TODAY: Justice for Trayvon Hoodie Rally


Today (Sunday) at 6 p.m. there will be a rally on Division and Ruby streets in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman. On Saturday Zimmerman was found not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American high-schooler who was killed last year. Zimmerman was accused by many of being motivated by racism.

Members of Occupy Spokane have organized the rally to stand in solidarity with other groups across the country who see the verdict as an act of injustice.

“Show Trayvon's family that Spokane cares,” the group says on its Facebook page, “Wear a hoodie…or just show up in support.”

Readers, what do you think of the verdict?



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Our justice system is broken. Racism still exists in America. I know Zimmerman was Hispanic, but he was in ritzy neighborhood and was frightened that a ‘black’ kid was there and was fast on the trigger for that only reason.

Eric Blauer

Justice was served in a court room trial, with a jury. The state didn’t make their case and the jury didn’t think the manslaughter sentence in Florida marched the situation. Rally to change the laws in Florida if you want to rally but don’t blow this case up to more than it is…which is a crime being done every day in our major cities. Look at Chicago in the last month. Is the reason no one is rallying there because its black on black violence? Is at racist too?

I find it frustrating that whenever someone or some group doesn’t like the verdict of a trial, they claim justice wants served. I also find it outrageous that the DOJ is “looking into” possible civil rights violations? Are you kidding me? The DOJ has so many scandals to deal with that demand more “looking into” vs a “blind eye” approach.

Eric Blauer

Goodness…I should not type before coffee and this site needs an edit blog comment option.

Laura Stembridge


I for one, find it frustrating when people continue to blindly assume that the justice system serves unbiased justice. Regardless of what scandals the DOJ has to deal with, those do not negate the reality of a biased Zimmerman trial where 5 of the 6 jurors were white, and all were female:



Regarding your comment about Chicago, I personally wouldn’t know whether people are rallying there because 1) I’m not African-American and/or living in Chicago, and 2) I highly doubt the prominent “objective” media entities would cover it even if it did/was happening. Which makes your distance from Chicago and assumption about the realities of life there problematic. In an article I’ve posted below this paragraph, the author states that “O’Mara’s (Zimmerman’s attorney) statement [that were his client black, he would never have been charged] echoed a criticism that began circulating long before Martin and Zimmerman encountered each other. Thousands of black boys die at the hands of other African Americans each year, but the black community, it holds, is concerned only when those deaths are caused by whites. It’s an appealing argument, and widespread, but it’s simplistic and obtuse. It’s a belief most easily held when you’ve not witnessed peace rallies and makeshift memorials, when you’ve turned a blind eye to grassroots organizations like the Interrupters in Chicago, who are working valiantly to stem the tide of violence in that city. It is the thinking of people who’ve never wondered why African Americans disproportionately support strict gun-control legislation. The added quotient of outrage in cases like this one stems not from the belief that a white murderer is somehow worse than a black one but from the knowledge that race determines whether fear, history, and public sentiment offer that killer a usable alibi.”


Eric Blauer

I fail…yes, I’m two and I cannot write or understand spell check. :/

Eric Blauer

Tracy, delete above unreadable comment and here is my comment again:

But…you and I are white. So does that mean we cannot give justice on a jury? Should I worry if a jury is all black? Can white people speak at rallies, write or argue issues of justice based on white history across the globe? Can a person who isn’t a Jew speak about the evils of naziism? Can a man oppose abortion even though he doesn’t have a uterus? Can a woman talk about war? Can a hertosexual advocate for homosexual issues? I’m sorry but I just don’t buy that angle, it shuts mouths based on race, class, sex. –

Laura Stembridge

White people can indeed speak at rallies, write or argue issues of justice based on white history across the globe by recognizing and then speaking to white privilege, thereby enlightening others. Same for heterosexual advocates of homosexuals who speak, write, or argue about heteronormativity and the binary it creates that marginalizes other sexualities. A man can oppose abortion even though he doesn’t have a uterus. However, he does not have the right to continue to further the appropriation of women’s bodies. I am uncomfortable with abortion but fervently believe that a woman should have the same control over her body that men always have had over their penises. A woman can talk about war although I’m not sure what point you’re making with that one. I am a woman and have been to war to which most men have done neither act (either serving or deploying). Which is endlessly ironic given America’s predilection for the military being the epitome of masculinity.

What angle aren’t you buying?

Eric Blauer

I don’t buy this angle:
“recognizing and then speaking to white privilege, thereby enlightening others.”

Re: Homosexuality.
I don’t agree that advocating for hetero-homo sexuality somehow creates a normative sexuality binary for whatever group wants to claim that line of reasoning. I’m sure polygamists or even pedophiles could start using that exact argument. I don’t buy it.

Re: Abortion:
I’ve got no living child growing in my penis nor the ability to carry and nurture life therein.

Re: War
Warmongers usually argue that unless you’ve killed someone you cannot be a legitimate voice against war. As if one had to rape or be raped to speak out against rape. That whole line of reasoning escapes me.

