Obama, Trayvon, and Campaign Money
When it comes to George Zimmerman's acquittal, President Barack Obama needs to go much further. Saying "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago" is not enough.
Although it was nice to see the commander in chief finally address the nation about his blackness, it's time for him to crank up his political fundraising machine — the one that gathered close to a half-billion dollars to get him re-elected — to set up a super PAC that confronts the inequality African-Americans face in the 21st Century.
If Obama is serious about stopping white vigilantes from claiming self-defense when they kill unarmed black teenagers, the prez needs to call up his boy Jay-Z and ask for some of the profits from Magna Carta... Holy Grail to get rid of politicians responsible for Stand Your Ground laws. Put me in charge of the hit list.
I'll start with U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, a South Florida African-American pol who voted for the controversial law in 2005. Wilson, who at the time was a state senator, now claims she would have voted differently because she never imagined someone would invoke Stand Your Ground to kill an unarmed 17-year-old black boy. In the wake of Martin's death, she has been front and center at rallies, demanding Tallahassee repeal or make changes to the measure they once supported. Wilson has been demanding that the U.S. Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Zimmerman.
That will not wash her hands of Trayvon's blood. She didn't have the backbone to vote against the law the first time because she was afraid of taking on the National Rifle Association and its lobbyists.
We need a super PAC to fight NRA influence and educate African-Americans about why it is wrong to continue voting for politicians like Wilson.
If change is to come, Obama needs to put his money where his mouth is.
Correction: This column originally reported that state Sen. Chris Smith voted for Stand Your Ground. In fact, he voted against it as a member of the House of Representatives in 2005.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.
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