Trayvon Martin: Is his slaying about skin color?
The shooting death of Trayvon Martin has generated a national debate, and rallies are planned this weekend in Los Angeles.
Sanford, Fla., resident George Zimmerman, 28, has claimed he shot Trayvon, 17, in self-defense after calling police to say he was following a person in his gated community who he believed was acting suspicious. Supporters of Trayvon's family have said the high school student was merely walking to a relative's home and that nothing about him could reasonably have been considered suspicious or threatening.
Times Metro columnist Sandy Banks discusses the case in her Saturday column, writing:
But this is not just about the color of skin, but the color of authority.
It's about a neighborhood bully allowed to carry a gun, encouraged by a reckless law to wield it and absolved by local police, who had barely begun to investigate before declaring the killer "squeaky clean."
Does race play into it? Certainly. I have no doubt Trayvon would be behind bars if he'd been the shooter in that scenario.
But what is moving America now owes its resonance to a bag of Skittles, a can of iced tea and a hoodie pulled low against the cold.
Read Sandy's full column here. How do you feel? Share your comments below.
Photo: A woman takes part in the rally in Leimert Park over the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times