Sybrina Fulton Kicks Off Discussion at University of Utah


Sybrina Fulton

In the 30th annual Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the University of Utah is holding public discussions. This year’s theme is “Beneath the Hoodie: A Look at Racial Profiling in America.”

On Jan. 21, Jennifer Napier-Pearce of the Salt Lake Tribune will lead a panel discussion at the university about the damaging effects of racial profiling and how to combat it.   Sybrina Fulton will kick off that discussion.

Sybrina Fulton is the mother of Trayvon Martin who, on February 26, 2012, was profiled, followed, and killed by George Zimmerman.  In July 2013, a jury of 6 women found Zimmerman not guilty of 2nd degree murder neither manslaughter.

The best to Sybrina Fulton in her work as an advocate.

Posted on 01/09/2014, in Heroes, Justice For Trayvon and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 58 Comments.

  1. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

    I doubt they can ever fully measure the negative effects on minorities or on the perpetrators.


    • Jackie,


      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

        Thank you. But one huge block to dealing with racism and prejudice is that many think they are not racist at all. Michael Bloomberg is one of those people. Whenever he was in the news for his controversial Stop-and-Frisk policy I would be so angry I wrote long diatribes addressed to Michael Bloomberg on my Facebook page, for all the good it would do. In my message I explained exactly how Stop and Frisk hurt minorities by explaining it in terms of parenting. In short, when parents expect children to misbehave and treat them as if they are guilty, when in fact they are not, eventually the child is going to give up on behaving well because the parent doesn’t believe them anyway and commits some infraction. In short, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

        I know there are studies of verbal and physical abuse on children but I really do not know of any study on the damage to the brain or self-esteem of minorities who are constantly accused of wrongdoing. Simple blame is hurtful.

        I am not a professional on this subject but I have a sneaking suspicion that the accusers also suffer damage but I am not sure how that would manifest unless it is in chronic suspicion and such.

        I am sorry to rant but I do wish Sybrina Fulton the best of luck and success in her efforts. America is not over the death of Trayvon. Justice delayed is truly, justice denied.

        Thank you for your applause.


        • yes, we are not over the way Trayvon died or how he was treated in death and we can’t begin to heal until his killer is put away. i can’t even imagine her pain.

          even tho the killer is not a cop he tried to play one and did what some of them do when they feel like picking on someone. the FEDS need to make an example of the killer in more ways than one.


        • Jackie,
          I have a friend from Bosnia. She can’t attend events with firecrackers. She jumps at the sound of the testing of the tornado warning siren. That’s because she grew up in a war torn area in Bosnia. The kids were told how to judge if a bomb was close-by or far away. They were told how to hide or get in a path where the bomb would kill rather than maim them. Maiming was worst because there was no guarantee that they would be found and receive medical treatment — better to be dead than suffer unto death.

          Although it’s not the same as profiling, the trauma is the same as children suffer who live in war torn nations. They never know if a day outside the house will be their last.


          • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

            How awful. It’s the hyper-vigilance that an abused child experiences. This is so unfair. Who can be Christian and be racist? We should be so far past racism already, we are spinning our wheels. I hope to God Sybrina can make a dent. 😦


  2. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    The best alright!!


  3. Jueseppi B.

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat™.


  4. Yes. Let’s wish Ms Fulton the best on her endeavors. Like you Xena Ms Fulton shows strength through struggle. Also support Phyllis Giles. Michael Giles mom and her efforts to get her son pardoned. Her son subjected to a racial double standard regarding self defense/ SYG. Also let 2014 be the yr. Marissa Alexander is released and cleared.


    • m1,
      Now that you mention Michael Giles, here is the link to the petition for anyone who is interested.

      I hope the best for Marissa Alexander. I don’t argue the merits of her case, but do think that the sentencing was way overboard.


    • MI, First let me say that I support Michael Giles, BUT his lawyer never presented a SYG case. He and his family were told up to the night before the trial that he would go for SYG but for some unknown reason he chose not to when court began.

      You can’t say he was treated to a double standard when it was never applied to see. But like with Marissa Alexander and everyone else they got caught in Florida’s mandatory gun sentencing laws. The long sentence is not because of race but because of the minimum sentencing requirements that the state has.


