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U W rban Pro NEWS • COMMENTARY

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The CSRA’s FREE WEEKLY

Newspaper VOL.2 NO.44 VOL.2 NO.18 The CSRA’s

JULY 25 - 31, 2013

Photo by Vincent Hobbs

Augustans rally with passion, purpose Florence Rae Canady, a grandmother of eight, makes an impassioned plea for the men to take the lead in our communities, during a town hall forum to discuss Trayvon Martin and the Zimmerman verdict. Canady’s comments about her fears for her own grandchidren brought tears to the eyes of several audience

members. Held at Williams Memorial CME Church on Saturday, the event drew concerned citizens from all over the community. Forum panelists and audience members voiced their concerns and opinions on the trial verdict and how it relates to the Augusta community.

Augusta’s premiere REGGAE Celebration Saturday, August 17, 2013

The 16th Annual Bob Marley Tribute PANDORA


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UrbanProWeekly • JULY 25 - 31, 2013

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The City

Augustans march, rally and plan for protracted fight for peace and justice By Frederick Benjamin Sr. UrbanProWeekly Staff Writer AUGUSTA Augustans joined hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country in an expression of concern and outrage at the recent acquittal verdict of George Zimmerman accused of second-degree murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. The vigils, held in over a hundred American cities, were called for by the National Action Network headed by the Rev. Al Sharpton. The peaceful protest attracted a broad cross section of the African-American community to the Augusta Judicial Center on Walton Way and James Brown Blvd. While the “old guard” civil rights organizations represented by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) were on hand along with other veteran civil rights activists, the energy, enthusiasm and character of the rally was supplied by young African American women — those mothers, sisters, cousins and aunts who bear the brunt of senseless violence in the community. While the Zimmerman verdict was the catalyst which led to the demonstration, the participants expressed concern about a range of issues including gun control, violent crime in the community and institutional racism. Marchers have vowed to

channel their outrage into constructive efforts ultimately impacting voter registration and nonviolent civil rights advocacy. Dozens of people took the opportunity to register and vote. The noon rally at the John H. Ruffin Court House was coordinated by local businesswoman Adrian “AJ” Wright and community activist JoRae Jenkins. A forum to discuss the effects of the Zimmerman verdict on the local Augusta community was organized by the Rev. Larry Fryer at Williams Memorial CME Church later in the day. There, a panel of attorneys, community leaders and civil rights activists discussed the implications of the verdict. Mischaracterized by conservative elements in the country and county as platforms for incendiary rhetoric, the vigils and associated activities were models of decorum and respect for the law. Among those Augustans spotted at the rallies were State Senator Hardie Davis, educator Wayne Frazier, cultural icons Tyrone and Judith Butler, attorney Harold Jones, the Rev. Charles Goodman, Jr. leader of Tabernacle Baptist Church, Dr. Charles Smith, president of the Augusta Area NAACP, and Dr. Alexander Smith of SCLC. In Atlanta, the Rev. Raphael Warnock of Martin Luther King’s Ebenezer Baptist Church warned the audience against those who “move through our neighborhoods ... in pinstripe suits but with hoods in their hearts.”

Marchers holding signs move toward rallying point. Photo by Linda C. Williams

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UrbanProWeekly LLC Mailing Address: 3529 Monte Carlo Drive Augusta, Georgia 30906

Publisher Ben Hasan 706-394-9411 Managing Editor Frederick Benjamin Sr. 706-836-2018

Adrian Wright, one of the coordinators of Saturday’s march and rally addresses the crowd. Photo by Linda Chisolm Williams

JoRae Jenkens (r) among the participants at the court house. Photo by Linda Chisolm Williams

Black youth rally for Trayvon Martin. Photo by Linda Chisolm Williams

Sales & Marketing Phone: 706-394-9411 Photography and Social Media Courtesy of Vincent Hobbs

email: Ben Hasan bzhasan54@yahoo.com Frederick Benjamin Sr. editor@urbanproweekly.com Vincent Hobbs coolveestudio@gmail.com


