Birmingham's city council today not only spoke out about the Trayvon Martin case, but showed their support for the Martin family in a very public way.
On a council platform usually filled with suits and ties, Tuesday morning the dress code for the men of the council was hoodies, the same kind of sweatshirt Florida teen Trayvon Martin was wearing when he was shot by a neighborhood watch captain in Florida in February.
The case and the debate it has reignited about race and perception hit home for several counselors, starting with an emotional Steven Hoyt talking about the murder of his nephew.
"One murder is too much," Hoyt said. "But when you have constantly, not only in Birmingham but across this country, you don't know the pain and suffering of parents."
"We join the residents across the country, including Sanford Florida, in saying that justice must be done," Council President Roderick Royal said.
Royal introduced a video showing council members with the words "I am Trayvon Martin" overtop of the pictures to show his belief that Martin was as innocent as anyone in the council chambers and went on to say the issue of race wasn't just one in Birmingham's past.
"There is a question we need to address in this country, in this city, even," Royal said. "We need to address these questions. And we need to be prepared to face the real enemy, and the real enemy oftentimes is ourselves."
"This ain't nothing to play with, it's a plague across America," Councilor Jay Roberson said. "And at the end of the day, ages 18-35 black males are going by the wayside. We're either incarcerated or six feet under ground. It's time we started being men, as we fought back in the 60's, it's time we started being men now and step up for our young men throughout this community."
The council also passed a resolution Tuesday, making Trayvon Martin an honorary citizen of Birmingham.
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