This February will make five years since the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. His death became one of the country’s most prominent cases of racial profiling and thrusted the teenager’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin onto the national stage. As protests erupted across the country, Martin’s murder also reignited conversations about racism that helped to birth the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, in an interview with USA Today, Fulton and Martin announce they’re both toying with the idea of entering the political arena.
“Before I was just comfortable with my average life, but now I feel like I’m just obligated to be part of the change,” Fulton said. “The only way we can be part of the change is if we start with local government and we work our way up.”
When asked how far up, Fulton said she’s not putting a cap on her political aspirations.
“It could go all the way to the White House,” she said, “Though it would begin with a bid for, say, city or county commission.”There’s no limitations. I think once you embark on a journey, you don’t minimize your goal; you want to maximize your goals. So you start on the local level and then you work your way up and hopefully it will take us to a place where we can help more than just local, more than just state. National. That would be the focus.”
On Feb. 26, 2012, while visiting his father in Sanford Florida, Trayvon was returning from the local convenience store and was followed by then neighborhood watchmen George Zimmerman who was instructed by a 911 operator to not exit the vehicle and pursue Martin. Zimmerman than confronted Martin, which set off a deadly confrontation resulting in Martin’s death. It would take nearly six weeks before Zimmerman would be arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Zimmerman would later be acquitted of his crime.
Martin and Fulton both say with the election of Donald Trump they fear this administration will make it easier for law enforcement to harass and potentially kill minorities. Shortly after Trump was sworn in, a statement was posted that outlined this new administration’s position about police.
“The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong,” the statement said. “The Trump administration will end it.”
Martin said after hearing the statement, things won’t get better for the nation. “I think from the statements being made, we won’t progress; we’ll be going backwards,” Martin said.