COMMUNITY VOICES | Zimmerman acquittal demonstrates that we can’t keep silent

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The “not guilty” verdict in the George Zimmerman trial was a striking blow to our hearts, but not something new. For centuries, African-Americans have received the clear message that our existence is something easily disposable and our dignity rarely valued. This case sends a shock wave to those who truly believed racism is no more; on the contrary, it is alive and well. Society may not call it by name, but they signal it through their actions. Trayvon Martin was unjustly profiled based on his skin color and outfit choice, and it lead to his death. That is a future cut short. That is a young man who could have changed the world, but because of a vicious cycle of discrimination, his life is no more. And he is one of many who have encountered the same and have ended up in prison or in the graveyard. We cannot keep silent as our youth lose their lives every day. From Oakland to Chicago, Detroit to Cincinnati, New York to Philadelphia, youth walk around with targets on their backs. We cannot be fully proud of a society that allows such atrocities to occur. Our youth are our most precious gifts; their innocence should be kept sacred and protected from danger of any sort. Justice for Trayvon. Justice for Terrance. Justice for all the youth who lives were lost due to a system that failed to protect them.

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