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An Open Thank You to Trayvon Martin’s Family and Legal Team

An Open Thank You to Trayvon Martin’s Family and Legal Team

I wrote this piece about what it is like representing a family who gets thrust into the public eye because of a singular moment of violence. You become a conductor, a friend, a voice, a fighter and wear many other hats.  Ben Crump walked that journey and extended his hand to help me help others.  It was a gesture that I will always seek to return.

Trayvon Martin is a polarizing name, but it means so much to so many.  His name has elevated the problem of the history of injustice in this country to a national stage.  While it has made some continue to further implant themselves in racist stereotypes and prejudice, it has made others open their minds and judge a teenager not by his skin color, stereotypes or their pre-programmed bias, but by putting themselves in his shoes. We hope time proves Trayvon gave us better understanding of the best race of all- the human race.

Anyone who thinks it is just a “black versus white thing” still hasn’t evolved or relaized what this all really means.  Anyone who doesn’t see this as a civil rights case between the rights of those of us who aren’t violent, who don’t believe guns are the answer, who act reasonably and responsibly versus those who think of themselves as better, more powerful, more entitled or with heightened ability to stand in judgment missed a landmark point.  We all must better the HUMAN race.

I found a heightened purpose because of the death of Jordan Davis.  I wrote about that here.  And as we fight for justice for Jordan and for the civil rights of those who could have their lives taken, Ron, Lucy and I start with thanking Tracy, Sybrina, Ben and the rest of their family and team.  They have been pioneers about how to lead, how to focus, how to fight and how to have grace amidst massive tragedy.  They have fought the civil injustices of some of the gun laws in this country and have stood literally and figuratively beside other victims.  Pioneers.  Friends.  Inspirations.

I do not want to be long-winded.  This is a marathon and convictions of George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn are but steps in that long journey.  But they are huge steps.  We pray for you all.  We love you all.  Ron, Lucy and I are here no matter what the outcome to continue to better this country and to help you in what has become our journey, too.  Thank you so much for everything.

John Phillips,

lawyer for the Jordan Davis family and other victims of gun violence