07/13/2013

Statement from Civil Rights Memorial Center Director Lecia Brooks in Response to Verdict in Zimmerman Murder Trial

"Nearly 60 years after the murder of Emmett Till, the uncomfortable truth is that for some in this country, young men and boys of color are still considered disposable. Too often in our history, violence against black and brown men has been excused, and its perpetrators never brought to justice. 

Trayvon Martin represents the hundreds of thousands of African-American men and boys in Florida -- and indeed nationwide -- who are viewed by many in our society as criminal and dangerous. 

Today’s decision is a heartbreaking reminder that we still live in a culture that assumes that bad behavior is an inherent attribute of young Black youth. And that assumption plays out in policies that encourage communities to perceive black and brown children as threats – and to push kids out of schools and into danger. Sadly, the Zimmerman verdict has validated a racist double standard that paints black children as criminals for simply being kids."