On Thursday, July 25, the Washington County branch of the NAACP based in Sandersville joined millions nationwide in its shock and disbelief of the not guilty verdict in the State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman case.
Benjamin Dotson, the president of the local civil rights organization, addressed a variety of issues relating to the Trayvon Martin case.
Rallies and prayer vigils for Trayvon Martin have continued nearly two weeks after the verdict. However, Dotson also believes another effective manner and perhaps the most effective manner in which to honor Trayvon Martin is by being proactive in another way as well.
“Another way in which we all can be proactive is by registering to vote and voting when election time comes to seek better public official who will advocate better public policies”, Dotson explains.
Dotson further states, “public officials will not, and some argue, should not respect us when we show an indifference to such a solemn right- the right to vote.”
The Washington County Branch NAACP president believes ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws should be be reviewed here in Georgia and other states such as Florida.
Republican Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a Sandersville native, will likely run for re-election in 2014 and has stated that he sees nothing wrong with Georgia’s “Stand Your Ground” law and doesn’t see a need to repeal the law which was enacted in 2006.
“I do not see anything out of the ordinary in terms of that statute, it is very similar to the statutes in other states including the state of Florida. It would be an issue that would be very emotionally charged,” says Deal.
Deal has earned the title of being one of the nation’s worst governors and with a General Assembly dominated with a Republicans, Gov. Deal’s comments should cause concern.
The citizens in Washington County and across the state need to be aware of what is happening with their state government moving forward.
Dotson adds, “We need better public officials at all levels of government-city, county, state and national that will pass better laws and public policies that address the needs of the citizens and not the needs of special interest groups.”
George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman did not use the “Stand Your Ground” law , but had told police that he shot Martin in self-defense and feared for his life.
Dotson opines: “It is shocking to the conscious and alert mind, as reports indicate, an adult (George Zimmerman) allegedly makes unwarranted negative statements toward a child (Trayvon Martin), then with a loaded gun profiles and follows the child and subsequently shoots the child in the heart killing him, and then is found not guilty in court.”
On Wednesday, July 24, Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, visited the nation’s capitol and promised that he would work “with everything that I have left in me” to make sure the lessons learned from his son’s death help to bridge the nation’s racial divide.
Tracy Martin told the panel that “we won’t let this verdict sum up who Trayvon was.”
“As American citizens, we cannot stand by and let a not guilty verdict dictate what our youth’s legacy becomes.” he said. That’s why, he said, he’s fighting not just for his son but for “so many other young black and brown boys in this country.”
The United States Justice Department is being urged to continue its review of this case to determine whether George Zimmerman may have possibly violated the civil rights of Trayvon Martin. Also, the family of Trayvon may bring a lawsuit against George Zimmerman for his alleged act. Therefore, this matter may not be completely over yet.