No Justice, No Peace

IN THE NEWS

March on Washington, August 25, seeks to direct energy toward change

Paine campus security gets major upgrade by forming Police Department

The National Action Network is calling for Americans to come to Washington, D.C. on Saturday, August 24, 2013 to hold the government accountable for the recent attack on voter rights, to lobby against Stand Your Ground and racial profiling, and to continue to raise awareness on unemployment, poverty, gun violence, immigration, gay rights and other critical issues affecting our nation. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Keeping a watchful eye over the event. Photo by Linda Chisolm Williams Washington that lead to the passage of the very civil rights legislation that ended Jim Crow and began the modern era of civil rights. According the the NAN website, “50 years later we need you as much as we did in 1963. Today, the first African American President in the history of our nation sits in the White House. That would not have been possible without the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court in the final days of its term this year has struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act and thereby have place our right to vote in jeopardy. We must turn out by the hundreds of thousands in Washington DC on August 24th and we need your financial commitment to ensure our success...it is critical that we harness this heightened awareness of our collective strength to African-American girls rally for Trayvon Martin. Photo by Linda Chisolm Williams sustain a movement.”

AUGUSTA Paine College officials have announced the Campus Safety Department’s transition to the Paine College Police Department. According to Paine President Dr. George C. Bradley, the new Police Department will act as a deterrence to individuals who would “impede instruction in our educational environment.” Chief Joseph Nelson is a 2010 graduate of the Georgia Chief of Police Academy and former Chief of Police of T ho m s o n , Georgia. Since Joseph Nelson his arrival at Paine, he has increased the number of certified police officers at the College to seven, bringing the Department’s staff to a total of thirteen. In addition, Chief Nelson is certified in the State of Georgia in the following areas: Criminal Investigation, Criminal Procedures, Crime Scene Technician, Interviews and Interrogation. The Paine College Police Department (PCPD) now has total arrest authority in the State of Georgia. The College has also been approved and granted an Originating Agency Identifier (ORI) number, assigned by the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services to criminal justice agencies.

Fort Gordon civilian employees may get relief AUGUSTA There was a bit of good news out of Washington, DC on Tuesday for Fort Gordon’s civilian employees. The US House of Representatives passed a bipartisan amendment to the Fiscal Year 2014 Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations Bill. The amendment, authored by Congressmen John Barrow (D-Ga.) and Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), effectively bans civilian furloughs within the DoD in fiscal year 2014, which begins October 1, 2013. The amendment was also co-sponsored by Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) and Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.). An overwhelming bi-partisan majority of the House approved the amendment by voice vote. The final House version of the Appropriations Bill, including the amendment, passed on Wednesday night by a vote of 315-109. The bill also includes a 1.8 percent pay increase for military service members, beginning in 2014. “With more than 3,200 folks facing

furloughs in the 12th District alone, it’s more important than ever for us to work together to find a solution,” said Congressman Barrow. “This common sense proposal will ensure that civilian employees at Fort Gordon don’t face furloughs again after October 1st. We’ve still got work to do, but I refuse to accept the status quo of gridlock. I’m going to keep on doing all I can to support these folks who are facing a 20 percent reduction in pay through no fault of their own.” Fort Gordon civilian employees have been facing a dual threat – a reduction in work hours through furloughs, as well as the possibility that the DoD will enact Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s “Plan B”. The plan, which was detailed in a letter to the Senate on July 10th, will result in layoffs if sequestration continues. “DOD will have to consider involuntary reductions-in-force to reduce civilian personnel costs,” Hagel wrote. Earlier this month, Congressman Barrow had introduced legislation, H.R. 2616, to eliminate the civilian DoD furloughs that currently affect around

650,000 civilian Defense Department employees. According to Barrow, the newly-passed appropriations amendment, along with his furlough elimination bill, “will preserve the spending cuts mandated by the budget sequestration legislation, but mandates that the reductions will be made in other places within the DoD budget”. Congressman Barrow’s Facebook page generated dozens of “likes” and other responses to the bill and amendment. One commentator from Ft. Gordon wrote, “As a furloughed public servant at Fort Gordon I feel as though my paycheck is being stolen by those who have not been good stewards of taxpayer money. I applaud your efforts and hope you are successful. Perhaps tighter oversight of government assistance programs could help to avoid penalizing those who work hard to achieve the American Dream while so much fraud is being reported in these necessary but badly managed programs.” One poster wrote, “Sir, I’m sure a major concern is that restricting fur-

loughs may result in cutbacks where people will lose their jobs completely. I would much rather lose some pay and keep my job. The thought is great; just beware of the long term impact.” Another person shared their hardship – “God bless you sir! I hear you are trying to get this current one ended as well? It has been very hard on my family and so many others. I am grateful for your hard work in this matter, my disabled veteran husband (currently furloughed) is proud to be from Georgia right now!” The sequestration budget cuts were implemented when the Obama administration and Congress did not reach an agreement on deficit reduction and spending cuts earlier this year. The sequestration cuts, required by federal law, amount to over $37 billion in reductions. The fate of the House version of the Appropriations is uncertain; the Senate will not tackle the issue until early September. — Vincent Hobbs for UPW

