|Greater Cleveland National Action|
CLEVELAND, Ohio- The mainstream majority White media in Cleveland, Oh virtually ignored the call by the Greater Cleveland National Action Network, a local chapter of the national group founded by Civil Rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton, for a national boycott of Florida businesses and for federal Civil Rights charges against George Zimmerman during a 300-persons rally and vigil held Saturday at the federal courthouse in downtown Cleveland, though both issues were the focus of the event, and of national rallies held across the country the same day.
And aside from Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Pauline Tarver, who spoke, no Black elected officials were there for the event, one sponsored in cooperation with NAN's 100 Cities Vigil and Rally for "Justice for Trayvon."
Cleveland television news channels 5 and 3 did not cover the Cleveland rally. News Channel 19 gave it a minute, and though News Channel 8 and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio largest newspaper, covered it, there was no mentioning of the call by Sharpton and NAN for a Florida boycott or for federal charges to be lodged against Zimmerman, who was acquitted last weekend by an all White Florida jury of murdering unarmed Black teen Trayvon Martin.
Greater Cleveland NAN President Marcia McCoy told Cleveland Urban News.Com a day before Saturday's Cleveland rally that she had interviewed with several local media groups and that Sharpton and NAN were demanding " a Florida Boycott and federal Civil Rights charges against Zimmerman."
But not one local media outlet mentioned Greater Cleveland NAN. And McCoy, a Cleveland schools student recruitment coordinator, was not quoted in a single greater Cleveland media venue, not on television and not in the Plain Dealer, and by design, said a Black elected official of greater Cleveland, who said he deliberately stayed away from Saturday's rally and vigil.
"We were told not to come to the rally yesterday at the federal courthouse in Cleveland because Rev Sharpton is taking on President Obama by requesting that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder bring federal Civil Rights charges against Zimmerman," said the Black elected official on condition of anonymity.
Zimmerman, who took the stand but did not testify during the month long trial, is now a free man.
His acquittal has unnerved America's Black community, some members of whom say that an all White jury was prejudicial and that a special prosecutor should have prosecuted the case since prosecutors only brought charges against Zimmerman under pressure from Civil Rights leaders, including Sharpton, and National NAACP President Ben Jealous, who has also called for federal charges against the neighborhood watchman for stalking Martin and allegedly racially profiling him.
"Saturday's rally and vigil in Cleveland did not get the attention it should have gotten." said Community Activist Al Porter, vice president of Black on Black Crime Inc.
Martin, 17 at his death, was Black, and Zimmerman is White by most measures.