Just kidding, the Trayvon Martin murder verdict was totally about race and a little about money, but hear me out. I couldn't sleep last night. I tied myself in knots in my sheets because every time I drifted off, I had nightmares about this verdict. The perversion of justice in this country is so sick and unreal, I am literally losing sleep. An innocent, unarmed minor was approached and killed by an armed man. Sure, there were major fumbles in the legal theater which may have contributed to the "beyond a shadow of a doubt" problem, but justice was derailed for whatever reason. Big time. Fault the lawyers if you want, but this wasn't right. This was murder.
Here's just one of the problems with guns - it's left up to the person in power (i.e the gun wielder) to use discretion when he feels his life in in danger. Was Zimmerman's life really threatened? Why did Zimmerman feel his life was in jeopardy? Maybe it had less to do with an actual threat on his life and, oh, everything to do with being scared of black people. Zimmerman's precious little feelings which amount to being afraid of black people, even kids minding their own business (the same feelings that led him to profile and approach Martin in the first place) is what he used to justify murder. Zimmerman's racism is what "justified" self-defense. Racism and feelings don't make it okay to shoot people. What, so we can just go around picking fights with and shooting people whose looks scare us?
A friend of mine was a bit of a hold out. He said, "it was self-defense! Should Zimmerman have just laid there and took it?" Oh, so many problems. To illustrate the picture in my friend's giant, cavernous head, I painted him a scenario: let's say he, a stocky white guy, was walking to the McD's by his house for an ice cream. It's a decent neighborhood, no problem. A self-appointed citizen is patrolling the streets though, an armed, paranoid vigilante who is tired of the sporadic rapes being committed by stocky white guys in his neighborhood. He sees my friend, profiles him, approaches him, gets in his face and calls him a pot-licker*. It's a street fight, fair and square. My friend throws a punch at his accuser/harasser/attacker (unclear!) and then boom, vigilante whips out a gun and kills him. I guess my friend was asking for it. He was Irish and walking, after all.
What has surprised me is how composed and positive the Martin family and their closest supporters have been after the verdict. It's almost like they didn't expect any better. They didn't expect justice for their son. I'm utterly disheartened to think we live in a world where some of us, (of us) have such little faith in their own value. Was Trayvon Martin's life not valued as a human being because he was black? Is that really how it is? Do black people devalue themselves because they are devalued by society? RAGE BEAST ANGRY.
What happened when I lost a child? I didn't stand for it. I yelped and hollered, made a petition, got a lawyer and vowed my daughter's life (a 19-week-old-fetus) did not end in vain. I'm blonde! You don't fuck with me any get away with it! Sorry, I didn't realize the two were related. I didn't know privilege had so much to do with justice and feeling entitled to that justice. The Martins lose a beautiful 17-year-old child whom they raised in their home and loved and held and what? The guy who murders him just goes home like nothing? My stomach cannot handle this. My heart cannot handle this. Call me ignorant, but I had no idea racism ran this deep. I'm afraid. A world where there isn't justice for some is a world where there isn't justice for any.
But wait, maybe there's hope. Maybe this wasn't about race. Maybe this same altercation and shooting could have happened between two individuals of any race and the outcome would have been not guilty. Let's go with this a second, okay? Maybe we didn't just tell every black boy in American his life means nothing. I'd prefer that. If you don't want to say this is about race, a small case may be made for money. A former prosecutor on CNN last night reminded us court isn't about truth as much as what you are able to prove. The latter is dependent on paid talent. Zimmerman hired an expensive lawyer with funds raised via Kickstarter and his defense site who was able to successfully subvert justice. AIN'T THAT AMERICA. In this country, the justice system is so poisoned that money trumps everything. Money is the reason the EPA allows poison in our drinking water, poison that kills us and hurts our babies. (I hope you have enough money for cases and cases of bottled water!)
If you have enough money, you do whatever the hell you want, including killing an unarmed minor in khaki skinnies all cuffed up like a hipster. Go ahead, look at that picture of the victim's body and tell me justice was served last night. Rest in peace, sweet Trayvon.
*I hope I picked an appropriately offensive term for Irish people. I had to use the Google, sorry.
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