NEW YORK – The following is a statement from ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson.
"As more facts related to this tragedy are revealed, we know that a law pushed by the American Legislative Exchange Council and the National Rifle Association is providing George Zimmerman with a defense for taking Trayvon Martin’s life. ColorOfChange members are well aware of ALEC's promotion of discriminatory voter ID laws that threaten Black folks’ ability to participate fully as citizens in this country. Now we also know that the behind-the-scenes group also threatens Americans’ ability to walk in our neighborhoods without fear that our lives can be taken by overzealous vigilantes.
"Our online community knows that ALEC doesn’t act alone. Its membership consists of legislators and corporations who work together to push legislation that benefits their interests. More than 75,000 ColorOfChange members have stood up against ALEC’s promotion of discriminatory voter ID laws. Now, we see that this group of shadow legislators and their corporate backers – companies with household brand names – has pushed this so-called Stand Your Ground law in statehouses all over the country.
"ColorOfChange calls on the media to shine a spotlight on the connection between ALEC, its corporate partners and the gun law that set the stage for the senseless killing of Trayvon Martin. Martin's death at Zimmerman's hands has held up a mirror to the fears that Black men and boys and the people who love them live with constantly. If ALEC is in some way connected to Martin’s death, the public needs to know."
More than 100,000 CoC members have signed the petition calling on the Department of Justice to take over the case, arrest Martin's killer, and launch an independent investigation into the Sanford police department's mishandling of the case.
The petition can be found here: http://www.colorofchange.org/campaign/trayvon/
More than 75,000 CoC members signed an earlier petition targeting ALEC’s corporate partners for their role in suppressing Black votes.
That petition can be found here: http://www.colorofchange.org/campaign/alec/
With more than 800,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest African-American online civil rights organization.