A protester reacts to a speech delivered in front of the LAPD police station in downtown Los Angeles. What sort of conversations are you having with your kids and/or friends regarding the Zimmerman verdict?
Last week's acquittal of George Zimmerman has prompted demonstrations in Los Angeles and across the country - and a flurry of discussion on social media. Many are expressing outrage. Some have criticized criminal acts attributed to protestors, saying that's not a fitting tribute to Trayvon Martin.
Here are some of responses:
“I don't have children, but the fact that it is common practice for the parents of African American children, particularly boys, to be 'debriefed' on proper conduct when conversing with law enforcement, as the attorney general spoke about this week, lets us know how very very real it is that black men have to be on guard from their own judicial and criminal system as they attempt to move through the world as positive citizens. Its a probably more common conversation than school education and sex education in African American homes, this is how real it is, its been a passed down conversation since back when the wording was 'make sure you have your freedom papers.' You can't measure the psychological damage of that reality in distorting an individuals perception of the world and their position in it as supposedly free.”—Cassandra Dow, Los Angeles
“As an African American male, I've been the focus of and now the purveyor of these conversations as long as I can remember. The Zimmerman case just drove the point home further. Now the kids know I wasn't just making things up to scare them.” —Anthony Rucker, Los Angeles
“We are talking about the days when police [used] to arrest young black men for really no reason. We also remember and [talk] about how we overcome this with our behavior. Wonder why the young African Americans will defy and challenge law enforcement? We wonder why the youth won’t take the proactive approach? The focus should be on education and making the community better.”—L P Simmons, Long Beach
“The conversation we are all having is all about race. Specifically about the historical legacy of slavery, one that little babies are born into, where people are treated as chattel, an exploitation of their labor for profit, based on color – that kind of legacy, and in all its different forms. We talk about the slave owners who subjugated for profit with the use of violence, degradation, subjugation and abuse – shivering in their beds at night, afraid, their worst nightmare a being Black Men for both men and women. That is the storyline behind the jurors' verdict, the underpinnings of the defense's case.”—Misa Joo, Eugene, Ore.
@KPCC rioting in response to this verdict is not the way to combat the problem; its silly and immature.— David Fair Jr (@DFJridesbikes) July 16, 2013
@KPCC Telling them to walk in numbers, stay away from strangers, run home don't stop. call 911 and report a stalker.— elizabeth allen (@spktruth200) July 15, 2013
"What conversations are you having with your children or friends about the trial and verdict?"
"My college-age son already understands his white privilege so we didn't have to discuss that. Mostly we commiserated together over the unfairness of a black boy dying so needlessly, and the sad reality of how much racism continues to affect our country."—Lisa Harris
"Well, I guess I need to tell MY kids that if they post pictures of themselves smoking weed or playing with pistols some people will think that makes murdering them in completely unrelated circumstances OK."—Andrew Joubert Justin
“Seems like there's a disconnect here, as if there was no option for a manslaughter charge. That should have been automatically guilty.”—Ron Bassilian
"If Zimmerman was a black home owner of the same community, exercising his rights to protect himself. The NAACP, Black Panthers, and god knows who else would have NOTHING to say about it. Just like every day in Chicago, LA, NY and across this country where hundreds of black on black murders are committed. If you want to be upset about something, be upset that BLACK men and women are killing BLACK men, women and children. Your anger is misplaced in George Zimmerman. It is unhealthy for you as a person and for us as a country. "—Cathy Vega
“No one I know was on the jury. All I heard was superficial reports on TV. Something happened. A kid died tragically. It was because of a vigilante mindset and a hand gun. How do you fix that? First: Limit ammunition and then do our best to educate neighborhood watch volunteers to obey the police.”—Michael Sheehan
"That the MSM has an agenda! They never showed the pictures of Trayvon smoking weed or playing with a pistol that were on his Facebook and they never showed the pictures of Zimmerman's face after the incident which was super messed up because Trayvon was beating his head into the pavement. bottom line, the news on TV is just another TV show."—Justin Hunt
"I was disgusted when they made this case about Trayvon Martin's character and not about George Zimmerman's decision to kill a black teenage boy."—Jane Demian
"Guns empower fearful people to make bad decisions. If Zimmerman had not been armed, he would not have been empowered to stalk Trayvon Martin. The confrontation that led to Trayvon Martin being shot would never have happened."—Linda Coburn
“My conversations are to ignore the media and concentrate on having a peaceful mind. If you let your buttons hang out of your head, anyone can push them. Tuck your buttons away and pretty soon they will be dummy buttons, that push on nothing.”—Jami Boothe
"Did people protest the verdict of the O.J. Simpson trial? That two people were absolutely murdered in a revenge killing and Mr. Simpson was found innocent by a jury of his peers who deliberated only a few hours."—Merle Moshiri
“Conversations about white privilege, systemic racism and how Hispanics are classified as white and non-white. But for me that’s par for the course because there’s always a situation in the news where racism rears its ugly head.”—Sandra Madera
"We've talked about so much surrounding this trail. I've never owned a gun but I feel now I need one. What if that were me? If it's legal to follow someone without provocation and shoot them as they defend themselves, then I need a gun too. I hate guns, but that's not the message the world has been given. We are also talking about how this juror who just interviewed with Anderson Cooper and announced her book deal, had time to do all of this in under 14 hours of what she called 'an emotional decision.' I guess money dries up tears real fast." —Rebecca M. Fernandez
"The only racial slur during this whole thing was 'creepy ass cracker.' I'm failing to see a reason for a huge racial outcry."—Cody Pierce
"There's no justice in our country, just the law!"—Felix Rodriguez Sr.
"No. My children do not watch the news. Neither do I. The less preconceived notions they have, the better."—Lisa Page
"Selective perception affects everyone. As Anais Nin said, 'We don't see things as they are ... we see things as WE are.'"—BJ Gallagher