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Let’s be clear: Florida isn’t safe for our families

Trayvon Martin: Murdered on Feb. 26 in Sanford, FL.Trayvon Martin: Murdered on Feb. 26 in Sanford, FL.Florida’s beaches and theme parks make it the top tourist destination in the United States. But based on certain recent events, it’s time for those of us making travel plans for the next couple of years to stop and re-think everything.

One thing is clear so far from the outrageous murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Florida: Our black children and teens are not safe when walking the streets in the so-called Sunshine State.

Reasonable Americans from the rest of the country need to send a message to our countrymen in Florida: Until you undo the ridiculous law that gave an armed predator a virtual license to blow away an unarmed minor on a public sidewalk – and then allowed him to walk away from the scene free from arrest – we will find another place to vacation and do business.

Legal experts say that George Zimmerman, the gunman who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, likely has a reasonable chance of beating any criminal charge lodged against him. That’s because current Florida law permits its citizenry to be armed and use lethal force to counter a perceived physical threat from another person in a public setting.

So, despite the fact that the unarmed teenager was the one who was stalked and accosted by a gun-packing vigilante, there’s a good chance that his murderer will be acquitted on the basis of current state law, in part because Trayvon Martin is dead and buried and can’t give his side of the story.

The public outcry from across the country over the failure of local authorities to arrest and prosecute Zimmerman for killing an innocent child is heartening. But it doesn’t go far enough.

Americans of all backgrounds – particularly black Americans – must mount a campaign to make Florida an outcast state based on the dangers inherent there to black children and teens that have been laid bare by this case. Until the state legislature and the governor repeal the so-called “Stand Your Ground” law, there should be a national boycott on tourist travel to Florida by popular entertainers, cruise lines, convention planners, and all others who have come to see that state as a premier destination for fun and relaxation under the sun.

Florida has declared open season on black children. It’s time for the rest of us to reciprocate by sending a message with our feet and our wallets.

Trayvon Martin, a kid with no criminal record whatsoever, is dead because a crazed “neighborhood watchman” found him “suspicious.” But until it gets its house in order, Florida is the real suspect in this case.

Comments

Words can calm and words can be incendiary, in your Opinion column,your words were the same as yelling Fire in a movie theater. I think that most Americans will agree that a tragedy happened in Florida. It is now up to the officials in Florida to investigate how a young man with Skittles and a can of ice tea was threatening to a man with a 9mm gun. The U.S Justice dept. is involved now about a possible civil rights violation. The public should wait until the U.S government and the Florida investigation conclude before making outrageous statements.
There are now 21 U.S States that have a similar law like Florida's " Stand your ground ". Should we boycott all of them or declare that " Florida has declared open season on black children. It's time for the rest of us to reciprocate by sending a message with our feet and our wallets." Should this be done for all the other states.
Was this the act of one man or the whole state of Florida. Has there been other incidents of this type in Florida ? How many ? One, two,ten, hundreds committed on only black children and no other race.
Let us not get to outrageous with condemning Florida.
Mr. Forry if you have an opinion about the law, express your views only on that. As a publisher you have a responsibility to the public to inform about issues in a fair and balanced way, not to hand out gasoline and matches and then turn your back and say that you were not responsible for the fire.