Tragedy, your name is Trayvon

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Print

It is, as has been written, "the best of times and the worst of times." That America recently elected the first African-American president in our history boded well for the proposition that by so doing, we have turned the corner and are marching on toward the goal of becoming a color-blind society. We hoped out loud that indeed we will be judged by the "content of our character and not the color of our skin," as was so eloquently and articulately pronounced by Dr. King.

We heard the teachings of our fathers and mothers, those brave souls, who, because of their dignity and hard work, made it possible for us to compete at the next level. I know they worried about us the whole time. Whether it was "down South," where it has been said "you can't get too big," or "up North" where "you can't get too close" we, and many other right thinking people, have fought the good fight for justice and equality.

While we were out in the world, Trayvon, I know that our parents worried about us, as their parents worried about them, and yes, son, just as we worried about you. We told you of the opportunities and the richness of life here in America. You saw the goodness and the joy of all people, and the beauty of all races. But we had learned that "every day is not Sunday," and that there are some folk who don't mean you no good. We agreed that you couldn't live your life being afraid to walk into the light.

Despite all that we discussed, I feel I have failed you. Son, I wish that I could have been there with you that day. I wish that it could have been me instead of you. Me with so much life past, you with so much promise for the future.

Trayvon, your name has energized an entire nation. You are America's child. Your name has united fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, Republicans, Democrats, saints and sinners.The tragedy that took your life now has a life of its own.

Its name is Trayvon.

Lee Pulliam
Oak Park

Reader Comments

94 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

WOW! from Oak Park  

Posted: April 3rd, 2012 8:38 PM

Wow, a thought provoking, well written piece really stirred up the old racial pot in good old Oak Park. Some things will never change and Oak Parker's still hide their racism in their small, vintage closets. When do we start singing "heal the world" in Scoville Park!

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 3:29 PM

OPRFDad, lets hope that there are more than a 1,000 to every self promoter. There has to be a new leader who can gain National Media attention who can go into a neighborhood and make it a positive neighborhood. People who steal sometimes don't have any other way to make money. For those who harm people while stealing, those people are bad regardless of there reasons. Cleaning neighborhoods will reduce crime and there won't be any stereo typing. Only if it could become reality.

Not so reality sux  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 3:10 PM

"If Martin was a resident, he would have known there was a watch program and identified himself" Where are you from, Sesame Street? Most people would say "WHO are you?" to Zimmerman and then walk off before he can finish saying "volunteer neighborhood wat.." I live in a building like that and while I'm used to it now it really offends guests and new tenants. People don't know when there are watch programs because they usually don't care anyway.

OPRFDad  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 2:43 PM

Q - for every stereotype that exists, there's a person making a buck off the stereotype. Look at Jersey Shore - terrible Italian stereotypes, but there are the show's producers and the actors making money off the stereotype. Same thing with the black community - Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, etc. Those people aren't empowering the black community, they are exploiting it. For every Sharpton there are 1000 black people working hard and honestly to get ahead.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 1:35 PM

OPRFDad, that's interesting that you came across some products in French. You have any thoughts on where the idea of saying, I'm Black and that's the reason came from.

OPRFDad  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 1:08 PM

Q - Toronto is very similar to Chicago in ethnic makeup, except more Asians. I don't think it was directed at blacks per se, but rather non-whites in general. While the racial issues to the US are somewhat unique, they exist because the culture tolerates them. You can always count on corporations to do the thing they think will make them the most money. And, I've seend product boxes in Chicago in French - likely serve both the US and French Canadian market.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 12:48 PM

OPRFDad, Toronto has a very large multi cultural population. I not doubting the commercial but why would it be specific to a Black student with all of the other races to choose from. Why do corporations make sure their products are describe in Spanish too, and they don't do that with English in other countries.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 12:26 PM

Cont... Taking a Black person who has made it to Oak Park is easy for the White person to show how free and open they are to Black people because the Blacks who move to Oak Park have already passed the struggle of living in a poor neighborhood, if that is where they came from and the Black's who moved to Oak Park who are already very financially set know they don't need the help of some White people who feel they need to bring an end to racism when they are starting in the wrong place. Cont..

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 12:23 PM

Cont... the second selection is going for education to get even better paying jobs. Of course that is limited when you have learned that regardless of education you will still be based on your race. That's a real Catch 22, and is a real pain in the ass for any Black man or woman trying to advance. Oak Park, once again is not a realistic view to end racism. First start in a Black low income neighborhood that has an above average of killing, stealing, gangs and drug activity. Cont...

