Dwight Kirk sent us this from the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) convention in St. Louis. With more than 50 CBTU chapters across the United States and Canada, CBTU includes 2.1 million black workers represented by unions.
The parents of slain Trayvon Martin got a big union hug and a standing ovation yesterday in a ballroom packed with members of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, who attended the opening session of CBTU’s 41st international convention in St. Louis. The 17-year-old Trayvon was killed during an encounter with George Zimmerman, who apparently followed the teenager just because he fit a negative racial profile.
Trayvon’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, came to the CBTU convention to thank black workers and urge them to continue supporting the fight for justice for their son, whose killer, George Zimmerman, has been charged with murder. Fulton, who was a member of AFSCME in Florida, told CBTU members:
I know how important unions are. So keep it going.
She talked about the pain of Trayvon’s shooting and attempts to “blame the victim.”
It’s been a struggle keeping up the fight. But we believe justice will be done.
The parents asked CBTU delegates to support the Justice for Trayvon Foundation (www.justicetm.org).
Tracy Martin, a native of east St. Louis, said racial profiling issues distressed him.
Sometimes I think the murders of our children don’t matter to America.
He saluted CBTU President William Lucy for his leadership over the four decades. “It’s mentors like you,” he told Lucy, “that we need to let our kids know about.”
Martin and his ex-wife, Sybrina, took part in a Stop the Violence Rally this afternoon in east St. Louis.