Mr. Speaker, I am tired of burying young black boys.
I am tired of watching them suffer at the hands of those who fear them and despise them. I’m tired of comforting mothers, fathers, grandparents, sisters, and brothers after such unnecessary, heinous crimes of violence.
In Florida, almost 3 years ago, as I served in the Florida senate, a young black boy, Martin Lee Anderson, was beaten to death at a Florida bootcamp. It was all captured on a State of Florida Corrections video and shown all over the world. Martin Lee Anderson was beaten and tortured until his lifeless body couldn’t take anymore, and then Martin Lee Anderson was dead, at the hands of several bootcamp guards. A young boy, who wanted to be somebody! A young boy who was trying to turn his life around.
After they beat him to death on international TV as the world watched, over and over again—not one guard was sent to prison. Not one was even reprimanded. In fact, after we closed down every bootcamp in Florida, many of the accused received promotions.
Well, guess what? In Florida, we have another Martin—Trayvon Martin. Trayvon Martin was shot to death by a renegade wannabe policeman neighborhood watchman.
Trayvon Martin lived in Miami, Florida, in District 17—my congressional district. Trayvon, a 140-pound young black boy, 17 years old, was just trying to live and reach 18. In spite of that, the accused killer, George Zimmerman, has not been charged, and is using the term of “self-defense.”
The 911 audio tapes tell it all. They tell the story of the last moments of Trayvon Martin’s life, just as the videotapes told so visibly the story of Martin Lee Anderson’s last moments.
Trayvon was running for his life. He was screaming for help, fighting for his life, and then he was murdered—shot dead.
Today, I applaud the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the FBI, and the Federal Department of Justice for their intervention. I encourage the citizens of Florida and the citizens from around the world to continue to fight for justice for Trayvon Martin. Justice must be served. No more racial profiling.
I’m tired of fighting when the evidence is so clear, so transparent.
Twenty years ago, while serving as a school board member, I founded the Five Thousand Role Models of Excellence project: A million-dollar nationally recognized and honored foundation that specifically addresses the trials and tribulations of young black boys, and sends them to college. It impacts almost 20,000 young men throughout Florida.
In spite of that, we still have to march, and demonstrate, and write letters, and protest, and fight, and have prayer vigils, and sue, and sit in, just to be heard.
No more! No more, Florida. No more, America! No more hiding your criminal racial profiling by using self-defense to get away with murder. Stand up for Trayvon Martin! Stand up for justice! Stand up for our children!
I’m tired, tired, tired of burying young black boys.
Thank you, and I turn back the balance of my time.