“Anyone who looks with anguish on evils so great must acknowledge the tragedy of it all, and if anyone experience them without anguish, his condition is even more tragic since he remains serene by losing his humanity.”     -Augustine of Hippo

“Never be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, not the victim.  Silence encourage the tormentor, never the tormented.”

-Elie Wiesel

Seventeen year-old Trayvon Martin was shot dead on February 26, 2012, by George Zimmerson,  the captain of the neighborhood watch in a gated community in Sanford, Florida, a suburb of Orlando.  According to reports he was returning from the store to his father’s condo whom he was visiting.  Also, according to reports, he was unarmed and wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

Zimmerman told investigating officers that he had been attacked and that he shot Martin in self defense.  The recent public outcry to this shooting has brought about an unprecedented outpouring of sympathy for the dead youth that has reverberated all the way to the White House.

On February 28, 2012, a thirteen year old Caucasian male was doused with gasoline and set afire by two young black assailants.  This horrendous incident took place in Kansas City, Missouri. The young man was first accosted when he was within two blocks from his home after leaving school.  According to his mother, Melissa Coon, “They rushed him at the door as he tried to get the door opened.”   “One of them poured the gasoline then lit a BIC lighter”, she stated.  The attacker spoke as he set the young boy ablaze, “This is what you deserve white boy.”  The attackers then fled.  According to Ms. Coon, her son was able to rip off his shirt and extinguish the blaze then called 911.   According to Detective Stacey Taylor of the  Kansas City Police Department, “it was pretty bad stuff”.   The police was concerned that the young man had suffered damage to his eyes and lungs.   He was  rushed to the hospital where it was determined that he had suffered first degree burns  to his head and face.  Ms. Coon told a local television station that her family plan to move.  She said,  “My five-year-old came in and asked me, Mom , am I going to be set on fire today?”    “I was in tears”, she concluded.

In no way do I attempt to minimize the loss of life,  particularly for a person as young as Trayvon Martin.  However, is the fact that he was black and the other young man Caucasian a cause for such discrepancy in the public reaction and outcry.

Where were the black social activists,  the black Congress members and the black President during the actions of the “wilding mobs” of 2010 and 2011 and the attempted murder by burning of the young Caucasian male?  Where were the extensive, daily reports in the print and broadcast media denouncing these horrendous events? The marches, the demonstrations demanding justice for these victims?  Barak Obama stated on national television that, ” If I had a son, then he would look like Trayvon.”  What kind of statement is that being made by a President who completely ignored the “wilding mobs” and had not spoken out on crime and the violent devastation of the cities, which are encroaching into the suburbs and beyond, since his inauguration?  It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that he is now ‘playing the race card’ because of his desire to be reelected.

Was not the young Caucasian male his “son” since he purports to represent all Americans?  Was not the young Caucasian girls so brutally assaulted while still in their prom dresses during the Spring 2010 “wilding mobs” on the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, his “daughters”.

This is not only a tragedy of justice, it is an abomination which reeks of spiritual filth.

It seems these days that in the eyes of some, blacks can do no wrong, no matter how wrong they be.

Then there are the ‘poverty pimps’ oops! , the black social activists like the reverends jackson and sharpton who seem to slither out of their respective holes agitating and aggravating whenever such issues of “racial injustice” surface.  Yet they could not utilize their ‘holiness’ nor their ‘righteous indignation’ to save Whitney Houston from the dark demons of drug addiction and despair.  Yet both had the unmitigated gall to sit their self exalted asses at places of prominence at her funeral.   And not a word spoken by either of them regarding the “wilding mobs” and the attempted murder of the young Caucasian  child.  Selective self righteousness or just plain racism?

The facts of the case regarding the shooting of Trayvon Martin are now coming to the light.   According to his lawyer and police reports, George Zimmerman suffered a broken nose, contusions and abrasions.   It may be that his claims of self-defense were not concocted.  Let the facts be known.

Also, news outlets are reporting today, March 26, 2012, that Trayvon Martin was not the pristine, innocent high school student that he had been portrayed to be.   According to these reports, Martin had been suspended from school on three occasions during the current academic year.

He was accused of vandalizing lockers and possessing a burglary tool along with women’s gold, silver and diamond jewelry.  Also, a baggie containing traces of marijuana and a marijuana pipe was found in his possession.

In addition,  there were reports that Treyvon Martin’s mother, Sabrina Fulton, has filed copyrights on two slogans utilizing her son’s image and name on T-shirts.  Is this the action of a grieving mother?




