This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only.
Harry Belafonte came to Tallahassee this past Friday and he wasn’t here to sing “The Banana Boat Song.”
The singer, actor and veteran political activist/dissident was here to join the 11 day occupation of Florida Governor slick Rick Scott led by the vanguard youth movement Dream Defenders. The Dream Defenders, a coalition of young union organizers, students and other activists are demanding that Scott call a special session to deal with Florida’s now notorious “Stand Your Ground Law.”
Although three of six jurors in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman trial (lets face it, Zimmerman’s attorney, smush-face Mark “If George were black there would be no trial” O’Mara put Martin on trial) initially voted for manslaughter or 2nd degree murder, they cited stand your ground as the reason they eventually voted for acquittal.
Belafonte is one of many others joining the historic protest at the state Capitol, which included the mother of Trayvon Martin. Scott met briefly with the Dream Defenders last week, and after praising them for their activism, told them there would be no special session and he supports Stand Your Ground. Instead he declared last Sunday, “a day of prayer.”
In other words, Scott told the DD’s to go to hell.
Belafonte warned Scott that it was foolish to ignore the simple request in light of the growing numbers of organizations and individuals joining the protest. Florida could eventually become “ungovernable,” Belafonte further warned.
Melanie Andrade, president of Dream Defenders at Florida A&M university, quoted in the Tallahassee Democrat, told fellow protestors, “It’s a restoration of faith to know that this is an organized resistance of young people, and we have the support of those who came before.”
Nobody who has followed Rick Scotts many contortions over the last couple of years would be surprised if he eventually “evoles” on Stand Your Ground. Facing re-election next year, Scotts poll numbers are in the tank and over the last year he has backtracked on several issues.
After the botched Seminole county “investigation” of Martins murder at the hands of Zimmerman who decided Martin was guilty of walking while black, in which the lead investigator, Chris Serino who initially recommended the arrest and prosecution of Zimmerman, only to tell the jury he believed everything Zimmerman told him, Scott stepped in and ordered the state to take over the investigation.
Scott most assuredly fears a motivated, angry black electorate.
All of which is to say despite the jury verdict, the trial of George Zimmerman, the man who studied mixed martial arts for a couple of years but ”couldn’t throw a punch” according to his coach, and Florida’s idiotic Stand Your Ground Law is far from over.
Click here for more information on the Dream Defenders.
Jack McCarthy is a writer in Tallahassee, Florida. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org