The bizarre “not guilty” verdict the jury of six women in Sanford, Florida blessed child-murderer George Zimmerman with, leads to more questions and uncertainty about the worth of a young, black life in America.
Was the value of Trayvon Martin’s life diminished as soon as he came out of the womb, just because he was black? Or was he just the victim of a random jacked-up situation?
And after another verdict that reinforces the social, political and financial disparities between blacks and whites, where do we go from here?
Prior to the stunning verdict, black people around America flooded social media with threats to riot and make noise if Zimmerman was not given the guillotine.
It’s doubtful any of them thought he’d actually get acquitted because once the verdict hit, people seemed too shocked to forge any big-time protests or emphatic commotion. An eerie silence settled over Black America on Saturday night.
What spoke loudly were the messages being sent throughout our country regarding a janky verdict with long-lasting effects on society.
A highly-publicized case such as this, with so much at stake, gives a loud-and-clear assertion that black men are fare game. You can hunt them down like wild dogs and then fall back on America’s racist fabric, as a cushion against facing justice.
To come up with this verdict, you had to throw a lot of dirt on a young, innocent kid and one can’t help to believe that America would be outraged if the roles were reversed.
The shrewd and long-time Florida defense attorney Don West flipped the race card on The Martin Family, drew upon America’s deep-rooted fears and stereotypes and turned Martin’s tragic, senseless death into a situation where the youngster was put on trial for having the audacity to be WWB (Walking While Black) from a 7-11 late at night.
Martin’s now tragically iconic hoody symbolized a bad element, a threat and the evil cloak of a person considered “less-than” in some way. The thought that a young black man in a hoodie, walking at night, automatically means he’s up to no good, is part of the brainwashing and inherent racism rampant in our country.
It’s why some people of non-color are able to compromise an obviously disgusting not guilty verdict in their heads and hearts, making it an “us” against “them” situation.
Conversely, African-Americans saw Martin as an innocent boy who looked like their sons, and traveled the mischievous learning curve of life like so many teenagers. He had positive parents and direction, but he was the wrong complexion.
Consequently, young Martin’s existence was callously snuffed out like a house fly and gunned down like a deer in the woods; left to bleed to death a few blocks from his home.
To many, this was another in this country’s sorded history of heinous crime perpetrated against unarmed black males by racially jaded sickos, some of whose true wish would be total eradication.
It doesn’t only go down like this in the South, either.
This verdict comes a few weeks after NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg brazenly did some truth-twisting of his own, stating that blacks get frisked too little and whites, too much. That harmonious post-racial dream that so many proclaim exists in America, is only real if remains in a bubble, protected from the harsh realities of life.
Very few people enjoy those benefits. We have to exist on real earth, with the Tinisha and Tyrone—not Jay-Z and Beyonce.
And perhaps the largest call for outcry is the ongoing black-on-black crime that is pervading Chicago . When we talk about race and racism, perhaps it is most conspicuous not between the perpetrator and the victim, but the low rung where we find dead black men judicial, municipal and criminal priority lists.
For “normal” blacks, this one was a major setback and a huge red flag for parents who already get ulcers wondering if their child will return home from the park, chess club or lacrosse practice safely; or it they say, look or wear the wrong thing and get viciously gunned down by a trigger-happy, wannabe cop (who’ll likely go on to become a cult hero for skin heads and bigots and gets his rights fully reinstated to walk around double toasting).
It’s looking like ain’t much changed since Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Some people just needed a reminder, and they got one clear across their black faces.