Five years after their son’s death, Trayvon Martin’s parents are both considering running for office in Florida.
In an interview on USA Today’s Capital Download, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton say they are looking to politics in order to continue to “be a part of the change” that America needs. Both fear President Trump may undo all the progress that’s been made since their son’s death.
“Since Trayvon’s death, we saw how divided the country is on these issues and we saw how the country can come together,” Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, told USA Today. “You have those that are for uniting the country and you have those that want to be apart. And what this new presidency does, it takes those that want to be apart and it puts them right in the position where they can say, ‘We’ll change the laws, and we’ll make it tougher.'”
Martin and Fulton worry that citizens and law enforcement officials will find it easier to justify violence against minorities under a Trump administration by saying they felt unsafe.
George Zimmerman, at his trial for shooting Trayvon, argued that he felt threatened by the teenager when he shot and killed him. Zimmerman was later acquitted at the trial.
In a book being published Tuesday, “Rest in Power,” Fulton and Martin document how the the controversy changed their life and led them to where they are today, now figures on the national stage.
“Before I was just comfortable with my average life, but now I feel like I’m just obligated to be part of the change,” said Fulton, Trayvon’s mother. “The only way we can be part of the change is if we start with local government and we work our way up.”
Martin and Fulton say they are particularly distressed by the difference in attitude between Trump and former President Obama, who famously said “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago” when Zimmerman was acquitted.
Fulton, who campaigned for Hillary Clinton in 2016, said Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric and policies are only making the divide worse in America and that many feel less safe than they did under Obama.
“Average citizens feel like their kids are not going to make it home safely, because we’ve had so many incidents where somebody is shot and killed and nobody is being held accountable,” she said.
Five years have passed since their son’s death, but the pain has yet to subside for Fulton and Martin. If he had lived, Trayvon would be 22-years-old on Sunday.