The Run Down:
On Feb. 26, Trayvon Martin was a 17 year old boy, carrying skittles and tea in his pockets, was murdered by a white man about a month ago. George Zimmerman a self appointed “neighborhood watchman” stalked Trayvon through his neighborhood, first in his car and then on foot. He called the police while following Trayvon and declared he was following a suspicious person, the police instructed him not to follow him. Zimmerman decided to continue to follow him. He then approached Trayvon Martin, attacked him (knocking the phone out of Trayvon’s hand) and began to beat him up. Trayvon was yelling for help, Zimmerman pulled out a 9mm and shot Trayvon dead. On the 911 tapes, Trayvon’s calls for help were recorded, also recorded was Zimmerman calling Trayvon a “fucking coon” before shooting him. The 911 tapes are all available online as is the main story. Zimmerman sat at home for a month without being arrested while Trayvon laid in the morgue for 3 days with a “john doe” tag on his toe….even though his cell phone was brought in with his body. The local police did nothing to bring Zimmerman in….yesterday the FBI declared they were going to investigate. The local police apparently have a history of bias when it comes to cases involving black people. Trayvon’s mother was interviewed by a white newscaster who asked her if Trayvon “liked chicken” ..she then giggled….because, naturally, the death of a teenage black boy is a laughing matter
After 2 months Trayvon’s killer George Zimmerman has been arrested and is FINALLY being tried for second degree murder. We have the work of Trayvon’s mother and the rallies and petitions that went out on Trayvon’s behalf to thank for this second step towards justice. We must keep the pressure on to ensure that George Zimmerman is convicted and serves the max. Also to ensure that the police department either faces some financial sanctions or some firings over their handling of Zimmerman’s release. I believe a thorough investigation needs to be done of that police department.
The White Power Structure
Trayvon Martin did not have the advantage that other innocent teens killed have. He did not have the media to blast his story or a nation crying out for justice on his behalf …..because he is black. He has less value than white people..which has been the rule in America since slavery, simply put? Trayvon’s color declared he was not newsworthy. The only reason the black community knew is because of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook and small time black radio shows. The black communities on these networks have been trying to raise awareness and demand justice for a MONTH now while the major news outlets were silent……Why? Because Trayvon is a black boy, son of a black mother and father, whose ancestors were slaves, nothings, inferiors, his murder was not news because the media thought he was just another nigga. In order to get Trayvon any attention petitions have gone around, there is a rally planned in NYC and one in florida, there has been blog posts and tweets and fb notes dedicated to raising awareness about Trayvon because the mainstream news has ignored his story just as much as the police ignored the fact that his killer was not behind bars. Petitions, rally’s, blogs, tweets, word of mouth…for justice. Black people are BEGGING the white power structure to prosecute George Zimmerman because for some reason, the murder of Trayvon isnt OBVIOUSLY a murder. Why? because George Zimmerman is a white man and he was/is being protected by his privilege. Only now is Trayvon’s case getting news coverage because his story is “sensational” its “entertainment” a tsk tsk tsk narrative. Cases where black children are murdered or go missing, go unreported by the mainstream news stations because white society DOESNT CARE and reporters report what will grab the attention of white society. This culture of white supremacist domination has silenced the voice of Trayvon and protected his killer and here the black community is BEGGING for them to take what happened seriously. Only when the FBI got involved did the major news centers think the story was newsworthy….BECAUSE of its sensationalism
Why do we have to beg white society for the rights that are supposed to be inherent? Explicitly our right to LIFE? our right to LIBERTY? This is the America black people know…..the one where we have to beg those who oppress us to stop long enough for us to get to our feet, the one where we have to beg white people to see it in their hearts to prosecute someone who is CLEARLY guilty of a hate crime. Trayvon Martin was LYNCHED and life went back to normal for the Zimmerman’s, the black community then had to get on its knees and work, really work, beg for the attention of white run news stations and white reporters and white run “justice” departments to do what they are SUPPOSED TO DO, report, prosecute, uphold the law, protect the RIGHTS of human beings. Why do people of color have to beg these institutions for rights that are inherent? What is it about being a black person in America that makes the news, the judicial system and society disregard you as non-human? Everyone is so gungho about this being America, they love to recite our bill of rights until black people ask to be protected under them. Life is an unalienable right….but if you’re black you have to ask white people to grant that right to you. White people should have NEVER had the power to grant black people rights, they should have NEVER had the power to deny them. But the reality is that since slavery white people have held the rights of black people in the palm of their hands and they pass out justice when they feel like it and I guess in the case of Trayvon Martin….they didnt feel like it until this teenager was cold and dead for a month. I say ‘begging the white power structure for justice again” because this is not the first …nor will it be the last time we have to find white people to get behind us in order to get justice. This is not going to be the last time we have to beg new stations and papers to put out a story on behalf of a victim of murder and hate.
I’ve been tweeting about this today and a white man asked me not to “lump all white people in” and to that I have this to say : you are in no danger of being lumped in with white racists and racist institutions when you are fighting them with those they are oppressing. You’re silence on issues like Trayvon Martin is agreement with those people and institutions that do not believe he deserves justice. This goes for white and black and hispanic and all people alike in America. you’re silence will NOT protect you! Black people, do not think that this couldnt happen to you or your child because it COULD. If you are silent or you sleep on Trayvon’s story then you send the message that this is permitted. You ARE Trayvon Martin because but for the grace of God go you.
White and black people…..too long we have been internalizing racism so that we cant even RECOGNIZE it when we are being racist or when we are suffering under its oppressive hand…does it really take the death of a teenager to make us stop long enough to address the problems in our country? and what would happen if the FBI hadnt finally gotten a hold of this case? The silence would have grown……things like Trayvon’s case are the BOIL OVER of white supremacy and covert racism, we have to start addressing the root of the problem …..or get used to burying black children when white men/women feel threatened