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 12:20 PM

Cont... That is not racism it's preference, and that's not fair when hiring people but it goes on and at the same time Gay's want equal treatment. Doesn't make sense, does it. As for a balanced board based on race, you can't go by just a percentage. You have to go by who is qualified, and how many Blacks have had the same opportunity to be qualified. Blacks are not represented equally based on percentages because the first choice is to work to earn money. Once that is accomplished, Cont...

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 12:17 PM

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois, Interesting was referring to Black neighborhoods that are low income, not Oak Park. Oak Park is not a realistic example of people blending in harmony or can even be used as a basis for bringing races together. Oak Park is a place that people can afford to live here do for several reasons. You pointed out about Gay's and their preference. Gay's hire gay's. Ask a gay person to be honest with you. Cont...

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 12:13 PM

Interesting, there is pride in Black neighborhoods but there is a lot of negative influences that make it very difficult to move forward towards safe neighborhoods. As for Zimmerman, he may have followed a White person too. White people do have a look about them too.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 12:11 PM

couple things, you are sort of right but wrong. You tell someone they are worthless, they believe it. Now tell those same people they are not worthless, and those same people now need to believe that while still being told by other people they are not wanted.

OPRFDad  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 12:00 PM

I was in Toronto once and saw a commercial. Black kid brings home a test and has a bad grade. He starts complaining that his teacher is biased and that she didn't give him a fair shake, etc. I wondered where this was all going, expecting a message on unintentional bias, or something like that, but was surprised when the fade to black was followed by "Never let your race be an excuse for your poor performance." Imagine the outrage in the US following a commercial like that.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 11:37 AM

RJ - I agree with you 100%. I do not see the disproportionate amount of women and people of color on the board as a sign of bias. In fact, the board has always shown a sensitivity to race relations, housing, and support for those in poverty. To some degree, it is a cultural flaw in OP's election system. The same organization has made the village's decision on the selection and election of board members for 60 years. As a result, it has become comfortable with it ways and have not recognized the massive changes in Oak Park in the last 60 years. This has resulted in voter apathy. The apathy leads to a sense that nothing changes in OP governance, and since that seems to be good thing, our core beliefs become icons rather than building blocks. For instance; Diversity has become an icon of past accomplishments rather than a conviction to plan for the future. I do not see a need for a revolutionary change in OP governance. What is needed is for voters to recognize the village's strength -- community involvement, and a pragmatic application of the strength by recognizing that the first priority is involvement is selecting its leadership.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 10:09 AM

I am offended when anyone makes a list based upon race. That is racism to the core. Any time we excuse poor performance or bad behavior because of race we are being racist. Blaming the troubles of one race upon another race is racist. Racism is a double edged sword that cuts both ways. Lets start to judge the value of each citizen upon his/her own actions.

another idea  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 8:12 AM

I would like to see diversity in thought regardless of sex, race or sexual orientation. At least two board members must have common sense; no more than one member who has a passion for architecture; one green over people; three who can subtract; zero "experts" in real estate development.

OPRF Achievement  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 6:16 AM

@John Mur. while I can agree with the goal of having more diversity on the ballot - actually having more diversity on the Board is another story, and is much harder than merely getting on the ballot. Clearly both goals need to work in harmony. However, qualified and diverse people need to put together the plan, resources, vision and strong team to work on the journey. There is a VERY good reason why we get what we get in terms of Election Choices. Do you see it Different?

rj from Oak Park  

Posted: March 30th, 2012 12:08 AM

This is a great tragedy but so is this - when Lyndon Johnson gave us the "Great (entitlement) Society", in his own words, it was to "keep those (expletive) voting Democrat for the next 200 years". Noted in Ronald Kessler's book, Inside the White House. LBJ knew the South could not keep blacks down forever and should Republicans be successful in passing Civil Rights/Voting Rights the Dems would lose the black vote forever. Dems were not for integration and civil rights in the 1960's - Repub were.

realitysux  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 10:07 PM

The shooting occurred inside a gated community, which news reports state is racially diverse (hence the fathers girlfriend living there). Zimmerman was part of a neighborhood watch program for over 5 years. If Martin was a resident, he would have known there was a watch program and identified himself so it is quite believable that zimmerman was suspicious for reasons beyond race, given that there were black families living in the development.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 2:10 PM

Interesting is 100% on the mark. A demographic map of Oak Park shows that blacks, whites, yellows and tans in clusters. Some clusters, are based on the cost of housing. Some are based on individual decisions on whom they want as neighbors, Some are based on schools, etc. For example, Gays tend to cluster because their social live is enhanced by sharing common interests. A wise African American woman who has been a civic leader for decades told me that the goal of Oak Park is to ensure that everyone gets to choice where they want to live -- without exception. We still have a long way to go on integration. We need more rainbows beginning with civic leadership. More than 70% of Oak Parkers elected to the board since 1988 have been white males. I have no bias toward white males, but isn't it time that our elections do a better job on diversity?