      • I’m glad you support Michael Giles. Remember Zimmerman didn’t apply SYG either and he was acquitted.There is a historic racial double standard when it comes to Blacks and the use of self defense or SYG,castle doctrine ,whatever term you use.This is my issue. Ralph Wald and Trevor Dooley both are Floridians.Both men start conflicts. Both men kill the person they started with. Both men use SYG as a defense. Both men state they genuinely feared for their lives.Dooley even though he started the argument ,was walking away from confrontation,when David James grabbed him from behind and threw Dooley to the ground and was on top of Dooley. assaulting him.Wald not only started the conflict,he committed the only act of violence against a man who wasn’t assaulting him or anyone else. Dooley convicted of all charges. Wald acquitted of all charges. Dooley black,Wald white. How else do you explain someone who wasn’t attacked getting away with a self defense claim,As supposed to someone who was attacked not getting away with a self defense claim? Shouldn’t the fear of a person who was actually attacked be more believable than someone who wasn’t? If not racism ,what else is there?


        • towerflower

          Big differences in the cases you cited.
          Wald……..went into his living room and found Walter Conley having sex with his wife of a few weeks. His wife states she was in a alcoholic blackout and doesn’t remember any of it. He shot the man having sex with his wife thinking she was being raped. He used SYG thinking he was stopping a felony assault. The prosecution tried to counter it by the way he worded the 911 call…..saying he shot a man fornicating with his wife and not raping his wife. There were no witnesses to the event except his wife who said she doesn’t remember. The jury sided with Conley’s story.

          With Dooley, he had a legal concealed weapons permit. It started over a skateboarder on a basketball court. David James gave permission for the skateboarder to play on half of the court while he and his daughter played on the other half. Mr. Dooley objected to it, because the court had recently be redone and he felt the skateboarder should not be there. Mr. Dooley left his home, across the street, and confronted Mr. James and an argument ensued. At one point Mr. Dooley flashed his gun. Neighbors who witnessed the altercation and later testified said they saw Dooley flip up his T-shirt, revealing a gun in his waistband, while cursing at James. At that point Mr. Dooley crossed the line.

          I have seen and participated in many a Trayvon issue on whether or not Zimmerman flashed his gun at Trayvon and in defense Trayvon then punched Zimmerman in the nose. No one, not even me, argued that Trayvon would have been wrong that in this case he would then be defending himself from someone who, by flashing the gun, is now threatening him with a gun. This is the same. Mr. Dooley flashed his gun at Mr. James and Mr. James defended himself. They had a witness that said this. Whitt said James grabbed Dooley’s gun hand and his shoulder and, with a twist, took him to the ground, landing on top. They briefly wrestled for the gun until Dooley fired. Mr. Dooley claimed that Mr. James had his hands around his throat, choking him, but had no injuries present when checked by the paramedics. But it is important that the minute that Mr. Dooley flashed that gun he then crossed the line and was also committed of illegal open carry and improper display of a firearm. So I ask you again, if Zimmerman did indeed flash his gun to Trayvon would not Trayvon have the right to defend himself? I believe he does, just like Mr. James had the right to fight back.

          There were witnesses to this case, ones who saw Mr. Dooley flash the gun first. Mr. Dooley left his home to confront Mr. James about the skateboarder. Mr. Dooley instigated the encounter and he was denied SYG and like with Zimmerman he went with a traditional self-defense claim. Mr. Dooley had a multiracial jury that convicted him and he is currently out on bail while appealing his sentence.

          These are just a couple of the higher profile cases of SYG in Florida. I provided Xena with a link that showed all SYG cases in Florida and the races involved and they are all about even across the board on whether they were granted SYG or not. But it is important to read each case fully to understand the fine points.

          But back to Michael Giles, he was never given the chance at SYG and for that I don’t understand. His attorney only said he changed his mind after consulting others but he led the family and Michael to believe that he was going to ask for it. But before you can complain about not getting SYG you first have to ask for it and for that I blame his attorney.