Jan Shannon

I think that if justice truly existed here and now, no 17 yr old innocent would be killed. Anything subsequent to the killing is just the legal system trying to mete out punishment. I have no anger in me for this judgement, only a profound sadness for all concerned. In our discussions, let us not forget that a boy died, a mother and father lost their son, a man’s life may never recover normality, and God forbid, more killings may follow upon the heels of all the anger.

Eric Blauer

If the trial was followed and the details looked at Trayvon wasn’t innocent according to law. If the narrative becomes that “No Justice” was found in our legal court system. If people spread the message that a jury of our peers can’t give justice, only one things remains…vigilante justice. If there’s no justice available in the system than you are telling people to seek justice through their own actions. I think no one would want streets ruled by the street justice.

Laura Stembridge


What is Hetero-Homosexuality? Heterosexuality and Homosexuality cannot be chunked together into one category. Until you stop equating homosexuality with pedophilia, polygamy, or bestiality, there really is no point in engaging a conversation about the reality of homosexuality as positive and life-giving.

I was not suggesting that you have a child growing in your penis. What I clearly said was that women should have the same rights over their bodies that men always have. Men are not required to have vasectomies or wear condoms and yet women are forced to no access to birth control and a demand for no abortions once they are impregnated.

If I didn’t literally say “there’s no justice available in the system therefore people should seek justice through their own actions” then don’t presume that I am advocating for vigilante justice. What I advocate for is people engaging intellectually on issues so that they can better this broken system. Its not easy work but I also don’t advocate for lazy responses and furthering a broken system rather than dig in the trenches of hard intellectual work to rethink how we can reform our societal structure. As it stands now, I don’t believe that our peers can give “justice”. Which is why so many people on death row are executed despite later evidence of their innocence. There are also people on death row despite no evidence strongly suggesting their guilt:


On that same note, street justice is what George Zimmerman doled out in spades to Trayvon Martin by presuming that he was a threat when he was walking along minding his own business. I guess he thought that cops can’t deliver “justice”.

I’m sorry to hear that you don’t believe that white people can recognize and then speak to white privilege, thereby enlightening others to racism. Its a necessary reality people need to work for and one that some have achieved:


Eric Blauer

I’m going to go with the justice system over street justice. It’s the best system out there from my perspective and experience, not perfect but far more productive than the alternatives.

You seem to be missing my points, so either I’m failing at communication or your just trying to be difficult. You are free to disagree but I assure you, my engagement on issues is far from “lazy”. if you feel that you’ve dug in and done the real intellectual “hard work”, submit an article to Tracy, I’m sure she would love more perspectives.

Tracy Simmons

Yes! Bring on the articles! This is a hot topic and this is a forum for discussions on the issues raised in the above comments.

Laura Stembridge

I suppose I am being a tad bit difficult but I enjoy to some degree your perspective as it challenges me constantly. I’ll take that any day over preaching to the choir, if you will.

I agree with you about the justice system over street justice. The irony I feel is being missed is that George Zimmerman relied on street justice to handle his racist assumption that Trayvon Martin was a punk up to no good because he was walking and, God forbid, looking around. While he might have duely engaged in a fight, he did so because George Zimmerman aggressed him. A reality to which our justice system failed to address or properly handle. Which should not be so blithely ignored out of a desire for a well-working justice system. For me, relying on the adage that a verdict was served and therefore should not be challenged is counter to democracy.

I was not calling you lazy. I’m sorry if you felt that way but please clarify next time before you come across as defensive. When I read air quoted words I infer sarcasm and therefore a jab at myself via a pithy sentence. I’ll write an article for SpokaneFAVS only if I feel called to. Not called out.

Once again, I do appreciate your engagement on issues. While this feels like we’re punching each other in the face verbally, it’s still a healthy and necessary interaction.

Eric Blauer

The nature of writing an article is immediately a defense posture, you write, people poke. It’s the deal, if no one is defensive I think they are a megalomaniac. Giving an account for ones perspective is part of this and ones feelings and thoughts are personal. I try my best to be mello but the posture is often slightly aggressive. Sometimes that’s a drag. I continue to write for the time being because I think there should be diverse opinions.

Laura Stembridge

The nature of some writing is a defensive posture. However, if we are to make any progress as a race, we must strive for writing that hits at the core problematic level and not surface level people-pitted-against-people that is so often resorted too. Not taking the time to contemplate how language is constructed and therefore conveyed is counter-productive and pointless. Aggressive writing only puts people on the defensive and shuts down good conversation. I struggle constantly with making sure my writing doesn’t make presumptions of other people and its difficult but worthwhile. I fail many times but am blessed to have grace and a learned discipline of editing. The whole sleep on it and see how you feel in the morning adage is quite appropriate.

There should be diverse opinions and I hope you keep throwing yours in the SpokaneFAVS mix for quite some time.


Justice was served.

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