President Obama's remarks on Trayvon Martin showed his commitment as the leader of the free world to engage this nation in a dialogue about race. It took courage and leadership to do what he did. I may not be a black man who has faced racism at the hands of ignorance, but I represent many Trayvon's; I have heard too many stories of young black men who are innocent, but treated like their guilty because of their skin color. How many more Trayvon Martin's do we have to read about before we work together to find solutions to this problem and end this vicious cycle? We need to have meaningful and constructive dialogue about race in this nation. Until we do, we will continue to lag behind other industrialized nations because we are still being distracted by ignorance through the eyes of racism.
About Tish James: A Brooklyn native, Tish James has been a long-time public servant. Prior to being elected City Councilwoman in 2003, James was a top-level aide to members of the State Assembly, where she played a crucial role in bringing resources to some of New York’s most vulnerable communities. She has also served as a public defender in the Legal Aid Society and an Assistant Attorney General for New York State (Brooklyn Region). In the City Council, James has been an outspoken advocate for economic and social justice.