An American Tragedy
Edited By Emmanuel Harris II and Antonio D. Tillis
Chapter Ten: Questions Arise: The Political, Legal, and Social Implications of the Trayvon Martin Tragedy
Questions Arise: The Political, Legal, and Social Implications of the Trayvon Martin Tragedy
ANGELA Y. DOUGLAS
Trayvon Martin’s murder and its subsequent trial have arguably attracted consistent interest and discussion about race relations in American law. With significant media coverage, marches and demonstrations, governmental interventions, social media conversations, and more, undoubtedly this tragedy forever will have a place in American legal and social history. Although it is a tragic and emotionally devastating time for the Martin family and others involved, it has spawned conversations about many social, political, and legal issues including equality, self-defense rights, and race relations in the US. The public outcry for justice and equality is reminiscent of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. This is further evidenced by the civil rights investigation under way by the U.S. Department of Justice. Some would argue that this case is not about race. Others would shout that it is all about race. Race is important to the review of social, political, and legal implications because this country literally has been built on race problems. Whether it is the native Indian relations, varying White ethnicities’ hierarchies, Black enslavement, or Hispanic immigration, race and ethnicity are paramount issues of concern. This focus on who (the people) instead of what (the right treatment of people) centers the conversation almost permanently on equality and justice. The Martin murder and Zimmerman trial became important to the conversation about race, but it did not...
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