Civil liberties? Justice? Equality? Safety? All of those things are in question not just north of where I live here in Central Florida but in the rest of this state as well. The recent killing of an African American young man and the release without arrest of his killer has instantly thrown us back into “the bad old days.” Or has it? I hate to say so but that horrible event has actually shown us how far we yet have to go.
We call Florida “The Sunshine State”. Well, you know what? The sun is shining on us down here in a way it never has before. It’s shining through the huge lens of a magnifying glass that is going continue to make it very, very hot around here. And that’s a good thing.
With that heat, we need to burn away the remaining vestiges of the past in Central Florida as well as in the rest of our state. Not only that, but continued application of this heat needs to rid us of dangerous and regressive pieces of legislation we have passed in our part of the country. One such law is called “Stand Your Ground”. This is the disgusting excuse that evidently helped to allow the release of Trayvon Martin’s killer without arrest.
When I visited St. Augustine, FL last fall, I was so delighted to find a new monument in that old city’s central plaza. It’s a wonderful tribute to participants in the Civil Rights Movement during those harsh and dark days of the 1960s. What a welcome change in the city founded by the Spanish so very long ago.
Why is what I just wrote in the previous paragraph relevant? Well, I’ll tell you why. Sadly, the city of Sanford, where the killing of Trayvon Martin occurred, has a lot of healing to do. As one of the many steps in this process, I have a recommendation for the good citizens of that city and it’s leadership. Once justice is actually done, and it needs to be done quickly, plans should immediately begin for the construction of a monument in Sanford along the lines of the one in St. Augustine. This monument, however, should be a tribute to reconciliation and justice, with Trayvon Martin at it’s center. In this way, all people of goodwill in the community and elsewhere can come together with a solemn yet joyous unveiling that celebrates the words–NEVER AGAIN!
And to the state of Florida, I say it’s time to repeal that horrendous “Stand Your Ground Law”. We are starting to revert to the old west and that we do not need.
And, of course, my heart goes out to Trayvon’s parents, relatives and friends. God bless you all.
Enough said for now. I don’t usually rant but this situation couldn’t be overlooked. If you’re interested in the original blog posting I did on the St. Augustine monument, click here.