Julianne Malveaux Talks about Trayvon and Gun Violence | Kulture Kritic
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Julianne Malveaux Talks about Trayvon and Gun Violence


Julianne Malveaux Talks about Trayvon and Gun Violence


by Julianne Malveaux

Trayvon Martin might not be dead except for the fact that George Zimmerman carried a gun around and acted as a wanna-be policeman.  Rev. Al Sharpton and others deserve props for rallying people and insisting that Zimmerman be brought to trial.  Anytime a gun goes off, I think somebody has to go to trial, simply to ensure that their actions be accounted for.  Zimmerman may be found not guilty, or he may (should) be found guilty, but least, at this point, he has been made accountable for his actions.

Zimmerman isn’t the only one slaughtering young black men, though. Too many of our young brothers are slaughtering each other. In Washington, DC, rising senior Omar Adam Sykes was killed on “independence” day.  He was a victim of an attempted robbery, when two men approached him and a friend of his with guns.  The Howard University police say that robberies on campus are on the decline, but I don’t think that Omar Sykes’ parents find that any consolation.  Indeed, one young black man lost to gun violence is too many, whether the perpetrator was a vigilante like George Zimmerman, or another young black man who is so desperate for dollars that he will kill another brother.

Seventy-four people were shot, and a dozen killed in gun violence in Chicago during the July 4 weekend.  Two of them were young boys, aged 5 and 7.  Much of this violence is gang violence, and too many of the victims were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  No matter.  This scourge of gun violence is a plague on our nation, but especially on the African American community.

The online website Slate estimates that more than 6500 people have been killed this year through gun violence.  The Center for Disease Control says it is at least twice as many.  Since the massacre of twenty children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut there has been a marked concern about gun violence.  Concern, however, does not move legislation.  Those politicians who have been purchased by the National Rifle Association lament gun violence but are unwilling to do anything about it.   So the violence continues.

There are heart-breaking stories of those who are massacred.  Young men and women at the cusp of adulthood who happened to be “hanging out” with friends on the wrong corner.  Fathers who agitated an enraged driver.  Children who “got in the way” of a random bullet.  We say that guns don’t kill, people do.  But people without guns can perhaps wreak havoc without creating a fatality.

READ  George Zimmerman Sues NBC for Defamation of Character

While the population of the United States exceeds 300 million, there are about 280 million guns in civilian hands.  Every year, 4.5 million firearms, including about two million guns have been sold.  While many do not own guns, those who do keep acquiring them – the average gun owner had nearly 7 guns in 2004, up from 4 guns ten years earlier.  More than 30 people are victims of gun violence each day.  A third of them are under 20; half are between 18 and 35.  Gun violence is the leading cause of death of African Americans in that age group.

What if George Zimmerman had not had a gun? If he did what he was told to do, police officers may have come and questioned Trayvon as he proceeded to his daddy’s house.  Or perhaps there may have been a fist fight.  There surely would not have been a deadly bullet, and while Zimmerman was the slayer, our gun laws are complicit in Trayvon Martin’s execution.

How many young people have been victims of unintended violence, victims of drive by violence, people just minding their business and losing their lives for minding their business?  How many people with axes to grind would whoop and holler instead of carrying guns to workplaces, schools, and other places?  How many crazy legislatures are relaxing gun laws to allow people to carry guns in bars and near schools?  How many retailers, like Starbucks, refuse to ban guns in their establishments (in states where openly carrying guns is legal)?

            As we mourn for Trayvon Martin, let us also recognize the scourge of gun violence.  If we restricted gun ownership, this tragedy, and thousands of others, may not have happened.


Julianne Malveaux is a DC based economist and writer and President Emerita of Bennett College for Women.

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  1. Kerri

    July 21, 2013 at 12:45 am

    It isn’t just black kids dying either, honey.

    Dear God,

    Please forgive Barack Obama, Al Sharpton, the teens who murdered him, the media, and all others who have the blood of this innocent boy on their hands because I can’t.

    Message From Antonio West….

    You won’t recognize me, My name was Antonio West and I was the 13-month old child who was shot at point blank range by two teens who were attempting to rob my mother, who was also shot. A Grand Jury of my Mommy’s peers from Brunswick, GA., determined the teens who murdered me will not face the death penalty. Too bad I was given a death sentence for being innocent and defenseless.

    My family made the mistake of being white in a 73% non-white neighborhood, but my murder was not ruled a Hate Crime. Nor did President Obama take so much as a single moment to acknowledge my murder.

    I am one of the youngest murder victims in our great Nation’s history, but the media doesn’t care to cover the story of my tragic demise, President Obama has no children who could possibly look like me, so he doesn’t care and the media doesn’t care because my story is not interesting enough to bring them ratings so they can sell commercial time slots.

    There is not a white equivalent of Al Sharpton Or Jesse Jackson, because if there was, he would be declared racist. So there is no one rushing to Brunswick GA to demand justice for me. There is no White Panther party to put a bounty on the lives of those who murdered me. I have no voice, I have no representation, and unlike those who shot me in the face, while I sat innocently in my stroller – I no longer have my life.

    So while you are seeking justice for Treyvon, please remember to seek justice for me too. Tell your friends about me, tell you families, get tee shirts with my face on them and make the world pay attention, just like you did for Treyvon.

    Thank you,


  2. Buckwheat

    July 21, 2013 at 1:31 am

    These young ‘Hommies” will do another brother in the blink of an eye!!! I believe because of so many gun related deaths of blacks in general, sends a message that a black life is of considerably less value, hence others feel they have carte blanc to be a Zimmerman with impunity. A people cannot inflict this kind of daily barbarism on themselves and not think others view you as less than civil and will treat you accoringly!!!

  3. Imhotep

    July 21, 2013 at 5:01 am

    Kerri. U wanna know the truth about violence in the white community, go to http://www.fbi.org/cius. And get educated. Your people never say shyt bout white on white crime and uf u look at the charts from the fbi its quite high. Read the whole chart! ! Other than that cry to ur white brethren for your white tragedies, we yell for all here. And Sharpton or Jesse or Barkley dnt speak for most of us!! Quit assuming and do research!! That fbi crime stat chart will help u clear your freaking head troll. No if ur dumb azz congressman made at least background checks a law some of the illegal guns would not get into wrong hands. But this is a violent country from its inception and through the old west and now! Ur folks are warmongers and scared of a boogie man and as ur Bible states” if u live by the sword, u will die by it!!” Scared of the “others” taking over what your greatgrandpappys stole!! Gtfooh!! Maat. .

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