Black United Students rallies to protest Trayvon Martin killing

Drew Parker

Chants of “No justice, no peace!” and “Hell no, Zimmerman’s gotta go” could be heard throughout campus as students marched in protest of Trayvon Martin’s death Monday.

The march, hosted by Black United Students, began at Risman plaza at 7p.m. and ended at the rock on Front Campus around 8:30.

During his speech at the event, Pan-African Studies professor Mwatabu Okantah empahasized the importance of B.U.S.’s involvement on campus regarding the case.

“We are here today because yet another young black man is dead, and we are here today because the more things change the more they stay the same,” Okantah said. “What you’re doing right now is a part of an energy going around in this whole country.”


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The killing of the 17-year-old Florida high school student has sparked controversy across the United States about racial profiling. Martin was found unarmed at the scene of his death, where he was supposedly shot in self-defense by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, who was armed with a handgun. Zimmerman has not been arrested.

Nathaniel Lewis, sophomore public health major, said it is important for students to remember the significance of the case long after it loses popularity.

“Let’s make a change,” Lewis said. “Don’t let Trayvon Martin become just a face in the media. Let Trayvon Martin become the face of our generation.”

Anthony Imes, sophomore communication studies major, said students should remember how the Martin case hits close to home.

“We are all his brother,” Imes said. “We are all his sister, and if my brother or sister was gunned down, I would not sleep until there was justice for them. We should not sleep until there is justice for Trayvon Martin.”

Samantha Salters, BUS president and English as a second language major, said she was impressed with the outcome of the march.

“This Trayvon Martin issue is something that is a reoccurring issue. Unfortunately this is the only one that has gotten this much fuss, but this keeps happening,” Salters said. “It’s important that we let people know that this is going on and will continue unless we do nothing about it.”

Kyle Johnson, senior sociology major, said it is important for students to understand the significance of race in the case.

“We need the community of Kent State to come together and realize that this is a important issue and we need to make a change — not only on this campus but throughout this country,” Johnson said. “Racial profiling is a problem. Some people say that racism did not play a part in the shooting of Trayvon, but it did.”

Hailey carter, freshman nutrition major, said similar cases have been occurring in the United States for years.

“This isn’t the first time, and it wont be the last time something like this will happen,” Carter said. “It’s important for us to be united to try to stop this injustice.”

Contact Drew Parker at [email protected].