Trayvon Martin case sparks dialogue on racial inequality, meaning of justice
What began as a local shooting has turned into a global story that you couldn’t miss, even if you tried. It is a story that has sparked outrage, cries of racism, accusations of vigilantism and questions about gun laws and whether police properly investigated the case. It has in many ways turned into a full-scale moment of reflection for Americans, of all races, as to whether we as a nation have moved forward in our quest for equality among races.
A petition on Change.org calling for Zimmerman’s arrest, now handled by Martin’s parents, shows how ingrained the topic is in the cultural zeitgeist. Early Thursday, the petition had reached 1 million signatures, with them coming in at a pace of 1,000 signatures a minute, according to Noland Chambliss, communications director for Change.org. Chambliss said the petition at times has been getting 50,000 signatures an hour.
It is one of the more dominant conversations on news and social media sites, becoming a sort of rallying cry from those who feel an injustice has occurred.
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Last night hundreds of protesters gathered in New York City’s Union Square for the “Million Hoodie March,” calling for justice in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
The march was organized via Facebook and encouraged everyone who attended to wear a hoodie — the article of clothing that 17-year-old Trayvon was wearing when he was pursued and shot dead by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida. Organizers also asked participants to share their hoodie photos via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #MillionHoodies.
Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, told the crowed, “We want arrests.” The victim’s father continued, “My son did not deserve to die,” and then thanked supporters for coming out. Fulton followed up: “My heart is in pain, but to see the support of all of you really makes a difference. This is not a Black and White thing — this is about a right or wrong thing.”