UPDATE:  APRIL 9,  2012

Only now is the print and broadcast  news media starting to disseminate detailed information of the circumstances, situations and conditions leading to the Trayvon Martin shooting.  MSNBC led the “black, not yellow, journalism” in the reporting of the shooting.   MSNBC grossly obliterated the line drawn between pure, unbiased  journalistic rporting and social activism by allowing Al Sharpton, the host of the MSNBC program PoliticsNation, to function both as a reporter and supporter of the Martin family and friends.  He has appeared in numerous rallies calling for the arrest of George Zimmerman, the man accused of shooting Trayvon Martin, and later on the program was seen and heard reporting on the event.

The two following articles significantly clarify the events leading to the shooting.  Information only now being made known.

Zimmerman neighbor on robberies by ‘young black men’ before Trayvon shooting: ‘If you plant corn, you get corn’

By Dylan StablefordSenior Media Reporter

By Dylan Stableford | The CutlineTue, Apr 3, 2012

A man with a mohawk bearing the name “Trayvon” in downtown Miami, April 1, 2012. (AP)

George Zimmerman’s Sanford, Fla., neighbor, said the neighborhood watchman protected his residence from a potential burglary several weeks before the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Frank Taaffe, a former neighborhood watch captain, told CNN’s “Starting Point” that his house was in the process of being robbed on Feb. 2, but Zimmerman called Sanford police, who thwarted the robbery.

“My house was being robbed, and George on his nightly rounds watched this burglary in progress, called Sanford P.D., waited for them, and helped ensure that nothing bad happened to my house,” Taaffe said. “And it’s documented in the 911 call for February 2. That was my residence that George Zimmerman helped stop from being robbed.”  Zimmerman shot and killed Martin on Feb. 26.

“Neighbor-hood, that’s a great word,” Taaffe said.

Taaffe said that “young black males” were the perpetrators in the attempted robbery of his home. “We had eight burglaries in our neighborhood all perpetrated by young black males in the 15 months prior to Trayvon being shot,” Taaffe said. “It would have been nine.”

Taaffe denied that he told the New York Times that burglaries were done by “Trayvon-like dudes with their pants down.”

“I never said that,” he said. “I never used that term.”

But on CNN, Taaffe followed up the denial of an incendiary comment with another one.

When asked if, based on the string of robberies, Zimmerman should have been profiling Trayvon Martin the night of the shooting, Taaffe said: “There’s an old saying, ‘If you plant corn, you get corn,'”

“It is what it is,” he added. “I would go on record by stating that of the eight prior burglaries in the 15 months prior to the Trayvon Martin shooting, all of the perpetrators were young black males.”

The ghetto of Seminole County

Before Trayvon Martin, closure of housing projects stoked tensions in Sanford

By Joy-Ann Reid8:19 AM on 04/04/2012

READ MORE: FloridaGoldsboroHousing ProjectsRetreat at Twin LakesSanfordSection 8Trayvon Martin

Before Trayvon Martin, closure of housing projects stoked tensions in Sanford
One of the many housing projects closed down last year in Sanford, Florida. Residents were allowed to move out of the houses and into new housing, with the help of Section 8 vouchers. (Photo from theGrio)

The shuttering of six sprawling housing projects in two historically black sections of Sanford stoked tensions in the small city of Sanford, even before the shooting death of Trayvon Martin inside a gated community in the city’s suburban core.

Five public housing developments were located mainly in Goldsboro, Florida’s second oldest city chartered by African-Americans, after Eatonville, when it was founded in 1891 (and the nation’s third) — until all-white Sanford stripped the city of its charter and absorbed it in 1911. A sixth housing project was in Georgetown, older than Sanford by 14 years, but which was also drafted into the city in the early 20th century. The spare, one-story buildings were spread out across seemingly endless acres in the predominantly black areas, located across the railroad tracks from Sanford proper.

The homes across from the ghost town of boarded up houses are now nearly devoid of value.

Some of the projects were named after Goldsboro founders: Castle Brewer Court, built in 1951, and Edward Higgins Terrace, built the following year; William Clark Court was also erected in 1952 and named after Goldsboro’s first tax assessor. Cowan Moughton houses was built in 1959, and named after the white contractor who designed and built many of the ramshackle dwellings. Lake Monroe Terrace, built in 1972, was named for the body of water on whose southern shore Sanford rests. An additional project, Redding Gardens, which dates back to 1971, was closed down in Georgetown.

The streets of Sanford once bore many of those names, but when the city was taken — older folks in Goldsboro say “stolen” — the street names were changed to numbers.

