Emmett and Trayvon: Common core stories that must be told

Stephanie Jones, a former Atlanta Public School teacher, is a graduate student in education at the University of Georgia. This is her first essay for the Get Schooled blog

By Stephanie P. Jones

I never learned anything about the Emmett Till case when I was in school. I don’t blame my teacher for not telling me this story.

Teachers, under pressure to perform, may have had to push historical moments like these into corners for us to find out about later. That later came one afternoon.

When my mother’s Jet magazines came in the mail, I often flipped through them without much regard, only stopping at the album sales for the week or the announcements of black marriages and anniversaries.  I first saw Emmett Till’s face within the pages of that magazine.

There was no picture of Emmett as he looked as a boy, but rather a mangled and swollen pair of lips and two irregular spaces where the eyes should be.  I quickly turned the page and I never saw the picture again.  The picture became lost somewhere in my memory and I lived uninterrupted from that moment on.

Until I went to Mississippi.

Through the National Endowment for the Humanities, teachers from all over the United States have the opportunity to gain expert knowledge  about a myriad of subjects such as history, the arts, and literature.

Delta State University created “The Most Southern Place on Earth” program and I was chosen to participate in a cultural exploration of the delta region of Mississippi.  I learned about the history of blues music and the importance of Dockery Farms. I learned about the Great Flood of the Mississippi river and how agriculture sustained the people of this region.  And, I learned about Emmett Till.

When our guest speakers presented information about Emmett Till, my laptop savvy-teacher friends busied themselves by pulling up pictures of his dismembered face and using Google maps to find the exact location of Money, Mississippi. I couldn’t stay busy during this time, playing faux detective to this narrative of Emmett’s kidnapping and torture.

To stay busy, to stay wrapped up in the details, did not acknowledge the fact that as teachers, we need to pause for a moment.  Emmett Till was a person. His murder happened. It was real.

The lives of Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till, even though their deaths occurred almost 60 years apart, share shocking similarities. How is it that a trip to the store can cost a Black male his life? What structures are in place, whether visible or not, that make brown skin a sign of suspicion? The Georgia Performance Standards and the Common Core Standards may not tell a teacher to address the Emmett Till case specifically but, if we choose to push that particular part of history in the corner, we won’t teach about Trayvon Martin either.

Those pivotal moments are regulated to the index of a textbook and students won’t get the opportunity to dialogue about events that affect them.  Our students could be next Trayvon Martin or the next George Zimmerman.

I am willing to get a lower grade on my evaluation because students are talking about these two cases rather than in the “language of the standard.”  I am willing to sacrifice a percentage point on End of Course test scores in lieu of having a dialogue about Emmett, Trayvon, and Zimmerman.

Every single story matters. Teachers, let’s not get caught up in what is common.  Let’s talk about what is relevant.  Let’s talk about how these things get started and how they keep going.

–From Maureen Downey, for the  AJC Get Schooled blog

111 comments Add your comment

  

April 26th, 2012
9:01 am

Let’s talk about how these things get started and how they keep going.

This “article” above was a bit biased. Once again, only we see the implication that it’s “some other race” vs. blacks. The author did not focus on the real issues, and did not look at violent crime from a broad (practical) perspective.

Modern day horrendous crimes such as the gang beatings & murders of white (or other race) victims are largely ignored, only creating a further divide between the races and promoting the “victim” mentality.

Yes, terrible things happened a long, long time ago, statistically the number of situations like what happened with Zimmerman are fairly rare.

If we as a country claim to want “equality” and “justice” let’s stop giving biased media time to attention wh0res like Al Sharpton and let’s stop moving somewhat over-dramatic articles like this to the front of the line.

Live in the present, not the past.