UrbanProWeekly • JULY 25 - 31, 2013

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Not a moment . . . but a movement Images of the new civil rights movement captured in Augusta on Saturday, July 20, 2013. The Augusta rallies were part of a national nonviolent movement for justice.

Acclaimed poet Travis Wright speaks to a reporter at the conclusion of a “Justice For Trayvon” rally in front of the John H. Ruffin, Jr. Courthouse on Saturday. The event was held to honor the memory of slain teen Trayvon Martin and to raise awareness of inequality in the criminal justice system. Photo by Vincent Hobbs

NAACP Augusta President Dr. Charles J. Smith, Sr. discusses the Zimmerman verdict at a “Justice For Trayvon” rally in front of the John H. Ruffin, Jr. Courthouse on Saturday. Photo by Vincent Hobbs

THE ART OF NONVIOLENCE Photos by Linda Chisolm Williams


9 UrbanProWeekly • JULY 25 - 31, 2013 Concerned citizens listen to comments from panelists at a town hall forum to discuss Trayvon Martin and the Zimmerman verdict. Photo by Vincent Hobbs

Cam Wallace offers some comments at a town hall forum to discuss Trayvon Martin and the Zimmerman verdict, which was held at Williams Memorial CME Church on Saturday. Photo by Vincent Hobbs

Sea Stachura listens to comments from panelists. Photo by Vincent Hobbs

Photo by Linda Chisolm Williams

Photo by Linda Chisolm Williams

Photo by Linda Chisolm Williams


UrbanProWeekly • JULY 25 - 31, 2013

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Community News 1st Annual Youth Career and Business Expo

2nd Annual Gun-Buy Back Day

AUGUSTA Future Successors and Keys Academy are holding their First Annual Youth Career and Business Expo on Wednesday July 31, 2013 from 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. at Carrie J. Mays Community Center, 1014 11th Ave, Augusta, GA 30901. All youth between the ages of 11-18 are encouraged to attend. During the expo, employers will have the chance to engage with our future leaders, giving them the opportunity to learn skills that are important to landing and keeping a job. Topics will include networking, learning to fill out applications and prepare resumes, successful interviewing tips, maintaining a positive attitude and gaining confidence.

AUGUSTA Augusta’s 2nd Annual Gun-Buy Back/Peace Day sponsored by Future Successors will be held on Saturday, August 3, 2013 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Last year this event was created to bring attention and awareness about the extreme gun play in Augusta. It hopes to create positive change within our community. Participants will be asked to turn in their useless, unloaded firearms in an empty shoe box at Antioch Baptist Church located at 1454 Florence Street, Augusta. In exchange, participants will receive a gift card value at $50-

The positive effects of adolescent employment include increased personal responsibility and earning power; development of social skills; improved grades and participation in schoolrelated activities, higher self- esteem and increased self-direction and independence. Professional attire is encouraged but not required. For more information contact: Elisa N. Watson Future Successors futuresuccess706@gmail.com www. futuresuccessors.org 706.250.2791; Anthony King Keys Academy, Acking1906@yahoo.com www.keysacademy.com 706.925.6729; and David Clanton, Carrie J. Mays Community Center 706.821.2827

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$75. Additionally, Future Successors will provide gun locks for rifles and handguns for individuals who choose to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms. The organization notes that since 2000 Augustans have lost nearly 400 family members, friends, and neighbors due to violent crimes committed locally. The majority of the victims were under the age of 25. Organizers of the event hope to prevent a repeat of the December 14, 2012 massacre where 20 people lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT.

