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The Blame: The Part of the Trayvon Martin Story You Don’t Want to Hear… But Need To

The Blame and the Questions

On February 26th, 2012, 17 year-old Trayvon Martin was shot to death in Sanford, Florida.  And despite wearing your hoodie, your participation in the protest, and your indignation on behalf of injustice, if you’re reading this article, you probably helped that tragedy occur.

George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, that part is not in question.  He told the police as much when they arrived.  The questions are 1) Why did George Zimmerman kill Trayvon Martin?  2) Why did the police consider the killing justifiable under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground law?  And 3) what do you, the reader, have to do with any of this?

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[Black History] Dred Scott v. Sandford

Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857), was a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that people of African descent imported into the United States and held as slaves (or their descendants, whether or not they were slaves) were not protected by the Constitution and could never be U.S. citizens. The court also held that the U.S. Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories and that, because slaves were not citizens, they could not sue in court. Furthermore, the Court ruled that slaves, as chattels or private property, could not be taken away from their owners without due process. The Supreme Court’s decision was written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney.