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Remembering Trayvon Martin: Economic Sanctions Against Florida, An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Remembering Trayvon Martin: Economic Sanctions Against Florida, An Idea Whose Time Has Come

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Published by Rbg Street Scholar
Remembering Trayvon Martin: Economic Sanctions Against Florida, An Idea Whose Time Has Come.
http://theblacklistpub.ning.com/profiles/blogs/remembering-trayvon-martin-economic-sanctions-against-florida-an-
Remembering Trayvon Martin: Economic Sanctions Against Florida, An Idea Whose Time Has Come.
http://theblacklistpub.ning.com/profiles/blogs/remembering-trayvon-martin-economic-sanctions-against-florida-an-

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Published by: Rbg Street Scholar on Jul 27, 2013
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08/02/2013

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Remembering Trayvon Martin: Economic Sanctions Against Florida, An Idea Whose Time Has Come
 
Remembering Trayvon Martin: Economic Sanctions AgainstFlorida, An Idea Whose Time Has Come.
Dr. Ron Daniels
 
Source:TheBlackList-Publisheron July 27, 2013
 
 
Remembering Trayvon Martin: Economic Sanctions Against Florida, An Idea Whose Time Has Come
 
In a recent article I called for economic sanctions against Florida to compel business and political leaders in that state to
change the “StandYour Ground Law” which provided the basis for the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin.
There are times whenthere is a convergence of ideas, a meeting of minds, such that a particular strategy has the potential to galvanize a movement to achieve amajor victory. It appears that such a convergence of ideas has occurred around at least one strategy to translate the anger and frustrationover the Zimmerman verdict into justice in the Trayvon Martin tragedy
Economic Sanctions/Boycott Florida.
The idea is not a RonDaniels idea or Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) call but one that is on the minds of Black people all across the country.Dr. Patricia Newton, President Emeritus, National Association of Black Psychiatrists was so outraged by the Zimmerman verdict that shecancelled a $1 million dollar contract she was about to sign for a conference in Florida. When I asked an elderly Black professional couple Imet at Penn Station in Baltimore [who were returning from a conference in Jacksonville, Florida] whether they would be going back to
Florida next year… Before I could get the wo
rds out of my mouth, the wife defiantly proclaimed that they discussed the murder of TrayvonMartin at the conference and had already resolved that they would not hold another convention in that state until there is justice in this case!Then music legend Stevie Wonder
issued a statement at a concert in Canada proclaiming “until the Stand Your Ground Law is abolished, I will
 
never perform there again.” Since his pronouncement Eddie LaVert, Stephanie Mills, Dionne Warwick and Mary Mary are among the
art istswho have publicly come out saying they will not perform in Florida until this abhorrent law has changed. While celebrities like Stevie Wonderprovide credibility for the Boycott, it will be the actions of the multitude of conscious/committed convention goers, vacationers andconsumers that will make the campaign effective. Economic sanctions against Florida is an idea whose time has come.Just as Katrina ripped the scab off and exposed the raw naked structural/institutional racism in distressed Black neighborhoods in Americalike those in New Orleans, the murder of Trayvon Martin has ripped the scab off the persistent phenomenon of the criminalization of youngBlack men, racial profiling, stop-and-frisk and the structural/institutional racism
in America’s criminal justice system. The problem is that
despite episodic protests and periodic mobilizations, there has not been a persistent sense of urgency in Black America about these issues.The murder of Trayvon Martin may be a decisive turning point.One week after the Zimmerman verdict, rallies and prayer vigils were held across the country to demand that the Justice Department bring
criminal charges against George Zimmerman for violating Trayvon Martin’s civil rights. While we agree that this is
a righteous strategy,there is a high probability that the Justice Department will not find sufficient racial animus in the proceedings to justify bringing charges.However, even if the Justice Department does find sufficient cause to bring charges, I contend that the economic sanctions/boycott Floridacampaign is necessary.At the end of the day, not only must we seek a conviction of Zimmerman, we must also indict and fight to change the law that is so flawedthat it would permit an armed adult to pursue a
n unarmed teenager deemed “suspicious” and permit a grown man to kill a kid who fearfully
sought to stand his ground against a menacing stranger. Fighting to change this flawed law is about justice for Trayvon Martin, but it is alsoabout all of the Trayvons in the state of Florida and across the nation who are victims of criminalization and racial profiling. It is about Blackpeople consciously and collectively standing our ground against the attacks on the gains of the civil rights/human rights/Black powermovements, the abandonment and disinvestment in distressed Black communities and the daily indignities we have quietly suffered for fartoo long. In his last speech the night before he was assassinated in Memphis, Dr. Martin Luther Kingurged Black people to use boy cotts to
 
achieve justice. He said, “now we must kind of redistribute the pain.” As IBW said in its Press Release on this issue, “Blacks and all people of
conscience and good will should inflict some non-violent pain on the state of Florida and keep inflicting it until business leaders and thepoliticians scream for help a
nd plead for the economic sanctions to be lifted.”
 
But, to achieve our goal we need a targeted (notscattered/shotgun) approach to succeed.
 

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