CARE group reacts to George Zimmerman verdict

Tuesday night was the first night a group called CARE met since the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman verdict.

CARE stands for Citizens Advocating Racial Equality.

The group has met in Quincy for more than 20 years.

Members of CARE meet every Tuesday night at John Wood Community College. Tuesday night's meeting was a chance for reflection on this past weekend's verdict out of Sanford, Florida.

Viola Majors had a conversation with her 12-year-old grandson about the case, which she said was not easy.

"I was trying to explain to my grandson why white people don't want to talk about race, and I have no answer," Majors said. "You also gotta let them know, 'don't walk around with a hood. Don't talk back to the police cause you'll get misused,' so how do we clear this up? How do we talk about racism and get something from it?"

Jim Burns co-founded CARE with Majors.

"It's impossible to have justice if we don't look at the difference between dealing with a black boy with a hoodie and a white boy with a hoodie and that is where things break down," Burns said. "Until the American people, the white people of this country start to recognize that racism is a part of practically everything we have to do between a black person and a white person, race comes up. Not in a prejudice way sometime, but we do have a built in bias. Those who haven't thought about it have a cultural bias against black people."

Reggie Coleman has lived in the Quincy area for 36 years. He said he has seen progress in race relations but says there are still problems.

"On a daily basis, I'm made aware of situations where, and it's usually young people sometimes. It's anybody complains about how they've been treated in retail, on the bus, by police and in the community," Coleman said.

Wanda Wilson has lost hope in race relations.

"I'm 68-years-old, and I feel like if there were going to be any changes, they would've happened by now," she said. "You just have to accept what happens. You either have to work with it or let it go, because you can't change people anymore."

Members of CARE would like to invite people of all races to their meetings on Tuesday nights.

You also have a chance to become a part of the Quincy Human Rights Commission's study circles, which begin in September.

Both groups discuss race relations in the area and respond to problems that pop up throughout the community.