“I wanted to get the community, those of them who are here in Cartersville and Bartow County — I wanted to get them to see how active and involved they wanted to become with the situation with the [George] Zimmerman trial,” Glenn said. “I know a lot of people from my hometown expressed their concerns about the outcome, and I wanted to organize [the event] to see if we could make people more aware of the laws that surround ‘stand your ground’ and to empower them of their ability to change or get things to change by getting out and voting and ensuring that those of them who represent us in Congress and the Senate, those people, they work for us. And if we get ... people more involved in that process, then I thought maybe ... this rally would induce that idea more than not.”
On July 13, 29-year-old George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the shooting death of Martin, 17, on Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford, Fla. Since the verdict, rallies and marchs have been held across the country calling for “Justice for Trayvon.”
For Glenn and Patrick, they hope to turn the response to the verdict into a positive.
“We want to try to take some of the energy here that would otherwise go to anger and kind of work with black people and white people alike to work toward something, not just awareness but a kind of healing process as well,” Patrick said.
Scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at Clarence Benham Park, 135 Jones St. in Cartersville, the march will travel down Bartow Street to Main Street, turn onto Main then onto Tennessee Street before crossing West Cherokee Avenue and back to the park.
“We want to keep the event quite simple. I want to give the people of this community the opportunity to voice their opinions, but I also want to speak with them about the George Zimmerman case because it seemed to have divided not just this community but it seemed to have divided a nation,” Glenn said. “I wanted to address those issues, to inform them on the laws and how those things work, if that helps to decrease the amount of anger that seems to be resonating from the outcome of that Zimmerman trial.”
Along with Patrick, Gerald Rose, founder of New Order Human Rights Organization, will be speaking to the crowd.
“When I come to the event, I’m going to be bringing voter registration forms and encouraging people in being proactive in more than opposing really people who are gun rights activists or going after the ‘stand your ground’ laws,” Patrick said. “We want to talk about maybe opening up more opportunities in inner-city communities, get more small businesses started up, get more activities that teenagers can get involved in with, white and black, so that we don’t have the kind of crime we do.”
Calling Martin’s death a “tragedy,” Patrick said he hopes the result allows others to work together to fix the “cultural problem.”
“I just consider it ... we both think it’s a tragedy that this has happened to Trayvon Martin, but I hope, as a result of this, it allows people like Robert and I to meet each other. And we can realize that you know that this isn’t just a white problem or a black problem, it’s whole cultural problem,” he said. “What we do want to change is we have realize there is a problem. Trayvon Martin was dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and skinny jeans rolled up; he was dressed like a normal teenager. ... We have to condemn racial profiling outright, but we also have to stop and fix the things that are leading to making people want to racial profile.”