Groups protest alleged murder

NAACP, BSA rally against 17-year-old Trayvon Martinís death; demonstrators condemn racism

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The University's chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Black Student Alliance held a rally yesterday evening on the north side of the Rotunda to commemorate the death of Trayvon Martin.

The two groups organized the rally to honor the 17-year-old Martin, who was fatally shot Feb. 26 while returning to a gated community in Sanford, Fl. after buying Skittles at a convenience store. Neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman killed Martin, but claims he did so in self-defense. Police report Martin was unarmed at the time.

University NAACP President Erica Washington opened the rally and said she hoped the demonstration would bring attention to an injustice, which she said plagues the black community nationwide.

Demonstrators objected to the fact Zimmerman, a white man, has not been punished or arrested, alleging that if the races of the two participants had been switched, Martin would have been punished.

"There are people in this world that still perceive people of color as a threat," University NAACP Vice President Jonathan Campbell said. "It is a hate so quick, that it takes Trayvon less time to hit the ground."

Third-year College student Roy Reynolds said the current generation is at the forefront of the issue and stressed the need to make a change to avoid "another Trayvon Martin" incident.

"This is not a white versus black crime," Reynolds said. "It is a crime against the human body, a human body that throughout history has faced so much disparity, it has become detrimental." \nDemonstrators rallied around the Rotunda, and then marched to Clemons Library chanting, "No justice, no peace," and "We are, Trayvon," among other chants.

The University rally mirrors demonstrations which have sprung up around the country to voice displeasure about the Martin incident. A group at Virginia Commonwealth University also held a demonstration Monday. Three VCU students created a group called, "Taking a Stand: We are Trayvon Martin," in response to the Martin incident. The event sought to "bring awareness to citizens about Trayvon's case and many others like his [to] see that unity of the community can be formed," according to a press statement released Monday by the group.

The University's NAACP chapter plans to conduct a phone blast to Florida to express its dissatisfaction with the state's current gun laws, Washington said.

"There's the inhumanity in racial profiling," Clark said. "People try to throw around myths of post-racial life society, but we can no longer flirt with that myth [because] that myth is dangerous, [and] that myth gets people shot"


Published March 28, 2012 in News




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