Beverly

April 26th, 2012
9:14 am

Unfortunately,Lessons Learned Of Emmett Till was spoke of and talked about in some African American Homes with the authority to stress never forget that YOU ARE AFRICAN AMERICAN AND WILL ALWAYS BE RACIALLY PROFILED. THERE IS A WAY TO CONDUCT ONESELF (MY SON)
TRAYVON Lesson learned in America is!! Nothing has changed. Unfortunately the cycle will not stop with racism and bigotry. PERHAPS SOME OF US NEED TO TRULY UNDERSTAND WHAT A CHRISTIAN IS AND HOW TO TREAT EVERYONE THE SAME AND IF WE ARE TRULY BROTHERS AND SISTERS NO MATTER WHAT THE COLOR OF ONES SKIN??? I raise the question!!! Can We ???? Will WE???? This Lesson Begins Not WithThe Teachers But With Our Parents and within ourselves to do what is right.

carlosgvv

April 26th, 2012
9:17 am

Not long after Trayvon was killed, a young black man named Ervin Jefferson was shot and killed.
He was 18 years old. He was shot at night. He was shot by a security guard from an apartment. He was unarmed. There was no physical confrontation. Two security guards were arrested and later released. They said they feared for their lives. The two guards are black.

There have been no demonstrations for justice for Ervin. Jesse and Al are nowhere to be found. Ervin’s family has been pleading for justice. I’d be willing to bet they have asked Jesse and Al for help.
This is what is known as a double-standard. As long as this kind of thinking continues, there will be no further progress in civil rights in America.

Reality

April 26th, 2012
9:21 am

Really? Apples meet oranges. Any intelligent person with fingers, please google Emmett Till and try to figure out what in the world his story has to do with the Trayvon Martin story. Incredible.

AMD

April 26th, 2012
9:23 am

So sad that our country has sunk so low today. It’s time to get rid off Obama and his race baiting DOJ cronies.

Aquagirl

April 26th, 2012
9:30 am

Now our schools are responsible for solving racial tension in America? How about we teach kids to read first, most of them can’t read Jet (or any magazine) with anything approaching basic comprehension. They don’t need more pearl-clutching grad students lecturing them on pet causes.

Parent

April 26th, 2012
9:31 am

School is not the only place a child can and should learn. There are not enough hours in the day to teach all current and historical events. It is a parents job to make sure that they supplement the basic education a school system provides. Having newspapers and magazines, plus the internet, available in the home provides a great opportunity for students to be exposed to current events. Discussion at the dinner table or at least on a daily basis is also helpful as parents guide their children to understand when to believe topical media and how to identify biased information. Even at the most basic level – watch the national news with your child once a week and then talk about it.

Public school is not a complete education, it depends on the home to provide additional opportunity. Families need to foster and inspire a love of learning, thinking, and reading not just depend on schools to teach.

James Connah

April 26th, 2012
9:33 am

The Emmett Till case cite is an example of blacks’ victim mentality. Oh I agree he was shamefully murdered but that was many years ago. A lot of things have changed since though I agree more change is needed. There are plenty of black on white murders which have been committed since then but I don’t hear of them being “resurrected” with the same frequency and tenor as cases like Emmett Till.

Also, the reparations talk, though it has quieted down recently, is getting worn also since we are approaching 150 years on that issue. I would appreciate less whining and complaining and more accomplishment.

Anonmom

April 26th, 2012
9:41 am

We really don’t have all the Trayvon facts… the media conveniently showed a photo of him from year’s ago — he was bigger and older ‘looking’ than he was portrayed in the photo. Why Zimmerman chose to follow him is subject to debate. What really happened during the ultimate altercation is for a jury to determine. Apparently there had been a number of break-ins in the neighborhood around the time of the incident and he had been suspended from school. So it’s not so “black & white” (pun intended). This has been a “trial by the mob” which is not what our country is supposed to be about — in fact what makes our country great is that there is a system whereby you are innocent until proven guilty and you have the right to defend yourself. Not to have death threats put out against you. There is constant, perpetual black on black crime that no one cries out about…. there is quite a double standard. I don’t believe the Sanford case is about racism — it’s someone who maybe, and only maybe, went a bit too far, trying to keep his neighborhood safe — this is someone who tutored black kids for free so he, who is half hispanic, does not really come across as the racist the media wants to portray him as…… Let the jury do its job.

billyBobjacket

April 26th, 2012
9:41 am

A couple of weeks ago a little three year old girl (African American) in Atlanta was killed by gunfire. Where was the outrage, where was Al Sharpton, where was Stephanie Jones? There was no question at all as to whether SHE was innocent, no witnesses to her confronting anyone or evidence that she had bloodied the head or her assailant, so why is there no outcry for justice for HER killer(s)? Really reflect and look deep into your own mind and soul before you start popping off with your pre-programmed automatic responses.

