Today marks the second anniversary of Trayvon Martins senseless death. The unarmed teenager was gunned down by security guard/wannabe cop George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida while walking home from a convenience store.

Although told to stand down by police after reporting Martin as “suspicious” Zimmerman followed the teen and confrontation ensued. He shot Martin in the heart, saying he felt threatened by a slim, good-natured 17-year-old carrying a bag of Skittles. Acquitted on all charges by a Florida jury, to this day Zimmerman has not expressed one ounce of remorse for the tragic killing. So what have we learned in the two years since Trayvon’s tragic death?

We have learned that it’s still open season on black men – young and old – as white men are firing on black men for no apparent reason and then using “Stand Your Ground” laws as their sorry defense. Sadly, in some cases, the “Stand Your Ground” law is working. And we have learned that for some whites, black life – and the lives of black males in particular –means absolutely nothing.

There have been many rallies, vigils, protests and sermons about Trayvon’s death and, no doubt, there will be more. Today, I reflected on a statement by President Barack Obama after he was criticized by some conservatives last year for weighing in on Zimmerman’s acquittal.

“The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy,” Obama said. “Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son.”

“We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities,” Obama said. “We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”

It’s no secret that Black Americans have always been distrustful of the nation’s racially skewed judicial system.

“Our kids are still defined by the color of their skin,” Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, told me last year.

I remain concerned for the safety of young black men while, regrettably, watching history repeat itself: First there was 14-year-old Emmitt Till, who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955 by white men who claimed Till was flirting with a white girl. In 1963 in Mississippi, NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers was shot to death in his own driveway by a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

And now there’s Trayvon Martin and more recently, Jordan Davis, another unarmed teenager who was shot and killed in Jacksonville, Florida, by Michael Dunn, a white engineer, simply because Jordan’s music was too loud. And let’s not forget Garrick Hopkins, 60, and Carl Hopkins Jr., 61, two brothers from West Virginia who were shot and killed by a white man, Rodney Bruce Black, 62, who thought the Hopkins brothers were trespassing on his land – when in fact, they were inspecting a shed on their own property.

The sad truth is that black men are no strangers to racial profiling.

Almost all of my black male friends have been racially profiled at some point during the lives – and that includes me. So what have we learned on the anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death? We have learned that unfortunately, some white men will always see young black men as thugs and will shoot first — and then call a lawyer. And we have learned, I hope, that we must fight collectively to repeal “Stand Your Ground” laws in Florida and in other states across the country to prevent these pointless murders of young black men.

If we sit back and do nothing, shame on us. What do you think?

32 thoughts on “COMMENTARY: In the Wake of Trayvon Martin’s Death, Black Men Are Still Under Fire

  1. Daniel Asamota on said:

    This nonsense will not stop until we take up arms like our predecessors in the Black Panthers did in the 70’s. Unfortunately, there is no other way.

  2. Jamie on said:

    Racial profiteering at its best. Lol this just makes me laugh. 90 percent of all black murders are done by black men. 88 white murders are done by white men. Look it up in the fbi data. Black lives are not worthless dunn is going to jail and the guy that killed the two brother will be as well. Keep crying about how life isn’t fair.

  3. Black life is not worth one cent in America, our ancestors build this country with free labor and now White America wants to exterminate all of us. Why are the prisons filled with people of color, every minority in prison is not guilty, they are there because of a wicked criminal justice system. If police officer patrol white neighborhoods as they do urban areas the ratios of minorities would go down. People know who you are voting in office and remember our voting rights are trying to be taken away.

    • Ivan Cohen on said:

      Your mum also earned herself a visit from the cyper police for advertising on a non-commercial website. This sort of post is more suitable to Ebay or Craig’s list. Pass that on to mum, least she be served with a subpoena.

  4. ian11 Nothing that you said disproved anything that I said about the many good deeds of the Minister. How is telling Black people to pool their money and build their own communities playing the victim? Your entire post sounded like a page from the Fox news handbook. Unless Black people organize and unite we will continue to have the issues we have don’t forget it took a united effort to put us in this condition. Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint is a good vehicle for us to begin to rebuild our economic base, because acting alone as individuals will not create economic power for us as a group.

    • americanize. on said:

      Absolutely Aaron, we progress as individuals,not as a group doing for self will eliminate half of our problems.Since the minister is not sanction by the powers that be were surpose to follow suit.Until we as a group start doing for self,like every other group,then we will be respected like we should.I wonder about iann,if he.s black he seams like he doesn,t like it.

