Trayvon Martin's Parents on the Today Show

In their first interview since the jury acquitted George Zimmerman of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton told Matt Lauer they are still shocked by the jury’s decision

“I’m still shocked, still in disbelief,” Tracy Martin confessed. “We felt in our hearts that we were going to get a conviction. We thought that the killer of our unarmed child was going to be convicted of the crime that he committed.”

Lauer went on to ask Trayvon’s parents whether or not they agreed with Juror B37’s assertion that race played no part in the trial.

“Obviously anytime when you have a person who makes an assumption that a person is up to no good there’s some type of profiling there.” Martin added, “I think if Trayvon had been white, this would have never happened. So obviously race played some type of role.”

At times Lauer’s line of questioning seemed insensitive. At one point, he asked Trayvon’s parents whether or not they have forgiven George Zimmerman for killing their son: “You’re a family with faith, you rely on faith in hard times. Does your faith allow you to forgive George Zimmerman?”

Mr. Martin explained:

“I think that the forgiveness is like a healing process. Forgiveness takes time. The Bible says that you have to forgive and forget, but also the healing process is a long process. The forgiving process is a long process.”

Despite Mr. Martin’s clear response, Lauer continued to press the issue: “George Zimmerman’s attorneys say he’s facing death threats, he’s in hiding. Some are comparing his situation right now to Casey Anthony, who was cleared of murder charges for his daughter, who’s living in hiding and is an outcast. Do you think that’s what the system intends for someone who is acquitted of charges like these?”

Thankfully, Ms. Fulton brought the focus back to her son, not George Zimmerman’s safety.

She told Lauer:

We don’t know about that, but what we do know is about the victims. We sit on the victims’ seat. Is this the intent for the justice system to have for victims? It’s sending a terrible message to other little black and brown boys that you can’t walk fast, you can’t walk slow. So what do they do? I mean, how do you get home without people knowing or either assuming that you’re doing something wrong? Trayvon wasn’t doing anything wrong.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

  • Gina

    Well said.

  • DC

    There are a lot of people who will have to be added to that “forgiveness” list. And if I’m still in shock, I can’t even begin to imagine how Trayvon Martin’s parents feel, and how they will heal and move forward. Things have got to change.

    /I totally would have asked Lauer, hey, if you were me, would you have already forgiven this cold-blooded murderer?

  • http://gravatar.com/geenababe geenababe

    I didn’t see their Today interview but I did see the “CBS this morning” and Good Morning America” interviews. It seemed like Lauer was being Lauer (he has always rub me the wrong way) why should they have any sympathy towards GZ and why should they care he had to go into hiding? He made his own bed when he started this whole thing. I hope there is some type of justice for Trayvon because this was wrong. Everything about it wasn’t right. I saw below on one of the news that an alternate juror believes GZ was justified in shooting Trayvon.

  • KDJW

    May God bless Travon’s parents during this whole situation they handeled the situation with dignity and class.

  • http://twitter.com/realestsoul Rose Windy (@realestsoul)

    Matt Lauer is so insensitive and cold. Just shooting out questions with no consciousness of how the family is feeling. Who cares about forgiveness for George ZImmerman? The man just got off for murdering their child, that alone had to set forgiveness back a couple of years.

    I’m just so proud of this family. So many people have tried to run Trayvon’s name through the mud but they stand as a testament of who he was and the type of child they we’re raising. I hope they continue to fight for justice for their son and for others like him. I’m going to keep praying for them.

  • Moi

    Yess!! Matt Lauer can be somewhat of a twerp for no apparent reason. They handled it with such poise and composure, though. Well said!

  • Treece

    Exactly. The nerve of him (Lauer). Forgiveness is a personal and process as Mr. Martin said. This couples son was killed by a person who racially profiled and pursued him with a weapon. Yes, the bible says to forgive. But it doesn’t give a time frame. People sicken me with questioning other’s faith and religion at times like these. Matt Lauer is a jackass for asking that question. he was clearly just looking to get a rise out of Ms. Fulton and Mr. Martin.