JohnsCreekMom

April 26th, 2012
9:47 am

To the 1st poster: Unfortunately, living in the present means having a discussion with my 17 yr old black son about the possibility that he will be profiled while walking through our neighborhood or in the surrounding neighborhoods because there are people who may feel threatened by him. Or when he goes to the mall with his friends (multicultural, by the way) and is being followed by store management who think he might shoplift. Never mind that we’ve lived in our neighborhood for 15 yrs. and he’s attended elementary, middle, & high with the same kids. Not all young, black men are criminals. Read the AJC, the Herald, and other news outlets: crime is being committed by a cross-section of people; black, white, asian, etc. The “disturbance” @ the apts on Jones Bridge, those people were white. The kids pulling all of the senior pranks killing the grass in your yards and spray-painting your cars, most of those kids are white, too. Oh, and the kids whose parents can buy a high-priced lawyer to get them off for selling drugs (prescription out of Moms medicine cabinet, Adderall, & weed) at the high schools AND get them back into the same school after the school has tried to kick them out? They are white and Asian. People just don’t want to be prejudged. There are bad elements across the board. NO CHILD, BLACK, WHITE, ASIAN, HISPANIC, should be threatened by just going to the store and returning to his parent’s home. Vigilante justice is not justice. Look at the father and son who are sitting in jail now for holding a black couple under gunpoint because they thought they were breaking into a house. I know I sound frustrated but white people do not have to have this same conversation with their sons. It’s a conversation that started when he was 13 and we will continue to have it until he is grown and leaves us. It is for his own safety.

What the hell ...

April 26th, 2012
9:52 am

There are two simple facts about the Trayvon Martin that shed light on why this country will never have an honest diiscussion about race relations.

1.) Whites will never understand black anger about a white man given the benefit of doubt after gunning down black teenager after a less than half-a$$ed investigation by the local police force.

2.) Why are some whites trying to tie this incident to a need for a frank discussion on black on black or any other type of crime. The black person in this incident was neither a criminal or in the act of commiting a crime. The issue in this case is about justice. Would a black man that gunned down a white teenager be set free under the same conditions?

3.) Jessie Jackson and Al Sharton are often asked to get involved in situations that stink. Obviously the local officials did not handle the situation appropriately. Somebody had to raise attention to the racism or incompetence of the Sanford Police Dept. Even the legislators who passed the the Stand Your Ground Law say that Zimmerman’s actions are not covered under the law. Rest assured, all those people criticise Jackson and Sharton would not do a damn thing to rectify any injustice to anybody.

Frankie

April 26th, 2012
9:57 am

You know it amazes me at the attitudes of this country vary….
Tell me how many of the people in the 1940 – 50’s who hung black men for virtually no reason at all, where is the justice for those men.

I see pictures of white men stand around a BURNED, hanging Black body. Identifiable pictures at that…

I see white on white crime in the news, i see black on black crime in the news….not sure what media outlet yo watch but change the channel, you have or should have by now more than 20 even on the digital box….and definitely cable.

commonscents

April 26th, 2012
9:59 am

It’s sad that this tragedy has been responded with comments like “Blacks kill whites all the time…..” or “Blacks kill Blacks all the time….” and there is no media like Trayvon Martin’s murder. Those who respond with these comments are either missing the point or scream “reverse racism” every 5 minutes in their life(this is the new racism).

The issue that cannot be denied is that Zimmerman saw a black face and went after him. What happened after that is Martin was shot. Even if Martin beat Zimmerman up, it is still not an excuse for Zimmerman to shoot Martin.

