Today marks the one year anniversary of the miscarriage of justice of the century, when the 5 white and 1 Hispanic, all female jury, acquitted George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin.
What we do know is that the Trayvon Martin case says a lot about the state of our politics at the moment. It’s not very post-racial and, yes, it is very tense and polarized. Certain elements in the political process, including decision makers from state legislatures to Capitol Hill, are holding the gun. People of color are in the cross-hairs. And the only thing we seem to be armed with these days is a high unemployment rate and a sense that the future is not looking as bright.One year later, the jury is still anonymous.
To date, little is known about the mainly faceless jurors who deliberated for more than 16 hours before rendering George Zimmerman's fate. Five white women and one black Hispanic woman were on the main panel; four alternate jurors, two men and two women, were also selected. Juror B29 told ABC she believed Zimmerman "got away with murder" but that she had to "grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence." Alternate juror E54 told WOFL he "supported the verdict." Juror B37, the first juror to speak, told CNN that Zimmerman was "justified in shooting Trayvon Martin" but that he "had good in his heart, he just went overboard." She initially planned to write a book about her experience but withdrew after major backlash against her comments.
One year later, violence against unarmed black people continues.
Spare us the invocations of "black-on-black crime." I will not respect the lie. I would rather be thought insane. The most mendacious phrase in the American language is "black-on-black crime," which is uttered as though the same hands that drew red lines around the ghettoes of Chicago are not the same hands that drew red lines around the life of Jordan Davis, as though black people authored North Lawndale and policy does not exist. That which mandates the murder of our Hadiya Pendletons necessarily mandates the murder of Jordan Davis. I will not respect any difference. I will not respect the lie. I would rather be thought crazy.One year later, Rachel Jeantal blames herself for the jury's actions.
Immediately, I heard newscasters referring to her prior testimony, which I had watched on video, as combative and aggressive. And I felt my pressure start to rise.
These kinds of terms – combat, aggression, anger – stalk black women, especially black women who are dark-skinned and plus-sized like Rachel, at every turn seeking to discredit the validity of our experiences and render invisible our traumas. By painting Rachel Jeantel as the aggressor, as the one prone to telling lies and spreading untruths, it became easy for the white male defense attorney to treat this 19-year-old, working-class black girl, a witness to the murder of her friend, as hostile, as a threat, as the one who needed to be regulated and contained and put in her place.
One year later, we still have Stand Your Ground Laws, as a matter of fact, Stand Your Ground laws were expanded in Florida.
One year later, neither President Barack Obama, the media, or any racial incident has forced the nation to talk about race in any sort of serious way.
So yes, let's have a real discussion about race and racism. I mean a real hope-to-die, get it all out in the open discussion. It's times to drain the poison off, so that this nation can heal. The whole world is watching. I don't know about you people, but I don't plan to set my clock back, I plan to set it forward.
One year later, The Justice Department is still investigating the death of Trayvon Martin.
One year later and Trayvon Martin is till dead.
We are the ones that failed.
Truth first then justice."Trayvon belongs to all of America and until you see him as your child too, we all remain in bondage."
We’re the ones that failed. Not us specifically, but the people who knew and understood the truth and common sense and had the format to speak out about it. We let another narrative take place so we can avoid calling what we are seeing what it really is.
Rest in Freedom Sweet Child, we will never forget you.