Next Steps in Honoring Trayvon Martin: It's Time for Systemic Reform

Today, our thoughts are with Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, whose young son was taken from them far too soon.

Last night's verdict casts serious doubt on whether the legal system truly provides equal protection of the laws to everyone regardless of race or ethnicity.

This case reminds us that it is imperative that the Department of Justice thoroughly examine whether the Martin shooting was a federal civil rights violation or hate crime. We call on Attorney General Eric Holder to release strengthened guidance on the use of race in federal law enforcement. We also urge Congress to pass the End Racial Profiling Act. These specific actions would go a long way to ameliorate the widespread problem of racial profiling. We need solutions not only in Trayvon Martin's case, but also systemic reform.

Learn more about racial justice and other civil liberties issues: Sign up for breaking news alertsfollow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

View comments (25)
Read the Terms of Use

Anonymous

Sad to see the ACLU participating in the racial McCarthyism going on at the Department of Justice as insisted upon by the NAACP. There was no evidence of racial profiling on the part of George Zimmerman.

But what if there were? You have access to the same FBI statistics the rest of us do. You watch the same nightly news programs we do. At least some ACLU employees certainly live in the same neighborhoods we do.

And yet like the NAACP, the ACLU expects us to ignore the fact that 12.86% of the population is responsible for 48% of violent crime in our country. You want to make the very instinct of self preservation a crime.

There's a problem in this country all right, but it's not with the perception of African American culture. It's with the reality of African American culture. Asking us to ignore reality because it's "politically correct" won't change anything.

Anonymous

I have been a member of the ACLU for ten years, but your handling of this case has really made me lost respect for the organization. Our legal system is founded on the idea that citizens are innocent until proven guilty, yet you would rather go along with the majority liberal opinion over what is legally and morally just. There is no evidence of this being due to race, just as there is no evidence of the killing not being in self-defense. Why must you continue to incite resentment, division, and anger?

Anonymous

On profiling, how in the world are you or anyone going to stop me from rendering a profile, which is based on observations and the state of my mind. There is absolutely no way you can stop me from rendering a judgement on what I observe. I profile people every single day because I am aware of what is going on around me, it is normal because I pay attention. I rendered a judgment that the ACLU has "judged" to be racial profiling. Exactly who in the hell made you the judge and jury on what a person thinks and believes. The ACLU intentionally perpetrates racial division by polarizing people and keeping hate alive for the purpose of making money. You have just been profiled! Now stop me from thinking that.

HM, Seattle, WA

Anonymous

This case has nothing to do with race despite Sharpton and others of his ilk trying to make it so. Racebaiting is how he makes his living. Martin circled around, accosted Zimmerman, and sucker punched him just like you would expect a thug to do. He would be alive today if he hadn't started the fight and began pummeling Zimmerman. If Zimmerman hadn't been able to reach his gun, he might be the one lying in the morgue.

Anonymous

May we now assume that there is "the presumption of Guilt" and that all persons who stand accused must "prove they are innocent" ?

It would seem from the viewpoint of the ACLU this is now the case.
I do not know how the ACLU will ever overcome the shame of this historic event. The People no longer trust the ACLU to put forth an unbiased effort on behalf of the civil liberties of The People.

Pages

Stay Informed