Saturday, July 20, 2013

East St. Louis Trayvon Martin Rally Speech


Photo by Linda Gardner-(center) Raymond House
Good Afternoon Everyone. No Justice! No Peace! No Justice! No Peace! East St. Louis loves Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, and we are especially proud of them for the way they have expressed themselves with dignity, from the circumstance surrounding their son’s death and throughout the trial of the man who killed him.  They took the high road when there were so many other avenues they could have taken.
Last year when they came to support the stop the violence rally here in East St. Louis, we the friends of Tracy Martin, presented him and Sybrina with a plaque in memory of their son Trayvon. Inscribed on the plaque was our pledge to them and our prayer for them.  As written it reads “We stand with you, we support your fight for justice and we pray that God continues to be your strength”.  That was our promise then and in the overcast of the verdict, it remains the same. We stand and support them in their continued fight for justice.
Similar to the nationwide marches that led the state of Florida to charge George Zimmerman with second degree murder last year, there are nationwide marches now to have charges filed against him in federal court. Today is a national call to action and people all over the country have answered by marching, because we want an investigation to determine if Trayvon Martin’s civil rights were violated. George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, lied about the circumstances surrounding it, never explained it court and was still found not guilty by the jury. There is a grave injustice in that!
In the community of common sense we don’t believe for a minute that Trayvon was peering through windows and looking at houses, just because Mr. Zimmerman said he was.  Who does that when walking from the store in the rain while talking on the phone in a neighborhood where they have business to be? In the community of common sense we do believe that George Zimmerman created reasons to report Trayvon Martin to the police, to portray him as a suspicious person.  What really made him suspicious?  In the community of common sense we do believe that if Trayvon Martin were white George Zimmerman would have gone on to Target instead of making him a target.  He would have stayed seated in his vehicle and we would not have had to question whether he was standing his ground or not.
Fifty years ago, a march driven by the force of a quarter of a million people traveled to Washington D.C. to fight for civil rights and against this kind of discrimination. Because of that march and the laws passed behind it, forty-five years later an African American man was able to walk into the White House, not as a servant, but as the president of the United States, the highest office of power in the world. As far as he has come as an African American man to get there, if an African American boy isn’t able to walk a few yards to a house in neighborhood he’s visiting, without being discriminated against and being killed, then we as a people still have a long way to go. Thank you