I think what the author of the above essay is stating is that even today, black teens need to be aware that they can be killed or arrested by not being aware of who they are and how they are perceived. Emmitt Till was killed by saying “Bye baby!” to a white woman in the 50s. He did not perceive himself as a threat to anyone. Trayvon Martin was also killed because he did not perceive himself as a threat. He was killed, probably, by responding with anger by being stopped by a citizen with a gun. Would Trayvon Martin still be alive if he simply said(with hands in the air) “My father lives right over there, I was just going to the store to get a snack during the half-time of the All-Star game. If you walk with me to that house, you can see that I am telling the truth.”? Who knows if this statement would have prevented a fight and him being shot and killed. The fact is that a black Teen must be aware that they are perceived as threats(just like other stereotypes) in order to not be killed or arrested.

What the hell ...

April 26th, 2012
10:00 am

@carlsgov Again, for you people so eager to critisize Jackson and Sharpton. Why don’t myou organize a protest for Mr. Erwin if you are so concerned aboput injustice. The two situations were not identical. At least someone was arrested initailly in the Erwin case.

Jayne

April 26th, 2012
10:02 am

As long as black teenagers statistically commit far more crimes than whites, innocent blacks will fall under suspicion because of their skin color. As long as men are more likely than women to commit child abuse, we will take stronger action to keep men from being alone with children who are not their own than women. As long as muslim men are the one’s flying planes into buidlings, we ought to be more concerned about muslim men than black grandmothers when considering airport security.

Now its a big (and wrong) leap to move from suspicion to guilt.

As for alighing Trevon and Emmet, I would hold off on the rhetoric. There is a lot in the Martin case that is not known. In fact much of what we were told in the first weeks of the media firestorm has been proven to be false. Just because some of the media hype was wrong does not mean that Zimmerman was innocent. The physical evidencd and the careful corrorboration of witness testimony will give us a much more accurate view of what actualy happened. What we have now is just fitting facts to our respective, already formed, conclusions.
I am content to let the judicial process take its course before I decidde what happened.

What the hell ...

April 26th, 2012
10:06 am

Believe me, if a black person kills someone black or white and the police have a suspect, they will lock their a$$ up. The police will not pat them on the back and set them free on his word like they did Zimmerman!!! The issue is justice!!1

bu2

April 26th, 2012
10:06 am

@JohnsCreekMom
That mentality creates a lot of the problems. If you go around with a chip on your shoulder, you won’t get a great reaction back. The saying is that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

I remember an NBC show trying to “prove” that blacks were profiled. They sent a bunch of 11 year olds into a jewelry store. Surprise, Surprise! The store clerks followed them and were suspicious. DUH! When I was a teenager and in my early 20s I got followed around in department stores. I’m white and had a Father in retail, so I was probably the LEAST likely person in that whole store to shoplift. It didn’t make me angry. It was just amusing. The fact is, young males are the most likely to shoplift. So they get watched. They are also the most likely to wreck their cars so they pay through the nose for auto insurance, even if they are one of the safe ones.

In Zimmerman/Martin you had two people making bad decisions and a tradgedy occurred. That is the biggest lesson. It was like the black Harvard professor who mouthed off at the police officer. The same thing would have happened if a white person acted that way with a police officer. Honey and vinegar.

Frankie

April 26th, 2012
10:07 am

Lets talk abou the trio of 2 white men and 1 white woman who shot a cop in florida, robbed/stole and fled to colorado, only to get in a shoot out with the police again…the woman was shot in the leg…not killed as i have seen happen to so many blacks who have done less….
Equal justice is all the black community has ever asked for.

A white man sells cocaine and gets 5 years, a black man sells crack and gets 10 years for a lesser quantity.

