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Vanessa Baden

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What Students Are Doing for Trayvon This Easter Weekend

Posted: 04/ 6/2012 7:26 pm

It is holy week. Across the nation and world people are gearing up to celebrate and reflect on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It seems that America as a whole has found new meaning for the word. The Faith Community is gathered in Texas for the Esther Call, a multi-denominational resurrection of the anti-abortion movement. Every political party is setting their gazes on general elections, in hopes to resurrect the economy and the country. But where are the young people? Many would say that my generation is somewhere being apathetic or disengaged. Because they don't "make us like they used to" we are not fully apart, though we may support, many of those issues. The belief is that we are disinterested, misinformed and under stimulated.

Contrary to popular belief, we understand well. This weekend, we are proving it.

Students from across the state of Florida and the nation have gathered to trek 40 miles from Daytona to Sanford, Florida to call for justice around the killing of Trayvon Martin. We have flown in from jobs in Los Angeles and Amsterdam, driven in from campuses in North Carolina and Alabama, and wrapped up homework early and sacrificed a long holiday weekend to be here. We have clear and concise goals. Purpose. Tactics. Some have been trained by the NAACP, SEIU, Children's Defense Fund, Southern Poverty Law Center, and various other organizations, while others have no experience; just commitment. Far from the apathy our generation is so often labeled with.

The same types of labels that killed Trayvon.

We know what it feels like to be tried in the court of public opinion before we ever open our mouths. We understand exactly what happened to Trayvon that infamous night some 40 days ago because it happens to us daily. Maybe we are not targeted as criminals, but we have been targeted as a generation lost, a generation unaware, and wasted talent and potential. Targeted by some of the same people reading this. That is why there is no condemnation here. We are not calling for a public lynching of George Zimmerman. We are not trying to crucify the shooter or try him in the court of public opinion. We know all too well what that feels like. What we are doing is standing in solidarity for justice. Just like we are demanding the stage to be given a chance to show and prove ourselves innocent of any charges other generations have placed on us, we believe that the alleged should have the same opportunity.

In order for that process to start, an arrest has to be made.

Our futures were apprehended in the minds of so many that came before us when they discovered that our main forms of communication are social media. We are now using social media to broadcast a movement. Innocent. We were questioned and detained about our sincerity and commitment to bettering our world when they discovered that some (not all) of our music and media is less than desirable. We are now using music, media, and artists to help spread the calls for justice. Innocent. We filed an appeal and overturned the conviction that there was no one to pass the torch to; to lead the free world after this generation passes when few of us showed up at voting booths and political pep rallies. Our appeal was a one-word document: Obama. Innocent. We are free to step into our destiny, our rightful place as the new leaders of America and proud members of a Hip-Hop Generation made up of multiple generations. We respect authority, we love and honor our mentors and elders who have come before us, and still have our own views and changes that we are ready to make. We too were arrested, tried, and this weekend proven innocent. We are resurrecting a generation.

It is time for the justice system to show itself impartial and to allow the process to begin for the alleged. We went through the process. So should he.