Recently a young African American, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch captain. The killing has ignited much controversy. Each side has become entrenched in a position. The shooter alleges self defense and the supporters of the victim allege murder as a result of racial profiling.
We may never know exactly what happened on February 26, 2012, when George Zimmerman shot and killed this unarmed teenager in Sanford, Florida. Hopefully our judicial system will allow both sides their day in court and a proper and just result with all of the constitutional safeguards offered to both sides.
This tragic event reminds all of us that our war against racism is far from over. The last one hundred fifty years has shown considerable progress beginning after the Civil War in 1866 with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery, the Fourteenth Amendment making all Americans born African American citizens, and the Fifteenth Amendment allowing African Americans the right to vote.
Setbacks have occurred, including Jim Crow laws advancing segregation and the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1896 in Plessy v. Ferguson, which indicated public facilities did not have to be racially integrated as long as they were equal. Fortunately our judiciary corrected this impediment in 1954 in the case of
Brown v. Board of Education which held that racially separate facilities are inherently unequal and hence the advent of desegregation.
Prejudice on both sides of the fence has considerably lessened but sadly still exists as is revealed by the aftermath of the death of Trayvon Martin. Eradication of such prejudices must be a way of life -- one which is lived, not just preached, and one that is not tolerated or permitted.
There are not two sides to this issue -- there is only one side -- we are one race -- the human race.
If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination or if you have been wrongfully terminated from your employment on account of your race, gender, color, creed, national origin, medical disability or age, call the Fitzsimmons Law Firm. The Fitzsimmons Law Firm has successfully handled claims and lawsuits for individuals who who have been the victim of wrongful termination and discrimination. For over 30 years, our West Virginia employment discrimination lawyers have committed themselves to ensuring that all people are afforded equal access to the work force regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age or disability.