The parents of slain teen Trayvon Martin are both considering running for political office. The reasoning behind the bold decision is that they have not seen enough progress when it comes to racial justice since their son’s murder 5 years ago, and are pessimistic about any future advancements now that President Trump is in office. “Now they fear President Trump will reverse whatever has been accomplished. Both are considering running for political office to “be part of the change” they say the nation needs.”
As Susan Page for USA Today writes:
“Since Trayvon’s death, we saw how divided the country is on these issues and we saw how the country can come together,” Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, told Capital Download. “You have those that are for uniting the country and you have those that want to be apart. And what this new presidency does, it takes those that want to be apart and it puts them right in the position where they can say, ‘We’ll change the laws, and we’ll make it tougher.’”
He worries that the new administration will make it easier for law enforcement officials and citizens to justify violence against minorities on the grounds they felt their safety was imperiled. At his trial for shooting Trayvon, George Zimmerman argued he felt threatened by the 17-year-old, whom he had followed in his car and then on foot.
In an interview with USA TODAY’s video newsmaker series, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin say they are considering running for office, an idea they would have found laughable five years ago — “before our life got interrupted,” as she put it.
“Before I was just comfortable with my average life, but now I feel like I’m just obligated to be part of the change,” Fulton said. “The only way we can be part of the change is if we start with local government and we work our way up.”
How far up?
“It could go all the way to the White House,” she declared, though it would begin with a bid for, say, city or county commission.
“There’s no limitations,” Martin agreed. “I think once you embark on a journey, you don’t minimize your goal; you want to maximize your goals. So you start on the local level and then you work your way up and hopefully it will take us to a place where we can help more than just local, more than just state. National. That would be the focus.”
The sharp contrast between the last administration and the current one is the lack of compassion, and the callousness President Trump has for the citizens of America- believing in harsher policing, and essentially giving carte-blanche to law enforcement on the methods of policing they wish to implement, essentially creating a police state.
They are distressed by the new president’s attitude, a sharp change from his predecessor. At one point, then-president Obama said, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon,” urging Americans to give serious consideration to the issues behind his shooting. When Zimmerman was acquitted, a somber Obama said, “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
In contrast, on the day Trump was inaugurated this month, his administration posted a position paper on law-enforcement policy on the White House website, vowing change. “The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong,” the statement said. “The Trump administration will end it.”
“I think from the statements being made, we won’t progress; we’ll be going backwards,” Martin said.
Fulton, who campaigned for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton last year, said Trump’s rhetoric against immigrants in general and Muslims in particular “fed into that division, they fed into that hatred.” Now, she said the African-American parents she talks to are increasingly concerned about their children’s safety.
Trump sees people seeking justice for their communities, as anti-police, but fails to see, or more accurately- chooses NOT to see, how it is not anti-police, it’s really anti-injustice, and that systemically there is something very wrong with our justice system and areas of law enforcement.
“Average citizens feel like their kids are not going to make it home safely, because we’ve had so many incidents where somebody is shot and killed and nobody is being held accountable,” she said. “You have to bury a loved one, and on top of you burying a loved one, nobody is going to trial. Nobody is being arrested. Nobody is going to jail. And so it like adds insult to injury.
“Where is the justice system for some of these families? Where was the justice system for us?”
Do you think Fulton and Martin’s fear about the direction that policing is taking in our nation under the new administration is correct, and do you feel otherwise? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
You can watch the full interview with the parents of Trayvon Martin below:
(Article By Tasha Sharifa)