Prominent civil-rights leaders and reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton pushed back against comparisons between Trayvon Martin’s death and that of Australian college baseball player Christopher Lane on MSNBC yesterday. Jackson, for example, agreed that some people are making a “false equivalency” between Lane and Martin. He accused them of ignoring or forgetting about shootings that took place in Tulsa, Okla., by white gunmen on black residents last year.
“There are no winners in any of this sickness,” he added. “There’s simply, in our country, too much violence and too much hate, and we need to address it.”
He called on other spiritual leaders to speak out against these acts of violence.
Earlier in the week, Jackson tweeted he was praying for Lane’s family, and that the “senseless violence” should be “frowned upon.”
Later in the evening, Sharpton wrapped up his show by saying he hasn’t spoken out about Lane’s murder because, “I protest when I’m called in and there’s an injustice.” He also stated that authorities have not described any racial motivations in the killing (an FBI report indicated that Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, was not racially motivated either), and pointed out that the driver of the car was white.
Sharpton singled out Fox News, calling it a “wrong source,” for attempting to tie the two cases together.