    A lot of White people want us to pop off and act ignorant. I’ve heard more than enough times throughout this whole incident (the trial and the post-verdict) comments from White media talking heads that seem surprised by the Martin/Fulton family’s grace under pressure and how they rely on thier faith. This is the same White media that was so surprised that Blacks didn’t riot in every city in the US after the verdict. They want that family to break. They wanted all of us to break. They want to see us act in ways that confirms thier stereotypes of us. Angry, ignorant, wild, impulsive. To see a loving and forgiving family mourn thier baby in a Christian way while staying cool under pressure is threatening to them. A child without a record, a child who even though he smoked a little weed and got suspended a few times still managed to make honors at school and get accepted into an aeronautics program, I might add. It’s sad and frustrating. White folks are getting real uncomfortable with us (minorities, particularly Blacks) here lately and it’s showing. Journalist aren’t even being “objective” with it anymore. As if Zimmerman deserves more sypathy than that family or her son……the nerve.

  • Tiffany

    I doubt he would ask the Sandy Hook victim parents and the Bosten Bombers victims if they forgave the men who are involved. Exactly, while they made sure to hide Zimmerman past of child molestation, cop beater and domestic violence.

  • Kacey

    Why are black people always being asked to forgive in these types of cases? It’s like white people so fear black rage, no matter how justified, that they can’t relax until they believe that we’re adequately subdued. And they always bring up religion! This is how religion has been used from the days of slavery – to keep black people subdued and focussed on an after life, rather than seeking justice in this life. F-that!!! They don’t have to forgive GZ to make white people feel comfortable – now or ever!!!

  • Anthony

    Matt Lauer was just being white, and white folks have a needs for black people to forever being meek and forgiving when it comes to white people’s transgressions. Even the most progressive whites are uncomfortable when black folks assert the right to be angry or kick white butt.

    I am very glad that Ms. Fulton reminded Lauer that they sat in the victim’s chair. Zimmerman killed her son over a burglary that did not exist, if he is suffering, it is over a event that did not have to happen. My Mom told me, if you make your bed, you lay in it. If it is hard, roll over.

  • Anthony

    Amen to that, Kacey! I just posted more or less the same words myself.

  • SAA

    Your comment just took my breath away. I wish I could meet you in person and shake your hand because the truth has been clouded and you have brought it to light. Just yes.

  • Anthony

    I cannot remember a single instance of a white crime victim being asked if they have forgiven the perpetrator. This sort of thing is only asked of blacks, and it clearly speaks to white fear of black rage far more any sort of Christian sentiment.

  • MimiLuvs

    Slightly off-topic:
    It is inspired by the Matt Lauer “forgiveness” question.
    A few years ago, a cousin of mine was murdered. His death was in retaliation for beating up another young man in an unfair fight. Actually, four men tried to mug my cousin and they also tried to assault him, when he managed to beat all four of them.
    Anyway, someone once asked my aunt did she forgave the man who killed my cousin? I remember my aunt saying (and I am paraphrasing) “What is it about forgiveness? My son has been dead for close to six years and the pain is just as fresh and strong as it was the night that I found out about his death. Does forgiveness have a timeline? If it does, someone should’ve told me. I know forgiveness is a part of being religious. But I don’t feel very religious right now. Every time I see one of my son’s friends, I think of him. Whenever I see a man, who looks like he could be my son’s age, I think about my baby. I think about all of the important sh*t that he could’ve been doing right now, if he was alive. He could’ve been a husband, a father or a single guy who brings women home to meet me. He cannot do anything right now. But the man who murdered my son can do all of those things.”

  • Sandy248

    Matt Lauer keeps adding reasons for people to dislike him. Somewhere Ann Curry is laughing. I do find it disgusting that Zimmerman’s past is never brought up but TM’s is. I think someone who assaults a police officer and his fiancee is a greater danger than a teenager smoking marijuana.

  • MommieDearest

    Ms, Fulton was NOT having it. I love the way she told Lauer to “fall back” tactfully. Matt has always gotten on my nerves, and I think he played a major part in getting Anne Curry ousted. Now I have another reason to dislike him. He can kick rocks.

  • noirluv45

    Sybrina and Tracy have been a class act from day one. I admire and respect them so much. I know with all my heart that karma will catch up with those who do evil.

  • GG

    Excellent! They always try to shame a person to say they have forgiven. I would have said no. They always expect a victim to be better and rise above. It is completely normal to feel hurt and not forgive specially in this circumstance. They raised and loved a baby boy and some evil idiot takes him away.

  • Justina

    I freaking hate Matt Lauer. I stopped watching the Today show because of his obnoxious ass. I can’t wait until the day that he is finally off the air.

