Earlier this week, we told you about Janelle Monae’s passionate tweet to take action for Trayvon Martin — and now debate over the controversial case has blown up even more with a slew of celebs showing their support, thousands gathering in New York City for yesterday’s Million Hoodies March, and his family’s petition gathering over 1 million signatures.
The anger over this case focuses on the fact that 17-year-old Trayvon’s shooter, 28-year-old neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, has not been arrested as Zimmerman claims he acted in self-defense after following the unarmed teen for appearing “real suspicious” and a confrontation between the two went down (details are still murky).
The Martin family’s devastating loss has sparked a national conversation about racial profiling and the realities of being a young black man in America, galvanizing student activists and others to organize yesterday’s Million Hoodies March:
+ WATCH: A young activist promotes Wednesday’s march on YouTube.
Thousands gathered in Union Square and MTV News was there to take a pulse from protesters wearing hoodies (Trayvon was wearing one the day he died) while chanting “Am I Suspicious?” and “We want arrests.” The date itself was also highly charged as yesterday was the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Shout-outs from musicians echoing Janelle Monae’s rallying cry continue to fuel the outrage as Keyshia Cole, Talib Kweli, Joel Madden, Flea, Cat Power and Cher all tweeted their support:
Picking up a fresh black hoodie. This tour is dedicated to #trayvonmartin my teenage son & black youth worldwide...— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) March 22, 2012
TRAYVON Xx I urge anyone who is not following this case to read up on it and support this family's pleas for justice. thelastword.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/…— chan marshall (@CATPOWER) March 20, 2012
We MUST NOT FORGET TRAVOR MARTI !ThisBeautiful Young man was MURDERED IN FLA. & his killer was SET FREE without even a drug test! SHAME. !— Cher (@cher) March 19, 2012
Plus some of hip-hop’s biggest names like John Legend, Big Boi, Questlove of The Roots, and Wyclef have all been broadcasting their beef with Trayvon’s killing.
This incredibly sad story also highlights the dangerous complications of Florida’s “Shoot First” or “Stand Your Ground” laws, which have protected Zimmerman from arrest thus far as the statues allow citizens to use deadly force when threatened.
The pressure is on Florida officials to make a move — and the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating as well — so we want to know what YOU think. Do you think the color of your skin makes you a target? Do you think self defense makes killing someone okay? These are BIG questions for our country to deal with, so hit up the poll with your opinion and take part in this important convo!
+ POLL: Let us know what you think about George Zimmerman’s actions.
Sign the Petition
Janelle Monae tweeted that 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was wrongfully murdered. Sign the petition to prosecute the man who killed him.
Check out some of the UN's materials for International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.