Interesting  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 12:49 PM

All your conversations are interesting but Q, be careful in assuming that all people living in "black" neighborhoods are poor and/or don't have any "pride" in their neighborhoods. I suggest that you spend time in the neighborhoods talking to people and finding out what they think as opposed to actually assuming you know what Zimmerman thinks. He had no right (and was explicitly told not to do so) to follow Trayvon. My guess is that he would not have followed a white kid in a hoodie. My opinion.

couple things  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:45 AM

"He let Blacks know that they no longer needed to be oppressed because the color of their skin." That implies that the oppression was/is the fault of black people. That it is something they created. That's just not the case. Dr King was a great leader. He fought oppression and sought justice for everyone, not just people of color. And he was killed for it. By a racist white man, by the way.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:42 AM

Cont... and believing they are also serving the needs of the Black communities. Time for change is now, but it will not happen because there is not another Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the Al's and Jessie's don't have the same thing that Dr. King wanted, and that was giving everyone the tools to end racism.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:39 AM

Cont.. He was giving up his life for something he truly believed in and that was the right to people who regardless were no longer slaves, where still unslaved because they did not have the same opportunities. If Dr. Martin Luther King's dream would have continued, there would be Black leaders who would continue to bring all that King wanted for human beings and not have taking that opportunity and turned it into benefiting themselves Cont...

couple things  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:38 AM

Q, as I said before, just because Zimmerman doesn't say "black" doesn't mean it isn't a factor. And I'm not saying it is. I am saying that there isn't sufficient information to judge either way. You don't know his heart any better than I do. Let's not start the whole white sheet thing, though. We all know that now all racists wear sheets all the time. We can criticize the police but a 911 operator told Zimmerman not to follow. The blunders are after Trayvon is dead & wouldn't have changed that.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:36 AM

Cont... Dr. King woke up America. He let Blacks know that they no longer needed to be oppressed because the color of their skin. He brought real meaning and inspired hope for Blacks. Dr. King walked through Cicero, Illinois, and said he never felt fear as he did that day, but he did not stop his walk. He was not about his self, but the change for human beings that needed to know that they have every right as any a White person. Let know one be fooled, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., knew Cont..

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:33 AM

couple things, it doesn't make the media attention because the same Black spokes people who hopped on the band wagon will not spend time in neighborhoods. And will be asked to join in a neighborhood march but if it's not going to bring out the media in droves, they aren't going to show. This people are not Black leaders who care about communities, they care about their own self worth. The last Black leader that I can recall is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. Cont...

couple things  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:30 AM

(cont) services are substandard, the infrastructure is poor, we've cut public transportation, etc. It's way more difficult to achieve at high levels. It isn't impossible but the greater the number of obstacles, the fewer the number who will navigate them all successfully. That makes it harder to produce leaders to initiate change. But there are many committed and talented people giving of themselves in order to create opportunity. The odds are just stacked against them.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:30 AM

Cont... taking moments after they arrived and talked with Zimmerman, a Hispanic male, and they are all wearing white sheets and hoods, all I would say to you is Zimmerman was a racist but the hood wearing clan certainly are known to be.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:25 AM

couple things, the only facts that are left are the facts from the tape. You can find people who can say Zimmerman used the S work, the N word, the G word, the M word and more, but that does not prove he is a racist. You have to go by what the facts are and the media in their manipulating ways have released what is known. The blunders are the responsibility of the Police department that has a Black Chief. If you can show me a picture of all White Police Officers talking with Zimmerman, Cont...

couple things  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:24 AM

"Circle of enslavement" -- WOW! Where did this begin? I know a number of community leaders that are actively seeking to reduce violence and especially gun violence and not just in black neighborhoods. You may not hear about it because it doesn't make the news but it's all over the place. No community wants to see their children injured and killed through senseless acts of violence. Opportunity matters in those neighborhoods. It matters more in those neighborhoods. But the schools and (cont)

