BUS responds to Trayvon Martin killing

Drew Parker

Update March 29 6:14 p.m.

Sharea Elkins’ quote was accurate but taken out of context. The quote should have also included that had a white male been walking around with a hoodie, the situation would have been different.

The killing of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old black Florida high school student, has sent ripples of controversy throughout the nation. Martin was found unarmed at the scene, where he was supposedly shot in self-defense by a neighborhood watch captain armed with a handgun. The shooter has not been arrested on the murder, and people around the country are questioning whether the killing was truly out of self-defense or just a racially driven assumption.

Black United Students will host a march in honor of Trayvon Martin Monday night at 7 p.m. in Risman plaza. The march will end with a candlelight vigil at the rock on Front Campus.

BUS encourages marchers to wear hoodies to represent Martin’s attire from the night he was killed.

Samantha Salters, BUS president and teaching English as a second language major, said the organization decided to march to reflect on the death of Martin and the issues surrounding it.

“Its important that the whole Kent State community, and not just African Americans, are aware of the issues and laws in place surrounding Trayvon’s death,” Salters said. “Although we don’t know all the details of his death, we know that race is still a prevalent issue in America.”

Senior Psychology major Terrance Tufts said he was disturbed by a lack of justice for Martin’s death.

“I was appalled, not just with the fact that there was a murder, but that the person who did it is walking free,” Tufts said. “He took a life, whether it was self-defense or not.”

Tufts said Martin’s death indicates that racism still exists in America.

“The constitution says that every man is created equal, but the justice system doesn’t emulate the doctrine,” Tufts said. “I honestly hope justice is served.”

Sharea Elkins, sophomore fashion merchandising major said she feels race is a definite factor in the case.

“I feel like if it was a white boy it would have been different,” Elkins said. “It’s been a whole month and the case is just taking too long.”

Junior political science major Chris Clevenger said he feels people should focus less on the issues surrounding Martin’s death and simply remember his life.

“It’s always a tragedy to find out that a young person has lost their life,” Clevenger said. “Both sides are slinging mud on the case at this point, and I think we should remember him rather than worry about who to blame.”

Clevenger said he feels media attention has affected the story greatly.

“I think people are making it into a race issue,” Clevenger said. “For the sake of Trayvon’s family it’s important that people stop focusing on the bad and remember that an important life has been lost.”

Contact Drew Parker at [email protected].