      • I think he is just an internet troll. It amazes me that after all of this time Black people don’t understand that its not because of our religious beliefs, that we get persecuted its because were Black. We have to grow up and be honest with ourselves and realize we must have land, businesses schools and young men and women to protect our interest. Marching and individual accolades get us nothing. There is absolutely nothing stopping the current generation of Blacks from donating to one cause and building a new reality for ourselves right now. We have to do better by our children we boast about how much we spend on cars, food, jewelry vacations lets invest in something substantial.

      • Listen young men, try investing in yourself and in your family. Who doesn’t know this .It’s 2014 and if you haven’t figured It out by now, then your ass is lost!!!!!!!

      • No need to worry about me, I’m living my American Dream, and I wish more people would realize that they can also. Once you stop making excuses for yourself, and stop having DUMB ASS dialogue about things that aren’t doing anything for you!

    • And that’s the problem right there, that kind of DUMB ASS thinking. Why wouldn’t you want to be educated so your life can really be about something. In this Country there is no reason why you wouldn’t want your education!!! I really would have thought a lot longer about this before I would’ve made that comment about education!!!! REALLY???? SMDH!!!!

      • LOL why are you getting so emotional about this? You have already expressed that you don’t agree with the idea so why do you feel the need to curse and make a spectacle of yourself? If your living your dream sir congratulations, however the rest of us want to discuss the reality that we live in come up with a solution

      • It’s real simple, education is the solution. And completely reject any and all things that do not speak to that!!!!

      • Fredrick Douglas, Booker T Washington, Carter G Woodson, Elijah Muhammad. MLK they were all educated and brilliant yet they could not single handedly overcome the condition of black people. Unity and a collective economic effort accompanied by discipline and education is the solution all of which the Nation of Islam has been stressing for over 80 years.

  5. Timekeeeper on said:

    So now we are morons for disagreeing with some. This actually proves my point. there are many forms of divide and conquer and we have just seen one of them in action. Uneducated Animals? All of those expletives, exlamation points, anger, hostility and racist language. Is this the wonderful, succesful life you are referring to? N thank you. You ae more rude, loud and crude than any rap music lover you are denegrating.If yo are supposed to be an example, you are the direct opposite. You can trash meand call me and anone else all kinds of names. By the sound of your blog,I imagine you are stomping around the room, throwng things a the TV set and computer. Man you are really going off. By your example, I dont think anyone here wishe to be part o your wondeful life. Even if sme people agree with you and I expect some do. You have negated all of your talking points by being so animatedly vulgar. If you try, I mean really try, I bet you could get your point across without the hostility

  6. Timekeeeper on said:

    Whether it is Louis Farrakhan, Malcom X, MLK, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the list goes on and on. hite america has always found a way to demonize those who would strand up and speak agains Institutionalized Racism. and as we can see, a few are so ready to jump on that bandwagon. I am not a muslim, nor am I a fan of Farrakhan. But, I will never let America tell me who I shold listen to and who i shouldnt. That is and always has been their (divid & conquer) agenda. A few obviously have fallen for the OkyDoke. When Farrakhan had the million man march back in ’95 a lot of white folks ( and a few of us) woudnt participate becuase he was the one calling for it. The fact is the million man march wasnt about Farrakhan. It was about the million++ other men of color who went! Somtimes, we just cant see the forest for the trees. If Mickey Mouse had a good idea, I would listen. I am not blaming anyone for the plight that som of our people have fallen into. Yes, we need to fix our own stuff. But I am not blind to the imminent danger that the “Stand Your Ground” laws can potentially do to our young brown boys. I dont care how wondeful, blissful and succesful one might be. BecuaseI am al of that. But I also know the next time a black man stands up and says anything to help our people, I dont care who it is, he will be demonized by white america, and some of us will go right along with it. We cannot Disneyland our way out of the consciousness of what is going on.

    • And exactly what did the Million Man march accomplish for the black community????? NOT A DAMN THING, you moron! Black men are KILLING each other EVERY DAMN day in black neighborhoods! So the Million Man march was a BIG waste of time. A lot of black men and women still want to be rappers instead of getting a life changing education. You still allow that HORRENDOUS RAP CRAP to permeate your brains like a moth to a flame!!!! Instead of rejecting a culture that’s the most VILE on the face of this God given earth. The real truth is, black people are participating in their own demise, and you’re looking for somebody to come and save you and bail you out of your own mess you’ve made!!!! Educate and save yourselves!!!!

