Zimmerman Isn’t Worthy of My Riot

For the last few weeks I’ve been following the Zimmerman trial closely, curious as to why the prosecution didn’t adequately prepare and select key witnesses or vocalize obvious objections. Since I’ve never taken a law class, I’m nowhere near qualified to formally critique either team. I do, however, have words for everyone anxiously waiting to see if this trial will result in yet another blatant miscarriage of justice.

By now, we should know not to place our trust in a “justice” system that is responsible for locking away more people than any other country in the world. I have a hard time advocating for a non-rehabilitative, money-draining solution to an ideological problem. In my opinion, justice for Trayvon has nothing to do with a second-degree murder conviction or a life sentence for Zimmerman.

If George Zimmerman’s acquittal motivates one young person to pursue a law degree so that she or he can uphold justice for all in court, I’d prefer that to another high profile case-free bout of mass complacency. While I detest the idea of Zimmerman roaming the streets, looking for more unarmed teens to gun down, I am even more concerned that people will mistake Zimmerman’s potential conviction for justice.

Last year, Marissa Alexander, a Black mom in Florida, was sentenced to 20 years for firing non-fatal warning shots against her abusive husband. The same Stand Your Ground law that Zimmerman used to justify his vigilantism failed to protect a woman who didn’t kill anyone while acting in legitimate self-defense. As her case and many others have proven, a conviction, even if it is well deserved, is nowhere near synonymous with justice. It is counter-productive to expend our energy and resources in a war that has been rigged from the start. It’s time to abolish the age-old racism that lies behind this trial and countless others like it.

If Zimmerman is acquitted, we will not riot. We will protest peacefully and wisely, not in response to the petition urging Obama to “keep Blacks from rioting,” but because we cannot afford to give police forces an excuse to gun us down in the streets. We will remain calm and exercise our intelligence because we have a higher calling to fulfill that requires non-violence. We refuse to incriminate ourselves any further than the media already has.

Instead of looting my local grocery store, I plan to host a think tank with fellow young professionals on how to rid television and film of the detrimental portrayals of Black men that caused Zimmerman to deem Trayvon Martin a suspicious “punk.” Rather than bashing in the windows of the nearest police station, I’m going to continue working with LAPD and DPS to end racial profiling in Los Angeles and eventually the nation. Instead of giving our adversaries exactly what they want, we are going to organize peacefully and more effectively than ever before.

Believe me when I say that the “Justice for Trayvon Martin” movement is only beginning. The 2 million strong, 45-day push to bring formal charges against Zimmerman and the degrading trial that focused more on a dead victim’s social habits more than that of a bigoted murderer will forever be etched into the collective memory of my generation. Had Zimmerman known that his illegal pursuit of Trayvon would result in a social awakening, he probably would have let him get away…like they always do. Tragically, but thankfully, he didn’t.

In Trayvon Martin’s absence we now have thousands of young minorities who won’t rest until they secure just treatment and all-around equality for their people. Though Trayvon will never live to graduate from college, get married or have his first child, millions of young minorities will greet each milestone in the future with a renewed responsibility in mind.

No one knows when the ultimate Judge will finally decide to administer His own ruling. Until then, I can only pray for God to grant wisdom and discernment to the 6 jurors and do everything in my power to make His will a reality. I urge you to place your hope in the only One who has the power and authority to provide justice for Trayvon Martin and everyone else.

I Know (Why They’re Scared of You)

They’re scared of you, black
They can’t see you in the dark, but
They run from you anyway

You are the dark
You, black, are my scapegoat
You, black, are my not so secret hiding place from the blinding white

The world has found out about us
The ghost has never been clear, black; they lied
The black devil isn’t black after all

He’s dangerous black
He who has remained nameless could be night
He resembles my knight and matted armor

We all know color is vein deep
We’ve all ingested hate through the black IV drip and
We’ve all tried to hide it under our guilt-tripped skin

Black, stop entertaining ignorance and define yourself
Black, you’ve been used to right the weaker colors’ wrongs
Black, even through the abuse

I will always recognize you in the crowd
I envy your ability to force the others into irrelevant shades of absence
I think you’re powerful by definition, black

I know why they’re scared of you, black

Ways to Act:

Urge the Department of Justice to open a civil rights case against George Zimmerman. Click here.

6 responses to “Zimmerman Isn’t Worthy of My Riot

  1. Unless you are privy to information that the rest of us are not, the case is not so obvious. Let’s not assume that if GZ is acquitted, it’s because the system is rigged. It’s honestly a difficult and really unfortunate situation. I don’t think the law should be setup in a way that this could happen. I think GZ is an idiot (potential racist), but I’m far from sure that he’s guilty of the charges. As much as this falls along racial lines, I think you set us back by having declared one decision as obvious to any non-racist, which you seem to do.

    I do agree with the push for youth and equality.

    This is your blog, though, so write what you believe, and keep on with your passion.

    My $0.02

  2. We now that the verdict is out, I would really like to hear what James, Chuck, and B.Saylor has to say. Outside of that, I think it is highly unfortunate that GZ is free. If we simplified what happened: GZ followed a man (with no real reason to do so), pursued him, approached him, wrestled/fought with him (instead of talking to him – not at him), and because he was losing that fight he shot TM, which lead to TM’s death. Then on top of that GZ is found not guilty!! As a person, what rights do we have!!! Seriously!! The system is ineffective in my opinion because there is always some technicality in every case that could get any potential criminal off. Always!! And as long as lawyers know how to play up those technicalities to go in their favor, there will always be a level of injustice. The judicial system should be about consequences period. If you kill someone there should be a certain level consequences that GZ has to face given the circumstance. Growing up I used to think as long as I’m good with the law (no record, no drugs, etc) that I would be fine but this case proves that is clearly not the case. So I urge everyone to really analyze what this verdict means for the future generations and further find ways we can unite as a people (of all races) to ensure true justice has a chance of existing in our society.

  3. This isn’t really a technicality…it’s Florida self-defense law. Even if YOUR story is true, the fact that he was in grave danger justifies his use of force. Whether this should be the law is a broader issue. Probably not. But even if this weren’t the case, your story isn’t even supported…there’s just no way to place the level of blame on GZ that you have.

    Here are the facts that we know:
    GZ followed TM
    GZ was told by the police he need not follow TM anymore
    GZ and TM fought
    GZ shot TM.

    Your story: GZ followed TM.
    Gz was told by the police he need not follow TM anymore.
    GZ disregards this, finds, and approaches TM.
    GZ Fights him (I assume he starts this fight?).
    GZ Starts losing and shoots TM.

    Now let’s hear GZ’s story:
    GZ followed TM.
    GZ was told by the police he need not follow TM, advice which he followed.
    While returning to his car, GZ was attacked by TM.
    GZ’s losing this fight badly and screams for help.
    TM reaches for the gun.
    GZ takes the gun and shoots TM.

    Not really too much evidence for one story over another.

    Just based off of the facts, the only thing that you can definitively “blame” GZ for is following TM and getting out of the car (neither of which is even close to illegal). And you, frankly, can’t blame TM for anything.

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