Many Sanford residents are frustrated, angry and deeply saddened over the verdict, and these emotions are connected to long-festering issues in the community. Such feelings cannot be swept aside. There must be room for people to express their views and for others to hear and feel them.
Death is horrible enough. But systematic injustice -- one that allows white boys to assume success, yet leads black boys to cower from the very institutions created to protect our own wellbeing -- is a travesty.
For those in the black community it was a story heard far too many times. The Trayvon Martin case re-opened old wounds. What have we learned is very clear, that the need for racial healing is still greatly needed.
George Zimmerman has created a website ostensibly to "thank" his supporters and to raise funds for his living and legal expenses. It's never a good sign when your attorneys quit and you start pleading your case in the court of Sean Hannity and Fox News.
All of last week, I was in Sanford, Florida, pursuing justice for Trayvon Martin. I listened to community concerns about the Sanford Police Department, and stood with Trayvon's parents and 30,000 others in Sanford, a town with only 50,000 residents.
Just like Trayvon Martin, I sometimes like to have a bag of candy, often Skittles, as I walk home or to a friend's house. Just like Trayvon Martin, I often put my hood on. But unlike Trayvon Martin, I have never been followed, stopped, or shot at by police.
What is more shocking than the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is that a statute of Florida law, referred to as "Stand your Ground," precluded the shooter from facing immediate legal repercussions.
My son is African-American, wears hoodies, eats Skittles and now must come to understand, at a tender age, why he, too, might be targeted as a dangerous threat. The Trayvon Martin case will be a turning point and teaching moment for many of our children.