ROLAND S. MARTIN: Protests Are Driving The Pursuit Of Justice For Trayvon Martin

By Roland S. Martin

For everyone who has condemned the numerous protests, rallies and vigils demanding justice for Trayvon Benjamin Martin, the 17-year-old gunned down in Sanford, Fla., a month ago, please listen to these two words: Shut up!

That may seem harsh, but that is exactly how I feel. I don’t want to hear the nonsense that we should let justice run its course. Others say, “Let’s not do anything until all of the facts are in.”

Let’s cut to the chase. There would be no special prosecutor had thousands across the nation not mobilized, organized and took to the streets to demand justice for Trayvon. Would a grand jury be convening April 10? Not a chance. Would the 911 recording of admitted triggerman George Zimmerman calling Trayvon suspicious and owning up to following him have been released? No. Would the Florida Legislature be reviewing and discussing whether to change or abandon the controversial “stand your ground” law, which is at the heart of this case? No. Would the Department of Justice have launched an investigation into the case, as well as the Sanford Police Department? Nope. Would Sanford’s police chief, Bill Lee, have stepped down because of his department’s inept investigation? No.

Instead of critics condemning the protests, they should be saying, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

Whether folks want to admit it or not, this always has been the story of African-Americans. Go through history and you will find many examples of cases not being investigated and ones, if they were brought to trial, with atrocious conduct by the prosecution or even the judges. The Scottsboro Boys. Clarence Brandley. Lenell Geter. Medgar Evers. The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.

Justice is supposed to be blind, but for African-Americans, it has commonly been deaf, dumb and blind.

As a result, we’ve had to live by the admonition of former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who said, “Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!”

It was also Douglass who stated, “Power concedes nothing without a demand.”

The main demand in the Trayvon Martin case from day one was for Zimmerman to be arrested and for justice to be served.

This wasn’t about a ridiculous bounty on the head of Zimmerman by the New Black Panther Party. It wasn’t about the selling of T-shirts. It wasn’t about who showed up and led a march or why.

It was about holding accountable a legal system that clearly gave more credence to a 28-year-old gunman than it did the unarmed teenager who was gunned down.

For all of our talk about law and order in this country, there is a lot that is wrong with our legal system. We all should feel ashamed when someone is freed from death row or life imprisonment after DNA testing has revealed him or her not to be the real killer or rapist. It should pain our heart when the prosecution withholds evidence in a case that could exonerate someone. And all of us, regardless of race or economic status, should scream to high heaven when the police don’t do their job equally for all citizens.

We are a nation of laws, and sometimes they work for some and not for others. When we’ve prayed, cried and pleaded, oftentimes the only thing we have left to do is march. That is a right that is afforded every one of us in the U.S. Constitution, be it the tea party, Occupy or those demanding justice for Trayvon.

People should not be condemned for taking to the streets and letting their voices be heard. They shouldn’t be called race baiters, rabble-rousers or radicals. We all should call them exactly what they are — true Americans.

Roland S. Martin is an award-winning CNN analyst and author of the book “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House as Originally Reported by Roland S. Martin.” Please visit his website at To find out more about Roland S. Martin and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


  • Thank God our Top Cop is Black!!

  • Vanessa Little

    Great Article Roland, All True.. This should be about JUSTICE and tha’t it….just JUSTICE!

  • LeCalabro

    The Trayvon Martin case is just one more example of the African American community creating a distraction from the thousands upon thousands of black on white crimes that are committed each year in America.

    This is a practice that has been going on for the past 50 years—it works so they continue using it–and the liberal and not so intelligent news media go along with it. 

    Please look at the Christian Channon and Christopher Newsom trial that will being June 6, 2012 in Knoxville, TN.

    Five blacks kidnapped Channon and Newsom. They sodomized Newsom, killed him and then burned his body. They raped, tortured Channon for days and eventually murdered Channon—and poured bleach all over her to destroy their DNA. 

    We know, all over America about Trayvon Martin, and maybe we should, but we do not know about Channon and Newsom. Why is that????


    President Barack H. Obama  

    White House

    1600 Pennsylvania Ave    

    Washington, D.C.             

    March 25, 2012

    Dear President Obama:

    I applaude your recently expressed concern for the sad and terrible death of African American Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fl. You seemed to show special sadness and understanding for young Martin because you too are African America.

    Notwithstanding your race, it is my opinion that you have the moral and legal obligation to be the President of all America’s citizens,  regardless of being black, white or otherwise.

    With that in mind I respectfully implore you to show concern for Christian Channon and Christopher Newsom, the young couple who were raped, sodomized , tortured and murdered and burned in Knoxville, TN. on January 6, 2007.

    The retrial of the perpetrators of this horrific crime is scheduled to begin on June 6, 2012. .

    Thank you for your kind attention in this most pressing and important matter to all Americans.  

    Louis Calabro

    • Braniac_speaks

      LeCalabro- Still waiting to hear that statement from Obama on the Knoxville Murders! Oh wait!
      He probably doesn’t know about those murders because they were never covered by the National News Media, with the exception of Fox News finally covering it. But of course, as EVERYBODY KNOWS, Fox News is just a Racist organization for having the audacity to cover such a heineous crime. Of course, had the colors been reversed in the Knoxville Murders, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and America’s so-called Mainstream Media would have have been in hog heaven! Plus there would be 24 hour a day updates on such a crime! As it was, the victims were white and the perpretators were black, so it was off limits to the yellow journalists in the media. And by the way, George Zimmerman sure looks a whole lot more Hispanic than white guy.  But for people like Roland Martin, as he suggested in one of his earlier columns regarding this case, it is EXTREMELY important that we classify Zimmerman as a White Man. That way we can show American how Racist White America still is!!

  • heathpostdotcom


  • USAJustice

    The only two words that were worth a dam in this story are two that Roland Martin should heed… “SHUT UP” ! I can  hardly wait for him to defend the rioters when Zimmerman is either not charged at all, or is charged and then found not guilty! Some punk ass kid punches me in the nose and I don’t give a crap what color he is, I’m gonna waste him right then and there!