Tavis Smiley: You Can ‘Stand Your Ground Unless You Are A Black Man’

By Alyssa Giannirakis

Jul 14, 2013 10:56am

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Below you can find some of the notable comments made Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”  Our Zimmerman Trial analysis panel, Congressional panel, and powerhouse roundtable guests included ABC News’ Chief Legal Affairs Correspondent and Nightline Anchor Dan Abrams; ABC News’ Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas; Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif.; Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.; Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot; Politico senior political reporter Maggie Haberman; New York Times Magazine chief national correspondent Mark Leibovich, author of the new book “This Town”; and television and radio host Tavis Smiley.

SMILEY:  It appears to me, and I think many other persons in this country that you can in fact stand your ground unless you are a black man.  George Zimmerman was allowed to stand his ground, Trayvon Martin was not allowed to stand his ground.

Smiley draws on Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech; discusses racial profiling of Trayvon Martin

SMILEY:  In that speech you will recall the one line that we all seem to know…”I want my children to one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” George Zimmerman knew nothing of Trayvon Martin’s character.  All he saw was his color.  Something is wrong in this nation.  Fifty years after the March on Washington, while the Voting Rights Act is being gutted, speaking of the Justice Department, what they’ll do about that perhaps, something is wrong when adults can racially profile children.

Abrams says DOJ will have a case but ‘they won’t win, and they know that’

ABRAMS:  Because they can’t win in this case.  They won’t win, and they know that. Now there are two separate questions here that we’re discussing.  And I think it’s important to distinguish them.  One is a sort of broad societal right and wrong, and what is wrong with our society?  And that is a fair question to ask.  But that is a different question than talking about what happened in that courtroom.

Bass believes Zimmerman verdict was ‘devastating;’ causing fear

BASS:  Well, it was a devastating verdict, and I just am very concerned about what message this sends to the community, the fear that people must have now.

Klobuchar hopes Martin family ‘takes some solace’ in outpour of support

KLOBUCHAR: And my thoughts are with the family right now.  I’ve seen this before, it is such a hard thing to take.  And I hope they take some solace in the support they have across the country.  A little 16-year-old boy going out to get some snacks at a convenience store shouldn’t end up dead.

Hatch ‘counting on the House’ to come through and stop ‘de facto amnesty’

HATCH: And all the other gang of eight people were very good, too.  But let me tell you something, I’m counting on the House.  I’m counting on the House getting it even better, I’m counting on the House realizing that we can’t just continue on with this de facto amnesty, which is what Marco Rubio calls it.  And I think that’s an accurate description.

Haberman thinks Spitzer has the potential to ‘eat Stringer alive’

HABERMAN: I think that if nothing else comes out and I think that if Stringer can’t bring a credible case, nobody knows who Scott Stringer is. He’s a nice man.  I’ve known him a long time.  He’s been in Albany, he is not a known commodity, Spitzer is.  It’s a down ballot race.  This is a race that is largely won on name recognition.  I think what you just saw on that interview, I think he will do that in the debate.  I think that he will eat Stringer alive potentially.

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