On Saturday, the Tampa Bay Times dispatched Kameel Stanley to cover the dual marches that occurred in downtown St. Petersburg in honor of Trayvon Martin. Between the two events, demonstrators were only able to drum up about 200 people. This either means that most of the people in my hometown recognize idiocy when they see it or the National League of Christian Councils and the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement are lousy community organizers.
Here’s more from the Times:
At the “I Am Trayvon March for Justice,” hosted by the National Christian League of Councils, a large and diverse group of protesters started from a spot near the old Salvador Dalí museum. They went past the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, past Publix and past diners and shoppers along Beach Drive.
As they marched, they chanted Martin’s name and called out for justice.
St. Petersburg poet Ramona Bethke, 54, wore a white T-shirt with the words “I am Trayvon’s mother,” scrawled on both sides. Many others had on hoodies.
“If I wasn’t sitting here eating, I would have joined them,” said Bob Horton, 62, who, along with his wife, Pat, and several friends, was enjoying brunch downtown at Cassis American Brasserie when the march went by.
The Hortons said they’ve been keeping up with news about the case.
“I think it’s a good thing to protest,” Pat Horton, 63, said. “I know one thing. If it were the other way around, he’d (Martin) already be in jail.”
A few miles away, another group was rallying at City Hall. That effort, organized by the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, also included a march through downtown streets. Organizers said they wanted more than just Zimmerman’s arrest; they said they also are calling for African people around the globe to unite and organize.
National Christian League of Councils organizer Sevell Brown said that he has been involved in civil rights for 30 years, and that the Martin case has stirred the nation in a way similar to the 1955 murder of Emmett Till that mobilized the civil rights movement.
“This injustice is so obvious that it is unconscionable,” Brown said. “That’s why we see this outrage that is touching St. Petersburg, Tampa, Jacksonville. … It has touched everybody.”
After the march, Brown invited people to speak on a stage set up at Spa Beach Park near the Pier.
“One way or another, justice will prevail,” LaShawn Crawford told the crowd.
I was going to assure you that this is not an accurate sampling of the population in St. Petersburg, however I don’t believe I can confirm nor deny such an assertion. Sadly, plenty of liberals populate downtown and the surrounding areas. For all of you who attended the rallies on Saturday, just remember – voting occurs on the second Tuesday of November.
Is this what we’ve come to in the United States of America? The brainless attempting to sway public opinion a long with the justice system itself. Curiously, residents of St. Petersburg did not take to the streets in protest after we lost three police officers in under a month – David Crawford, Thomas Baitinger and Jeffrey Yaslowitz – back in February 2011. The justice system worked. Nicholas Lindsey, who shot Officer Crawford, was charged and sentenced. Hydra Lacy, who killed both Officers Baitinger and Yaslowitz, was charged and sentenced. The Uhuru movement and the NCLC did not rally to the cause of the slain officers. No, because both Lindsey and Crawford were black. There were no denouncements of the violence or calls for justice on behalf of the slain officers.
But in a case where we don’t know all the facts and the inconvenient and conflicting reports are ignored by Trayvon’s supporters, there is a clamor for justice. Not justice meted out by our legal system. Not justice at the hands of a court and a jury. They’re calling for mob justice against an individual who appears to have shot Martin in self-defense. The narrative is that Martin “was hunted down like a dog”, but this fantasy has yet to materialize with a factual backing.
We don’t know exactly what happened that night, but it’s irrelevant to those swayed by mob mentality. Justice here and now is of the highest priority. Would Zimmerman’s head on a pike satiate their calls for justice? Doubtful.