NEW YORK -Sabrina and Tracy Martin, the mother and father of slain teenager Trayvon Martin, are parents in pain; a soft-spoken, spiritual couple on a crusade for truth and justice.

“We just want to do what’s right,” Tracy Martin told BlackAmericaWeb in an exclusive interview. “We just want to do the right thing.”

For Martin, the “right thing” is sharing a message that Trayvon was a victim, not the aggressor or a thug; that he was good son who was shot and killed by an overzealous self-imposed neighborhood watch leader.

I met Sabrina and Tracy Martin last week in New York during Rev. Al Sharpton’s 15th annual National Action Network conference where thousands of black Americans from coast to coast gathered to be inspired and empowered.

As I spoke with Tracy and Sabrina, I saw parents who are still struggling with the loss of their only child – as any parent would – but I also witnessed the dignity in which they are handling this sad and highly public tragedy.

Faith and their commitment to justice seem to keep them going. They are humble, gracious and loving people and they know the upcoming trial on June 10 will take a lot of out of them, emotionally and psychologically.

“It’s very challenging,” Tracy Martin told me. “We have a long way to go.”

George Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman says he shot Trayvon in self-defense after he saw the young man acting suspiciously in his neighborhood in Sanford, Florida.

“Our kids are still defined by the color of their skin,” Sabrina Martin said.

Sabrina and Tracy didn’t ask to be in the spotlight; they were forced into the glare of the cameras when Zimmerman killed their son.

Some call the Martins celebrities, but watching them walk through the crowded conference, which was packed with African American men and women of all ages, it was clear that Tracy and Sabrina don’t crave public attention. They only want to tell folks the truth about Trayvon.

The timing for the Martin’s appearance at Rev. Sharpton’ conference couldn’t have been more significant. Forty-five years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Martin was focused on urban gun violence and the legislative push for tougher gun laws.

Many black folks worry that Zimmerman could be acquitted if the jury is comprised of racially-insensitive residents.

They have grounds for concern.

Ironically, on the day the Martins appeared at the NAN conference in New York, a Florida police officer quit after making a racist remark while discussing the Trayvon Martin shooting case with fellow officers.

Police Lt. Ron Johnson retired after saying “This is why they should be drowned at birth,” referring to black people. Johnson made his remarks during a police briefing in February.

But inside the First Corinthians Baptist Church in Harlem on Saturday, at the final workshop during the NAN conference, a distinguished panel of African American leaders talked about a modern-day social justice campaign, “Measuring the Movement,” that has also embraced Sabrina and Tracy Martin.

Moderated by Rev. Al Sharpton, panelists included Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, Rev. Jesse Jackson; Roslyn Brock, chair of the NAACP’s national board of directors; Melanie Campbell, President & CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation; and Dr. Lezli Baskerville, President & CEO, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.

“We can’t relax and act like the struggle is over or we’ll end up worse than when we started,” said Sharpton, who reminded the audience that Saturday’s conference was being held on the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s historic  March on Washington.

Meanwhile, Brock told the audience that she’s concerned about too many young black students dropping out of college and black men and women disproportionately dying from AIDS. She also said there are too many black men dying from urban gun violence.

Brock said black Americans are quick to protest when police shoot innocent black men, “but when we turn guns on ourselves, we have to have the same outrage.”

I hope Brock’s message resonates with black people everywhere.

(Photo: AP)

19 thoughts on “COMMENTARY: White Cop Says Trayvon Martin and All Blacks Should Be ‘Drowned at Birth’

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  3. candycoatedapple, you sound like Susan Smith. Remember her? Drowned her own 2 sons in one of Carolinas and claimed a Black man hijacked her car and her sons. Why would anyone shoot you in the leg and a baby in the face. AND, take away that bastard cops badge and gun, and I’ll bet he’d be afraid to look a Black person in the eye. The reason he thinks we should all be drowned at birth is because he so afraid of Black people and insecure with himself.

  4. Candycoatedapple YOU ARE PITIFUL; you said “you people”…well just in case you do not know from which you came, you people came from my people, how about that?

    • Well you know what stop telling our kids they are all the same because no they are not and our young Black Men are so hated by White People it’s a crime shame but yet our kids want to sleep with the white devils. As for the cop he can’t be fired because he retired and you know his wife might have left him for a Black Man or his daughter is ——- one that is why he is hate Black Men so much, and if the Young Boys did kill that baby like the mom said they need to go to jail but if she had something to do with it like her daughter said she need to go to jail just like they do. And our kids better wake up they ask you to do something and then turn on you.Wake Up Black American, before it’s too late.

    • At least whites evolved… you’re living in the world we created… you want to live in a world blacks created, go back to Africa or Haiti… where blacks make and enforce the laws… I’m sure your life would be so much better there.

  5. 06050412 on said:

    You’re wrong. I believe in the end, we’ll find that that mother killed her own child for the insurance money. Black boys do no assassinate babies.

    • Black boys kill more blacks than anyone else… plenty of black children have been killed by other blacks… You live in denial. That’s why nothing will ever be better for your community. All you know how to do is blame and make excuses… you’re not intelligent enough to actually do anything about it. It has always been that way and it always will be because blacks lack intellect and courage. You don’t respect or value yourselves or others. You don’t set the next generation up for success, you don’t marry the men you have children with which causes more kids to grow up in poverty or dependent on the government. Instead of “insulting” me, why don’t you take all that energy and actually do something positive for your community. I know why you won’t, because it takes work, hard work, it’s exhaustiing to bring about change… it’s easier to sit at your computer and hurl insults at me than it is for you to get up and acutally do something. But here’s the thing, you would be butting your head against the wall. Trying to get other blacks to support you would be like herding cats because they live living in poverty, they like living among gang violence, they like gettiing their gov’t checks and so things will never change.

      • And of course, this is only in the Black community. Well, candycoatedapple, I hate to tell you this, but I see a lot of white girls having babies, and running around with bruthas who I wouldn’t take a second look at. When is the last time you walked (well you’d be too afraid to walk), but travelled through a Black community? Try it. You’d be surprised to see how many blond Becky’s are there. Go to Social Services sometime. You’ll be surprised to know Black people aren’t the only ones utilizing social service programs. I don’t know what back woods or trailer park you live, but the world have definitely changed from your perception. Oh, by the way, the President of the United States of America is Black, too.

  6. When the black community expresses outrage over this story, I will be more sympathetic to the Trayvon’s murder, until then, you get no sympathy from me. The black community is going down in flames, not only in the U.S. but anywhere there is a black majority. There is no hope for you people.

    “A boy approached me and told me he wanted my money, and I told him I didn’t have any money. And he said, ‘Give me your money or I’m going to kill you and I’m going to shoot your baby and kill your baby,’ and I said, ‘I don’t have any money,’ and ‘Don’t kill my baby.'”

    The boy tried to grab her purse and opened fire when she said tried to tell him she had no money, West said, with the shot grazing her head. She said the boy then shot her in the leg.

    West continued, “And then, all of a sudden, he walked over and he shot my baby in the face.”

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