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RIP Jim Crow

Fighting Racism through Higher Education Policy, Curriculum, and Cultural Interventions


Edited By Virginia Stead

Together we can build enough momentum to see Jim Crow lying silent and still in his grave.
This book shouts out ways that we can and must respond to the sickening accumulation of racially inspired and systemically sanctioned deaths. Today, we remember the passing of young, Black Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In responding to this event, we are determined to dismantle the alexithymia (indifference to the suffering of others) that pervades our campuses. It is nothing less than a by-product of racism protected by the illusion of democracy.
RIP Jim Crow contains three sections: (1) Antiracist Theory and Policy; (2) Antiracist Administration, Curriculum, and Pedagogy; and (3) Antiracist Cultural Interventions.
Each of the 31 chapters contributes to the normalization of anti-racist policy within academic institutions, antiracist discourse within academic cultures, and institutional praxis that upholds speaking out against racist activity. The hope is that this book will also reduce racism in the broader world through academic relationships with community partners.
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Chapter Three: Racial Profiling, Trayvon Martin, and Preservice Teachers: From Disengagement to Activism



Racial Profiling, Trayvon Martin, AND Preservice Teachers

From Disengagement to Activism



February 26, 2014 marked the two-year anniversary of the tragic death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. He had gone out to get a snack at a nearby 7–11—never thinking his life would be in danger in performing such a mundane act. As he returned home wearing his gray hoodie, all he had was a bag of Skittles, Arizona Iced Tea, and his cell phone. George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain, observed Martin from inside his car and called 911 to report a guy was “just walking around, looking about.” Zimmerman further noted, “He’s no good, or on drugs or something.” The 911 dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he was following Martin, and then stated clearly, “We don’t need you to do that,” to which he responded, “Okay.” Our story should have ended here. Eight minutes later, however, a scuffle ensued, where Zimmerman fatally shot Martin in the chest at close range, ending his life (Barry, Kovaleski, Robertson, & Alvarez, 2012; Capehart, 2012; Yancy & Jones, 2013).

Almost 60 years ago, another young teen—Emmett Till—catapulted into our imaginations. The 14-year-old was brutally tortured and murdered for the alleged “crime” of whistling at a White woman in Money, Mississippi (Wills, 2013). Till’s death helped inspire the Civil Rights Movement and spoke to...

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