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Black hooded youth bring new spin to political activism

caines | 3/29/2012, 5:01 a.m.

Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin has been dead for almost one month but his shooter remains free. Police reports indicate that at some point, the 28-year-old shooter, George Zimmerman, felt threatened by the young boy and so he got out of his car and after some kind of confrontation, shot and killed him. In the last several days, Black high school students from Carol City to Miami Edison, have walked out of classes and taken to the the streets to show their support of the murdered youth exercising their civic rights. This is a watershed moment in the history of Miami, Florida and our nation. And while we do not profess to be legal experts or seasoned criminal investigators, we find it hard to swallow what Sanford police continue to feed to the family of the slain boy and to the public that they lack sufficient evidence to arrest the shooter. Unfortunately for young Trayvon, its only the shooters word against his and the dead are unable to plead their case. Young adults have said that the shooting of Trayvon has has served as a stark reminder that despite having a Black family in the White House, that we still live in a country where Blacks are stereotyped and assumed to be dangerous or suspicious simply because of the color of their skin or the clothes they wear. We are proud of our children and are convinced that this is a teachable moment unlike any they have ever experienced in their lifetime. But for older Blacks, this is just one more example of the insidious nature of racism in America and how those in power tend to devalue the lives of our men, women and yes, even our children. Have things really changed so much in the U.S. since the days of Emmett Tills lynching or are young Black boys still our most endangered species? You make the call.