice Center. One of the Klansmen confessed on his deathbed. He was the last one left, and no one was ever brought to justice.

      Tourists never see the real Florida. Still, no one's head snaps around when a mixed race couple walk past, anymore. It isn't hatred as much as a perception (stygma) of a segment of the population. It is more of a systemic problem with the cops around here.

      At the same time, washed up black politicians need to lose their “us against them” attitude. I have read their articles in Vibe Magazine through the years. You are not alone in the struggle and emotion doesn't keep the work going through the long haul.

      I've got a hub on this if you want a Florida perspective from the other side of the tracks (literally around here).

    • LHwritings profile image

      Lyndon Henry 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for calling attention to this pattern of racist killings. I've voted this Up and Useful.

      The Trayvon Martin case isn't just about Trayvon Martin. It's about the pervasive racism of American society and the intrinsic racist oppression of the black population, who are treated as a reserve, marginally useful but also expendable, low-wage workforce and underclass by those who rule this country and this system. The system nurtures the mindset that creates the "kill at will" behavior and the "shoot-first-ask-questions-later" laws like the one that supposedly "authorized" the murder of Trayvon.


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