      • Timekeeeper on said:

        iam11. Your point of view is your own. Howewver, namecalling is totallty unnecessary. It take one to know one so please stop with the names. We dont agree with each other, that is fine. What you call inefecitve, I saw this very differently. I am not saying I am right. It is howevr the way I feel. and I do feel just as strongly as you do regardless of how often you CAP your words. So respectfully, the name calliong should cease. I have not done that to you.

      • You are correct, and I apologize for that. I am sorry for that! I just soooooo believe that your destiny is in your own hands, no one else but you! There are a lot of obstacles out there in life, but you NEVER give up and you NEVER give someone else power over your life. Whatever you want from life is so completely attainable. No matter what, you must know and believe that you can accomplish ANYTHING you want, we all have the capability to live the life we dream of and want for ourselves and our families! With Education and Hard work behind you, man nobody CAN prevent you from anything, unless you let them!!!! There are simply no victims in life, so don’t live that way! Life is much too Beautiful for that1

      • The million man march will at least allow some of the black men to overcome that which causes the oppressors to fling up in our faces the “black on black crime” instead of what it really is and that is the symptom of oppression, their oppression. I will always applaud the men who march for something rather than hate themselves for nothing, that is, for no reason at all other than that they are told to do so.

      • Black on Black crime has nothing to do with oppression from ‘the man’ It’s because black men and women have no value of themselves or any value to themselves. I reject the argument this is because of oppression, You must STOP blaming other’s for the DUMB ASS choices some people make about their lives. The only one to blame is the person in the mirror!!!

  7. iann11 Its funny that you were quick to label Minister Farrakhan a racist but in your other post never called George Zimmermann or Michael Dunn a racist why is that? Minister Farrakhan is the only leader to send his Men into Black projects and clean them up. Minister Farrakhan ran the drug dealers out of the Mayfair projects in Washington DC and was thanked by local law enforcement. The Minister has businesses in Black neighborhoods that employ Black people and last year toured the inner cities in Chicago, Brooklyn, Boston, and New jersey to denounce the violence and drug use with 500 of his men behind him. There is not better leader for Black people to trust. In fact the Minister secured 1 billion dollars from the Libyan government for Black people that the US government stopped him from bringing to our communities. One must ask why since they claim all we do is beg?

    • Stop acting like a DAMN child, Why do black people need a leader, LEAD your damn self, get some education and take care of your own self, stop looking to crooked so call leaders to lead you to the F_______ promise land. Just because the so call establishment may put obstacles in your way, doesn’t mean you lie down and let people walk all over you and completely strip you of all of your self respect. Start acting like responsible Men and Women who care about yourselves and your children, stop having babies by different women, start living at home with your children, become positive role models for YOUR OWN children, stop presenting to the world that you’re nothing more than uneducated animals(RAP MUSIC IMAGERY) comes to mind!!!! Black people are a Mighty and GREAT people! Start Acting Like It!!!! My God it’s 2014, when will you stop playing the F______ victim and get on with your lives and REALLY live???????

  8. To many Black families turned their back on Black struggle and independence when integration came on the scene. We abandoned Black businesses and schools and now those are the things we need desperately. Minster Louis Farrakhan has a united fund right now called Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint to build Black industry in America yet Black people run from him and the idea because white people don’t approve of him. It is time we stand up like a free people and build for ourselves. Agree or disagree with the Minister he is the only one offering us a solution I think it is time we listen to him.

    • There is NO WAY in HELL, I want to hear a DAMN thing from Louis Farrakhan. He has and will always be a race baiter. We as black people should seek out Education, that’s the key to overcoming all of this self-inflicted pain that we have in our communities. We cannot look to blame white people for a DAMN thing, the answer to getting out of this situation is up to black parents raising their children properly, we all must seek out a wonderful, successful life that starts with us! The plight of black America is our own fault and our own doing, and until black people can take a REAL hard honest look in the mirror and be HONET with ourselves, this horrible, horrendous situation that we’re in will continue. Wake the F___ up and STOP blaming other races, other people for the plight and downfall of a large segment of the black community! You want to blame someone, Look in the mirror, we did this to ourselves!!!!!

      • No I don’t. I just have a brain of my own, and I don’t need or want the likes of Lois Farrakhan telling me a DAMN thing. When you’re educated,you can think for yourself!!!

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