Target: Susan Frederick, Florida Connection to National Conference of State Legislatures
Goal: Destroy stand-your-ground laws responsible for racist double standards.
So-called stand-your-ground laws exist in several states and effectively authorize individuals to use force, even deadly force, to protect themselves from perceived threats. These dangerous laws remove the duty to retreat from a potentially threatening situation, inciting violence when there often would have been none. In 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, who was unjustly acquitted. The reason for Martin’s death was that he “looked suspicious” and that Zimmerman was “standing his ground,” which has subsequently led to several states adopting a law that seemingly makes it okay to kill anyone as long as you claim self-defense, even if it is a blatant lie.
These laws have led to many needless deaths, such as a man being fatally shot for texting in a movie theater. However, the main issue of these laws is the racist double standard attached to them: a white person firing a gun at a person of color claiming self-defense is more likely to get away with it than a person of color firing at a white person, even if the white person is actively threatening or assaulting them. This is beyond racist, almost reminiscent of the days where blacks were treated as property by whites and could be killed or beaten for no reason at all other than their white “superiors” felt like it.
This needs to stop now. We need to fight harder to end this law and save more black citizens from the same fate as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Stand-your-ground laws are, at the end of the day, an excuse for racist violence that should not exist in society today. “Black Lives Matter” is not just a trendy catchphrase, it is the truth. Sign this petition to demand stand-your-ground laws be repealed and replaced with laws tailored to protect people of color from hate crimes.
Dear Ms. Frederick,
Stand-your-ground laws are an excuse for racist violence. Too often a white person will fire a gun on a black person and claim self-defense even when the person poses no threat. The most infamous example of this is the still painful Trayvon Martin murder of 2012 and the acquittal of his killer. Martin is one of many lives that should not have been lost to these laws.
Please work towards repealing these laws and implement ones tailored to the protection of people of color from hate crimes. In this day and age, black citizens should be able to walk down a street or go into a store without fearing for their lives.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Debra Sweet