A couple of months ago the nation was rocked with the death of Trayvon Martin. A young kid was killed in what looked like a hate crime, while the killer, George Zimmerman ran free. His freedom was attributed to a “stand your ground” law passed at the request of ALEC, the NRA, and other special interests. A child who did nothing more but walk down a street with Skittles and iced tea was murdered, a family left to mourn. What truly set this case apart, however, was that people rose up. In millions, people shared articles and spread the word. The outrage even forced ALEC to stop pushing for “Stand Your Ground” laws in other states. Finally, George Zimmerman got a trial, solely due to public pressure. About two months later, we get another glimpse of hope, a story of compassion from those labeled as the “enemy.”
This story comes from Miami-Dade County, where Trayvon Martin’s mom, Sybrina Fulton is a public employee. You know the “enemy” according to Rick Scott and Scott Walker? It seems that around Mothers Day, Fulton’s co-workers felt she needed time to mourn. It was then that they began collecting paid vacation time. And donate they did. According to the Miami Herald, 192 co-workers contributed vacation time allowing the county to give Fulton a gift: Eight months of paid vacation to mourn her son. Trayvon’s parents have already started a foundation, the Justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation aimed at repealing “Stand Your Ground” laws. The foundation has also stated they plan to seek repeal of “Castle Doctrine” laws, such as the one that lets Adam Kind run free after killing Bo Morrison in Wisconsin in a case equally as disgusting. Additionally they plan to teach conflict resolution in schools to help avoid violent situations altogether.
Now I know some will call Fulton a freeloader or accuse her of profiting off her son’s death, some already have. This is just sickening and inconsiderate to even suggest. But just so there was no doubt, the family took it a step further and pledged to not allow any pay from the foundation for their work above what they already get paid elsewhere. Thanks to the public employees of Miami-Dade County, Trayvon Martin’s mother can now mourn her son’s death. A death that should never have occurred, and one which the nation will not forget. While the family works to seek justice, we must do our part as well. Write your legislators and ask them to repeal “Stand Your Ground” or “Castle Doctrine” laws if you have them in your state. Share an article about Bo Morrison or anyone else who has been murdered while their killers continue to walk free. These laws will one day be seen as a black spot in history. So which side of history will you be on; the side that spoke up and tried to seek justice; or the side that sat back thinking it couldn’t or didn’t happen to someone they know, therefore they should not care? I choose to speak up. And you can too. Together we can all fight.
One day longer! One day stronger!
Segway Jeremy Ryan has become a full-time member of the protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Formerly a businessman, he gave up his business to join the fight for the middle class in the State of Wisconsin. He rides a Segway due to a heart condition. Through videos and writings he has informed hundreds of thousands of people about what was going on at the Wisconsin State Capitol once the mainstream media had mostly abandoned the protests. He has been arrested over 31 times for silently filming or holding up a sign in the Capitol.