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Armchair reference off the mark

By Staff | Aug 2, 2013

I disagree strongly with your July 19 editorial “Armchair quarterbacks don’t alway know the game.” You evince historical amnesia regarding the context of the murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman is now part of the shameful legacy of lynching that has brought about the death of so many black men over the years. It is clear to me that Zimmerman stalked, confronted and killed Martin. He had no business harassing a young man who was armed only with Skittles. Trayvon stood his ground and paid the ultimate price. I stand with the thousands of people around the country who have petitioned and demonstrated nonviolently to show their outrage with this miscarriage of justice. If we are to achieve the “more perfect union” that President Obama urged in his speech on the Zimmerman’s verdict, Americans must face the history of racism that still shapes our justice system.

I urge those who think as I do to join me in contributing to the Trayvon Martin Foundation, established by the family of the victim, as one step we can take toward defeating vigilante justice spawned by racism. The Foundation works, as put forth in its mission statement, “to advocate that crime victims and their families not be ignored in the discussions about violent crime, to increase public awareness of all forms of racial, ethnic and gender profiling, educate youth on conflict resolution techniques, and to reduce the incidences where confrontations between strangers turn deadly.” Let’s work together to make real the wisdom of African American poet Langston Hughes who said “America never was America to me, And yet I swear this oath – America will be!”

David Hostetter