This week it was also announced that the Goodman Theatre in Chicago joined a national push to stage a night of plays about the killing of Martin.
The rallies, plays and town hall meetings held to remember Martin are necessary outlets for giving people a sounding board for their outrage.
But what is also needed is continued organized action against the forces that led to the death of Martin and Dunn and so many others.
The criminalization of the image of young Black men must be seriously addressed.
If the dominant image of young African-American males in the popular media is of a thug, it gives rise to irrational fears.
Overall violent crime is down and there is no effort to remove guns or even modest gun control efforts, but the perception of violent Black thugs roaming the streets give rise to increased gun sales and a rise in vigilante type behavior imposed by the Zimmermans and Dunns of the world.
Dunn’s own words in letters from jail point to his vigilante beliefs. “The jail is full of Blacks and they all act like thugs. This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these [expletive] idiots when they’re threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.”
When Dunn confronted Davis did he see him as an individual or as another thug?
Stand Your Ground laws must be removed.
In both the Zimmerman and Dunn case, Stand Your Ground was used in the instructions to the jury.
In the 22 states with Stand Your Ground type laws, the justifiable homicide rate has risen by an average of 53 percent in the five years following their passage, according to a report issued last September by the National Urban League, the nonpartisan Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition and VoteVets. In just Florida alone, justifiable homicides have increase by 200 percent since the law took effect in 2005.
We believe in the right of self-defense but these statistics show that the unnecessary expansive Stand Your Ground laws are doing serious harm.
We honor the memory of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis by working to overturn these harmful laws.
(Reprinted from the Philadelphia Tribune)