I'm a MoveOn member and a mother, and my two sons look like Trayvon Martin.
As parents, we all have to warn our children about the dangers of the world—strangers, bullies, which streets not to walk down. But there's a special pain in explaining to my sons the suspicion and dangers they face, simply by being young black men.
One month ago today, Trayvon Martin was walking through a gated community in Florida with nothing more than an iced tea and a bag of skittles. But being a young black man in a hoodie made him "suspicious" to George Zimmerman, who got out of his SUV, tracked Trayvon down, and shot him dead.1On that terrible day, my special pain and fear as a parent became very urgent ... and very real. Racial profiling is a sickness in the soul of our nation. It limits our promise. It divides us. And one month ago, it robbed Trayvon Martin of his life.
Trayvon's story is already inspiring millions in the call for justice and an end to racial violence. It also moved writer/activist Kevin Powell, Akila Worksongs, Jasiri X and the folks at MoveOn and ColorOfChange to record a new powerful video "A Song for Trayvon." Please watch it and share it with your family and friends to inspire more people to join this growing movement:
When my husband shared the news about Trayvon, my eyes welled with tears. I pictured my own two boys innocently walking home, just like Trayvon, and then never seeing them again—never hugging them. It was more than I could bear.
That's why I started a SignOn petition calling for justice for Trayvon. It's been signed by more than 500,000 MoveOn members, and I'm delivering it to the Justice Department today. Already, the public pressure from us and our allies is making a difference.
The Justice Department, the State of Florida, and the FBI have launched new investigations, a new state prosecutor has been appointed, and a grand jury date has been set.2 But we need to keep building the call for justice. And we do that by making sure each and every American knows Trayvon's story.
Thank you for standing up for Trayvon.
P.S. Today, vigils and rallies are taking place around the country to mark the one-month anniversary of Trayvon's death. To find an event near you, go to http://vigilsfortrayvon.tumblr.com/ or check on Twitter using #vigils4trayvon.
P.P.S. Writer/activist Kevin Powell, who helped pull 500 people together in Brooklyn yesterday for the "A Song for Trayvon" event, has written a stirring and reflective piece for The Guardian on "Trayvon Martin and the fatal history of American racism." Check it out here.
1. "Trayvon Martin: Zimmerman was not following Neighborhood Watch 'rules,'" Chicago Tribune, March 24, 2012
2. "Calls for justice rage on a month after Trayvon Martin's killing," CNN, March 26, 2012
"Obama: Shooting death of Trayvon Martin a 'tragedy,'" Newsday, March 23, 2012
Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 5 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.
PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. This email was sent to eddie alfaro on March 26, 2012. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.