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:20 AM

Cont... If anyone has a disagreement or misunderstand what I am saying, I will meet you at Central and Lake and you can explain why it is like the way it is.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:19 AM

Cont... part of the business World where people need to speak to each other and not in dialects. It's the same with White kids who put metal objects into their faces and tattoo on every part of their bodies. They too will not be in corporate America. Make the neighborhoods free of drugs and gangs and the change will happen. All Black leaders, come to the need of your Black Sisters and Brothers. Make the change and give up letting people be enslaved for your own benefits.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:17 AM

Cont... that say education is the answer when that won't happen in a neighborhood that going to school is going past drug dealers, and gang members only to get into a class where a teacher is in fear for their own life but is new in the school system so had no choice on what school he or she would be teaching at. Yes, the change is within Black's, but that can only happen with Black leaders who have a voice. Blacks will become educated and know that it's alright to learn to become part Cont....

couple things  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:17 AM

(cont) solutions is normal and name calling goes both ways. Clarence Thomas, by the way, had admitted to benefitting from some of the very same policies he opposes. For many people that damages his credibility to speak to the issue. It's seen either as "I got mine." or "I deserved it because I'm better than you."

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:15 AM

Cont... Image what could take root. Kids becoming educated and advancing into very good paying jobs. People taking pride because they now know hope has come. This could be the real change needed to bring racism to an end thinking that Blacks cause their own problems with dangerous neighborhoods and are the only ones who kill each other, and don't care about going to school and only want to sell drugs to each other. This is the real change to all of those little words needed, Cont..

couple things  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:14 AM

Q, I respectfully disagree with your assertion that just because Zimmerman didn't say the word "black" doesn't mean race didn't come into play. I would say we just don't have enough information one way or the other. rj, is it your assertion that brown-skinned people have the same opportunities in education, employment, etc. as white people? The question isn't is there no opportunity but rather is it the same opportunity. Few people believe it is the same opportunity. Disagreement about the(cont)

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:12 AM

Cont... enough money to move into a safer neighborhood. That circle of enslavement is wrong, and it's time to call the Black leaders to support the need for safe Black neighborhoods, where students can go to school to become educated and to get rid of the attitude that it's survival and that means selling drugs or stealing because there is no other advantages. Can you imagine a low income neighborhood that has pride and self esteem and values the benefits of living in a safe neighborhood? Cont.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:09 AM

rj from Oak Park, you make a very impressive point. The Black leaders would not have their power unless they kept their cause for having their power of the cameras and I now understand how any attempt by Whites in power would be told they are wrong by the Black leaders and they Black community would go along with the Black leaders. So it does make sense that the Black leaders are enslaving Black communities and Blacks have only one opportunity to get out and that is to make Cont...

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:05 AM

Cont... races where breaking into homes. Zimmerman was referring to just another punk breaking into homes without witnessing anything. When this comes to trial, which it will, it will be determined not on racism but on recklessness on Zimmerman's part. The media will have moved on with new stories to sensationalize and when the sentence is handed down, it will be an attempt by the media to revive the original story to enrage people, and if no one bites, it will just be a blurb.

rj from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:04 AM

Q - The black leaders unfortunately need to keep the welfare mentality going to convince themselves they are viable to the community. They and their party are the owners of this enslavement to their own for the past 40 yrs. When Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas and others come out to voice a different way for a different outcome they are called "uncle toms", traders, kneeling down to the white man that is supposedly keeping them down. Who are the racists here?

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 11:01 AM

couple things, the media has convinced people that this is a racially motivated killing. Simply not true. If so, Zimmerman would have said in his call to 911, there is a suspicious Black male. He did not identify race until he was questioned further. He was tired of those Ass @#$# getting away with it. What do you think he meant when he said Ass #@$% getting away with it? Away with what? Zimmerman only assumed he was getting away with something. It's been noted that people of different Cont..

couple things  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 10:58 AM

GUNZ - I was wondering when you would show up. Q, on what basis are you confident that Trayvon wasn't targeted because of his race? I haven't seen enough to be sure either way. In the end, the why matters less than the fact that an unarmed teenager was shot to death. We are not aware that he was doing anything illegal or suspicious other than wearing a hoodie. For those of you that say you want to reduce crime in black neighborhoods, increase education and employment opportunities there. Simple.

