Trayvon Martin’s Father On Black Lives: “We Are On A Brink Of Extinction”

Trayvon’s the African-American boy who galvanized the country against racial profiling and the murder of innocent black people.

On Tuesday night at the 30th Annual Charles W. Kegley Memorial Institute of Ethics at California State Bakersfield, Tracy Martin, father of Trayvon Martin, reflected on his slain son’s life and spoke about crime in African-American communities.

Speaking at the institute almost four years after Trayvon was gunned down by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, Martin spoke about his son’s life and added that he should be remembered “not as the iconic image of the hoodie, but as the African-American boy who galvanized the country.”

Martin spoke about life after his son’s murder saying people consider him a celebrity for his efforts to pursue justice against the system that is skewed against Black people.

“Everywhere I go, people say ‘you’re a celebrity.’ I beg to differ. I’m a father who cares about his kids. If I was to sit here and tell you guys that I’m a celebrity, then I am just as guilty as the man who pulled the trigger and killed an innocent,” he said.

Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, who together with Martin has discussed police brutality, race and crime in the media, said Martin could not bring himself to say Zimmerman’s name throughout the course of the lecture.

Speaking on crime in Black communities, Martin admonished African-Americans to “stop throwing away that letter from the clerk of courts that says ‘jury duty.’ ”

He highlighted the connection between poverty and intra-community violence, and also emphasized the need for jobs saying the only way to stop crime related deals is through provision of jobs in the African-American communities by the government.

“Until the government steps in and says ‘here’s jobs,’ and comes down with a plethora of jobs for us, we in the African-American communities gonna be lost,” Martin said. “We gonna keep killing one another. I tell people all the time that we are committing genocide.”

His speech also called on Black people to pay more attention to violence in their communities and make efforts to end it.

“We’re on the brink of extinction at the way these shootings and killings are going on. We keep the funeral homes and the penal system in business. When are we going to wake up? I’m a realist. We can’t sit up and scream that Black lives matter at any other ethnicity group if Black lives don’t matter to Black people.”

The loss of their son made them turn their faces to activism, and as they are people, who suffered through such a tragedy themselves, who didn’t lose their reason and dignity, there is a chance, that people on both sides will listen to them.

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