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Florida is normally a quiet and peaceful place where many come to retire and enjoy the sun, beaches, great seafood and attractions.
That all changed when George Zimmerman was acquitted of the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, FL. The acquittal has rekindled a national debate on race relations in America. It is hard to get away from it. Groups on both sides of the issue are becoming more vocal. There have been and will be marches, demonstrations and rallies not unlike those seen during the 1960s.
The rhetoric is heating up. Media Matters in a “Take Action” email states, “This week, Rush Limbaugh claimed that it’s OK for him to say ”nigga’ with an ‘A’ on the end, because ‘it’s not racist’ when Trayvon Martin’s friend Rachel Jeantel uses it. In an interview today, Jeantel responded to Limbaugh, noting that it’s ‘disrespectful’ and ‘racist for an adult’ to say it.” But is it?
The NAACP has sent a petition to US Attorney General Eric Holder asking for an investigation to determine if the shooting was a “hate crime”. Al Sharpton has stated that Trayvon Martin had a “civil right” to walk home on the night of the shooting. Hollywood stars, pundits on both sides and the media have seized on this issue.
The question: Is it time to have an open and frank discussion on race relations in the United States?
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