This is your wake up call

History may be unfolding right before our eyes, but many of us have allowed the wool of impending midterms, piling bills and campus elections to be pulled over our optics.

Even sadder for those not in the know, two Rattlers are at the forefront of the issue as catalysts for change and potential history makers.

Even sadder for those not in the know, two Florida A&M University alumni, Darryl Parks and Benjamin Crump of Parks and Crump, attorneys at law, are working on behalf of the family of Martin Anderson, a 14-year-old Panama City boy who was beaten by guards at a Bay County boot camp Jan. 5 and subsequently died the next day.

The state claims Martin died due to complications from a sickle-cell trait found in the boy’s blood.

But one viewing of the videotape, which depicts nearly ten guards brutally striking the young man repeatedly for six or seven minutes, would lead even the most staunch supporters of the powers that be to question whether that level of force was necessary to restrain the young man.

In the immediate aftermath of the public release of the videotape Friday, Martin’s story has become a national issue.

Martin’s death has brought the issue of race relations in dealing with law enforcement back to the country’s collective consciousness.

The fact that Martin was only 14 and that youth boot camps are shutting down across the state illuminates the issue even more.

With Parks and Crump at the helm and Bay County only a short drive away, FAMU’s student body has an opportunity to unite behind something that really matters and live out the true meaning of its creed like the Rattlers before us.

Nick Birdsong for the editorial board.