Actress Angela Bassett, who rarely lets her opinion on political matters heard, waded into the Trayvon Martin murder, charging racism played a role in the unarmed teenager’s death at the hands of a wannabe cop George Zimmerman.
Bassett made the comments in Chicago last weekend during a speech at the South Side Catholic church as part of its African-American Speaking Series. She compared Martin’s killing to the historic case of Chicago’s own Emmett Till, the 14-year-old murdered in 1955 after whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. The legendary actress urged a national push to overturn the so-called “stand your ground” laws across the South, the Sun Times reports.
“Trayvon Martin adds another name to the terrible legacy of young black men like…Emmett Till and countless others who were judged, sentenced and executed for the crime of being young and black,” the 53-year-old star of film and stage told an audience of some 800 Friday night at St. Sabina.
“An innocent young man walking home from getting a snack, and by virtue of race, accused of being a trespasser and predator just steps away from his father’s home. Yet all signs suggest that he was the one being hunted and then killed,” said Bassett.
“And his killer, allowed to roam free under a law that says people only need to feel threatened before they can make the decision to take your life. What’s worse is that it’s a law that’s spread throughout a great deal of the country, particularly in states where justice has not always been blind. Certainly not colorblind.” Source
Angela Bassett is usually not this vocal about political and social issues. Some people may applaud her, while others will dismiss this as another celebrity trying to jump on the bandwagon. Angela Bassett is currently starring on Broadway in the award-winning play, “Mountaintop,” which features the events the night before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.
It’s a little crazy to see George Zimmerman pull out a black friend to vouch for his veracity, when that friend, Joe Oliver, wasn’t a witness to the murder of Trayvon Martin. I am amazed at how some people, when they are accused of a crime or an action that seems racially motivated, they will sing the virtues of blacks and tell you how many black friends they have.