          • Towerflower. Just a bit about the Dooley case. He flashed his gun, then turned around and was walking away when James rushed him. When I heard that, it was my thought that Dooley complied with SYG because he was removing himself. The jury however, relied on the initial aggressor part and found him guilty of manslaughter.

            As far as how it ended with James being shot and killed, the jury decided that James had the right to attack Dooley because he felt threatened.

            In the first article I wrote about it, I said If not but for the fact that Dooley left his driveway with a loaded gun and approached James, the two would not have come into physical contact. That’s the initial aggressor portion of the law.

            I then applied the same initial aggressor to Zimmerman; if not but for the fact that Zimmerman left his vehicle with a loaded gun to and did follow Trayvon, the two would not have come into physical contact. It was my opinion that the Zimmerman jury would find the same as the Dooley jury.

            Judge Nelson allowed standard SYG law in the jury instructions, but did not allow the initial aggressor part of the law. I know that some have said that Zimmerman did not use SYG as a defense in his trial, but O’Mara and West wrote the jury instructions with SYG language. Zimmerman was served a benefit by parsing the initial aggressor portion from the law. Juror B37 would later say that she acquitted because the way the law is written, and Juror B29 said the law was read to here to say that intent needed to be proven.


          • Xena……From what I could find it was the Whitt’s testimony which sealed the case. Yes, everyone says that Dooley flashed the gun and turned to walk home and James continued. Mrs. Whitt said: “Mr. James said, ‘Don’t flash a weapon,’ something like that,” Michelle Whitt testified.

            Then, she said, Dooley pulled out the gun and James grabbed his hand. The men struggled, they fell to the ground, and James ended up on his knees as Dooley lay on his side. They still wrestled for the gun.

            The gun fired.”

            I still feel the same way, if he pulled that gun or flashed it I would feel that James was justified in defending himself., just like if Zimmerman flashed his gun that Trayvon would be justified in defending himself. And you know that I agree that Zimmerman leaving his vehicle also made him the initial aggressor. But if Dooley never flashed the gun and the witnesses lied then I would side with Dooley.

            We’ll most likely never know why Nelson allowed some wording in and others out. I too don’t understand why they were allowed to have SYG wording in jury instructions when they never went for a SYG hearing and failed to also put out initial aggressor wording. Maybe a lot has to do with not the laws but with the minds of the jury and it’s makeup. Z had a mostly all white jury with only 1 mixed race woman on it. Dooley had a multi racial jury w/2 women and 4 men…..they found him guilty in 1 hr and 40 mins and from what was released they said there was no dissent in the findings and they relied on the testimony of the witnesses.


          • towerflower,

            I too don’t understand why they were allowed to have SYG wording in jury instructions when they never went for a SYG hearing

            Remember when Judge Nelson wanted to question Zimmerman about waiving a pre-trial SYG hearing? O’Mara didn’t want him questioned because he said it might give away his strategy. The jury instructions that he and West wrote and presented to Judge Nelson was that strategy. It gave the jury instructions on SYG but omitted the initial aggressor portion of that law. The prosecution argued for its inclusion; the defense objected, and Judge Nelson sided with the defense; her only reason being, “The defense doesn’t want it.”


  5. Bless Sybrina!

    In the midst of her grief she has dedicated herself to do all that she can in order to save other children from experiencing the fate of her precious son.

    May people, who hear her, listen to her message with open hearts.