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During 30 years of performing in smoky clubs and other venues, Augusta entertainer Tony Howard has needed three surgeries on his vocal cords. His doctor attributed those throat issues to the constant secondhand smoke. It’s why today Howard tries to choose smokefree venues when he can. And it’s also why he and others like him are supporting a campaign for smokefree workplaces in Augusta.  On Tuesday, July 30, Howard and a few of his friends, including Playback’s Tutu D’Vyne, The Motowners and Mike Swift, will host a special concert in support of BreathEasy Augusta at Applebee’s, 3117 Washington Rd.

Inaugural Ann N. Johnson UNCF Jazz Festival

Paine to host scholarship Jazz Concert The Augusta United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Campaign is thrilled to announce its Inaugural Ann N. Johnson UNCF Jazz Festival, scheduled for 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 8, 2013, at the Jessye Norman Amphitheater. This historic outdoor venue is located at 1 Ninth Street in downtown Augusta, Georgia. The location of this momentous event is named in tribute of the international opera star and Augusta native, Jessye Norman. The UNCF Jazz Festival’s chair, Ann N. Johnson, has been a community pillar within the greater Augusta area for over 40 years. Paine College, the presenting host of the festival, has always been in the heart of   Mrs. Johnson, who has been a loyal supporter of the College a number of years.  “For 130 years, Paine has produced stellar leaders in various leadership positions and careers,” shared Mrs. Johnson. “Having served more than 35 years in higher education at Paine College, I have learned firsthand the talents and intellectual abilities of many deserving students, and the impact of receiving UNCF scholarships had on their lives”. Paine College has been a member UNCF school for over 40 years. The UNCF is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. Since its founding in 1944, UNCF has raised more than $3.6 billion to help more than 400,000 students receive college degrees at UNCF-member institutions and with UNCF scholarships. Tickets, now available for purchase, are $25 in advance and $35 on the day of the scholarship event. To purchase tickets for this event, contact Leadra Collins, Augusta UNCF Campaign Coordinator, at 706.821.8233 or lcollins@paine.edu.

During the free event, all those interested in smokefree workplaces in Augusta are invited to show their support, sign up for upcoming BreathEasy Augusta events and more. To find out more about BreathEasy Augusta or how you can help, visit  w w w.BreathEasyAugusta. org or like www.facebook.com/ BreathEasyAugusta.  WHAT: “Smokefree Voices for Augusta” A free concert and supporter rally for the BreathEasy Augusta campaign, which is advocating for smokefree workplaces in Augusta.  WHEN: Tuesday, July 30, from 6 to 9 p.m.

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UrbanProWeekly • JULY 25 - 31, 2013