GUNZ KILL  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 10:49 AM

It starts with getting rid of GUNS.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 10:37 AM

If the Black leaders don't want to make the change necessary, then let the White leaders make the change because if this country is now tired of the killings then use that energy now and clean up and make safe neighborhoods. If the gangs and drug dealers don't like it, they can move somewhere else. There are plenty of jails that can take them in if they don't want to accept it.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 10:35 AM

Black people are like everyone else. They want a safe neighborhood to live in and raise their children in. They don't want drugs and guns. Why do people in safer neighborhoods think they want that. They don't and they deserve safe neighborhoods too, regardless of income level. It's the political leaders who can make the change, and if the Black leaders would stand up they can make the change. There is no more need for gun violence and drugs ruining people.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 10:32 AM

Have you ever read anything about the Black Panthers??? You are right, they are a peaceful group who work to clean out guns and drugs in Black neighborhoods so people can live safely and not have to worry about their kids being hooked on drugs or shot by a bullet fired from a gang member. This outcry should spark a real change in poor under served neighborhoods by political leaders. It is not fair that people because they are Black, have to live with drugs ruining people and guns killing people.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 10:28 AM

Cont... support from Black leaders he will stand with people in Black neighborhoods to keep gangs out. Why don't the Black leaders who scurry to camera opportunities over a Hispanic/Black shooting spend time where a different is needed. Is it because they don't really care about the advancement of Black people? There must be a reason why they don't want to help Black people in dangerous neighborhoods.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 10:26 AM

rj from Oak Park, I don't get into political parties because people have guns regardless. It would be nice to have all of the big shots who come out for camera opportunities decide to go into Black neighborhoods and stay until their job is done of bringing safety to the neighborhood. No one likes shooting in their neighborhoods and the Chicago Police are now making strong sweeps through high murder rated neighborhoods, but it's up to the neighborhood to keep it safe and that requires Cont..

rj from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 10:21 AM

Sorry Q - my last post was directed to Tom from River Forest. Right on Q.

Have you ever read anything about the Black Panthers???  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 10:15 AM

The Black Panthers are not and were not a hate group. In fact they had many white and non black allies back then. The original members have tried to sue theose who call themselves Black Panthers and have said in public there is no new Black Panther Party. Read Seales's autobiography then speak. They may have been communists but not racists.

rj from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 9:59 AM

You're wrong, as usual. I was greatly concerned when on March 17th 49 people in Chicago alone where shot - 10 dead - 6 yr old being one. Where was your outrage? Why don't you libs stop justifying everything that contributes to this kind of behavior? If you want to talk politics here - Z was a gun toting Democrat. Won't here that in the MSM.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 9:48 AM

rj from Oak Park, you are correct. If the Blacks came out in numbers over the daily killings of innocent people in their neighborhoods, real change would take place. It's not until the media says White vs. Black does it grab attention, and remember, Zimmerman is Hispanic. The Black Panthers is a hate the White group, and fall into the same group as those punks who run around with sheets and hoods.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 9:46 AM

Tom from River Forest, it's not only conservatives. It's clearly thinking people who vote differently. To make sure you have it right, it's not a Black and White crime. Zimmerman is Hispanic. If they said Hispanic in the media you would never have an interest because it takes a White to make it automatically into racial profiling.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 9:29 AM

Here is a funny thing that I have learned as a result of this tragedy. The only time conservatives are ever concerned about black on black crime is when they are trying to justify white on black crime.

rj from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 9:23 AM

Where's the same outrage for the black-on-black crimes committed in great numbers every day such as the 6yrs old girl playing on her front porch last week. Then there's Spike Lee incorrectly posting Z's home address, I guess for easy lynching purposes, only it belongs to a 70 yr old couple, now in hiding. Black Panthers $35,000? bounty for Z dead or alive. Selected outrage here but lets keep stirring that pot.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 9:09 AM

Cont... or being a block watch person because he could not stay within his limitations of calling the Police. I'm confident that Zimmerman never intended to kill Trayvon, but it happened. I'm confident that Trayvon was not targeted by Zimmerman because he was Black. Zimmerman is fully responsible for the death of Trayvon and it will be an investigation into the any piece of evidence to determine what will be the outcome for Zimmerman, at Hispanic male.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 9:05 AM

Cont... If he did and Trayvon may have doubted it and decided to protect against any further movement from Zimmerman, but the point is Zimmerman did his job of calling the Police and he did not have any further powers that would allow him to stop and question Trayvon, regardless if Zimmerman had identified his self as the block watch person. Zimmerman is responsible because of his against resulting in the death of Trayvon. Zimmerman was not mentally competent to be carrying a gun or Cont...

