On February 26, 2012 in Sandford, Florida, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black boy, was gunned down by George Zimmerman, a middle-aged man of Caucasian and Hispanic descent. But, as we know, Zimmerman was not arrested. Instead, around midnight on that night of February 26, 2012, the State’s Attorney was called in to meet the Chief of Police, and Zimmerman was let go…without a single picture being taken of his nonexistent “bruises” or the recording of key witness testimony.
Indeed it has already been universally aknowledged that witness Mary Cutcher’s testimony was squelched and her reputation smeared because she did not see Zimmerman ”standing his ground” or any other sign of “self-defense.” What she saw was an out-of-control man murder a young boy.
And she has no idea why George Zimmerman is free.
To be Black in America, it seems, is to risk being shot at any second of any day of your life–and to know that your killer will most likely get away with it.
This is not right. This is not fair. This is not who we are as human beings in any way at all.
And it is only getting worse.
The vicious smear campaign launched by the Florida state law enforcement and prosecution offices against Trayvon Martin since the beginning of this case–and transmitted by certain right wing politcos and deep-pocketed allies with a vested interest in upholding the racist status quo–is growing even stronger. This campaign, citing rumors of everything from “evidence” of Martin’s alleged “attack” on the completely unbruised, completely athletic Zimmerman easily twice Trayvon’s size to “evidence of a an empty baggie of marijuana” found on school premises (never mind just how you tell an empty scrap of plastic once held pot, never mind the fact that cannabis is legal in over 16 states, on the ballot in 20 others, and accepted by nearly ever major politician–blue or red?)–are specifically designed to discredit Trayvon. This campaign is designed to make it seem as if Trayvon deserved to be shot.
And just like every time someone applied this argument to rape victims when I was in college, “this Oh, she was asking for it logic,” still makes me sick to my stomach.
Trayvon Martin did not deserve to die because he, like all of us, wasn’t perfect and may have acted like a 17-year-old-boy from time to time.
Trayvon Martin deserved to live because he was a human being, plain and simple.
Online media watchdog, The Huffington Post, affirms that new evidence has been uncovered by ABC news which is “inconsistent with Zimmerman’s recently leaked statement to police” that Zimmerman ”was in a death struggle with Trayvon” before shooting the child in the “chest in self-defense.”
To be even clearer: This new video evidence–in which Zimmerman has no bruises, blood, or torn clothing–directly contradicts Zimmerman’s earlier statment in which he “told investigators that Martin jumped him from behind, punched him in the nose and pounded his head into a sidewalk, according to a police report first described by the Orlando Sentinal,” finishes HuffPost.
Agrees the New York Times in condemnation of Zimmerman and the Florida legal system: “It is hard to resist the thought that race matters here, for who believes that, had an adult African American male killed a white teenager under similar circumstances, the police would have taken him at his word and so declined to arrest him?”
But the worst slur on Trayvon by Florida’s campaign yet?
That because of an “increase in crime in Zimmerman and Martin’s neighborhood”–the accepted racist assupmtion being, of course that these crimes must have been committed by young Black boys–Zimmerman was actually in the right by being proactive and shooting any young black boy he saw, no matter what. But the problem with the ‘Law of the Pre-emptive Strike’ that Zimmerman’s generation of men has learned from our culture in recent decades is that this ‘Shoot First and ask Questions Later Doctrine’ in no way prepares you for what will happen when your stereotypes prove to be wrong.
I say it again: to be Black in America is to risk being shot at any second of any day of your life–and to know that your killer will most likely get away with it.
“He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on,” Martin’s girlfriend said. “I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run.”
Because, as a young Black boy minding his own business who was living life and enjoying football, family, school, and his girlfriend (who was on the phone with Trayvon while he was shot and whom the police have yet to speak to!) clearly Trayvon Martin was up to no good.
Clearly, he deserved to die.
Clearly, the state of Florida is better without “another one of those #&^&#%s” to worry about, after all–or isn’t that what Zimmerman’s call to the police–when they told him not to get out his car and run after the poor boy and kill him–says…even in the highly edited version released to the public?
In this one, you can still hear Martin screaming for help in the background.
So, one wonders: just how much does this new campaign by the state of Florida to discredit Trayvon have to do with prejudicing the pool of possible jurors…should this case ever be allowed to get that far?
And, in the state that said the votes of black folks don’t count, a state in which the killer is still free 33 days after shooting a young black child, can we even expect a fair trial?
And how can you even trust any “evidence” by this law enforcement system–or even hope for a fair review by it’s “justice” system, which has proven to be a “system of injustice” more often than not already?
The state of Florida owes every single African American–every single Black parent and child–an apology for refusing to take any action against a known killer who could be extending his violence into a serial hate crime spree–if he hasn’t already. Because I do wonder if this was the first young child of color Zimmerman chose to hunt down, and I wonder, too, if these familes could sue the state for putting their lives in “grevious bodily harm” and denying them the “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?”
It worked against the tobacco companies and got something done.
Because at this point, if I was a parent Florida, I would fear for the lives of my children, my nieces and nephews. I would take my children and run. Otherwise, when their faces showed up onscreen as Zimmerman’s next victims, I would not be able to live with myself. For if, at any given moment I think about my little brother, who looks exactly like Trayvon, I will tremble in fear at the thought of someone gunning him down because of the color of his skin. And when I think of all the many people and pressures that have already tried to destroy him, my other siblings and myself because of our race…when I think of all the other countless Trayvons in America whose murders have–and still are–being swept under the rug….
I can only think of how sometimes the injustice in this world is too much to be believed.
I think, too, of what we can do to not let the disillusionment and pain–the anger and the frustration–eat away and destroy us?
And so we ask: Even if Zimmerman is arrested, how will Florida next bend the legal system to make sure that he is not convicted?
Because if there’s one thing the state of Florida, like a lot of other parts of America, knows for sure, it’s that Black life is of no value–that to be Black in America is to risk being shot at any second of any day of your life.
And to know that your killer will most likely get away with it.