Black legislators must be ready to stand "their" ground

admin | 4/12/2012, 5:30 a.m.

Since the murder of Trayvon Martin five weeks ago, almost every Black politician has their say about the controversial Stand Your Ground law. The irony is that some of the same people that are now saying the law needs to be reviewed, revised or even repealed, were once part of the legislative voice that ushered it in as one of Floridas laws and with very little opposition. But then, as many former and current politicians have emphasized, when the statute first became law, we were living in a very different Miami. Perhaps they are right. Yet, for all their justifications, its still difficult to understand why there was so little opposition to such an open-ended, ambiguously-stated law. But enough of criticizing decisions made in the past. Who among us has not changed our minds? Who among us had not seen the evidence of our actions or conclusions and then realized that maybe we moved in the wrong direction? Those who are currently members of the State House or Senate must step up to the plate and be the leaders that we elected. We have seen how much pain and injustice this law can cause. Soon the state's prosecutor will decide whether George Zimmerman should be charged. But what will still remain unresolved is a law that allows for vigilante actions of the highest degree. Citizens should clearly have the right to defend themselves. But from what we can gather, such laws guaranteeing the right for self-defense are already covered under other forms of legislation. Why then do we still need to allow Stand Your Ground to remain the law of the land? We need our Black elected officials, in fact all elected officials, to do the right thing now. We cannot afford to wait until after the August elections by that time another Trayvon Martin may have met their demise.