California’s African-American leaders are joining in the movement to boycott Florida following George Zimmerman's acquittal in the Trayvon Martin shooting death trial.
“There’s sunshine all over the place and we don’t need to go to Florida to find it,” said Assemblymember Shirley Weber as she announced the message from the California Legislative Black Caucus to the so-called Sunshine State.
The caucus is joining with the National Black Caucus in requesting an investigation into possible civil rights violations surrounding the death of Trayvon Martin as well as calling on Florida lawmakers to rescind the controversial “stand your ground” law that played a pivotal role in Zimmerman’s acquittal.
Holding signs of “peace” and “no more funerals” dozens of people gathered on the steps of the San Diego Hall of Justice Thursday to discuss the recent verdict.
“It should be a long time before any of us ever feel remotely comfortable considering Florida as a destination for business or pleasure,” Weber said.
She has contacted black organizations planning on conferences in Florida next year and has asked them to reconsider traveling to the state.
Several leaders in San Diego’s African-American community stood with Weber and offered their support.
“Staying away from Florida, Disney World, whatever it takes in order to see people live a just life,” said Pastor Stephen Cooper of Nu-Way International Christian Ministries.
“We’re going to stand together for however long it takes,” said Pastor Gerald Brown with the United African-American Ministerial Action Council. “We’re not going away.”
Douglas Oden, with the San Diego-area chapter of the NAACP called on the Justice Department to investigate the possible civil rights violations that may have occurred.
The death of Trayvon Martin has re-energized the movement to end racial profiling, Oden said.
The group hopes the boycott will follow the path created by a similar movement in which African Americans boycotted Arizona over the state’s failure to recognize the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
Weber has organized an event on August 28th at the State Capitol to Commemorate the 50 year anniversary of the March on Washington.
She said the event will continue to explore the circumstances surrounding Trayvon Martin's death and examine George Zimmerman's murder trial.