The first Trayvon Martin rally protesting the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman began Saturday morning in Newport News, VA. Around 100 rallies are scheduled throughout the day, across the country, with the majority beginning at noon. Around 25 people attended the Newport News rally, held across from the federal courthouse. The event was short on speeches, but long on prayers and spiritual hymns.
In fact, there were no speeches. The very muted event began with a scripture reading and a prayer. A gospel singer then lead the group in a hymn. Attendees then took a short walk down to the water-front, held a photo-op for a woman documenting the event and then walked back to the federal courthouse. They held another photo-op there and listened to musicians and said more prayers.
There was no anger or outrage expressed at the event. The tone was more of a resigned sadness. “Look, its just not right,” an attendee who declined to give her name told Breitbart News. “I’m a white woman and when I was younger I messed around with alcohol and drugs. But, if something had happened to me, someone would be in jail.”
“He was 17,” she added referring to Trayvon Martin. “Kids are going to do stupid things. They shouldn’t die from it.”
“We do need to do something about our communities,” her friend, a black woman, said. “There’s too much crime. If you try to talk to a kid doing something wrong, the parent is like ‘don’t you be talking to my child.'”
Just a few miles away from the rally, thousands of members of the Buffalo Soldier motorcycle club gathered for their annual bike rally. The organization is the nation’s largest black motorcycle enthusiasts’ club. It is holding its national convention today and tomorrow in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, which includes Newport News.
Motorcycles, not race will be their “national conversation” this weekend. It is a testament to how much progress we’ve made.