SUMMER MUSIC Entertainer Tony Howard to host event supporting Smokefree Campaign


UrbanProWeekly • JULY 25 - 31, 2013

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Commentary

Generation X, the Obama Era and the road ahead Kristie Robin Johnson President Obama did something truly remarkable on Friday afternoon. In a surprise appearance at a regularly scheduled White House briefing, our President shed his politically correct skin and revealed a face to the nation that many black citizens already knew existed. Unabashed and unapologetic, he exposed himself simply as a black man. He showed solidarity with the millions of us who share his ‘Black Experience’. He explained to millions of Americans who might not otherwise understand or even care, what it is like to walk around each day with black and brown skin Women attending Trayvon Rally in Augusta on July 20, 2013. Photo by Linda Chisolm Williams in these United States. In this sincerely stunning moment in view. Sadly, neither would live kids, and stop begging for still exist, and the myriad of holding one another accounttime, the leader of the free to see the election of Barack handouts. We often turn a issues that plague minorities able and loving one another world gave credence to the Obama and the subsequent blind eye to the fact that many and those living at or below unconditionally. I’ll end with grievances of black life and burgeoning of the next great of them grew up fatherless. the poverty line, we have to a poem that I wrote in 2004 genuinely shared in our collec- movement for social justice. We often forget that many start by bridging the gap. We that sums up the task that lies As I ponder just what such have come of age in commu- must find a balance between ahead: tive pain. As a member of the much a movement might look like, nities where chronic unemmaligned Generation X, I cannot escape the glaring ployment and poverty are it occurred to me that this disconnect between the lofty rampant. Let’s not even get could potentially become goals and messages of our sur- started on the abysmal public a defining moment in our viving Civil Rights leaders and school systems where many American history. My parents the everyday lives and cultural received their so-called eduWe’re the sons and daughters witnessed, survived, and ben- realities of my generation. cation. And when many of of draft-dodgers and disco queens, In the age of Obama, many our brightest, most talented efited from the struggles and Vietnam vets and dope fiends. advances of the Civil Rights of my Gen X cohorts find young people express their Reaganomics never trickled down to us. Movement. They literally themselves uncomfortably in creativity through hip-hop, Our economy never boomed; it was always a bust. were forced to take back seats the middle. They are squeezed many older African-Americans Our mothers and fathers were on the city bus and drink between the expectations of are too quick to dismiss their young, gifted, and Black. from water fountains marked Baby Boomers that tell us efforts as garbage. But we’re just young and Black, “colored”. One of the stories higher education and moral Instead of recognizing the some born addicted to crack. that my mother repeatedly uprightness pave the path stark inequities that continue We don’t have any Malcolm’s or Martin’s shared with me throughout to equality and the reality to persist in the post-Civto lead us to the mountain top. my youth was about the day that young African-American il Rights Era and embracing President Kennedy was assas- males are disproportionate- young sisters and brothers We thrive on our own home grown sinated. She was a student at ly represented in the crimi- in need, many older leaders therapy called hip-hop. Immaculate Conception and nal justice system; far less have chosen to look on with From freedom rides to drive-by’s; when the devastating news likely to attend college than criticism and judgment and From afros to braids; broke, heartbroken nuns their white counterparts; and turn their backs, rendering From Negroes to African-Americans; rushed the children to mass young black women are far many of us hopeless. As an From free love to AIDS. and suspended classes for more likely to be single par- individual with two college We inherit a heritage of broken promises the remainder of the day. My ents than white women of the degrees, a decent job, a mortand silent rage. mother then recalled, with same age. gage, a tattooed exterior, and Tricked into believing we’re free, It seems that we are expect- a current playlist that includes great pain and anger, the while the penal system turns our men into slaves. insensitive remarks of white ed to believe that if you are the latest releases from TI, The children of a false equality, we yet seek the truth. onlookers as she and her young, black and lucky enough J. Cole, and Wale, I reside classmates entered the bus to to have achieved a college in that great chasm between Coming into our own, slowly emerging from our youth. head home. Taunts of ‘poor degree, middle class status, living up to the standards of As a generation, we’ve been doubted, blamed, little niggers’ and ‘where’s home ownership, and a mar- those who paved the way and labeled, and even feared. your savior now?’ were hurled ried, two-parent household, expressing solidarity with my Elders just shake their heads, at them on what turned out to you’ve acquired complete peers. The two do not have to While mothers mourn our losses with tears. be one of the most tragic days equality and successfully made be mutually exclusive. But for the survival of our people, of their childhood and cer- it to the “promised land”. If we are to begin to move we rise up- because we must. tainly one of the darkest days Those of our generation forward and tackle institutionThe battle for justice is far from over, in the history of our nation. who have not been so lucky alized and systemic racism, And the unlikely victors may well be us. The experiences of my par- are simply told to pull up low wages, the prison-industrients profoundly shaped my their pants, stop listening to al system, a poor public school © Kristie Robin Johnson, from “Fear of Flying”,2013 upbringing and my world rap music, take care of your system, the gender gaps that

Us


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by Corey Washington

Death makes for ‘Strange Bedfellows’ George Zimmerman looks like someone that most of his supporters would profile and would want to see his papers. How many of George Zimmerman’s supporters can honestly say that they would not be alarmed to see him stalking their kids on a dark rainy night? By now the whole world knows all the particulars of the George Zimmerman verdict. It seems that your views on the verdict have to do with either your experiences in life or your current status in society. For Example, Clarence Thomas may have had some experiences of being racially profiled in the past, but his high on the hog status as an ultraconservative Supreme Court Justice negate all of his past experiences that he could use to identify with people who look like Trayvon Martin. Also Charles Barkley grew up dirt poor in Leeds Alabama, but his current status as a retired pro athlete/rich golf playing (If that’s what you call it!!)T.V. personality have blurred his mental comprehension when it comes to his outlook on the case. At this point, do I even have to talk about Bill Cosby? Let’s look at some other talking points. Why don’t people stop saying “Why is everyone focused on Trayvon Martin when you have all of this Black on Black crime going on?” Can you walk and chew bubble

