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Still Seeking Justice for Trayvon Martin

On Saturday, a Florida jury ruled that George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, was not guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The February 2012 incident caused a national uproar, and many were outraged over Florida's self-defense laws which protect vigilantes. Also, many felt Zimmerman racially profiled Martin in deciding to follow him. Furthermore, many felt that the crime would have been trailed entirely different if Trayvon had been white.  In this case a white male killed an unarmed teen with no legal consequence, yet only 3 months later an African-American mother received 20 years for firing a warning shot in self-defence.
The Department of Justice has announced they would probe the case again and look into whether Zimmerman violated Martin’s civil rights through racial profiling or other means, which would trigger a federal case. The Trayvon Martin family is also not ruling out civil action against George Zimmerman.

House Drops SNAP -- 47 Million in Danger of Going Hungry

For decades now, funding for the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, has always been included in the Farm Bill and renewed every 5 years.   Last week, the Republican led House of Representatives broke precedent and passed the Farm Bill without including appropriations for the SNAP program.  Demonizing the SNAP program under the guise of saving taxpayer money and preventing fraud, is just wrong. In reality, they’re gutting a program that helps millions of people feed their families.

The immediate consequence is that the Senate Democrats will not take up the bill, another example of the House Republicans pursuing their own agenda irrespective of political reality. The current Farm Bill expires on September 30; if that date is reached without this issue being reconciled, the future of SNAP will be in serious jeopardy. Without SNAP, 47 million Americans (more than 20 million of them children) will be without the crucial financial assistance they need to purchase food.  That is inexcusable. 

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