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 9:01 AM

Cont... who he felt kept getting away with. The rest of everything else has been brought into a racial profiling by the media which spread to the public. Never did he say it's another Black, Asian, Hispanic, White Ass #$@% getting away with it again. Never did Zimmerman say he witnessed a crime. Zimmerman is completely in his right to call Police. Once he called Police, he did everything wrong after that. Did Zimmerman announce to Trayvon that he was the block watch person? Cont...

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 8:56 AM

Kyra Pulliam from San Francisco, there is no assumption about sagging pants. Zimmerman said to paraphrase, those ass @#&% are always getting away with it. I also said, possibly the same race but did not say Black. Zimmerman from what he said was tired of the same type of people getting away without being caught. As to what type of people Zimmerman was tired of people getting away with it is very subjective since he did not refer to what he meant on the tape of Cont...

OP Parent  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 7:18 AM

@Tom, you said everything I was going to say! Zimmerman clearly was not hurt in the video showing him being brought in right after the murder of Trayvon. And also let's remember that the dispatcher told Zimmerman not to follow Trayvon.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 6:49 AM

Sux - it appears that Zimmerman is closer in type to the Duke Lacrosse accuser. A video released yesterday of his booking shows no blood or marks anywhere on his head or face. But my issue is more with this stupid law that allows any Dirty Harry wannabe (like Zimmerman apparently) to decide for themselves who is a threat to them and permits them to use lethal force in response. Because of that law, unlike the Duke or Brawley case, we will never get to hear Trayvon's side of this story.

realitysux  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 1:50 AM

Trayvon was inside a gated community visiting his father's girlfriend. If the fathers girlfriend was black and lived in the same gated community as zimmerman, it would seem a stretch to say that zimmerman was a racist. Reports also indicate that he has called 911 almost 50 times in the past 7-8 years so he was clearly diligent and not necessarily focusing on the kids skin color, despite what the media tries to imply. Tawana Brawley and Duke lacrosse team should have taught them this.

realitysux  

Posted: March 29th, 2012 1:39 AM

With a single punch, Trayvon Martin decked the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who eventually shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old, then Trayvon climbed on top of George Zimmerman and slammed his head into the sidewalk, leaving him bloody and battered, law-enforcement authorities told the Orlando Sentinel. That is the account Zimmerman gave police, and much of it has been corroborated by witnesses, authorities say. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-03-26/news/os-trayvon-martin-zimme

Kyra Pulliam from San Francisco  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 11:46 PM

...(cont.) perpetrators who varied in race from white to hispanic to black. My question is, could you point me to the story that includes a description of the burglars as well as the story that details Trayvon's dress so precisely? All the reports that I have read only described him as wearing a hoodie, but says nothing about his pants sagging. Or was the latter part an assumption?

Kyra Pulliam from San Francisco  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 11:42 PM

Q from Oak Park -- I respect your rational and even-tempered response to the story. However something doesn't quite add up for me. You say that Trayvon fit the description of the perpetrators of recent burglaries, but I've listened to Zimmerman's 911 call and he did not say such a thing. I also did a (admittedly) quick perusal of the Sanford Herald and did not find any burglaries in the month leading up to Trayvon's murder that did not end in the arrest of the perpetrators...(cont.)

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:42 PM

Cont... Will it be racial profiling if people and the Police are looking for 2 Male Black's and 1 male Hispanic? They are the one's who did the crime, and it sure would save time not to be trying to find Chinese people dressed like the bad guys. It's just to easy to say everything is based only on the person's race. You have to go with what the description is and match it, and then investigate. Zimmerman was not qualified to do any of that.

Russ  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:40 PM

Zimmerman follows Trayvon. Trayvon figures out Zimmerman is following him, but doesn't know why. Trayvon probably thinks Zimmerman is some kind of pervert or something. Trayvon confronts Zimmerman for following him. Words exchanged and Trayvon beats up Zimmerman. In the process of getting his butt kicked, Zimmerman shoots Trayvon.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:38 PM

Done from Oak Park, you made the right choice and just recently in Brookfield, All of the offenders appeared to be about 20 years old, according to police. One was described as a black male wearing a red-and-black polo shirt, black framed glasses and a black beanie cap. The second was described as a tall black male wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and jeans, while the third was described as a tall Hispanic male wearing a basketball jersey - possibly an L.A. Lakers jersey - and jeans. Cont..

