Conservatives comment on not guilty verdict

By Project 21 | 8/8/2013, 2:36 p.m.

Christopher Arps

“Although George Zimmerman was acquitted, there are no winners in this tragic case. A teenager is deceased and a young man's family is mourning. Zimmerman will never have a normal life again. I call for all sides to respect the verdict reached by a jury of his peers and honor Trayvon's memory by letting peace prevail in the streets.”

Arps is a managing partner of a digital media and political consulting firm and a co-founder of the Black political networking website Move-On-Up.org.

Derryck Green

“ To celebrate justice rendered in this case is not an admission or an articulation that Trayvon Martin deserved what happened to him that fateful night in February of 2012. As most will acknowledge, it's a sad and unfortunate thing that Martin lost his life and that his parents had to bury their son. The jury ruled — considering the evidence presented — rightly in my opinion. George Zimmerman is innocent of the filed charges against him. Despite the considerable emotion surrounding this case, justice has been served. It is not 'justice for Trayvon.' Nor is it 'justice for George.' It is simply justice.”

Derryck Green, a student, has a M.A. in Theological Studies and is currently pursuing his doctorate in ministry.

Coby Dillard

"The justice system did what it is supposed to do — get to the bottom of what happened. Agree or not, our system works. George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin by his own admission. He has to live with that, and I believe God will judge him for that action. But the jury decided that action did not rise to the level of manslaughter or murder. I accept and respect that. We all should, whether or not we agree with it."

Coby Dillard is a founder of the Hampton Roads Tea Party in southern Virginia, a regular columnist for the Norfolk Virginian Pilot and a Navy veteran.

Emery McClendon

“We must stop looking at issues from a racial context and stand together as one America — with God as our strength. To use a familiar phrase these days, let's not stay 'stuck on stupid' and move on to heal our land. We have so much to be thankful for. For too long, people such as the NAACP's Ben Jealous and Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have spoke out in hate and ignorance and found placement in the media. It's time to stop the madness. We must turn the tide. If we put as much time into restoring our Constitution as we did into the Zimmerman trial, America would be a better place for all of us.”

McClendon is a Project 21 member and tea party activist.

Lisa Fritsch

“Despite a not guilty verdict, we must remember that George Zimmerman is not truly free. This trial will forever remain in his mind for his remaining days. Our hope should be that this trial and verdict will unite the Florida community and this country and be a healing testimony to what happens when we think the worst of one another first. In this case, it felt as if our very country were on trial for racial prejudice. The not guilty verdict should make us reflect on what it means to give the benefit of the doubt before judging harshly and deciding one's actions are racially motivated.”

Fritsch is a member of Project 21 as well as a tea party activist, author and talk radio host.

Hughey Newsome

“Everything about the verdict can be wrapped up by considering the post-verdict comments of Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O'Mara.

While many may feel that O'Mara's comment about charges not being filed against Zimmerman if Zimmerman were Black may seem insensitive and oblivious, his subsequent comments about the need for a civil rights discussion in regards to Black males are timely despite his feeling it is irrelevant to this case. This gets us no closer to solving the problem at hand.”

Newsome, a Project 21 member, is a financial expert and also the Washington representative for the Move-On-Up.org Black political organization.

Project 21 was formed in 1992 when the riots following the verdict in the Rodney King case revealed a need to highlight the diversity of opinion within the Black community. For over 20 years, the volunteer members of the Project 21 Black leadership network have provided conservative and free-market perspectives that, until that time, were largely unknown or ignored by the establishment media.