The closures meant hundreds of individuals and families were given the order — and the opportunity — to move. “People moved anywhere they wanted to go,” local activist and historian Francis Oliver said. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provided Section 8 funds for families to move. “Some left Sanford, others stayed.”

According to local residents, some of those families had lived in the public housing units for generations. The buildings were full of mold and falling apart for years, said Oliver, who curates theGoldsboro Historical Museum. His office sits in an elevated trailer on the old town’s main drag, 13th Street, not far from the railroad tracks that once separated black Goldsboro from the all-white town of Sanford, and which was once home to a post office, stores, restaurants, and the other amenities that fueled the once-thriving city of Goldsboro, which was founded by black railroad and agricultural workers who manned the celery fields in the area.

Today, 13th Street sports a liquor store, a small building housing a detective agency, a barber shop, and a still-standing row of “shotgun houses” that were picked up and moved in 1997 to the nearby town of Leesburg, to serve as the set for the movie Rosewood — a film about another Florida town destroyed, in that case violently, by its white neighbors.

Redding Gardens sits just across the street from the home where famed writer Zora Neale Hurston once lived, in Goldsboro, where her father, John Hurston, was, for a time, the pastor of Zion Hope Baptist Church. The Hurston house, like the projects across the street, now sits dilapidated and boarded up; falling apart, Oliver said, because the owner simply couldn’t afford to keep it up.

In some parts of Goldsboro and Georgetown, houses are selling for as little as $6,000, Oliver said.

The projects had long been a source of tension, and challenges, for Sanford.

“Sanford is considered the ghetto of Seminole County,” because of them, one black resident said — because they were so close to private homes in the small city, where everything seems to be ten minutes away from everything else. Even the nicer parts of town, where older, larger homes sit on manicured lawns; or the newer townhomes and single family house developments surrounded by high walled gates, are no more than a ten minute drive from the acres of boarded up public housing.

Seminole is one of Florida’s most affluent counties, but of its eleven “pockets of poverty,” nine are located in Sanford, according to the Central Florida Dream Center. And Goldsboro and Georgetown, home to less than 10 percent of the city’s 53,500 population, have long been a focal point of crime and want.

FBI crime statistics show that Sanford has a violent crime rate of 6.65 incidents per 1,000 residents — higher than Florida’s crime rate of 5.42. The city’s burglary crime rate, 16.26 per 1,000 residents, is more than double the national average of 7.0.

The brand new Sanford police and fire headquarters opened just across the street? from the sign leading to the entrance of historic Goldsboro in November 2010 — something Sanford’s black community fought for, hoping the brand new complex would spur economic development along 13th Street.

An unwelcome exodus

The six vacant housing projects are slated to be torn down, and the area redeveloped. There are plans for mixed income, single family homes. Many of the families who left the projects sifted out into greater Sanford, often receiving a less than warm welcome from the residents of the gated communities and other residential pockets in the city, like the Retreat at Twin Lakes, where Trayvon Martin was killed. After the recession devastated home prices across Florida, some homeowners began renting out their places, and HUD pays nearly all of the rent, making Section 8 an attractive offer for some desperate homeowners.

Oliver said some homeowners associations actively fought the new residents, who received rent assistance from HUD, in some cases prompting the local chapter of the NAACP to get involved.

“When they couldn’t stop them,” Oliver said, frustrated homeowners “started moving out.”

As local activist Kenneth Bentley, who runs a Florida Front Porch program that provides after school tutoring and mentoring to Goldsboro area teens, put it, the middle – and sometimes lower middle class families who bought into the townhomes and gated developments around Sanford “wanted to get away from the ghetto, but here comes the ghetto following right behind them.”

Oliver spoke of a woman who claimed her daughter was told to get out of a community swimming pool in one development, because the woman said, “your parents don’t pay homeowners’ dues.”

And while there’s no evidence that the crime rate in greater Sanford rose after the housing projects were closed, the sense of unease and unwelcome was apparently palpable for many former Goldsboro residents.

People were just a little more suspicious of one another. A bit less welcoming.

Last September, the Retreat at Twin Lakes responded to a rash of break-ins by establishing a neighborhood watch. Its chief organizer and volunteer was George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old who began renting a townhome in the development with his wife in the summer of 2009 and almost immediately began calling police to report cars driving without headlights, an aggressive biker “doing wheelies,” an aggressive dog, and “suspicious persons” on the premises.

One man who claimed to be a Retreat at Twin Lakes resident, but who didn’t want to give his name, said he was aware of Section 8 voucher holders moving in, but didn’t think that prompted the homeowners association to push for a neighborhood watch. That, he said, was strictly about the break-ins.

However, he said, “there were people who weren’t happy they were there.”



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