  6. Sharon Burney

    On a few occasions I have commented on my thoughts opinions and feelings as it pertains to my experience as a Black woman, and even when I do, I do so while holding back most of my feelings so that I can communicate effectively those whom can sympathize but maybe have not had the opportunity to empathize. The other day one of the topics spoke about BGI and speaking and dealing with laws outside of feelings and emotions, and honestly I wish I could, I wish it wasn’t personal to me, I wish it didn’t compromise my health and living conditions and ability to provide for my family, or protect them, or raise them in a world that didn’t paint them as ugly, a sex object, devoid of emotion, values, and godliness. That negative words were not used to describe every facet of their being. I am supposed to have the right to walk down the street and not answer to another citizen any question regarding where I am going how with whom or why? Trayvon did not have any obligation to respond to Zimmerman under any context, the idea that black people are property or second class citizens responsible to be questioned detained or accused because of an inherent right of others to oppress them is heartbreaking. Are we not supposed to notice that most low income housing projects were built on waste sites, that the food sold in primarily black neighborhood stores looks old and expired, that chemical plants and factories are not built in our neighborhoods, that we are the leading statistic of almost every health crisis, that AIDS is no longer an urgent crisis because we are leading the statistics in that crisis too. I am an educated, talented, well versed, woman, and have not gone one day without experiencing racism, from the minute to the heartbreaking. I as a teenager have watched my father be shot (thank God they used bbguns) by a car full of racists when we ran out of gas in Maryland, and saw a burning cross as a child across the Hudson River from our high rise apartment in Poughkeepsie, I have been in the car in Florida while my boyfriend in college( who was in the Navy ROTC , held three jobs while going to school full time and was the biggest nerd you ever have seen) get pulled over, thrown on the ground and guns pulled because he fit the description of a black male at 3pm in the afternoon. I could go on and on about daily events, but I won’t, it is too depressing. The saddest and most difficult part is having everybody deny your experience for fear of being called a racist. Perhaps there is BGI because of our experiences and the denial of those experiences. Perhaps there is a name that is less offensive than racist, but perhaps racism is offensive, inconvenient, annoying, degrading, and antagonistic. I will say it again we have been conditioned to think oppressively or as oppressed people. Let’s deal with the elephant in the room.


    • Bless you for sharing your feelings and experience with me (as one of your readers).
      Yes, let’s deal with the elephant in the room!

      If you don’t mind, I am going to print out your comment and read it to about 50 people who will be in the audience when I and two others will be in a panel discussion in February on the topic of “White Priviledge.”


      • I misspelled “privilege” above


        • I would appreciate it if those of you reading here would click on the following link:

          17 Deplorable Examples Of White Privilege


          • That’s interesting. I read through them all and only find partial disagreement with the first. Whites may not worry about being victims of law enforcement officers because of their race, but they are victims of law enforcement as we see in the cases of Ethan Saylor and David Castellani. We would have to get into the minds of those officers in those cases to see why they thought a Down Syndrome man needed to be choked, and why they thought an intoxicated man needed to be attacked by a dog.

            And, maybe that’s the overall idea — that some citizens “deserve” to be subjected to police brutality while others do not.


          • I agree with you, Xena.


    • Sharon,

      The other day one of the topics spoke about BGI and speaking and dealing with laws outside of feelings and emotions,…

      That is what proponents of “BGI” argue, but know what? So do abusers. They seek to minimize what others feel — unless it’s someone they support. In those cases, they believe that “frustration” justifies acquittal on murder charges.

      The truth is that the majority of our laws are based on feelings and that’s on the part of defendants as well as the living who the government represents in criminal cases.

      Oppression requires the minimizing of feelings and emotions that result from real experiences to human beings. If human beings stop feeling, then they stop seeking solutions and when they stop seeking solutions, they voluntarily surrender their constitution right to petition the government for redress of grievances.


  7. Sharon Burney

    Yahtzee , I would be honored and greatful for you sharing any instrument used in discussing and addressing the issue of oppression. Thank you for you for your continued fight in the struggle.


    • Thank you, Sharon. I have just printed it out in bold, larger type. 🙂

      There is so much that I and other Whites can do to correct wrongs and “weave a better world of sunshine” starting with teaching our fellow Whites about the existence and unfairness of White Privilege! Then we can begin to undo White Privilege.


      • We need to stand up and speak out whenever we witness a wrong inflicted on our fellow Black citizens whether it is unfair treatment at a grocery store, whether it is LE “stop and frisk” type stereotyping and profiling, or whether it is a crime involving the violation of the victim’s civil rights……so much more I could list.


  8. Sharon Burney

    Xena…exactly. Thank you.


  9. I would like to share some comments made by DOCJT of our Trayvon Team members on Newsvine:

    Here are two:

    This case is so much bigger than George Zimmerman.

    This case is about the amount of covert racism that still exists in this country.

    This case is about the fact that huge inequities still exist in the application of the law.

    This case is about the fact that the life of a 17 year old Black teen is seen as less valuable than the life of a 28 year old adult non-Black man.

