Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) came face-to-face with Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, on Capitol Hill during a Tuesday hearing on “Stand Your Ground” laws. After offering his condolences to Fulton, Cruz told the mother that the self-defense laws are not racist because they help blacks as much as whites, if not more.
Cruz also explained that, despite some efforts to exploit Martin’s death, George Zimmerman’s defense team never used Stand Your Ground laws as a defense in the murder trial.
“We know that some in our political process have a desire to exploit that tragic, violent incident for agendas that have nothing to do with that young man who lost his life. We have seen efforts to undermine the verdict of the jury and, more broadly, to inflame racial tensions that I think are sad and irresponsible,” the Texas senator added.
Cruz went on to refute the “remarkable” allegation that Stand Your Ground laws do not protect black communities.
“I think that’s a remarkable statement on many, many fronts, including the fact that a great many African-Americans find themselves victims of violent crime, and have asserted this defense to defend themselves, defend their families, defend their children,” he explained.
The assertion is even more “remarkable,” Cruz said, when you consider that in 2004, “a state senator in Illinois by the name of Barack Obama co-sponsored an expansion of Illinois’ law providing civil immunity for those who use justifiable force to defend themselves.”
“The notion that stand your ground laws are some form of veiled racism may be a convenient political attack, but it is not borne out by the facts remotely,” he concluded.