George Zimmerman has been acquitted and I’ve been on Facebook all night airing my thoughts and discussing with others. As an African-American woman and an eternal optimist, I’m so disappointed by this miscarriage of justice. This verdict is definitely a wake-up call for America. And as a devoted defender of those who cannot defend themselves as Trayvon Martin no longer can, I want to share my thoughts from my various Facebook posts:
What about Trayvon's right to stand his ground? My heart bleeds for Trayvon's family and all our black men. But what comes around goes around. Zimmerman will reap what he sowed.
Michael Vick served 21 months in jail for a dog fighting ring. Zimmerman gets no jail time for stalking and killing an unarmed teenager. #NoJustice
I am surprised by the verdict. With a jury of 6 women, I was hoping that they would see Travyon and see their own sons. Unfortunately, they did not see and appreciate the value of a young black man. But at the end of the day, this is a wake-up call for Black America. We need to stop letting America take us for granted. Black Americans are not respected because we do not demand respect. I was planning a trip to Miami but I am officially boycotting the state of Florida. Our money is our power. It's our voice. When Dr. King told us to stop riding the Montgomery buses because they made us ride in the back, we hit them in the pocket and change happened. Florida is officially on my boycott list. #BoycottFlorida
America is still our country. The English settlers stole us from African and our blood, sweat, and bodies built America's industries and commerce. We have had to fight for everything. We have had to fight for our rights, our respect, and our equality. From Kunta Kinte, Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin, this is our struggle. This is our wake up call. We have to protect our children and we have to make America respect us. We are not second-class citizens. We deserve justice. American is my home and I have to make it accountable for injustices against my people. Change starts with me. #BoycottFlorida
If America doesn't respect you, it's because you have not demanded her respect. She does not fear your wrath. She thinks she can treat you any way she wants and you won't do crap. You won't vote in her elections, you won't oppose her unjust laws, you won't boycott her inequalities. She can kick you and you will thank her and go back for more. If you America doesn't respect you, that's your fault. I look at the LGBT and Hispanic communities demanding equal rights and immigration reform. They rally their communities and make America legislate on their behalf. America does not respect Black people because Black people have forgotten our power. We marched on Washington for jobs! We boycotted Montgomery buses! We integrated schools! We demanded affirmative action! We stuck together, struggled and we made America answer to us. We need to march to Washington and demand justice for Trayvon Martin!
So what do we do now? We need to reestablish the value of black life, especially the life of black men. Not only are white men stalking and killing our black boys but our black men and boys are killing each other. We need to teach our young men that they are important, valuable, and we need them. We need them to grow, prosper, and contribute to our communities. We need them to love each other and work together. We need to stop putting them in jail. We need to educate them. We need to employ them. We need to rally around them. What do we do now? We speak words of encouragement to them. We mentor them. We pray for them.
So what do we do now? Urge the Department of Justice to file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman. Thank you NAACP. Sign the petition and share.
Riots are not effective. Riots don't help the cause. Riots attract idiots and opportunists who have nothing to lose and just want a free TV. Not strategic thinkers and change makers. The west side of Chicago is still littered with all the buildings that were burned down when Dr. King was assassinated. The white neighborhoods are not still devastated from the Dr. King riots, but the black communities have not been rebuilt. Boycotts, rallies and civil disobedience separate the people dedicated to change from the people just looking for a come up. The revolution should be organized. Note the word civil in civil rights movement. What would Dr. King do? He would not want us riot. He would want us to organize.
There is always something you can do. The moment you think there is nothing you can do, that's when you are defeated. They may win a battle, but we are fighting a war. It's not a sprint it's a marathon. Stay in it for the long haul. Sign the NACCP petition.
My boycott list: Donald Trump properties, Paula Deen anything and Florida until they repel 'Stand Your Ground' and bring George Zimmerman to justice.
After the Zimmerman acquittal, I'm boycotting Florida. I had a great time at the NABJ convention in New Orleans last year and I was thinking about going this year, but now I can't because it's in Florida. I know it would be inconvenient, but what a powerful statement it would make it NABJ moved the convention from Florida. Just a thought.
I didn't watch the trial. The prosecution may not have done the best job, but at the end of the day a man stalked and killed an unarmed black boy even after he was told to stand down. Common sense says that it was murder instigated by Zimmerman's racial profiling. I would be very nervous being a black person walking around in Florida because now any person can feel justified standing their ground and killing you for no reason. I also feel nervous in some areas in Chicago were gun violence is rampant. And I don't go places were I am scared for my life. #BoycottFlorida
At the end of the day, I feel sorry for Zimmerman. Racism is rooted in ignorance and self-hatred. Racist don't feel worthy so they have to pull other people down. Zimmerman may have been acquitted, but he is not free. He will have to watch his back for the rest of his life and he will forever have Trayvon's blood on his hands. He is misguided and I will forgive and pray for him. That may sound weird to pray for Zimmerman, but until he gets right, he is dangerous to anyone around him. #addingtomyprayerlist
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Deanna Burrell is the author of the novel Single Girl Summer.