If revenge is a dish best served cold, injustice is a dish best not served at all. What is the value of the life for an African-American? An ongoing white supremacist joke is, “If you don’t want to do time or do very little time kill a N-word.” Funny huh? Not at all because the joke is on us as a nation and George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict is evidence of this.
There is a clear disparity in how America views and values the lives of its minorities. Especially when you consider how our country was built on the blood, sweat, and tears of these groups of people. America was built upon the backs of the people that the history books fail to mention and try to erase, in an effort to minimize their contribution to this country.
When Barack Obama was elected President that was a proud day to be an American, look how far we have come. At the finding by the jury in the Zimmerman case I am disheartened. Look how far we have to go.
What do I say to the young men in my own family? Do I tell them they can’t wear hooded sweatshirts as they walk home after going to the corner store because they will be profiled, and if killed their slaying will be justified?
Admittedly, laws are different depending on where you are. However, across the country in prison you have innocent men that have yet to be exonerated or pardoned. Men who were found guilty without ever being at the scene of the crime. Men who were convicted because of witness coercion and not DNA evidence. I even know men that were convicted of murder without evidence of a body or a murder weapon.
Yet we know who pulled the trigger in this case. In this case there was both a victims body and a murder weapon, and not a guilty verdict.
I say all of this not only to express my devastation but to ask the question, where do we go now? I believe it was the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “Inequality is no equality.”
African-Americans aren’t the only victims suffering from this plight, but are also a part of the problem. We have bred, influenced, and glorified a societal culture that minimizes our own quality of life and reduces our life expectancy. Granted, the laws may not always be adopted in our favor or with us in mind and negative prejudices, racism, and stereotypes may fuel the fire but we fan the flames of this injustice by our lack of social consequences. We remain oblivious to the issues that have direct and peripheral impacts on our lives, and the lives of our women and children.
We too have a right to bare arms, yet we forfeit this right with our felony convictions. Often before we are old enough to legally own a fire arm. We too have a right to vote for the politicians that represent us and make these absurd laws, yet those who can don’t even go to the ballots. We too have a duty to serve on the jury, but we find excuses to get out of it. There is no coincidence that minorities being incarcerated at disproportionate rates directly correlates to these facts. The democratic things we do, we don’t.
What are we going to do about it? Our innocent children are being slain. So despite what you may think, wearing hoodies and carrying bags of Skittles may do good in the courts of social media but does nothing in the court of law.
Money talks and B.S. walks. Did you know around $150,000 was raised on behalf of Trayvon Martin, compared to around $450,000 by George Zimmerman? We will do something as long as it costs us nothing, but when its time to put up or shut up, our mouths and pockets are sealed tighter than vacuum sealed labels.
My heart bleeds for the mother of Trayvon Martin. I’ve seen my mom watch me escorted in and out of court rooms. I’ve seen my friends mom bury her son never to have the case solved. While Trayvon’s mother had to look at her son’s killer in the eye only to watch him get off free as if the life she created was worth nothing.
As for George Zimmerman, I truly hope and pray that he is able to turn his negative into a positive. Only God knows where his life will go from here, and I hope that he does something with his second chance. Something better than what O.J. Simpson did with his. I would hate to see this verdict create a new wave of violence that is a fight where no one wins.
The prosecutor in his closing stated, “George Zimmerman’s blood was not on Trayvon Martin’s hands but Trayvon Martin’s blood will always be on George Zimmerman’s.”
Trust me, I know that reality and feeling of having your hands stained with innocent blood and it comes with many sleepless nights and nights waking up in cold sweats. The hardest and most important aspect of it all is being able to forgive yourself because blood doesn’t wash off, even if you can’t visibly see it.
Categories: Cyril D. Walrond