Equal justice……

Mitzymy

April 26th, 2012
10:08 am

I don’t know why, but for every subject, someone brings in Obama. He is not the blame for everything. Keep your hatred of him within your own mind. I remember reading about Emmett Till when I was young and living in Arkansas. I didn’t know what it was all about, other than him being accused of whistling at a white woman. It put fear into me about ever going to the state of Mississippi, and although I have traveled extensively throughout the world, I have only visited that state once, for a weekend. He was a child visiting for the summer and didn’t deserve to die like he did. He must have been horrified through the entire ordeal. Trayvon must have felt that his life was about to end also. If Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson were to appear at every act of racial discrimination, they would not have time to live their own lives and work, because white parents will not stop at teaching their children the wrong things about other races. It starts in the home, and those attitudes carry on throughout their lives. Please teach your children that we are all God’s creatures, and He made everyone the same, except for the color of our skin,and we are all equal. Let justice be done in a fair way.

billyBobjacket

April 26th, 2012
10:10 am

Do I not have to tell my kids there are huge sections of Atlanta that as white kids they better not show their faces, especially after dark? You think white people are not targeted when they show up in the “wrong” neighborhood? The kid was WATCHED by the overzealous neighborhood watch guy for being in a neighborhood where he was not known at a time when a kid his age would usually not have been there. (and seriously – who needs a hoodie pulled up over their face in south Florida?) He was evidently KILLED for confronting the watch guy and bashing his head into the pavement. Yes, the guy should have been arrested initially, but would have ended up out on bail as he is now anyway. At least he didn’t run and hide. He could easily have disappeared in Miami or back in Peru. The ONLY reason Al Shaprpto gave a @#$$ about this was because he THOUGHT it was a white guy and he KNEW he could get on TV.

williebkind

April 26th, 2012
10:11 am

“How is it that a trip to the store can cost a Black male his life?”

Well you see someone watching you then you go up to that person and punch him in the face, then get on top of him and slam his head into the concrete. Then you get shot! Now lets go back decades and find a sad story and connect it to Trayvon. You racist liberals are disgusting.

JohnsCreekMom

April 26th, 2012
10:13 am

@what the _ell . . . Or for that matter the father & son team in Covington who were given the benefit of the doubt by the police. They are now out of jail on bond. The black couple was locked up even after saying that their son was the homeowner. The police did not even believe them. And now they are complaining because the couple hired a big-time attorney. Well of course they did. And look at what happened. They had to arrest the father and son. Thankfully they had the connection with this attorney or otherwise they would still be sitting in a jail cell awaiting a hearing. Black people are not given that extra “benefit.” It is guilty until proven innocent. Not the other way around.

williebkind

April 26th, 2012
10:15 am

Frankie

April 26th, 2012
9:57 am
So the poor black man is the only people who have ever faced this stuff. I remember reading in history about the Jews, the Irish, and go further back in time the Romans enslaved everyone. Trayvon attack Zimmerman and was killed in the process. That is not going to change and it does not matter how many liberal writers keep posting this garbage.

MiltonMan

April 26th, 2012
10:17 am

“Stephanie Jones, a former Atlanta Public School teacher…”

I quit reading after that. Based upon the title of the article, the assumption is that she is not concerned about the crappy school system she was part of but more interested in why non-blacks are killing balck kids.

Good God let’s pray for the kids who have the misfortune of having this “Chip on the shoulder” as a teacher.

williebkind

April 26th, 2012
10:17 am

“A white man sells cocaine and gets 5 years, a black man sells crack and gets 10 years for a lesser quantity.”

The moral of this story that you have missed is do not sell cocain regardless of quantity.

Tim

April 26th, 2012
10:18 am

How is trayvon anything like Emmett Till? This has been portrayed as a harmless innocent little black boy was minding his own business when the big mean white man walked up to him and shot him dead for no other reason than his skin color. Am I the only person that saw the police photo of the bloody back of Zimmermans head?

Also, Zimmerman is Hispanic. It’s as if facts are irrelevant, if you dislike racism then Zimmerman is white and gunned down an innocent black boy for no reason, if you are racist and ignorant then you take Zimmerman’s side.

My opinion from the beginning was that I wasn’t there and didn’t see it so I don’t know what happened. Millions of people from the start took on the narrative I described above and declared Zimmerman guilty without knowing any facts.

As a white university educated man that lived in predominantly black areas as a youth, I have been open minded and never judge a persons character based on the color of their skin. But ever since this Trayvon case I am becoming jaded and am now much less likely to listen to someone in the future tell me that as a black person they have been victimized by white people because of racism

MiltonMan

April 26th, 2012
10:20 am

“1.) Whites will never understand black anger about a white man given the benefit of doubt after gunning down black teenager after a less than half-a$$ed investigation by the local police force.”

