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Tio Hardiman

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Trayvon Martin's Homicide: A National Movement to Stop the Violence?

Posted: 03/25/2012 1:50 pm

I would like to applaud all of the professional athletes, celebrities, and community leaders for supporting Trayvon Martin's family through this difficult time of personal loss. It sends a strong message to the world when you see the NAACP, Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, NBA players, and the community at large coming out and taking a unified stance against the Stand Your Ground law. President Obama made a comment about Trayvon. Trayvon's killing should serve as a wake up call for the nation and the same leaders that showed up for Trayvon's family should also stand up for all of the young African American and Latino males that lose their lives to senseless acts of violence everyday across the United States.

The leading cause of death for African American males between the ages of 10-34 is homicide. If the African American brothers are not killing one another its people like George Zimmerman killing young African American males. During the weekend of Friday March 16 2012 to Sunday March 19, there were over 40 shootings in Chicago and 10 homicides, including the shooting death of a six-year-old Mexican American girl. There should have been over 30,000 people taking to the streets to denounce violence in the City of Chicago and supporting the family of Aliyah Shell and surprisingly this did not occur.

Imagine if NBA players, big time celebrities, and community activist were to unify and send a Twitter or Facebook message out everyday denouncing violence and President Obama could also send a message out encouraging young people to put their guns down the same way he made a comment about Trayvon Martin. This could serve as a catalyst for a national movement to reduce violence and help change behaviors associated with violence across the nation.

Numerous young men and young women would pay attention to all of the celebrities because they look up to them anyway. The Trayvon Martin killing has hit the same level of media attention similar to the beating death of Derrion Albert. However, there was no major support for Derrion as it relates to the entire country coming together to denounce violence. This appears to be a double standard. The shooting death of Trayvon Martin was dead wrong the same way the death of Derrion Albert and Aliyah Shell's premature deaths were wrong. There should be no classism or elitism at it relates to standing up for our youth. It appears that most people do not care about the many inner city youth that fall victim to senseless acts of violence.

It's time to show the nation that we all care about one another no matter the race, class, creed, or color. There were people from all walks of life joining forces with Trayvon Martin's family. Let's come together and start a national movement to help reduce the homicide rate for African American and Latino youth by 50% in 2012. Everybody across the world deserves a chance to stay alive and together we can make a big difference.