In an emotional speech this morning to the annual conference of the National Urban League in Philadelphia, Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, called for holding George Zimmerman “accountable” for the shooting death of her son, although he was acquitted by a jury.
“My message to you is: Please use my story. Please use my tragedy. Please use my broken heart to say to yourself, we cannot let this happen to anybody else’s child,” she said.
She called for the repeal of state “stand your ground” laws, even though Florida’s law was not used as a defense in the case against Zimmerman.
“No college for Trayvon, no grandkids coming from Trayvon,” Fulton said, “all because of a law — a law that has prevented the person who shot and killed my son to be held accountable and to pay for this awful crime. ”
The six-member, all-female jury concluded that the state did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman did not act in self-defense.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at the Philadelphia conference yesterday.
The century-old civil rights organization, which advocates on behalf of blacks against racial discrimination, has dubbed this year’s conference “Redeem the Dream: Jobs Rebuild America.” But the most publicized speakers will have little to say about jobs.
The president of the Urban League said that having Holder and Fulton speak at the event provides “more knowledge, more information and more mobilization around the issues of voting rights and also justice.”
Thursday, Holder addressed the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the Voting Rights Act. The attorney general said he would work to get around the ruling by asking a federal court to use another section of the law and require that Texas still obtain permission from his department to make voting procedure changes.
Fulton has called for a federal civil rights lawsuit by the government against Zimmerman.
The event marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington that protested discrimination based on race.
The historic document will be displayed at the commencement of the event and remain at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia until Sept. 22.
WND reported just a day ago that a leading black organization charges Holder’s attack on the state of Texas regarding voting regulations is out of line.
Horace Cooper, co-chairman of Project 21, the National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives, called Holder’s decision to retain oversight over the way states conduct elections, in spite of the Supreme Court ruling, a crass political move.
“With today’s statement, Attorney General Eric Holder proves he is more interested in political stunts than enforcing the law,” said Cooper, a native Texan and former constitutional law professor and legal counsel to former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas. “It may aid the political efforts of Mr. Holder to bring these phony claims to court, but his win-loss record in these matters is becoming clearer and clearer.”
Holder said he initially will focus on Texas’ voting procedures but will expand his targets to several other states, possibly including South Carolina, North Carolina and Alaska.
The move came Thursday when the Department of Justice asked judges in San Antonio to order oversight of the state’s voting operations.
The demand from the DOJ came even though the Supreme Court released a decision that essentially canceled Washington oversight of many state elections procedures and practices.
The ruling struck down the requirement that certain states and jurisdictions obtain permission from the federal government before making any voting procedures changes.
But Holder said he would use another portion of the law to continue the federal government’s oversight.
In an analysis by the Wall Street Journal, writer Devlin Barrett pointed out that the high court voided Section 5 by determining that the formula the federal government used to identify states that must get “clearance” before changing procedures was unconstitutional.
Section 5 provides that regions with a “history” of discrimination be subjected to regulation.
Holder said he now will use Section 3, which allows oversight if there’s “evidence” of intentional discrimination.
In his speech to the National Urban League, Holder vowed to “use every tool at our disposal” to get around the Supreme Court’s ruling.