Good God. For the 1 zillionith time, Zimmerman is not a white guy. If you libs ever, ever want to have a frank discussion about racism in this country, get your freaking facts straight first.

JohnsCreekMom

April 26th, 2012
10:22 am

@williebkind: Really?? Do we really have to sink to the name calling level? As someone said earlier, we do not know all of the facts so let’s stop it right now! But I can assure you of the one fact in the case that is irrefutable . . . Zimmerman was told NOT to pursue Martin. That’s it. He did it anyway. So, just like Zimmer that he was being threatened, Martin probably thought he was threatened. The difference being Martin was UNARMED and Zimmerman wasn’t. This would have just been a fist-fight had Zimmer left his gun at home instead of playing patrol officer. He obviously had no respect for authority since he did not listen to the dispatcher.

Jacksmum

April 26th, 2012
10:22 am

There is no comparison, and it is vile that anyone would do so. One case…a truly innocent man is kidnapped, tortured and murdered because of his skin color. The other case, a man was involved in an altercation that resulted in his death because of his demeanor and behavior. I am not saying that Treyvon deserved to die, but this is not the same. Remember the story of the boy who cried wolf.

Georgia, The " New Mississippi "

April 26th, 2012
10:22 am

The real difference between the ” good ole days ” and 2012 is that ” Jim Crow Justice ” no longer rules the day. Criminals get charged with crimes based on factual information. They stand trial and are either found guilty or not guilty based on the rule of law….. Back in the ” good ole days ” the men that murdered Emmett Till were found not guilty by a jury of their peers ( white guys). They later admitted to kidnapping , beating and murdering the 14 year old boy after they were acquitted because they could not be tried again. Often times federal civil rights charges have to filed because white guys never voluntarily do what they know is right…. it is just an inbred lack of basic human morals that will always have to be addressed as long as our country exists. The difference now is minorities fight back legally and physically.

bookman parrot

April 26th, 2012
10:26 am

To JohnsCreekMom and What the Hell,
People of all races by human nature make generalities. A huge generality and unfortunate is a high percentage of crime is committed by black males. So assumptions are made. I understand that should be done on individual cases, but it can be hard to not make assumptions.

What the hell ...

April 26th, 2012
10:27 am

williekbkind @10:15 Do you know the facts of the case or is this just your conservative, right wing interprtation? Really?

bookman parrot

April 26th, 2012
10:32 am

To Georgia, The ” New Mississippi “,
You have to be kidding me! Your last few statements are ridiculous and racist to the core. If you think racism is a problem then why do you individually perpetuate it. Your words speak volumes. You individually expect everyone to kiss your backside now to make up for injustices of the past.

sharon

April 26th, 2012
10:36 am

I am getting sick and tired of people saying “there are a lot of facts we don’t know about the Trayvon Martin case”. This makes my blood boil. All I need to know is that a kid took a break from watching the all star game with his brother to go get snacks for them and ended up dead! And the police excepted the killers version to be the truth. How do you kill a kid and be allowed to go home and sleep in your bed. If a stranger walked up to you and asked you what were you doing in the neighborhood how would you react? The comments on here are just so unbeliveable. Thank you “Johns Creek Mom and What Hell” for giving me faith that all Georgians or not dumb hicks! Brining up Jesse Jackson, President Obama and Al Sharpton is stupid and simple minded.

JohnsCreekMom

April 26th, 2012
10:36 am

@bookman parrot: Assumptions are one thing, but carrying a gun and ignoring the directions of law enforcement personnel is something entirely different. Just think about this: if my son was walking through our neighborhood and you didn’t know him and called the police, wouldn’t you do as you were told? If Zimmerman didn’t pursue, Martin would have made it home or the police would have arrived and possibly detained Martin who would have explained he was there because his family lived there. Assumptions + gun = a bad ending for everyone.

Tim

April 26th, 2012
10:37 am

White guys never voluntarily do what they know is right? How is that not racist. What if a white person said black people never do right? You also say, minorities are now fighting back legally and physically. Zimmerman is Hispanic, he is also a minority.

