The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Students, faculty rally in protest of Trayvon Martin’s death

Sidney Hollingsworth/The Daily Campus

(Sidney Hollingsworth/The Daily Campus)

This week marks the one month anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teenager who was shot by neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman.

SMU staff and faculty joined students from across the country on Monday to commemorate the anniversary in a gathering, followed by a silent march and ending with a candlelight vigil. 

The events were designed to set a stage for participants to express their feelings about the issues revolving around Martin’s death.

“It was very moving and it was a very proud moment for me,” said Brittany Dickey, a senior in communications studies.

First-year Alaxandria Foreman came in support but admitted she was skeptical of the silent walk’s ability to cultivate a societal transformation.

“If you want things to change, you have to do it by law,” she said. “You have to do it by going to the people that can actually change something.”

SMU Law professor Jessica Dixon-Weaver echoed Foreman’s remarks.

“It is important that we have laws in the books that don’t allow these things to happen. And the only way you can do that is if you are there and you have a voice,” she said.

Dixon-Weaver continued to speak of the idea that all life is equal, but her speech did not ignore the facts of the situation that suggest that in this particular situation, it seems as if the life of one man is worth more than another.

“What is the value of a black life?” Dixon-Weaver asked. “We don’t see race when we are kids, but we are taught race. I’m hopeful that generations from now, we won’t be teaching our young black men that you have to walk a certain way.”

SMU English professor Bruce Levy told NBC, “I know many black students who tell me they’re routinely followed in stores, on the streets, and they feel very threatened by that.”

Osei Boakye, a SMU Law student who also attended the silent march, said, “Nothing on my forehead says that I’m a third year law student. Nothing on my forehead says that I’m a C.P.A. Nothing on my forehead says that I have a masters in accounting. All they see is that I’m black.”

Second year law student, Soluta Uba agreed with Boakye but took it a step further.

“This is not just a black matter, this is an American matter,” he said. “I have the constitutionally given right to walk freely in public space. And if someone is infringing upon that right illegally, justice demands that they are held to the full extent of the law.”

Karen Baker-Fletcher, professor of Systemic Theology at Perkins, sees the case from a theological standpoint.

“What happened to Trayvon, theologically, from a faith perspective, is a crime against God and a crime against humanity,” Baker-Fletcher said.

The common theme among speakers was support for Martin’s family.

“I don’t think there is really anything that you can say to console them,” Ryan Deegan, a political science and international studies junior, said. “But I wish that Trayvon’s family could see all of the efforts around campuses nationwide because that’s really the core of this issue. I think that despite the fact that they have lost their son, I hope they see that this does have the potential to do a whole lot of good and raise some great awareness.”

(Sidney Hollingsworth/The Daily Campus)

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