While this is a sports blog, with four different men, giving four different opinions, for one purpose… the love of sports, I felt it would be morally wrong and insensitive of my own reality as a 25 year old African American male, if I didn’t use this platform to address the current state of our nation, which is stained by a brutal injustice boiling our society to its breaking point.
“Cops give a damn about a negro. Pull the trigger, kill a nigga, he’s a hero.” The late great Tupac Shakur wrote those hard hitting lyrics back in 1992, and that evil mentality is a black cloud still hovering over this country to this day. However, I’d like to elaborate a tad bit on Pac’s word’s and make note of the fact that not only cops, but the entire United States judicial system does not give a damn about an African American life, and this latest tragedy is nothing more than another testament to that toxic way of thinking.
As we all know, Sunday February 26th 2012 marks the tragic evening when 17 year old Trayvon Martin was walking home to his step mother’s house, and before he got there was shot down in cold blood by George Zimmerman.
From what we know, we can put together a story that goes something like this: Trayvon was walking down the street with a bag of skittles and an iced tea. George Zimmerman, the impulsive self appointed neighborhood watch guy spots Trayvon. He then proceeds to follow him. Meanwhile, from what we know…Trayvon tells his girlfriend on the phone that some man (Zimmerman) is following him…she tells him to ignore the man and keep walking. While that’s going on, Zimmerman is telling 911 that Trayvon “looks suspicious,” he also prejudicially suggests that the young male “must be on drugs or something.” The conversation continues on with him saying all sorts of absurd criminalizing remarks, calling him a coon among other things. 911 then specifically orders Zimmerman NOT to follow Trayvon. A short time after this call, Trayvon lies dead in the grass, killed by Zimmerman.
He then claims he acted in self defense…Officials took him in to custody, but released him hours later. Even gave him his gun back. Now am I missing something?? This man just killed a 17 year old kid for absolutely NO reason, and you let him go? And give him the murder weapon back? Since when is that police protocol in a murder investigation?
Make no mistake about it…that’s exactly what this was… Murder…. In the first degree, and I find it appalling that this bogus “stand your ground” law of Florida has so far helped to exclude Zimmerman from a jail cell.
We all know that this was not an act of self defense; this was an act of unwarranted cruelty and hatred by an egotistic self appointed neighborhood watch man who saw a black kid walking in his neighborhood with a hoodie on so he decided he was going to kill him. And he’s simply let free…allowed to roam the streets as he pleases! How is this possible?
I think it’s fair for me to say that if Trayvon Martin would have been a seventeen year old white kid named Landon Miller, there’s no way George Zimmerman proceeds to follow, and ultimately kill him. And if that were to happen, there is no doubt in my mind that Zimmerman would have been locked up that night. Now I’m not trying to over dramatize the situation, these are just the facts of life in this society we call the “United” States of America. I’m just laying it out there in the open.
How blatant does the slaying of an innocent young black male have to be before justice can be served? Fact is, Trayvon Martin was walking harmlessly down the street, and he ends up dead on the sidewalk in the cold rain. Does the picture have to be painted any clearer? Does it get any more brutal and in your face than that? We all know who his killer is… yet nothing has happened.
If justice isn’t served in the system, would it be wrong to hold court in the streets? Of course that would be frowned upon, but what other options are left?? Occurences like these have gone on in this country since its inception. Have we forgotten about 1955, when Emmitt Till, a 14 year old African American boy was brutally beaten and killed by a group of white men in Mississippi because he spoke to a white woman?
Or how about Rodney King, who was brutally beaten in the street by LA police, when he was clearly not resisting and posed no threat that warranted the brutality he was treated with?
Not to mention Troy Davis, the 42 year old African American man, wrongfully given the death penalty for supposedly killing a police officer in 1989. Although there was plenty of refutable evidence that strongly suggested his innocence, not to mention the blatant tampering of witnesses. He spent 20 plus years in prison before being put to death in 2011. Davis maintained his innocence up until his last days.
These instances are only a couple among hundreds of tragic dehumanization’s of black males. There are MANY more cases like these that have either been public, or faded away unseen.
But this Trayvon Martin’s death is so horrifying, that a revolution may be on its way if justice is not served sooner than later. Our forefathers fought too hard for us to let situations like these continue to slide!
