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Students Everywhere Have Something (Wrong) to Say About Trayvon Martin

The Huffington Post has made a slideshow of various columns and editorials from student newspapers that deal with the Trayvon Martin shooting. Here is a sample of informed commentary from the next generation of reporters and pundits.

This is a column from Joanna Williams of the Western Kentucky University Herald. By my count, this author makes six claims, and just one of them is (maybe) correct:

The fact of the matter is that Martin is one of many black people who have been murdered, incarcerated and pulled over by those who think black people are below them, and nothing has been able to stop it. And that makes me really angry.

That’s not a fact. That’s a possibility.

It makes me angry that if the roles were reversed, Martin would still be locked up and probably facing life in prison.

Well, that might be true.

It makes me angry that it took nearly a month before major news outlets picked up this story.

Of the many legitimate complaints about news coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting,  that there should be more of it doesn’t strike me as one of them.

It makes me angry that I can still bring this up in conversation and no one knows who he is or what I am talking about.

Almost everyone who listens to the news at all has heard about Trayvon Martin.

And it infuriates me that people don’t understand, or refuse to understand, that Martin was killed because he was black and for that reason alone.

Absolutely, sickeningly false. Martin’s race may have played a role in his death (we don’t know that for sure yet), but it most likely was not the only reason.

For any white person who doesn’t know, allow for me to say that nothing has changed. Racism has simply become more covert, and it always takes a tragedy to open the eyes of the struggles of many.

If it is extreme to say that racism doesn’t exist anymore, it is equally extreme to say that nothing has changed–no progress has been made–in the past decades: extreme, and false. The world of today is certainly a less racist place than the world of the 90’s, 80’s, 70’s 60’s, etc.

Student journalists have engaged in a massive rush to judgement in the Trayvon Martin case, and that will be true no matter what new facts emerge.

Read previous coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting–and student newspapers’ ridiculous responses–here.

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