The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has readied bills that will address racial profiling, stand your ground laws and non-violent training for neighborhood watch volunteers in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict for the death of Trayvon Martin.
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), an icon of the civil rights era, said the decision “seems to justify the stalking and killing of innocent black boys and deny them any avenue of self-defense.”
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), head of the CBC, decried “the presumption of guilt so often associated with people of color.”
But CBC members said they strongly believed that race was a motivating factor in the incident in arguing for the racial profiling law.
“George Zimmerman targeted Trayvon Martin as a potential criminal because Trayvon Martin is black,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) told MSNBC Monday.
“Anyone who denies that racism isn’t alive today, particularly in the so-called justice system, is exceedingly delusional,” said Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), who wore a hoodie on the House floor last year in a demonstration.
“This verdict points to the reality that there are far too many walking America’s streets wearing a hoodie, carrying snacks and soft drink, which can result in a ‘death sentence’ particularly if they are young, black and male.” [The Hill]