A heart-wrenching commentary about Trayvon Martin and the justice system

July 17, 2013

How the Whole System Failed Trayvon Martin
I have not seen a more powerful commentary on Trayvon Martin’s death and subsequent events than this essay by the New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow.  “The idea of universal suspicion without individual evidence is what Americans find abhorrent and what black men in American must constantly fight,” he writes. “It is pervasive in policing policies—like stop-and-frisk, and in this case neighborhood watch—regardless of the collateral damage done to the majority of innocents. . . . As a parent, particularly a parent of black teenage boys, I am left with the question, ‘Now, what do I tell my boys?’”  Related Reading: Two other fathers, one black and one white, weigh in with the same question on the Sojourners blog. See Margot Starbuck’s interview with Leroy Barber, “Raising Black Boys in America,” and Jim Wallis’s “Lament from a White Father.”  For more related reading, see theologian Susan Thistlethwaite’s essay on the topic in the Washington Post and read or listen to an interview with NPR’s Michele Norris about the “Race Card Project.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni is an independent scholar, writer, and editor. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992).

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