Organize, then mobilize: Trayvon Martin case sparks discussion of broader issues

2013-07-24T06:34:00Z 2013-12-11T07:57:07Z Organize, then mobilize: Trayvon Martin case sparks discussion of broader issuesLUKE FEUERHERM luke.feuerherm@journaltimes.com Journal Times

RACINE — In the wake of the not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman case in Florida, many Racine residents were left with their own questions and concerns about the issues surrounding the case.

A group of residents gathered Tuesday at the Second Missionary Baptist Church, 1250 Lathrop Ave., for a town-hall meeting designed to answer some of those questions and concerns. It also served as a forum for a broader discussion about race in the Racine community.

Joining the group of more than 30 people gathered for the discussion was former state Rep. Robert Turner, D-Racine. Turner spoke to the group about certain laws that stood as a backdrop in the Zimmerman case.

Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, was charged with second-degree murder after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford, Fla., after a confrontation. On July 13, he was acquitted by a Florida jury.

Zimmerman’s attorneys did not invoke Florida’s Stand Your Ground law in the trial, but it stood as a backdrop to the shooting and has again come under scrutiny after the verdict.

“We have what’s called the Castle Law in Wisconsin which allows you to have arms to protect your property and your car,” Turner said to the group Tuesday. “We don’t have a Stand Your Ground law, but I can say one thing — I can see it coming real soon unless we put a stop to it.”

Turner said he supported he supported Wisconsin’s Castle Doctrine but does not feel the same about Stand Your Ground, and encouraged those in the crowd who agreed with him to let their representatives know and vote for those who share their beliefs.

After Turner spoke to the group, members of the audience took turns sharing their thoughts. Few spoke directly about the shooting death of Martin, instead using it as a springboard for a broader discussion about race locally.

The Rev. J. Mark Freeman directed the night’s discussion and helped organize the crowd’s concerns toward the end of the meeting into three topics: education, the criminal justice system and employment.

“We first organize and then we can mobilize after we’ve been galvanized,” Freeman said.

Freeman divided the crowd gathered in his church’s basement into three groups so that they could go out and work on concrete ideas to address those issues and gather again in two weeks to move forward with their discussion.

Copyright 2015 Journal Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(12) Comments

  1. Blindman
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    Blindman - July 25, 2013 6:30 pm
    Obviously you didn't hear any of the witness statements , or any of the trial.
  2. NavySwcc07
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    NavySwcc07 - July 25, 2013 6:23 pm
    Who followed who? Facts state GZ followed TM so who initiated this event? How does a 200 pound grown man get "almost beaten to death" by a 150 pound 17 year old skinny kid? And not go to the hospital? How is TM a thug? Because he smoked weed and took "gangsta" pictures? Many kids of all ethnicities do that but do we call them violent thugs? To call TM a thug is profiling. The only people that deny racism exist are racist themselves. Assuming all young black males are thugs and the ones that aren't surprise them.
  3. ride2fast4me
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    ride2fast4me - July 25, 2013 4:49 am
    Trevon Martin was a thug, just like his dad, George Zimmerman was just defending himself. Quit publishing articles about this non-story.
  4. speaking frankly
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    speaking frankly - July 24, 2013 8:48 pm
    "See its who cares enough to really fight"? That's all I keep seeing is groups of people wanting to fight instead of accepting the outcome the the jury ruled. Pretty soon, jurers will have to wear hoods or hide behind a 2-way mirror throughout the trial to protect their identity for fear of beig shot afterward. Sad
  5. Blindman
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    Blindman - July 24, 2013 6:26 pm
    The Martin/Zimmerman case had nothing to do with race , it was about whether Americans have a right to defend themselves against violent criminals...The (D) politicians and media try to keep race the issue.
  6. Joeboy5471
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    Joeboy5471 - July 24, 2013 3:43 pm
    Most of the TM supporters believe that GZ shot the young man without cause. The believe he profiled TM, stalked him and then shot him dead. These people including the family do not recognize that the evidence that TM assaulted GZ and was in the process of committing a Class Two Felony which was the reason GZ shot him. If TM had lived, he would have been charged and more than likely waived into adult court. So much for the Skittles and Tea defense. The leaders of the large national black organizations support, or at least speak the same story. The black leaders want to get some retribution from GZ and are also using the incident for a larger agenda on race. The media seem to go along with these folks and fail to recognize the facts in the case. Allot of this is to push for ratings and not at all any sense of social issues. There are significant issues in the black communities throughout the US, but the majority of those issues are not at all addressed by the same black national organizations who are protesting the GZ case.
  7. Sebastian
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    Sebastian - July 24, 2013 3:34 pm
    Three questions:

    1. Are the issues I cited real, or am I making them up?

    2. Are they being addressed (or have they been addressed) regularly within the community?

    3. If I had attended that meeting and expressed these concerns, would I have been (a) shouted down, (b) attacked physically, or (c) both a and b?
  8. Jesus equals love
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    Jesus equals love - July 24, 2013 1:47 pm
    Maybe you should come to the town hall meetings and ask our maybe If you care so much you should start your own meetings about this. See its who cares enough to really fight for the topic at hand? This is what's important to us not to say what you are concerned about isint important because I'm not here to judge so please respect enough not to judge.
  9. Jesus equals love
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    Jesus equals love - July 24, 2013 1:43 pm
    No one has to name anything especially to someone who has no idea of any sort about respect nor real life racism going on! Did you go to the meeting? No? I didn't think so because you don't care right? Sure you do, or you wouldn't of had time to read nor opinionate of this discussion.
  10. Sebastian
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    Sebastian - July 24, 2013 10:14 am
    Three "broader" race-related issues: (1) unmarried pregnancies, (2) children being raised by their maternal grandmother while mommy is finishing high school or just going out and making more babies, (3) kids growing up without their fathers in their lives or (heaven forbid!) actually being married to their mom and working to support their family. What is the good reverend doing to help address THOSE issues; instead of ginning up more ways to blame whitey and freeload off people that actually value human life, education and paying their own way in society. And how about directing some of those fire-and-brimstone sermons at the people in their own community who are buying guns out of car trunks and killing their homeys, instead of those of us who actually play by the rules?
  11. playtowin
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    playtowin - July 24, 2013 9:44 am
    Why get hung up on real issues in the black community?
  12. Even More Tired
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    Even More Tired - July 24, 2013 9:04 am
    61 people (nearly all black) were murdered in Chicago during the George Zimmerman trial. Name ONE you race baiting clowns!
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