Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi Murders Spur Rallies at UC Irvine

Categories: School Daze
trayvon_martin.jpg
werthmedia/Flickr Creative Commons
A protester at a Trayvon Martin rally in Sanford, Florida.
Trayvon Martin was walking back to his gated community in Sanford, Florida when volunteer watch guard George Zimmerman shot and killed the unarmed teen. The incident has sparked a national debate on whether race played a role in the killing of the 17-year-old black teen. Less than a month later, Iraqi immigrant Shaima Alawadi was found beaten to death in her own home with a note that read, "Go back to your country," according to her 17-year-old daughter.

Thousands of people across the country have marched in solidarity protests with the Martin family. But here in Orange County, which has always had an embarrassingly tiny African-American community, we're going to get our first rallies in the coming weeks. As for Alawadi, her case has garnered less public outcry, partly because authorities haven't definitively ruled it as a hate crime, and even family members haven't jumped to that conclusion. Some people, however, say that both cases are similar--the victims were killed because of their appearance.

That line of thinking has led to "National Day of Action for Shaima and Trayvon" day of protests that college students will hold on their respective campuses next Wednesday, April 11, with UC Irvine among them. Students and professors at UCI are also organizing two other events solely focused on Trayvon's death.

Tomorrow, UCI's Black Student Union will hold a silent rally from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the flagpole near the Langson Library. According to the Facebook event page, this "event goes beyond Trayvon, this event is for the countless nameless Black bodies that have been slain. This is a response to the systems and structures that allow this continuous death of Black bodies worldwide." Participants are asked to "wear all black for unity."

The following week, a speakout is scheduled for April 10. Co-organizer and African-American Studies Professor Dr. Tiffany Willoughby-Herard says the goal is to "historicize the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin. "People are saying things like we're not sure this has to do with race and it's about a young person," she said. "It's about race in a profound way...there is a recorded disparity in the difference between the way policing agencies respond to youth of color and other kinds of youth."

Toward that end, Dr. Herard and her colleague, Asian-American Studies Professor Dr. Claire Kim, will hold the speakout in the Dr. White Room at the Cross Cultural Center on campus. The list of speakers include half a dozen professors with expertise in black politics, policing, the history of slavery and racial vigilantism.

"We hope to provide a space for students to reflect in an informed way about the emotional toll and the social meaning of these recurring incidents," said Dr. Herard.

The following day after the speak out, third-year political science major Nuha Abusamra will hold a vigil remembering Trayvon and Shaima as part of the "hoodie and hijab" rallies organized on the same day at various universities. The vigil will also take place at the flagpole.

"Both of these innocent victims suffered in the name of hatred," wrote Nuha on the Facebook event page.
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19 comments
mitch young
mitch young

ABC News is reporting there was a wayward daughter and an arranged cousin-marriage involved. http://tinyurl.com/6o6kjfw---F..., who was reportedly the only one home with her mother when the attack happened, had a troubled relationship with her mother, the documents show. In November, police had contacted Alawadi after finding Fatima having sex with a 21-year-old man in a parked car. Alawadi had picked her daughter up from the scene, but Fatima then jumped out of her mother's car going 35 mph, the documents state.Fatima was also distraught over her ***pending arranged marriage to a cousin*** according to the documents.---Why are we letting people with such primitive customs immigrate? 

Mr
Mr

Actually, the evidence is now strongly suggesting that it was an honor killing.