Illustrations such as this one exemplify the ignorance prevalent in the society we’re forced to live in. Uninhibited ignorance that we must cope with, and pretend doesn’t exist. But it does exist. And it can no longer be tolerated. This drawing is making a mockery of a sickingly heinous act! An act that should have never taken place!
The fact is, Zimmerman shouldn’t have even been carrying a weapon that night in the first place. According to the USAonwatch Neighborhood Watch program- “the way we teach it, and the way it has always been — is based on the premise that we don’t carry weapons, nor do we intervene in any incidents.” –grio.com-
But instead of looking deeper into the background and psyche of Zimmerman…somehow this tragedy has turned into an issue of Trayvon’s life prior to his tragic murder.
It frustrates me that one day I turn on the news, and I see a story about how Trayvon supposedly had an empty baggy of marijuana on him. Then I turn on the next day, and now they’re dissecting every facebook post or tweet he has ever posted on the INTERNET. Then there was his high school suspension… But NONE OF THAT has ANY bearing on the deadly events of February 26th. Can you imagine how his mother and father must feel?
Their son was murdered… his killer is still out free, and now Trayvon is being painted as this troubled black kid who was deserving of the fate he was dealt. Some media outlets are trying to turn this injustice into a justifiable circumstance, and that cannot be tolerated! An arrest must be made!
For our so called judicial system to work justly, George Zimmerman must be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. I do not recommend the death penalty as some may suggest when the time comes, (if it comes) because I believe that sentencing gives Zimmerman a go to hell free card…It’s the easy way out for him.
Zimmerman deserves to rot in prison and think about Trayvon for the rest of his life. But will that be enough? Will that be enough to change a racially charged society that takes its fear of us as African Americans and molds it into this sick, twisted hatred? NO, we as black people have been ridiculed, dehumanized, and singled out throughout the history of the United States, and it won’t stop until we make it stop.
Tupac again said it best,” We gotta make a change. It’s time for us as a people to start makin’ some changes. Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live, and let’s change the way we treat each other. You see the old way wasn’t working so it’s on us to do what we gotta do, to survive.”
CHANGE. President Obama used that word in repetition, really as the driving force of his 2008 Presidential campaign. But one thing is for certain, the emergence of the 1st ever African American president in Barack Obama did not change the racial undertone that has always haunted the United States. In fact, tensions seemed to have grown higher since his presidency began. His time in the White House has created an out in the open frenzy of racy comments and actions. And it’s given the extremist substantial reason to get extreme.
I mean really… when have you ever seen an individual in the political mix stand up and call the President of the United States a liar in the middle of his speech?? In front of everyone! But the reality check is this…with a black President comes heightened racial jabs. (Remember the chimpanzee cartoon?)
I bring this up for one reason. If the society we live in harbors such resentment towards an African American President, then tragedies’ like Trayvon are simply catastrophic dents in an entire system that needs to be broken down and re-shaped.
We’ve got to start pushing back! The nationwide hoodie rallies have definitely made it known that this tragedy will not go unnoticed and without serious public protest if justice is not served. And if Zimmerman is not taken in to custody in handcuffs VERY SOON; the rallies MUST increase in both number and effectiveness.
I’m talking about gathering every day. I’m talking about marching and holding rallies outside of every major city hall/ police department and major news station in EVERY state. I’m talking about an Occupy the Streets movement far bigger than the Occupy protests of a few months ago. This incident is GREATER than the Rodney King beating of 1992 that led to the LA Riots.
But with time comes maturity, and we’ve learned from the mistakes of those riots where we destroyed our own neighborhoods, and our own businesses. Now we’ve transformed into a community ready to progressively let our concerns be heard and seen around the world.
With this new age of social media at the fingertips of everyone willing to reach for it, there are no limits to the changes we can truly make. We have the power of numbers. Sports figures and political figures alike have displayed remorse for this tragedy by wearing their hoodies as a sign of public protests. We must all stand up and hold our ground. With relentless effort, tactical networking and diligent planning, The Revolution will be televised!
In a country that promises liberty and justice for all, where is the justice for young Trayvon Martin??
NO JUSTICE… NO PEACE!
By: Ibn Akbar