    He is always making ridiculous and insensitive comments to people of color who are on his show.

  • http://gravatar.com/geenababe geenababe

    I disliked Matt before the Ann Curry situation and that made me dislike him even more especially since she was my favorite anchor.

  • GlowBelle

    Ugh. Matt Lauer is the worst and just so insensitive and fake to the core. I will never forgive him for being the cause to push Ann Curry unfairly out. The wound is far too deep and fresh for the Martin’s to be forgiving anybody, esp. an un-remorseful monster like Zimmerman. If I had been the Martin family I wouldn’t have even answered the question, and just stared giving the message: “What do you think?” But the Martin family have been nothing but classy and admirable throughout all this and I love their responses which proves that Trayvon came from good stock and once again how horrific and screwed up this whole situation was. It’s a long road to recovery, but I do wish the best for this family in hopes that they get the justice they deserve and that they can eventually find some sort of peace within all of this tragedy.

  • Sandy248

    The Martins are showing a lot more restraint than I would have. Had Lauer asked me about forgiving Zimmerman I would have told him that I would forgive them after one of their loved ones is stalked and murdered and the aggressor walks because of a jury made up of southern belles with book offers.

  • p

    why is Matt taking to her like she cant speak English “do you understand what reasonable doubt means???”

  • Megan

    Why on gods green earth would Matt ask that question. Why should they be so quick to forgive someone who stated on the Sean Hannity show stated the following:

    HANNITY: Do you regret getting out of the car to follow Trayvon that night?

    GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, TRAYVON MARTIN’S SHOOTER: No, sir.

    HANNITY: Do you regret that you had a gun that night?

    ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

    HANNITY: Do you feel you wouldn’t be here for this interview if you didn’t have that gun?

    ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

    HANNITY: You feel you would not be here?

    ZIMMERMAN: I feel it was all God’s plan, and for me to second guess it or judge it –

    HANNITY: Is there anything you might do differently in retrospect now that time has passed a little bit?

    ZIMMERMAN: No, sir.

    Why would they forgive someone who murdered their son in cold blood and has zero remorse.

  • Miakoda

    Why would ‘God’ ‘bless’ them now? ‘God’ allowed for their son to be murdered and his killer to go free.

  • Justanotheropinion

    I applaud the poise, calmness & inner strength of Trayvon’s parents. I can say without a doubt that if I were them, my response would have guaranteed me being banned from talk shows plus a stint in County.

  • DB

    Forgiveness releases the one who forgives, not the one forgiven. I am a Christian and that’s one of my biggest struggles but when you forgive, it’s not saying oh that’s ok you did this, let’s just move on. It’s ultimately freeing yourself from the bitterness, anger, desire to seek a vengeance that will never heal, even if the murderer “gets what they deserve” and it puts you in the position for God to heal you to where although you still mourn and missed your loved one, you’re not dying a slow death daily because of how what the murderer did has you bound.

    Basically not forgiving allows the person that did the wrong to hold power over you, not hurt their feelings they’ll continue on with their lives while you’re bound due to what they did.

  • seriously?

    The answer they gave was perfect because forgiveness is not about the other person. Trayvon parents needs to heal how awful would it be to spend the remaining days of their lives reliving the moment their son died reliving the killer is walking free? Of course its not gonna be over night but it its something that needs to happen.

  • MommieDearest

    I know right? He is such a condescending jerk. Yet another reason to dislike him.

  • http://gravatar.com/racialliteracy racialliteracy

    He just exhibited his White male class based privilege in every way. The internal hierarchy of white privilege has been running rampant ever since the verdict. I applaude his parents it is apparent God is walking with them.

  • http://gravatar.com/racialliteracy racialliteracy

    arrogant white male in action

Latest Stories

Why Oiling Your Scalp May Not Be Such A Bad Idea

by

Nigerian Officials Confirm Release of 44 Abducted School Girls

by

Watch: ‘Black People Mate’ a Parody About the Ridiculous Stats on Black Women & Dating

by

University President Under Fire for Wanting to Make School Less White In the Future

by
More in Sybrina Fulton, Today Show, Tracy Martin
Screen Shot 2013-03-27 at 4.59.05 PM
Today’s Must Read: Joe Hagan’s NY Mag Cover Story

Close