VIBE Asks College Students Their Opinions on the Trayvon Martin Case

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Vibe / March 21, 2012

Trayvon Martin is dead. The 17-year-old’s future was taken away in an instant, leaving us wondering, ‘why?’ He was a young man that loved his sports, wasn’t in the streets, and had a strong support system within his parents. When we look at the few pictures of Tray floating around the Internet, it’s hard to fathom what gunman George Zimmerman saw to make him shoot and kill such a bright young indvidual. Our hearts are heavy over at the VIBE offices, and we took time out to hit the campuses and see what you—the college kids and leaders of the new generation—think of this tragic case.—Keenan Higgins

“The Trayvon Martin case is a reminder of how lethal the legal and political environment is in the US today. Beyond the fact of race, this case is about being able to get away with cold-blooded murder. If we focus on race, unfortunately we will lose this case to a battle that history has shown will not and is not going away. Why? Because America has once again successfully perpetuated civil injustice. Trayvon Martin was an American citizen. He and his family deserve justice, not another case about race in America.” —Medgely Sanon, 23, Hunter College

“I feel that George Zimmerman should be charged with at least manslaughter, but I know with the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law and just the way the Amadou Diallo case was handled, I personally feel that unless Federal gets involved the state of Florida isn’t going to do anything about it. I feel like the court system generally protects people like cops and politicians—even neighborhood watch people like [Zimmerman].”—William Turner, 23, Pace University

“I think it’s fucked up, because you never hear about those things happening to white people or anybody else. Even among other minorites, [blacks are] getting looked at like we’re shady. Other minorites look at white people like nothing is wrong, but they look at us funny—and they’re in the same boat as us! We’re getting killed in the street, and people don’t even know about that! I just heard about [Trayvon Martin] because someone tagged me in it on Facebook. If [my friend] didn’t tag me in it, I wouldn’t have known. The media doesn’t want that to get out. They don’t want people to know about it! Sorry, that’s how I feel.”—Chloe Buckner, 20, Pace University

“I think the Trayvon Martin case is terrible. People don’t even give it the right light in media that it deserves. They’re trying to sugar-coat it. This kid was doing absolutely nothing [wrong]. He was a teenager. He wasn’t even a full adult. He was seventeen years old in his neighborhood, bothering no one, and a neighborhood watch guy—not even a cop—shoots him down? For what? For his own warped point of view and perspective of ethnic youth. It’s terrible”Kevin Morales, 23, Pace University

“I think it’s really fucked up, because it’s obviously racism. [Zimmerman] lied when he said [Trayvon] was a trespasser [on his property]. I think he deserves to go to jail for the rest of his life—dumbass.”—Natasha Hogg, 18, Fashion Institute Of Technology

This Trayvon Martin situation is another case in which Black America has to look around and ask themselves why are they the only ones who care. When a non-minority is kidnapped or commits a murder, it seems the justice system becomes color blind. Its a shame that a 17 year old boy minding his own business gets murdered because he’s black. This isn’t a black problem, it’s America’s problem. If it takes a social network firestorm to get some justice, then the system and the people inside of the system need to take a long hard look at themselves.—Malcolm Clark, 21, John Jay College Of Criminal Justice

To me, it once again just makes me sad to be American. Once again it’s clear that many Americans haven’t shed the racism this country was born with. Two hundred and thirty six years of being a country claiming equality for all, and teenagers of color can’t walk through a white neighborhood (I’m assuming) without being considered a delinquent of some kind. It’s events like this that people need to spread everywhere to make people realize that racism is still alive everywhere. Today there are significantly more minorities in prison than whites, and that’s not because of genetics—that pure racism! People don’t realize that. Hopefully Trayvon Martin’s [memory] can live on to make people aware of that.Michael McCarville, 20, Fordham University