GUNZ KILL  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:38 PM

Take away the gun and you have no gun death.

Russ  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:38 PM

Trayvon was a victim of an overzealous neighbor. Race had nothing to do with this case directly. The neighborhood has suffered many break ins and other petty crimes. The perpetrators of said crimes overwhelmingly fit Trayvon's description - young, black, pants sagging, wearing hoodie. Sound familiar? Zimmerman is fed up with it and patrols the streets. Spots Trayvon. Had he listened to the dispatcher, cops would have come, questioned Trayvon and probably sent him on his way....

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:34 PM

Just this past Tuesday late afternoon, a group of about 6 or 7 black high school kids were walking across the street from my house passing a joint between them. Should I have followed them while calling the OP police and after giving the dispatcher all the information including the color of their underwear, wait to see who will confront who first?

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:29 PM

Cont... is not based on feelings, hunches, thoughts, etc.. It is based on facts and now the facts will be brought out and no longer concealed by a Police Department that obviously has some very wrong understandings on how to follow laws, and in the end, hopefully this will clean out the Police Department and new laws will be enacted to make sure anyone patrolling is mentally qualified for doing so.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:26 PM

Cont... There is no law against not listening to a dispatcher, so that does not enter into law. It's enters into common sense which Zimmerman lacked. If this was a struggle over the gun that caused the gun to fire, it will be involuntary manslaughter. If he shot Trayvon because he felt threatened by Trayvon, then it seems plausible that it could go either with manslaughter or not. Will that be justice to a Country who never even knew Trayvon or Zimmerman? Probably not, but the law Cont...

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:23 PM

Cont... if the White man was a Hispanic man shot. There are all types of scenarios that can be talked about, but what is at issue is a young man who fit the profile of other people who have been breaking into homes in the area by Zimmerman. Nothing at all to do with racism. It was a matter of profiling by a hope to be Police Officer named Zimmerman who made the worst mistake he could have by pursuing Trayvon after being told by the dispatcher he did not want him to do that. Cont...

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:21 PM

I'm not sure what your point is, Dan. Of course, the murders you cited were an outrage and should give all us pause to question how and why our society is so violent and that so many innocent suffer as a result. You must understand that Trayvon Martin's death has drawn national attention due to the fact that this young man was the victim of race profiling.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:20 PM

Cont... when deciding not to process the shooting as any other shooting would be processed. They may have accepted the fact that Black males have been breaking in to homes in the area and left it at that. I'm sure everyone knows that the Chief of Police is Black, so that could not be considered anything racist. Some have said in the media if this was a White person shot by a Black person, that Black person would have been arrested and charged. Would that also be true Cont...

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:16 PM

Cont... People make the mistake that a gun will give people the authority to make them do anything they say. That is not so and Zimmerman now knows that. Regardless of what Trayvon may have done in regards to defending his right against Zimmerman, Zimmerman did not have any legal right to point a weapon at Trayvon. Zimmerman never has said anything that indicated that he witnessed Trayvon committing any crime. The police involved and the Chief of Police have made a terribly wrong decision Cont..

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:13 PM

Cont... The only racial profiling that took place is that Zimmerman knew that people dressed like Trayvon, and possibly the same race as Trayvon, where responsible for break in's at the area Zimmerman was suppose to be watching. The media has a hot story to go with and the media will continue referring Zimmerman as White, but the fact is, Zimmerman is Hispanic, with Black family members. Cont...

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:10 PM

I agree with you, Lucille and wonder if an unarmed George Zimmerman would have exited his truck and confronted Trayvon Martin.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:10 PM

Cont... to be patrolling his neighborhood. As for carrying a gun, they have the right to carry guns in Florida. Regardless if Trayvon struck out at Zimmerman when Zimmerman intended to detain Trayvon for the Police, he had no legal right to do so. Zimmerman was wrong to not follow the direction of the 911 dispatcher, and if you notice the difference between the dispatcher and Zimmerman, you will notice the professionalism and clarity with which the dispatcher did his job. Cont...

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:06 PM

If you listened to the 911 call, you would know Zimmerman by saying these Ass #@$! are always getting away is referring to people that resembled Trayvon, as one of those bad guys and seemed to have enough of it. Zimmerman also went through a 4 month Police course but was not competent enough to give a good description, or even his own location, so it's obvious Zimmerman didn't benefit from the 4 month course so it's easy enough to say he was in no one qualified to be a Cont...

