ARLINGTON - About 40 students, professors and other members of the community gathered outside the Tarrant County College Southeast Campus Wednesday afternoon in response to the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida.
"This guy is guilty of murder," student Dennis Swanson told the crowd. "Yes he is."
Swanson called the man who shot Martin nothing more than a vigilante. George Zimmerman, the shooter, has not been charged.
While facts of the case drip out slowly, students and professors search for meaning in it.
A TCC instructor told the crowd Trayvon Martin's death, no matter what the details turn out to be, offers America a fresh opportunity for reflection on race and fear.
"We really have to ask ourselves the question: Do we really treat people the way we would like to be treated?" asked associate professor Garrison Henderson, an African-American who teaches sociology and criminal justice.
Henderson said he uses the case to focus on so-called "stand your ground laws," that permit the use of deadly force.
The crowd outside the school was mostly African-American, despite a diverse student population on the campus.
On another campus, a cartoon commentary on news coverage of the case opened racial wounds.
The drawing in the UT Austin newspaper shows a woman telling her young daughter, "and then the big, bad white man killed the handsome, sweet, innocent colored boy."
A student drew it, and the paper defended the right to publish opinions.
Many UT students recoiled at the language.
"I think she needs to go through some kind of diversity training, as with any other organization here on campus," said Jasmine Kyles.