As far as fighting back physically, how did that work for trayvon? That’s the problem, if Trayvon just used words he would be alive. Why in that culture is it not possible to say hey my dad lives here, leave me alone or I will call the police?

That is the reason we are having problems moving forward. People like Trayvon turn to violence first not using language and logic to solve problems

hryder

April 26th, 2012
10:37 am

Many nonlogical reasoners in this country. There is a general idea of personal deportment of those striving for success or of those who have attained success. When one goes well beyond communicated and visible signs of this deportment one should expect to be noticed. If you are able to attain success this way it was your choice but if not do not tell me some excuse, you are the one who made the choice to be so different from the norms of success. In other words it is your fault for not being successful. If you want to be successful conduct yourself as most successful people conduct themselves. Most successful people do not run around half naked, do drugs, curse, talk too loud, drive on the left side of the street, or any of a myriad of behaviors or appearances that cause them to be noticed AND AVOIDED BY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE. VOTE OUT ALL INCUMBENT ELECTED OFFICIALS IN THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS. Note: Asians-Americans, Mexican Americans, German-Americans, European-Americans, African-Americans, etc., exist from All racial classifications.

What the hell ...

April 26th, 2012
10:40 am

@Miltonman White, hispanic or both. He pursued and shot an unarmed teenager for no aparent good reason. Those are the most important facts. Had Trayvon pusued and shot Zimmerman he would been charege with murder. And you know absolutely nothing about my political affiliation-liberal, conservative or in between.

What the hell ...

April 26th, 2012
10:48 am

@Tim None the crap you stated about Trayvon’s actions (what he did or much less what he said) have been proven.

JohnsCreekMom

April 26th, 2012
10:48 am

Unfortunately, we will never know if Martin said his father lived there. We only have Zimmerman’s word. How do we know he turned to violence? He saw someone following HIM! Zimmerman IGNORED the dispatcher regarding pursuit. Why is everyone ignoring this key point?? Also, Martin was a 17 yr old KID! I work in a school. Kids of all walks of life have difficulty communicating clearly with adults. Even kids who are super-smart and super-rich. Add to that the pressure of being confronted at night by a stranger with a gun. Tell me how many adults would be able to adequately communicate the “right” message in this situation. We can try to speculate on what we might have done, but in all honesty, we never know how we will react in that situation. Remember, he was a kid.

sharon

April 26th, 2012
10:50 am

“williebkind” Seriously, that’s how the scenario played out in your mind? How about this: racist cop wanna be, trigger happy punk stops a black teenager whom he feels doesn’t belong in his neighborhood, accost the teenager, words are exchanged, he gets the sh-t beat out of him and has to shoot teenager. By the way, he would not have approached him if he didn’t have the gun.

What the hell ...

April 26th, 2012
10:58 am

@Miltonman Your cheap shot aside, you can be concerned about racial injustice and the education of kids in Atlanta. Since when did people like you really begin to care about the education of poor black kids. Not that it’s really any different from now, but I remember forty years ago when you fought tooth and nail to keep blacks in segregated public schools. Now their fighting for segregation through charter (private schools with public funding) and private schools.

sharon

April 26th, 2012
11:01 am

It’s been mentioned on here twice that all Trayvon had to say was “my dad lives here”; Well did Zimmerman say “I’m the neighborhood watch guy”. I believe Zimmerman the way he approached Trayvon caused the encounter to turn violent and deadly. Only three people know the truth: God, Trayvon and Zimmerman. Also, why do people want to say he’s hispanic. His father is a white man.

What the hell ...

April 26th, 2012
11:02 am

Ops… I meant they’re not “their”

Tim

April 26th, 2012
11:03 am

The police fortunately are experienced with this stuff. They took photos of Zimmermans head, there were 2 wounds and a good amount of blood. There is at least one witness corroborating that Trayvon is responsible for that.

Forget the legalities for a second, if you are being followed by someone you suspect has a gun and are afraid, why would you confront that person? Doesn’t seem very logical, but teens rarely are.