The latest news is that relatives have told police Shaima had announce that she was ending her marriage and moving to Texas to join relatives.  As the Muslim community routinely ignores honor killings because it sets Islam in a bad light - I suspect these protests will die down quickly and the media can go back to forgetting Shaima ever existed as anti-female crime doesn't work for them as much as an !anti-Muslim hate crime!

think for yourself
think for yourself

this is a twana brawly/duke lacrosse fake hate crime, sorry liberals another bogus non story you jumped all over! now I hope you all march and apologize for all the stupid and crazy stuff you liberals said! I know it is part of your identity to want to be a victim, sadly even if it is imagery it still is good enough for you! please grow up .

mitch young
mitch young

Probably not a 'hate crime', probably the perp trying to make it look like a 'hate crime' just to throw investigators off. Just like the four black guys that killed Camp Pendelton Marine Jan Pawel Pietrzak (white, immigrant!) and  his Quiana (black), scrawled 'nigger lover' on the couple's bedroom wall (btw the story wasn't covered at all by this fine publication, despite its sensational nature and being adjacent to OC. Wonder why.)

Rev Jimmy
Rev Jimmy

I wonder when people will get fired up about black on black crime which is far more common?

Christopher Neal
Christopher Neal

I would say that the claim "the victims were killed because of their appearance" does not really state confirmed facts in either situation.  Just sayin'...

TheShadowmaster
TheShadowmaster

 Odds are it's an honor killing with a bad cover story. Say, "Go back to your country" after you kill someone? LOL!!!

BetaRayBill.
BetaRayBill.

You are good with colors mitch, awasome talent...! Lets all consentrate in color and for get the fact that this guy shot and killed an unarmed teenager.

mitch young
mitch young

Or black on white crime, which while way less common that black on black crime, is typically two and a half times more common that white on black crime.

Omniogignes
Omniogignes

"Go back to your country"suggest that the case is xenophobia rather than honor killing. The message is both to the victim of the crime, and that individuals family. Shaima Alawadi murder might as well be a hate crime.

Omniogignes
Omniogignes

The anger is not due to the fact that a unarmed teenage got killed, but the circumstances surrounding the killing. This also includes how victims family was treated.

There are many people, you excluded, who believe that this is a matter of only the one community upset over the killing of one individual. We both seem to agree this is about the mistreatment and subsequent death of one individual, the inconsistent statements and all the questions as to why.

The irony in the parent post is that there are actions taken by law enforcement agencies and communities for the scenarios outline. How, they want to focus on one issue and make it one issue.

Dawn Raks
Dawn Raks

1 - the note has been determined to be a photocopy. 2 - the victim was seeking a divorce from her husband3 - the victims daughter was distraught over being forced to marry a cousin4 - the husband has left the country and taken his daughter with him

This certainly smells like a plot to get rid of your wife attempting to divorce you so you don't have to pay alimony or child support. Also make it look like a hate crime by placing a photocopied note next to your wife and avoid suspicion so you can slip out of the country taking your daughter with you to force her to marry her cousin. Common do you seriously think someone picked a muslim woman at random, broke into her home, and beat her to death only to leave a photocopied note. Women are usually killed by someone they know, typically a boyfriend or husband. This fits into the classic pattern of wife killers who try to make it look like someone else did it.

Mr
Mr

Omniogignes - yes, but we know now that the note was probably fabricate to distract the police while the husband took off to Iraq.  You need to keep up with the facts of the story so you don't look like  fool for race baiting.  

Omniogignes
Omniogignes

"'Unarmed teen' was on top of ... punching him. "That is what Zimmerman claims, unfortunately for the other person they are dead. There needs to be an investigation into what really happened.

All the questions as to why?

mitch young
mitch young

""event goes beyond Trayvon, this event is for the countless nameless Black bodies that have been slain. This is a response to the systems and structures that allow this continuous death of Black bodies worldwide." 

Obviously the organizers of this event think 'color' matters a whole lot.

BTW the 'unarmed teen' was on top of the Latino Zimmerman, punching him. Maybe Zimmerman should have just let himself be treated like this guy.

Omniogignes
Omniogignes

Yes, random people have been victims of crimes. About the facts of what really happened I will have to wait until the investigation finished. I have seen situations of issues of misogyny changed into issues of domestic violence.

Anyways, I wouldn't go far enough to suggest that the 'killing' was to avoid having "to pay alimony or child support." As those two issues are address by fleeing the country, and fleeing is the best way of escaping prosecution.

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