Trayvon Martin’s parents were thrust into racial justice activism when since-acquitted George Zimmerman fatally shot their 17-year-old son — and now they’re considering a run for political office.
While promoting their new memoir, released January 31 and titled, “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin,” Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin revealed their potential political aspirations.
“We certainly want to look at the positions that (are) available locally, and then we want to look at the positions for the state of Florida and then U.S. positions,” Fulton said Thursday on ABC’s Good Morning America. “We want to take a look at those positions to see what areas we would best benefit from and (communities) would benefit by having us there.”
Trayvon Martin’s death sparked outrage and accusations of racial profiling by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot the teenager. Martin had bought Skittles at a convenience store just before the altercation, a detail that was used to draw attention to the fact that Martin was unarmed and unthreatening.
The parents also revealed the same aspirations in a video interview for USA Today’s Capital Download program Sunday. “The only way we can be a part of the change is if we start with local government and we work our way up,” Fulton said. “Instead of just telling somebody else, ‘Listen, we need to change laws, amend laws,’ maybe (political office) is something we need to take a look at. We’re taking a step back now to see if that’s something we want to explore.”
Fulton explained that they would first look into municipal-level positions.
“We want to speak on behalf of the community, and not just as victims of senseless gun violence,” she said, as reported by Colorlines. “We support better education, healthcare, of course women’s rights, human rights, immigrants’ rights — there (are) just so many different issues that come into play.”
“I think once you embark on a journey, you don’t minimize your goals — you want to maximize your goals,” added Martin. “So you start on the local level and then you work your way up, and hopefully it will take us to a place where we can help more than just local, more than just state. National—that would be the focus.”
The two are concerned with President Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency, saying that his “law and order stance” could reverse any progress made around fighting police brutality.
“I think from the statements being made, we won’t (see) progress, we’ll be going backwards,” said Martin. “We in the African-American communities think that there’s a lot of injustices, and maybe there will be more injustices, but they’ll be justified now by whatever bill (opponents) plan on signing.”