At Demos, we are working for an America where we all have an equal say and an equal chance. The slaying of Trayvon Martin has reminded us that we have not yet achieved an America where we all have equal chance to merely live. Trayvon Martin was denied that chance because his identity was one that our society marks, in countless ways each day, as fearsome. This fear-based animus towards young African American men is so pervasive in our society that a jury found this fear to be reasonable -- so reasonable that it was justifiable grounds for his killing.
We know that African American men are subject to this stigma and distrust in virtually all aspects of life, from health care to the job market to the school system to interactions with law enforcement. This prejudice leads to unequal outcomes and lost opportunities for these young Americans to fulfill their dreams -- at an incalculable cost to our entire community.
Because this cost is borne by all of us, we at Demos have stood in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of Americans who gathered in the streets to show what democracy looks like since the verdict. Democracy in America is multi-racial, young, idealistic, full of love despite our differences, and audacious in the sometimes unfashionable belief that we really can be one people.