Reformed Church in America Leaders Response to George Zimmerman Verdict

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Dear RCA Family:
On July 13, 2013, a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of any crime in the killing of Trayvon
Martin. Since then, our nation has struggled with deep questions about the kind of society we have.
For many of our brothers and sisters who are white, the Martin-Zimmerman tragedy was terrible. For many
of our sisters and brothers of color, the Martin-Zimmerman tragedy validates major themes that flow
through everyday living in our society—that our way of life is rooted in racism, white/racial privilege,
racial profiling, institutional racism, and a propensity for violence against people of color. The tragedy is
one of many similar episodes.
Trayvon Martin was just a few years younger than my daughter, Torri, and Trayvon’s story hits me as a
parent. I mourn with parents of color as, following the acquittal in this case, they are forced to again face
difficult questions:
How do we make sure our children are safe?
How do we protect our children, knowing they can be shot and the shooter can go free?
In a nation where freedoms of expression and movement are prized, why must fear of being
racially profiled by police and others govern what our children should wear or not wear and where
our children should go or not go?

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