The saying, “I am Trayvon Martin,” is not a whisper, but now known on Cabrini Campus. Approximately 30 students and faculty circled at the Peace Pole. Some were hooded but all holding a lit candle stood for the life that was slain, as they remembered the life of Trayvon Martin and raised awareness.
The bodies came to gather on the commons at the vigil for the late Trayvon Martin, April 17 under the organization the Black Student Union and the Wolfington Center. The vigil was led by BSU, the prayer was given by the Wolfington Center’s Roxanne De La Torre, campus missioner and Stephanie Salinis, campus minster and the executive board of BSU spoke about their take on the case.
“The event was a candle lighting memorial in honor of Trayvon Martin,” John Eddings, treasurer of BSU and sophomore biology major, said. “We were trying to inform the community of the injustice in the world.”
“Cabrini’s Black Student Union; our adviser Stephanie Reed; Wolfington centers Roxanne & Stephanie invited the community to join us for our vigil,” Eddings said.
BSU members began the event by handing out Skittles and iced tea, which symbolized the event of the shooting. Martin was leaving his house to go to the 7-Eleven store where he bought a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona Iced Tea before he was fatally shot.
“The BSU and the Wolfington Center were trying to inform students of the case and to also remember that he did not die in vain. There were a lot of students who came out to attend the event and to show their support,” Kayla Tindal, secretary of BSU and junior criminology major said. “I feel as though the events that led up to his death and the events afterward are tragic and that they should not have had to happen for us to acknowledged injustices in our society.”
The vigil was not open for discussion but for time to reflect on the life lost over racial profiling. The moment of silence filled the air for many.
The media, slowly picked up to a frenzy when the 17-yearold African-American high school junior Martin was shot and killed by Hispanic George Michael Zimmerman on Feb. 26, 2012, after people raised awareness through social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. The death of the teen, with the delayed justice response, left the world in shock and also in desperation of a change.
“I Am Trayvon Martin” has been appearing everywhere including tweets Facebook captions, and Pinterest pins. Protestors, celebrities and major news networks have been getting word out on the supposed “hate crime,” but then also have many people wondering “why now?” Even President Barack Obama has said, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin.” There have been so many other cases that involve white-on-black crimes but since Zimmerman wasn’t white, does it not make this a hate crime?
Zimmerman has stated that he shot Martin in self defense but other sources say that Zimmerman was racially profiling Martin and when a 911 call which was released to CNN, Zimmerman uttered the words, “This kid looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something.” So, no one knows what happened that night.
But what everyone can agree with is that Martin was killed in uncalled and unwilling circumstances. The thought of an innocent human being taken away suddenly and at such a young age shakes anyone to the core. Anyone could be a Trayvon Martin.
“I feel as if it was not handled appropriately,” Eddings said. “As an African-American, I automatically join the side of Trayvon, but in order to be unbiased I am willing to hear out the end of Zimmerman. Because everyone is innocent, this includes Trayvon and George Zimmerman.”
Brandon Mazepa, sophomore history major, was one who thought that the vigil was a positive way that the college could pay their respect for Martin.
Mazeppa said, “I thought it was a great idea to have a candle light vigil for Martin tonight and to keep him in our prayers. I really think it’s amazing that the Cabrini community came together to remember and give our respects to a boy who did not deserve to have his life taken from us.”
With the closing words leaving the Commons open for as much time as people needed to reflect in silence, numbers of hoods and candlelights slowly trickled down in numbers.