gum at the same time??? I think so! People also need to stop implying that Black people don’t care about the senseless murders in Chicago. Or they may throw out an obscure case that seems to be related in the sense that a White person was killed by a Black person. But when you look the case up, you find out that the Black person(s) were arrested and convicted!! Let’s talk plainly: The reason the Trayvon Martin case picked up so much national attention was because the police automatically took George Zimmerman’s account and questioned him and let him go. It took a public outcry for an arrest to be made. What added fuel to the fire was the avalanche of support for George Zimmerman from rightwing gun enthusiasts and others who seemed to be a little too happy about the death of a young black boy. (Anyone still in High School is still a boy. I don’t care how tall you are!!) So the biggest question that I have had about this whole case is: How

did George Zimmerman get so much White support? Was it because his father is an influential White person in Sanford, Florida? Was it because of what George Zimmerman represented? (A gun owner defending his neighborhood from young black thugs/punks/kids?) Was it because Al Sharpton got involved? Was it because President Obama said that “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon”? Or was it all of the above? To be fair, there are many people of many ethnicities and races seeking justice for Trayvon. Sadly, the people who are supporters of George Zimmerman are the same ole Fox news watching, NRA supporting, build a fence…..wait a minute, did I say build a fence? George Zimmerman looks like someone that most of his supporters would profile and would want to see his papers. How many of George Zimmerman’s supporters can honestly say that they would not be alarmed to see him stalking their kids on a dark rainy night? How

many George Zimmerman supporters would pick him up on a highway in Texas, Arizona, or California? Yes the truth of the matter seems to be that George Zimmerman is trying to fit into a white world. Sometimes people like George Zimmerman overcompensate by treating other people of color as less than human. Sad to say, but George Zimmerman may have the ability to profile young kids who look like him. (Black people aren’t the only ones who self-hate.) In the final analysis, I guess George Zimmerman finally got what he wanted. He is now officially the world’s first authentic White Hispanic. Does he officially get to fully bathe in White privilege? Or is this just a temporary condition? Only time will tell, but the question that George Zimmerman has to ask himself when he lays his head on his pillow is: Was it really worth it?????   Corey Washington is the author of Plain Talk Vol.1 and 2, and Nobody Cages Me (Jimi Hendrix)

LETTERS

Ignorance, racism led to the death of Trayvon Martin I would like to thank Austin Rhodes for clearly demonstrating it was ignorance and racism which led to Trayvon Martin’s unfortunate, premature death. In a recent Metro Spirit article titled, “Strange Dichotomy Emerges in Controversy,” Rhodes wrote, “ Trayvon could have gotten the message that skulking around looking like a thug in that neighborhood was not a good thing for a smart guy to do. Clearly, he did not know that. The Retreat at Twin Lakes should have invested in some serious signage, and perhaps even a mandatory community covenant that all residents would have to sign, acknowledging that their streets were being patrolled. And, that failure to cooperate with said patrols would result in an immediate call to the police, and that the summoned law enforcement personnel could be expected to handle the situation further. Had Trayvon Martin been made aware of such a policy, I doubt he would have made the same choices he did that fateful night.”   It’s obvious Austin Rhodes and George Zimmerman are like minded in their disdain for black teens. First, Rhodes mentioned Trayvon was skulking around. Skulking means to move or go about in a stealthy manner; sneak. However, it was clearly reported Trayvon was

leisurely walking through the neighborhood trying to get to his destination. But, I guess in the ignorant, racist mind he was stealthy and sneaking. Second, R hodes mentioned Trayvon was looking like a thug. Thug means cruel or vicious ruffian, robber, or murderer. Ruffian means tough, lawless person; brutal bully. Again, it was clearly reported Trayvon was neither. He was not a ruffian, robber, or murderer. He was just a black teen walking through a neighborhood in a free country. However, sadly, in the ignorant, racist mind, all black teens walking through a neighborhood are thugs with evil intent. Therefore, it was perfectly okay for George Zimmerman to stalk, confront, and shoot to death an unarmed black teen. That is why Austin Rhodes and those like minded saw the not guilty verdict as justice for George Zimmerman and justification for killing an unarmed black teen. In their black-teen-phobic mind, they believe the world is safer because Trayvon Martin is dead and George Zimmerman is alive.   Kevin Palmer 123 Dresden Drive Martinez, GA 30907 706-231-1831

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