If Zimmerman wasn’t a neighborhood watch guy and hasn’t been doing this for years without incident there would be more suspicion of him.

Another fact is that homes had been burglarized recently in the area Trayvon was in by people that Trayvon fit the description of. I like how people are assuming that Zimmerman, a minority, profiled Trayvon because he was black. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that he fit the description of people burglarizing homes there

Just wow

April 26th, 2012
11:05 am

I never learned anything about the Emmett Till case when I was in school. I don’t blame my teacher for not telling me this story.

You only had one teacher through your entire time in school,? No wonder you aer so misguided.

TimeOut

April 26th, 2012
11:12 am

“it is just an inbred lack of basic human morals that will always have to be addressed as long as our country exists. The difference now is minorities fight back legally and physically”

The prejudice that exists among so many blacks, whites, and others, does not mean that the rest of us have to buy into it. I don’t accept that I have enough information to know for a fact that Trayvon Martin attacked Mr. Zimmerman. I don’t have enough information to know for a fact that Mr. Zimmerman responded excessively or inappropriately. I have my “opinon” but everyone has one of those……..goes the saying. This UGA student is thinking about what is important in education, and that is good. As long as she understands that her opinon is not fact, and that she should continue to improve upon her ability to analyse, think critically, etc., all will go well for her and for her students. We should not fault the young for raising questions. We should encourage this while asking more questions of them that help such young men and women to seek answers to yet more questions. Yes, there are some flaws in her reasoning. This does not render invalid her search for answers. It is time for civil date that serves to enlighten. We need no more rhetoric, no more media hype, no more polarizing ’shout-downs.’ It appears that the police released Mr. Zimmerman without much prior thought or investigation. I wonder if they had taken him into custody, if only temporarily, would the response have been different. The media’s selection of photographs of the two participants in this event demonstrates much manipulation. I wonder what the reaction would have been if they had released two or three pictures of each, in different settings…..how would the public have responded………any one of us could cut and paste from census data available online, the nearly double rate of black-on-white crime vs. the reverse. Does it really matter? Do any of us trust stats anymore? When these stats are talking about less than 10% of all crime, does it bear examination? Perhaps it does, but only in a “civil” exchange in which all participants dedicate themselves to the pursuit of truth. Sure, even Jesse Jackson admitted that he felt afraid when a group of young black men were walking behind him as he walked alone on a city street. It is true that some of our young black men are caught up in oppositional, criminal culture. It isn’t all of our young black men. It is true that Jews, the Irish, women, and others have experienced slavery and discrimination. This does not negate or invalidate the unique experience of being Black in America. I would love to see and hear a group of committed individuals representative of all groups, engaging in discourse with the stated purpose of working toward resolution of our common ills. Travyon Martin could have been one of my students. I would have preferred that he use cleaner language in his texts, not sag his pants, and stay out of ISS. I would not want to lose his potential via violence. Mr. Zimmerman could have been my neighbor. I would prefer only those with training to patrol my neighborhood while armed, but I would not wish upon anyone the ordeal that he and his neighbors are experiencing as a result of Florida’s current legal response to prevelant criminal trespass. The relevant questions are: How do we create a perception, as well as the reality, of equal treatment under the law? How do we contend with criminal activity that exceeds the response capacity of the police? How do we educate our csociety that while many young black men present a threat, it is not ‘inbred’, we can respond in a more effective manner, and this will not include wholesale prejudicial treatment of this same group? I don’t have the luxury of living in a black or white home. I have adopted children of more than one race, some of multiple racial identities, and they will never be able to live in an all-white or all-black world, not even when alone. So, I will not promote the demonizing of any group, from any source.

Dr. Proud Black Man

April 26th, 2012
11:17 am

To all MY brothers and sisters here the bottom line is America was founded on white supremacy. You can no more reason or expect empathy from these racists than you could hope that a rabid dog in your path wouldn’t try to bite you. Don’t fret however; demographics are slowly changing. Time ISN’T on THEIR side.

TimeOut

April 26th, 2012
11:20 am

“civil date” should read “civil debate”…………….we all need proofers and editers, don’t we?