Protests for Trayvon Martin materialized at fifteen Miami-area high schools yesterday. Students walked out of class to demonstrate, and at Cutler Ridge High School above, to make a symbol for all to see. (Students at Trayvon’s school stayed put, at his mother’s behest.) The students in Miami staged the latest in a series of protests of not just the killing of the unarmed teenager on February 26, but the fact that his killer, George Zimmerman, remains free.
Trayvon’s name is not being forgotten, but for a most unfortunate reason. Since his death, Trayvon’s story has broken into the national consciousness in a similar way to many black men and women before him – Michael Griffith, Eleanor Bumpurs, Yusuf Hawkins, Amadou Diallo, Oscar Grant III, and just weeks earlier, Ramarley Graham. We may be in the post-Civil Rights era, we may even have a black president, the problem may take different forms than it did when Emmett Till was murdered – but the problem is still here.
This morning, as Melissa noted last night, we’ll be discussing the problems that the Trayvon Martin case is forcing the nation to confront, no matter who’d like to deny that they exist. Joining us will be Nicole Bell, who lost her fiancé, 23-year-old Sean Bell, to a hail of unprovoked police gunfire on their wedding day in 2006. NBC News correspondent Ron Allen, Mother Jones reporter Adam Serwer, and Jonathan Metzl, author of “The Protest Psychosis,” will also enter the conversation.
Melissa will also host a panel of young men who can speak to what it’s like to grow up black in America right now. Teenagers Diallo McClammy, C.J. Morrison, and George Nunez will also be joined from Phoenix by Jawanza Kunjufu, urban school consultant and author of “There is Nothing Wrong With Black Students.”
In today’s show, we’ll also delve into the Catholic vote in Louisiana, explore the neuroscience of politics, introduce you to a remarkable set of “Foot Soldiers,” and determine the difficulty of telling Newt Gingrich and Kanye West apart with the following guests: