Just us for Trayvon

Did you feel it? The earthquake on Saturday?

Well, that wasn’t actually an earthquake, the earth damn-near tilted off its axis when all-female, mostly white jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the 2012 killing of 17-year-old unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin.

On Sunday, Chicago’s own Gary Younge wrote in The Guardian that it was “open season on black boys after a verdict like this,” asking readers, “What ground is a young black man entitled to and on what grounds may he defend himself?”

Hours later protesters had shut down the 10 Freeway in Los Angeles. The streets of downtown Chicago were flooded with marchers chanting “Justice for Trayvon.”

Also on Sunday, the NAACP, the National Urban League and the National Council of La Raza, among other civil rights groups, drafted a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking that the Justice Department conduct a civil rights investigation.

[Watch or listen to Gozamos’ roundtable discussion on the Trayvon Martin case, recorded for “On The Contrary.”]

The media spent the entire week covering reactions to the “not guilty” verdict. One juror, known as “Juror B37,” sat down with CNN’s Anderson Cooper to recount the jury’s deliberation, stirring up even more controversy by her remarks. She even had the nerve to pursue a book deal, and she would’ve published something too, had it not been for a few angry people on Twitter.

Rachel Jeantel, the close friend of Trayvon Martin whose testimony for the prosecution was widely criticized, gave an exclusive interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan responding to the criticism and the defense’s presentation.

In the end, the case and verdict seem to have refueled the push for increased racial equality and reopened the debate over gun rights and gun control. The legendary singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder has vowed never to perform in Florida or any other state where “Stand Your Ground” laws are on the books.

Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page summed it up best on Wednesday: “It turns out that under Florida law, I can provoke you into a fight and, if things turn sour on me, I can legally kill you, as long as I ‘believe’ I am in danger of ‘great bodily harm.’ ”

There goes my trip to Disney World.

 

Native foreigners who hate America & sing “God Bless America”

Marc Anthony, the Puerto Rican salsa king and native New Yorker, was the target of hateful tweets on Sunday when he sang “God Bless America” at the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday. The Public Shaming Tumblr page quickly posted some of the most vicious examples of bigotry at its worse.

Anthony appeared on “Live with Kelly and Michael” Thursday morning and addressed the trending controversy.

“Let’s get this straight. I was born and raised in New York. You can’t get more New York than me,” he said to applause from the studio audience. “I just want to set the record straight. I’m more Puerto Rican than ever. I’m more New York than ever.”

He came awfully close to saying “I’m still Marc Anthony from the block.”

And to all those twerps who keep telling American-born Latinos to go back to where they came from, go back to school.

 

No school for you!

It pained Mayor Rahm Emanuel to inform Chicago Public Schools staff and parents last night that the school system will have to cut over 2,000 teachers and other employees due to budget constraints.

The Rahminator even went to so far as to publish an op-ed in last Sunday’s Chicago Tribune explaining why he’ll have to tighten CPS’ belt.

“While making these changes will not be easy,” he wrote, “failure to do so will prove much more difficult. … The reforms I seek are reasonable and necessary to protect essential services in our city and provide secure retirements at a cost taxpayers can afford.”

But wait. As Ben Joravsky over at the Chicago Reader pointed out on Wednesday, the mayor seems to have discovered an extra $300,000 lying around in the taxpayers’ pockets, because he’s giving three North Side schools 100 grand each. (He’s also spending $55 million to build a hotel and basketball arena for — wait for it — DePaul University, Illinois’ largest private university.)

In Chicago, it pays to have money.

 

[Photo: danxoneil via Flickr]

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