PoliticsNation | February 26, 2013
>>> a year ago tonight a light rain fell in the central florida town of sanford. as a young man walked back home from a 7-eleven store. his name was trayvon martin. he was headed home to watch the nba all star game on tv. in his hands he carried an iced tea and a package of skittles. the rest, of course, is tragedy. trayvon martin was shot and killed steps from his destination and what happened that night soon became national news. and it sparked a massive debate over florida's controversial stand your ground law. but for trayvon's parents, it's been a year of grieving and of searching for answers. and it's also been a year of action. they've become advocates for change and not just against the stand your ground law. they started the justice for trayvon foundation calling for peaceful conflict resolution. and in a time of mourning, they've reached out to other parents who's lost a child to gun violence . joining me now are trayvon martin's parents sybrina fulton and their attorney. thank you all for being here tonight.
>> each of you tell us what it's been like for you this year. i know this is a difficult night, but how has this year been for you?
>> this year has been very difficult. we've met a lot of nice people, but i don't think it measures up to the loss that we have endured. like i said before, we've lost loved ones in our family, but it's just a certain level of pain when you lose a child. and when you lose a child to sudden death because of senseless gun violence .
>> yeah, it's definitely been a somber year. it's been a sad year. it's been a year that i won't soon forget . and in the wake of the tragic loss of our son, we're just trying to stay -- we're just trying to uphold our son's legacy by turning a negative into a positive. and i think that's what keeps us going. the more we keep his name going, the more we keep his legacy going, the stronger we become as parents of a lost child.
>> now, tell us about the foundation. because one of the things that has most impressed me, i've worked with a lot of civil rights cases and violence cases. you've been determined to make this a positive. tell us about the foundation.
>> some of the things we do is mentor youth. we want to teach youth about their rights as teenagers, about their rights regarding profiling. so that's one of the things we do. we also created a scholarship program to help them further their education once they pass high school . and they would like to pursue a higher education . also we are trying to revise and, you know, make revisions to the stand your ground law. and also -- we're also working on a trayvon martin amendment. and what that amendment says is that you cannot be the aggressor. you cannot chase somebody, follow them, pursue them, shoot and kill them and say you were standing your ground.
>> why is it important to you, tracy , the foundation?
>> well, the foundation has a variation of important aspects. we've adopted a slogan. s.a.m.e. same. which is scholarship, advocacy, mentor, and education. and it's very important that people know that is not just for our community. it's for people in general.
>> everybody. and that's why it's so important that people understand that we're not here just for the african-american community. we're here for all communities.
>> and all communities have rallied with you. i'm going to you attorney crump. i want to ask one thing of both of you as parents. a year later, what do you want people to remember about trayvon?
>> i want people to remember that he was an average teenager, that he had a family that loved him. he had friends that loved him. he had school mates that loved him. and that he was a loving kid. he was really a loving kid.
>> and as far as what i want people to remember him, i just want people to remember the genuineness of him. the good that he had in him. the things he did to touch other people's lives. the smiles that he put on people's faces. a lot of people ask me how have i learned -- how have i dealt with the grieving process, and my response is, you know, knowing trayvon, trayvon wouldn't want me to grieve. so i just want, you know, i want everybody to remember him for the goodness that he had in him.
>> attorney crump, when we first got involved, it was about making the judicial system work. starting the process. we're in the process now. as the attorney for the family, is the process working?
>> yes. reverend sharpton, i am happy to say tonight because of the advocacy of tracy and sybrina, there were no new stand your ground laws enacted in any state in america this year. and remember, last year this time nobody knew about stand your ground . and because they refused to remain silent because of shows like "politicsnation," everybody knows stand your ground is a bad law that says you can pursue, shoot a kid in the heart, and not get arrested. you can go home and sleep in your bed at night. and that's not allowed.
>> let me ask you this, and i'll let you go. and i appreciate you doing this on a night that's so heavy for you. what can you say? you've had support from all over the country and even internationally. what would you say to other parents who've lost their children to violence?
>> i would just tell them that we need to stand together. because the numbers is what really counts. there are people that have lost kids in newtown and jacksonville and chicago and even miami. people are hurting. so it really -- something really needs to be done. but i would tell them to remain prayed up, to think about the good times they had with their children. just remember the good times. and that right there will take them to the next day.
>> tracy ?
>> i would recommend that they hold on to god first and foremost. keep god close and near to your heart. and just think about the positive things that you and your child shared together. the incident in newtown, the incident in jacksonville. those are very tragic incidents. and i've spoken with ron davis , jordan davis' father. and me and him, we have a bond together. and just talking to another father coming from a father to father aspect on a lost loved one, we share a lot of things. and it's just to be in that situation, to be able to give a little guidance just to let them know at the end of the day it's going to be all right, it makes you feel good.
>> sybrina fulton, tracy martin, attorney ben crump. thank you all for being here. lawyer crump, we thank you for your commitment. and let me say this. i remember when i first got the call about this case and didn't know about it. and we went to florida. i went on the day my mother died. because i felt that we should make sure that this kind of situation should not be handled in the back room of a police station . it should be in a court of law. and this family and every family deserves that day in court. so does mr. zimmerman. justice must not be in any way averted. i'm very glad a year later with all the rallies and all of the gatherings, not one brick has been thrown. no damage has been done. tracy and sybrina have set an example that in order to fight for what you feel is right, you mustn't internalize. and that's why trayvon's name means so much to so many. we'll be right back. ten hut!