July 23rd, 2013
11:59 PM ET

Race and Justice in America: Jury of your peers

The killing of Trayvon Martin is raising serious questions about how young Black men are supposed to act.  That is an issue William and Valerie Bell know all too well.   Police shot and killed their son, Sean, and wounded two others, outside a nightclub.  Police said they believed at least one of the men had a gun, but no gun was found.  The officers fired 50 shots in just a few seconds.  The three officers were tried and acquitted.. but later lost their jobs.  William and Valerie Bell joined the panel to discuss this issue.

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Bob

    In the 60s, many caucasians believed that the system wasn't discriminating against african americans. The system in the 60s was SEPARATE BUT EQUAL. Separate but equal schools. Separate but equal restaurants, etc. It took decades for many caucasians to realize that the system was indeed discriminating against african americans. Today, it is troubling that many caucasins don't see discrimination, when an african american kid is racially profiled for wearing a "hoodie" and shot to death

    July 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  2. eliza

    How can you have a discussion about race with one ethnic group. Seems a little disingenuous. Anderson seems to me to be a bit pollyannaish about the reality of race relations. Why don't you look up what happened to Kevin Neary in Philly and tell the viewers what happened to him. Not pretty. This happens frequently in Philly, lost victims, no justice.

    July 24, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
  3. David Snipes

    I could not resist, "your peers are your fellow humans", if we say age or sex has a play then we are saying that others cannot make sound judgment. Should seven year olds be present in the jury when the child murders a classmate? I say not but an adult should be, and how they look, the age and sex is a nonissue to one who believes in true equality.

    July 24, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  4. Royce

    AC and his Town Hall guests tonight keep emphasizing the "unseen racial bias" but they are only referring to Whites having that. I suggest he look at the Black guests on his panel. Sunny Hostin night after night demonstrated how blind she was to her racial bias. Mark Geragos even called her out on it one night. And tonight, Sunni and others take an innocent comment like, "That's just the way they talk." and they turn it into, "That's just the way THEY talk." Making it a racial comment. There's your proof folks. AC & his guests take a very courageous, compassionate, sensitive, and fair minded woman and they turn her into a racist – only she just doesn't know it. According to them.

    July 24, 2013 at 3:47 am |
  5. J.L. Herr

    When Michaela Angela Davis said that it was "heartbreaking: to "make someone else feel comfortable in the moment" and to "dial" up and down a black man's masculinity, all I can say is that means conforming to society and fitting into your surroundinsg. The rest of us men do that on a daily basis, That's how we live!!!! Why should black men be exempt?? Any for Christy Oglesby to say she makes sure her son leaves the house looking like a "prospect and not a suspect" and she feels BAD about that?!?!?! Presentation of our kids reflects on us!!!! Why should it be okay for ANY kid (black or white) to present themselves and their families as thugs?? This is the problem, the black community feels that they should be exempt from human norms (and that includes violent behavior and criminal activity) and that should be without consequences. Anderson, you presented one side of this equation, it's time to present the other to truly balance it out!!

    July 24, 2013 at 2:41 am |
  6. Angela Surratt

    Hi Anderson, I for one am really sick and tired of black people bringing up slavery, and the attrocities that happened in our country during the civil rights movement. I know it happened, it was HORRIBLE, and had I been alive at the time, I probably would've been beaten, killed for being a supporter of equal rights for all. My issue is with people who can't let it go. It's 2013! I had nothing to do with people being beaten, killed. The attitude by some black people is just so overdone. I don't feel I'm owed anything because I'm white, but that's how I feel blacks act. I know that there are evil people of all races, including my own. I don't think that I'm better than anyone else. I grew up in a middle class, midwestern town. I was mercilessly teased, bullied, by whites as well as blacks. Also, I'm a survivor of sexual assault. One of the 2 men who raped me was black. I do not wish to discuss this subject further, I do want to tell you that I do not see all black men as potential rapists. Our pasts should never define our futures Anderson. I don't understand why anyone uses the N-word for any reason. It has such a horrible past, no one can change that by putting an a on the end of it to make it more socially acceptable. I am so sorry for Trayvon's death, nothing will bring him back. I am praying daily for this country. I believe that God is heartbroken that people do such awful things to eachother. If we would all just respect eachother, treat people the way they want to be treated we would be a more peaceful world.

    Thank you for your honesty, and your willingness to ask hard questions.

    Angela Surratt

    July 24, 2013 at 2:28 am |
  7. charlene

    Why do you always skip the fact that Trayvon was the one to confront Zimmerman and hit him first? Even Ms Jantel said at first she wasn't worried when the phone went dead because it was just a fight. Suggesting that fighting was normal for Trayvon.

    July 24, 2013 at 2:05 am |
  8. Star

    My heart breaks for Trayvon and his family. I am a blond, fair skinned American, and I think something is terribly wrong here. I am sickened by the verdict. How could anyone relate to Mr. Zimmerman and his choice to chase down and and kill a young man. He claimed self defense-my mind is spinning. What about Trayvon? How frightening would it be to have someone chase you down like that. Didn't he have the right to protect himself. I would not have come up with that verdict. I pray for this country. We should all be afraid of individuals, with l firearms, who think they have the right to take the law into their own hands.

    July 24, 2013 at 1:55 am |

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