Trayvon Martin’s Backers Splintered Over Possible Reforms


In the two weeks since George Zimmerman’s acquittal, the same activists galvanized by his trial are finding it hard to focus the energy of the Trayvon Martin movement, NPR reports. For 16 months, supporters rallied behind a common goal: Make sure Zimmerman stood before the bar of justice. After the acquittal, that united front has splintered.

Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, wants federal legslation “that says you can’t simply profile our children, shoot them in the heart, kill ’em, and say you were defending yourself.” Celebrities like Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, and Madonna call for a boycott of Florida because of its far-reaching Stand Your Ground gun laws. Cornell Belcher, a Democratic strategist, says the Justice for Trayvon movement could take a page from the playbook of the Tea Party. “You know what the Tea Party would do?” he asks. “They would organize and put pressure on these state legislators who were not where they wanted them to be. And if they won’t change this law, then we’ve got to raise money and we’ve got to primary them.”

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