Dan Hefner from Oal Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 3:06 PM

The weekend the story broke there were 39 wounded and 10 killed in Chicago. Last night 3 men were shot to death in an apartment on the south side. Where is the outrage?

Lucille Bates  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 2:43 PM

I, for one, don't want an armed Zimmerman-type patrolling my block, and calling 911 everytime his untrained eyes see something he thinks might be on drugs. On my block, that guy would be more likely to shoot a dad with a few drinks in him (alcohol is a drug)walking don the street than catching a burglar. JJ, Sharpton have the NRA and FOX on the other side. Forget those with an ax to grind on both sides and focus on the facts.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 2:27 PM

Jim, I don't know how many Bohemian jokes I lived through in my youth and I learned that humor can be found anywhere. Oak Park is as tolerant a community as you will find yet we blame the failure of groups at the high school on racism and all of the other excuses for not taking personal responsibility.

Russ  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 2:25 PM

This case is just tragic all around. Unfortunately, the non-stop media coverage and race baiting will not lead to justice for Trayvon or Zimmerman.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 2:17 PM

Ray, I don't know what it's like to be judged solely on the color of your skin. My family immigrated from Ireland and faced discrimination. My parents strongly objected to images portraying people of irish descent as drunkards and ner do wells. But it's not the same. I support the many thousands who are taking a stand against race profiling and how it relates to this tragic case. I refer folks to "12 Angry Men" as excellent example of how prejudice obscures the truth.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 1:43 PM

Jim, As I said there is no good outcome, The one sided rants we hear from Bobby Rush, Maxine Waters, Sharpton and Jackson only serve to build a case for racial tension. I sure don't know what went through Zimmermans mind and given a 'do over' I bet his actions would be different. Who knows what he was thinking - I sure don't and I don't justify what happened but when you get the likes of Maxine Waters demanding "hate Crime" action I wonder who is making the most of a bad situation. I just think that race baiters in the black community do not serve their people well. Law enforcement let us down but so have our congressional members as well as the spokesmen for our black citizens.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 1:39 PM

Dooper 58, race profiling does exist in this country and should not be tolerated as an acceptable practice. You express your displeasure with the actions of Sharpton and Jackson but have to recognize that people of all races and across the country are taking a stand because a young man was stalked by an armed man based upon his appearance. Trayvon Martin was not engaged in any criminal activity when George Zimmerman spotted him. What happened next was the result of the shooter ignoring an order.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 1:26 PM

Ray, I believe that if Mr. Zimmerman had obeyed the 911 operator's directive "not to follow" that Trayvon Martin be alive today. We should both be able to agree that the local police failed to conduct a proper investigation by not drug/alcohol testing the shooter. We know the lab results showed the victim was not under the influence. The leaks that have surfaced are designed to discredit the young man and distract attention from incompetence displayed by law enforcement.

Dooper 58 from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 10:48 AM

Ray, you are absolutely correct. This is a horrible event, but the circus that has been created by the usual suspects (Jackson, Sharpton) is insipid. Apparently, some folks' standing (& the income it generates) as "leader" is more important than the truth. None of us here in OP know anything remotely truthful about either the young man or the man who killed him, so let's cool the rush to judgement & let the wheels of justice turn. A slow process, but it's a better solution than vigilante-ism.

Ray Simpson from Oak park  

Posted: March 28th, 2012 9:52 AM

Any child's death is a tragedy, however, as the story unfolds facts don't support the racism based timeline events. This story feeds hand wringing, quick to judge myopic declarations of victim status that might just be wrong! I understand that the police wanted to charge the shooter with manslaughter but prosecutors claimed that the facts were at odds with the perception. We now see our own residents assigning martyr status to a kid who may have been more responsible for the events than is convenient to their beliefs. Remember that if you are wrong, a new victim has been created and either way these events will forever change his life. He was after all serving his community without compensation. From neighborhood volunteer to monster in a few seconds. Any of us could fall into this trap and be reviled as racist for serving our community. There is no good end to this story, but, making it worse by jumping to conclusions serves no good purpose. The "dead or alive" bounty, by the black panthers sure shades the story in my mind.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 27th, 2012 11:41 PM

Trayvon will be remembered forever. So Sad.

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2017

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2017 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.


            
SubscribeClassified
MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad