Sunday, July 14, 2013

On the Zimmerman decision

Bill Fletcher Jr.
I received the news when I was getting ready to eat.
I was prepared, intellectually, for a not-guilty verdict.  I was not ready in my gut. As a radical i am quite aware of the injustices that regularly and historically have happened to people of color and to the poor.  I am aware of how the system regularly justifies the murder of black people.
Yet i am nothing but sickened.  And sitting here listening to these so-called defense attorneys gloat over their victory and place the blame for Trayvon Martin’s death on Trayvon is actually more than i can take.
This verdict is a verdict in favor of white fear.  We should all be clear about that.  This is a verdict that says that white people have every right to fear any and every black person and, if the law permits it, to act upon such fear.  I do not care whether Zimmerman is part Latino, he acted as a white man and that is certainly how he will be remembered.  Zimmerman looked at Trayvon through the eyes of a white man and assumed danger when no danger existed.

I just heard the attorneys asked what would have happened had the roles been reversed and one of the defense attorneys suggested that this would have never gone to trial and that this trial was manufactured by civil rights advocates.   Well, i will give you a very different answer.  Were an African American to shoot and kill a white youth who s/he believed was a threat there is little question but that such a person would be found guilty of something, assuming that they were not first lynched.  The right of self-defense is not a right that Black people have ever had respected by white authorities, but when it is whites, or people acting as white, who claim self-defense against Blacks, any use of force is considered acceptable because, after all, Black people are scary people.
Once again we are reminded that there are zones that we cannot safely enter.

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