TRAYVON MARTIN was an innocent black youth, minding his own business and returning from the store to the house where his parents lived. Trayvon only looked suspicious because he was in a community where he is not supposed to live. The only crime he committed was walking while being black. Please give us a break with the self-defense when the people in their homes heard Trayvon screaming for help. George Zimmerman is a murderer and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Trayvon was a young man who could have been the next person to have a patent or become a doctor, lawyer or even the next mayor, but now his parents have buried their child. The man who murdered him is still walking the streets and he committed a heinous crime.

Lora Neal

Philadelphia

Will Bunch once again incites racism and bigotry in his column "True Color of Justice" with no facts and no evidence. Mr. Bunch is nothing but a race-baiter trying to blame white people for this young person's death. Could you imagine the outrage if George Zimmerman was actually a white guy? The fact that Mr. Zimmerman is Hispanic and not white does not stop racist Bunch. He makes up a new category of white people ("white Hispanic") just so he can continue to show his hatred, anger and bigotry toward white people. Mr. Bunch, you, along with people like Al Sharpton, will never admit that America is probably the least racist country in the world, but why would you? If you did tell the truth, you would both be out of business and the left would lose a lot of voters who are brainwashed to think that all Republicans and white people are racists. How do you sleep at night?

Mike Maloney

Havertown

I give my heartfelt sympathy to the family of Trayvon Martin. No parent should have to experience this senseless tragedy. It is also senseless that a "Million Hoodie March" was organized to show support of the Martin family. To march in protest is something I can support, but the "hoodie" part is utterly ridiculous. We all know that "hoodies" are associated with thugs when worn by African-American youths, especially in warm weather. While that may be viewed as a stereotype, why would anyone wear a hoodie other than in cold weather? Yes, people have the right to dress as they please, but the hoodies have cost people their lives, and in some instances their freedom. Have you ever gone to a place of business owned and operated by African-Americans and there is a sign saying "Please no hoodies" or "Remove hoodies"? That is because African-Americans have become fearful of their own people just because they are wearing hoodies. We have to guide our youth in the right direction and stop allowing the streets to dictate the path they take. Try going to a job interview wearing a hoodie and see if you get hired.

Eugene K. Epperson

Philadelphia

Elmer Smith's column attempts to paint Florida as a racist cesspool, and asks what the police response would have been if Martin had killed Zimmerman, rather than the other way around. His answer? Trayvon Martin would now be facing homicide charges "in a state that has the most-used death chamber in America."

"Check the list of those people who have left Florida's death house in boxes," he continues. "You will find more Trayvon Martins than George Zimmermans." In fact, since 2000, 28 people have been executed in Florida and only six of them were black.

If the only thing Mr. Smith can bring to the table is his own race prejudice, maybe he should just stay retired.

Michael Kubacki

Philadelphia

There is only one question you need to answer to determine if Zimmerman did the right thing. Was it justified? And the only answer is ... no, it was not justified. Therefore, he should be arrested and properly charged. This was senseless.

Mitchell Spritzler

Philadelphia

Back in November, a black student from Florida A&M University who was a drum major was beaten to death by fellow band members in what has been described as a hazing ritual. No arrests were ever made in this case, and yet no marches had ever been planned. Why is that? It's also worth noting that there were never any public comments made by President Obama or the Rev. Al Sharpton. Nor was there a statement from the mayor of Philadelphia, who seems to be more in touch with the events taking place in Florida than he is with the city in which he resides.

Jason Henry

Philadelphia

Where is the outrage for all the other innocent children who got shot in the cross-fire over the years? Where, oh, where, was Jackson and Sharpton and whoever else looks at the world as "everything must be racist" and lives their life through a deck of "race" cards.

Silly me. I forgot that one day when I wasn't looking, it became acceptable for blacks to shoot other blacks and white people. What was I thinking? My bad.

Diane McDowell

Philadelphia

My letter is in regards to my brother Trayvon Martin's situation. I am truly disturbed by this killing, but not shocked or surprised by its social and historical ramifications. I'm thinking: Why does it have to take a white man to cold-bloodedly shoot down an African-American for us to stand up and cry and shout out for justice, when we are killing and disrespecting one another every single day in our own communities? When are we going to stand up and shout out for racial unity in regards to this self-inflicting genocide? If we're going to demand respect and justice for a white-and- black situation, let us do the same for ourselves.

Jahi Osayande

Philadelphia

It seems to me that everyone has jumped to conclusions about Mr. Martin, but the same could be said of Mr. Zimmerman. In my opinion, Mr. Zimmerman used excessive force, even if the facts suggest that Mr. Martin did attack him

On the other hand, why did Mr. Martin attack Mr. Zimmerman?

Now, all that being said, Mr. Martin will become a martyr and Mr. Zimmerman will, in all probability, be accused at the very least of manslaughter.

Who wins here? The African-American community? I was born and raised at 21st and Lambert streets, North Philadelphia. It was a community that, at best, was a breeding ground for all kinds of stuff. As a child I saw stabbings, fistfights, a general lack of respect for life. It has stayed with me all these years. Guess what - nothing has changed, nothing has brought about an evolution of kind human behavior, whether it be black or white.

This situation will not bring back Mr. Martin and probably won't change Mr. Zimmerman's view of wrongdoing. Stop behaving like thugs; start taking responsibility for what you do in life. Don't blame others for what one lacks in character. Parents, start teaching your children at a young age respect for life and other people. Stop blaming slavery for today's behavior. For white America, stop thinking you own America. You don't.

Mark Cautin

Philadelphia