As a grand jury considers evidence concerning the actions of Darren Wilson, both Michael Brown’s shooting and the death of Trayvon Martin are being compared in speeches given by Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Dr. Arun Gandhi, Al Sharpton, and others. They believe the link that connects these cases is racism and that prejudice has led to an increase in violence.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, Robert Zimmerman is planning a Zimmerman family reality TV show and a line of self-defense products called Brand Z. George Zimmerman may still face hate crime charges for the shooting of Trayvon Martin, but experts believe it is unlikely to happen.
The debate over the Michael Brown shooting has led acclaimed writer Greil Marcus to proclaim that when George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, and when Darren Wilson shot Mr. Brown, that they were both subconsciously “killing Barack Obama” when they shot the young black men. A similar theme about racism in American was woven by playwrights in central Florida, with producer Beth Marshall claiming that if Trayvon had been white like her son, then he would still be alive today.
The theme of intertwining all of these various shootings was made even more blatant when Al Sharpton gave his opinion on Darren Wilson’s testimony.
“We were involved in Trayvon Martin. We were supportive of Jordan Davis… The strange thing is that all of them used the same excuse… The only gun there was Darren Wilson’s! Strange parallels with all of these cases.”
When Dr. Arun Gandhi addressed a crowd of hundreds gathered in a march, he claimed the 30 percent rise in the number of annual homicides in St. Louis was tied to racism.
“We have looked at it only as racism, and racism is a byproduct of prejudice,” he said, according to St Louis Public Radio. “Prejudice exists in every one of us, whether we are black, white, brown, yellow. Whatever our color, wherever we come from, we have prejudice. It is those prejudices that spawn these kinds of byproducts like racism and gender disparities and homophobia.”
Retired police officer Jeff Roorda is a manager for the St. Louis Police Officers Association claims that police are not necessarily putting extra scrutiny on young black men.
“Even if there’s not any truth to it, the fact that the perception is out there sort of becomes the reality,” says Roorda. “We put police where crime is, and we saturate areas where we’re trying to displace crime. And through no fault of their own, a lot of young black men are right in the middle of that. There’s a disconnect that’s undeniable between police and urban communities. There’s distrust on both sides.”
According to NPR, Jeffrey Barnes, a retired St. Louis city police commander, claims that police are not being racist if they defend themselves.
“Our job is to protect and serve,” Barnes says. “And for individuals to call policemen racist for trying to defend themselves — to defend their lives — that’s absolutely despicable.”
What do think about the debate over racism and the shootings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown?
[Image via Major Indie Art]