    This case is about the fact that people in this country have totally forgotten, or never knew, about the struggles and the gains made during the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s in this country in regard to equality of minority people, and, as a consequence, they have become complacent and lapsed back into their racist attitudes and beliefs.

    This case is about justice for all as citizens of this country, no matter the color of their skin. I find it incredibly sad for you that you cannot seem to grasp that.


    Let me just say this…you will never be able to relate to Blacks, or any other minority, as equal individuals, until you stop trying to predict their thoughts and behaviors and reactions from your white perspective.


    • DOCJT wrote this to a racist who repented (He was on good behavior for about 2 weeks before going back to his old ways):

      I already accepted your apology for the horrendous racial remarks you made toward me and others. That was an apology for your overt behavior. I am glad that you don’t intend to make such remarks in the future.

      However, you also mentioned in your lengthy apologetic posts that you intended to engage in some soul searching and introspection. I would think, if that were your intent, you would be willing to take a look when someone explains that a particular action or phrase is evidence of an underlying prejudice. Until you make a conscious effort to correct those unconscious prejudices, you will, at some point in the future, resort to making racially derogatory remarks. One does not make those kind of remarks unless one has the underlying prejudice that fuels them. And one can control one’s overt behavior by not making racially derogatory remarks, but that is not evidence that the underlying prejudice is not still very much alive and influencing thought and attitude.

      Racism does not always require intent. All too often, it is not intentional, but simply the result of wrongfully held prejudicial attitudes. That, however, does not make it any less racist.

      Many people are raised with such attitudes, and have them their entire lives. They are completely unaware of the racist nature of some of their beliefs and attitudes because they have never once, in their entire lives, had to deal with personal racism or institutional racism. They don’t see them as racist for just that reason. Never having been subjected to racism on any level, they have nothing with which to form an accurate concept of what racism actually is
      I am not being critical of you. I am attempting to educate you. If you are sincere about examining your long held beliefs and being introspective, you will see it as education, and use the opportunity to enlighten yourself and expand your cultural knowledge and experience. But I certainly cannot force you to do so, nor will I even try to force you to do so.


  10. Dorothy Stoneman writes:

    In the weeks right after the killing of Trayvon, we heard many black fathers and mothers explain that they all have to prepare their children, especially their sons, for the racial profiling and intimidation they are likely to experience from other citizens as well as from law enforcement. We find the same necessity for our YouthBuild students: we have to provide workshops on how to respond to law enforcement in a way that will save them from being charged with crimes they didn’t commit.

    The full article at:


    • Thanks for posting the link to this excellent article, Xena!

      On that subject, DOCJT writes:

      One of the most conscious attempts to NOT be racist can be found in the statement, “color doesn’t matter”. Sounds very tolerant on the surface. But that is not reality.

      Color does matter, as can be evidenced by the existence of white privilege, the inequities in applied justice, and the social inequities that still exist in this country. Color is obvious. A Black person cannot walk out their door and not be seen as a Black person. And because of that, and because of the amount on unconscious and covert racism that still exists, color very much DOES matter. Just ask Trayvon Martin’s family.

      African American families have to teach their children about the existence of racism from the time those children are small because it does exist and they will encounter it. It is simply a fact of life. It isn’t taught with hate. It is simply taught as a fact of life.

      Just like George Zimmerman decided that Trayvon Martin was “suspicious” based on nothing more than his race and his hoodie the night of February 26, 2012, young African American and biracial children have to be taught that this kind of thinking exists and how to protect themselves from it.

      Caucasian families do not have to have these conversations with their sons and daughters. Racism is usually only addressed from the perspective of how not to be racist, not how racism affects them personally every day.

      It is the difference between being the receiver and being the giver. And it is a huge difference. Until you can begin to look at things from the perspective of the receiver you will never understand the perspective of someone of a minority status.
      Let me be clear, I am using “you” in the generic, not specific as to one person.


      • Yahtzee,
        Thanks for sharing that.

        Just like George Zimmerman decided that Trayvon Martin was “suspicious” based on nothing more than his race and his hoodie the night of February 26, 2012, young African American and biracial children have to be taught that this kind of thinking exists and how to protect themselves from it.

