Candlelight Vigil for Trayvon in Muncie, IN
Stand Your Ground against Stand Your Ground
By Rick Yencer
State Rep. Sue Errington, D-Muncie, speaks out for equality and justice.
MUNCIE, IN - A candlelight vigil for Trayvon Martin Sunday night soon became a call for social justice on equality when it comes to race, voter rights and gun control.
The gathering of about 75 people, including some of the community's well known activists, was literally social justice at the plaza for the county justice center where more than 200 people are incarcerated, many African-Americans.
Kia Bennett, a local activist, joined Marwin Strong, chairman of Muncie's Human Rights Commission, to talk about their social injustice some feel with the not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman who killed the young Martin.
" I was a Trayvon Martin," said Strong, recalling his days on the street where we nearly died..
As President Barack Obama spoke last week, and 100 communities held Justice for Trayvon protests on Saturday, Muncie's activists burned candles, talked about how adults should not be killing children and decided to move forward by fighting the Stand Your Ground law that allowing a person to shoot another in self defense.
Indiana has the same standard for self defense killing as Florida which is supported by Gov. Mike Pence and Republican lawmakers. A local gun rights group protested in favor of Standard Your Ground recently, and the local Tea Party also is a strong gun owner lobby just like the National Rifle Association.
Strong said he would talk to lawmakers about abolishing Stand Your Ground despite a one party Republican statehouse that will continue to uphold the law. George Wolfe, a Ball State professor and musician, emphasized the importance of public action against the law.
"We have to stand your ground against stand your ground," said Wolfe.
Cheryl Davis told her own Trayvon story of a nephew, Quincy Davis of Anderson, who was shot in the back by a man who found him in his house. The younger Davis was visiting a friend when her father came home and considered him an intruder. The shooter was never charged.
"As long as we all stand together, we can make a change," said Davis.
Women with children also spoke as many talked about stopping senseless violence, especially against children. And Strong said the law had to stop racial profiling that ends with many African Americans behind bars.
Stacy Stinson, another local activist, made it clear that people must organize and stand up for their rights and work together to also stop crime and unemployment to improve the quality life.
State Rep.. Sue Errington, D-Muncie, also joined the cause, adding there also were problems with restrictive voter identification laws in the state. And there were concerns other activists over the marriage equality ban Republicans want to put in the state constitution.
Strong told the group, "We are all one race," as he promoted equality and fairness with the human race.
Density, one of he children at the vigil, thought everyone should be free to speak their mind.
Errington said the conversation about Trayvon and other social issues was not over, and she encouraged activists to talk to friends at church, in schools or just in the neighborhood to raise awareness.
Look for more activism on the issue after weekend protests put others on notice about ending senseless shooting and killing of children besides turning back restrictive laws limiting basic rights..