An American Tragedy
Edited By Emmanuel Harris II and Antonio D. Tillis
Chapter Fourteen: Reflections on the Diversity of Thought in Black America on the Trayvon Martin Case
Reflections on the Diversity of Thought in Black America on the Trayvon Martin Case
DENNIS B. ROGERS
As a person who sees the contradictions and dialectical tensions within myself and in Black America, I find the responses to the Trayvon Martin case illuminating. For example, according to the New York Daily News, the New Black Panther Party, founded in 1989, issued a $10,000 reward for the capture of George Zimmerman, the son of a retired Orange County magistrate judge.1 They warned of a citizen’s arrest after which the police could get George from the Panthers. U.S. Representative Bobby Rush, and a former member of the 1960s Black Panthers, wore a hoodie on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to demonstrate solidarity with protestors who called for a trial of the Trayvon Martin case.2 Derryck Green, a spokesperson for Project 21, the self-named National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives, stated that George Zimmerman was rightly “defending his neighborhood because it had been burglarized eight or nine times.” In the African American community, the responses, by reactionaries, reformists, and revolutionaries to the murder of the seventeen-year-old teenager reflect the persistent diversity of thought among Black folks on the issues of race, justice, and the American way.3
In the aftermath of the acquittal of George Zimmerman of second-degree murder charges, the diversity of responses persisted. The organization, Malcolm X Grassroots, posted a July 15, 2013 blog titled, “The Zimmerman Verdict...
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