        I’ll add to that, and because other young Blacks were allegedly stealing. If one Black is accused of stealing, then all Blacks are subject to being profiled as thieves. There’s a psychology behind that type of profiling that is written and hailed by White Supremacists.

        That ideology is constructed to debate issues of race by leading to one-sided percentages and such to support their belief in racial superiority. It’s brainwashing intended to deceive people to first believe that if they require enough education, enough money, etc., then they will be treated equal. Now, those Blacks highly educated and successful are called “BGI leaders” because of their education and financial status. So, WS have added another requirement to equality– also teach “your people” that if one of them commits a crime, we will punish all of them.


        • Thanks for you VERY important addition, Xena.

          We all need to see clearly the tricky methods and gimmicks of the White Supremacists.


          • Yahtzee,
            There is one in Florida who is brazen about his belief in racial superiority. He uses the word “stupid” and “stupidity” as a substitute for the “n” word. That is one reason why Don West’s selfie with the ice cream cones, and his daughter’s words about beating “stupidity” became controversial. We heard the dog whistle.


          • Yes, I have heard of that being a code word.


        • Exactly. Recently NYC had the shopping while black controversy. Shortly afterwards a white couple had went into a dept store. Because nobody deemed the white couple suspicious, they were able tosteal a 40000 jacket. If BGI is false,explain that? Justice for Sabrina Fulton.


        • And the frustrating part is you can’t have conversation with WS, as they are not listening, nor do they care to.


          • dreamer,

            And the frustrating part is you can’t have conversation with WS, as they are not listening, nor do they care to.

            You noticed that too? It’s almost like religious cults who have a planned presentation. No matter what you ask or what you say, they stick to the presentation.


  11. On July 13, 2013 in the morning before the verdict, here is what Mr.Sykes wrote:


Sorry everyone just have to get something off my chest this morning. This case has shaken me to the core.

    When I was 14, I was suddenly intercepted by a pair of cops on the street on my way to the corner store one evening to pick up a few snacks and toiletries. I was wearing shorts and a black hoodie at the time, nothing out of the ordinary.

    The cops drew their guns at me, slammed me on the hood of their patrol car, cuffed me and did a full search. After asking them what was wrong, they responded, “Your momma didn’t whip your ass enough that’s what’s wrong boy. Where’s the weed”!? Seeing that I had nothing but a few dollars on me, they eventually let me go. Instead of an apology, they admonished me to “be more cooperative next time.” (apparently I didn’t have my hands up fast enough).

    I was absolutely mortified and thought I was going to die. Of course, had they shot me dead, they could have easily made up a story about me being the aggressor, and most likely I would have been dismissed as just another black thug dead on the street who probably deserved it.

    As you can probably guess, this case has hit home for me in a very deep way. I go back to my 14 yr old self and am sobered by the fact that my life or freedom could have so easily been taken away on the mere basis of an assumption of guilt.

    The prosecutor’s rebuttal argument just about brought me to tears, as he drove home the point that, yes, even young black men have feelings. We are human. We feel fear and pain. We have goals, dreams, and aspirations. We love. We just want to live freely without having to perpetually carry the burden of the wayward among us.

    I could have been Trayvon, but in a keen sense I already am.

    You never really shake that tinge of apprehension every time a police car trails you, or when you feel you are being watched/followed by security or even by someone who doesn’t think you belong in their neighborhood.

    It’s tough growing up having to struggle with knowing that some are automatically going to view you as a menace, no matter how much depth and sensitivity you have as a person. Truth be told it hurts, and while some may act out with outward resentment or even violence, most just remain quietly in the shadows, hoping to someday, somehow, end this seemingly unending existential battle in which they find themselves naked, vulnerable, unwilling participants.

    I pray justice is served in this case, for the sake of the future that Trayvon or his family will never get to experience, as well as all those other young, promising souls whose futures have been mercilessly robbed by senseless violence.

    That is all.


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  15. The legacy of Trayvon Martin has not faded in the nearly two years since his death. He is still cited as the example of racial profiling in America, and remains a martyr to many seeking equal rights.



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