Mic Check: How Famous Musicians Responded to the George Zimmerman Verdict

1. Taking a Stand Against Stand Your Ground
 
As the U.S. reels in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman trial, those who oppose the jury’s not-guilty verdict have begun to coalesce against Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law. Attorney General Eric Holder joined the critique of Stand Your Ground at a speech to the NAACP on Tuesday. Stand Your Ground laws “senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods… By allowing – and perhaps encouraging – violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety,” Holder said. Famous musicians have responded strongly to the verdict, as well. Stevie Wonder announced on Tuesday he won’t perform in Florida as long as Stand Your Ground exists.
 
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Trayvon Martin’s death is not about you (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED).
 
– The Zimmerman case has nothing to do with Stand Your Ground.
 
– Yes, it does.
 
Do other countries have Stand Your Ground laws?
 
More From PolicyMic:
– It’s not just Florida, half the states would have acquitted Zimmerman
 
– How the hip-hop community responded to the Zimmerman verdict.
 
2. How the Senate Dodged a Nuclear Bullet
 
The U.S. is divided over many issues, but the Senate gave us hope we still know how to compromise, reaching an agreement to avoid the controversial “nuclear option” on Tuesday. Under the nuclear option, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) threatened to change Senate voting rules to make it easier for President Obama to confirm his cabinet nominees. The Senate avoided that option when Republicans agreed to confirm four of Obama’s nominees in exchange for Democrats withdrawing two nominees for the National Labor Relations Board.
 
More from around the web:
Three reasons the Senate didn’t go nuclear.
 
– 10 facts that explain the filibuster fight.
 
More From PolicyMic:
– You’ll never guess the unlikely champion of compromise in Congress.
 
3. Something We Can All Agree On
 
Is this really happening? The Senate saw a second bipartisan move on Tuesday as Tea Party favorites Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) threw their support behind Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) bill to reform how the military handles sexual assault cases. Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement Act looks to encourage survivors of assault to report their cases by removing prosecuting power from the military chain of command. “Senator Gillibrand should be commended for her leadership working to modernize our military justice system to protect our men and women from sexual assault,” said Cruz. Gillibrand’s bill will come up for debate as early as next week.
 
More from around the web:
Sexual assault affects everyone in the military.
 
– Show your support by taking part in Senator Gillibrand’s “thunderclap.”
 
More From PolicyMic:
Ending the epidemic of sexual assault in the military.
 
4. Can You Hear Me Now?
 
Edward Snowden’s leaks are finally having a legal impact on the NSA, as 19 organizations filed a lawsuit against the NSA in federal court on Tuesday. The groups claim the NSA violated their First Amendment rights by secretly collecting their phone records. Now that Americans are taking the NSA to task, what are the chances the agency’s surveillance methods will change? Truman Project Fellow and former Pentagon official Michael McNerney isn’t getting his hopes up: “I hope the current debate results in more transparency but I'm not optimistic. With a few notable exceptions, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of desire in Congress for meaningful reform.”
 
More from around the web:
– The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a detailed timeline of NSA surveillance of Americans.
 
– Check out Edward Snowden’s handwritten letter of request for asylum in Russia.
 
More From PolicyMic:
Welcome to George W. Obama’s America.
 
5. If Only We Were All This Cool
 
Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai spoke at the UN headquarters in New York last Friday; it was her first public speech since she was attacked last October by the Taliban. The young activist said the Taliban’s attack strengthened her resolve to fight for women’s education, and asserted the Taliban are afraid of educated women. Women’s education is a pressing issue: The BBC estimates a quarter of the world’s women do not receive basic education. The real kicker to Malala’s speech? It came on her 16th birthday.
 
More from around the web:
Don’t forget about the other Malalas of the world.
 
– Malala’s home country doesn’t feel the same way about her as the rest of the world.
 
The leader of the Taliban wrote Malala a letter after her speech at the UN.
 
More From PolicyMic:
– Liz Plank collects the 9 best quotes from Malala’s speech.
 
Dessert
– American universities fight off a million cyberattacks a week.
 
– The surprising relationship between successful women and sports.
 
– These data masters know where you’ll be 285 days from now.
 
– 9 charts that show you what the world will look like in the future.
 
5 forgotten books worth revisiting.
 
Thanks for reading!
Nick
 
Don’t be a stranger; I love getting feedback. Find me on twitter @nicholascbaker.
 
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