Standing Against “Stand Your Ground”

black life matters

Hello! It’s Monday again, “Peaceful Warriors!”

How did your weekends go for each of you? I hope that they went well for you. Mine was decent … did some work with a client on Saturday to help him prepare for the SAT’s here in the States. He is the son of a good friend who, as he makes his transition from Trinidad, wants to be sure he will do well on the college entrance exams. I also had the chance to hang out a bit with friends but did not make it to Miami’s largest block party “Calle Ocho.” It seems it went well, without incident, and was dedicated to Cuban songstress, Celia Cruz. As I watched the newscasts last night, I observed the huge statue of Celia being carried through the street there in Little Havana’s Calle Ocho! Though she has passed on, her music remains as a legend and reminder of how it unites people from all cultures, walks of life, ethnic groups and beyond. The “King of Calle Ocho” was none other than Latino rapper “Daddy Yankee.”

Meanwhile, back at the ranch in Tallahassee – the State capitol – a march is being held at 9:30am from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center to the capitol and is being led by Al Sharpton. He will be joined by Trayvon’s parents, Tracey and Sabryna, and as many representatives of color from states all over the USA who still have the “stand your ground” law in place. Trayvon and Jordan (RIP boys) had their young lives snuffed out by community vigilantes. One “walked”, the character known as George Zimmerman, and one is being sentenced to the rest of his life in prison, short as it may be. Now, a white man was killed in a movie theatre while his wife looked on in horror as a retired Tampa police officer retaliated with gunfire from a purported box of popcorn that was thrown in his direction by a man who was texting his daughter during the previews of films there in the movie theatre. This event is starting to put another “spin,” so to speak on this clear attempt to take someone’s life who is NOT armed. As this country seeks to dismantle this type of defense, which was used by Zimmerman’s attorneys and given to the jury in their directions that caused them to erroneously arrive at the “NOT GUILTY” decision of that jury, more voices need to be heard. Florida is NOT the only state with this horrific law. Yet, it is the state where the attitude of pulling a gun on a defenseless person has prevailed more and more here of late.

Quite simply, stand firm against this “stand your ground” illusion. Or … you or a loved one may be next!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

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