The ASI Diversity Center forum on the jury verdict of the Trayvon Martin murder case produced lively and informed discussion on Cal State East Bay's Hayward Campus. (Photo: Barry Zepel)
A Florida murder case has spurred conversations nationwide about race, discrimination and the law. At Cal State East Bay Thursday (July 18), a discussion organized by the Associated Students Inc. Diversity Center drew a crowd who exchanged observations about the case and questions it raises about our society.
Given the Diversity Center’s commitment to social justice, its manager, Jonathan Stoll, organized an on-campus discussion about the recent legal case as a way to promote an active and meaningful current affairs dialogue. Those in attendance, including students and employees of diverse backgrounds, discussed a range of issues related to the case such as: racial discrimination, self-defense laws, culture and violence.
“Young folks’ anger is being misdirected,” Director of Student Life, Marguerite Hinrichs said. She theorized that the riots were an outlet for some African American youths to release pent up anger, adding that acting out in violence is a misguided way to air grievances.
In an interview with KTVU News July 16, Emeritus Professor of Sociology Terry Jones attributed a recent string of Oakland riots to political frustration on the part of some protestors.
“It may be that we’ve run the limit in terms of (peaceful) protest,” Jones said. He explained that protestors may feel they are lacking media attention and are finding alternatives ways to obtain it."
“However controversial or sensitive the subject matter, I think it’s important that we respect one another, that we speak one at a time and that we give everyone opportunities to speak,” Stoll said. “This is a difficult dialogue. We’re exploring feelings and thoughts related to controversial topics.”