George Zimmerman Found Not Guilty

I will spare the formalities and jump right into it: This is an unjust verdict. As many of you who stayed up last night are aware, George Zimmerman was found not guilty on all charges. Despite evidence right in front of us all, the jury decides to allow a murderer to go free. This is disappointing, but not surprising. Those of you who are waking up this morning will wake up to find out that this country continues to devalue Black life. It does not matter one sliver if you are not the aggressor. If you are Black, you are a potential target of deadly violence, and there will be no legal recourse in your favor.

I say without fear of hyperbole that this was a legalized lynching. Stand your ground laws and the twisted notion of “self defense” ┬áhave enabled a vigilante to kill a teenager and get away with it. Outcomes like this are the reason why Black people do not trust the criminal justice system. Even when you hope for the best, the end result is just to reinforce a cynicism that is based on what we have seen time and time again. Many have said that from the moment we found out the make up of the jury that this case was doomed to go this way. Sadly, this decision solidifies it: Trayvon Martin is this generations Emmitt Till.

To those of you who feel angry and dejected, remember this moment. By this I don’t mean hold on to your anger. Even our collective feeling of outrage will eventually subside. We just need to focus on some long term responses to this. We don’t have much of a choice but to do so. We were just shown that our lives do not matter. So there has to be some sort of long term consequences that accompany the mood we are in at the moment. Otherwise, it is just blowing off steam.

While we are on the subject, I have heard it bandied about that our Black boys are targets. Yes, this is true, but let us not act like Black girls and women are somehow “safe” from this in any way shape or form. Look at what happened with Marissa Alexander. Lets not kid ourselves.

The struggle must continue.

-Marc W. Polite



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  1. The court system worked. The state didn’t prove their case to the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. This isn’t television where every case has a happy ending. If Zimmerman were black and this politically motivated trial was coming to him he would have pleaded out even if he was innocent. That right there is an injustice that happens to minorities far to often. The burden is on the state to remove all doubt before throwing somebody in jail and that’s a high standard as it should be since you are talking about taking away someone’s freedom. If there was video or several eye witnesses the outcome would have been different but this trial boiled down to “we don’t know what really happened that started the violence”. This was a show trial to give the people protesting their day in court, they lost. Time to move on.

  2. “Trayvon Martin is this generations Emmitt Till.” Probably a huge overstatement there.

  3. Good morning Fausto. Explain exactly how this is an overstatement. There are a number of parallels here. You cannot simply tell people to just move on. That is highly insensitive.

  4. There is only one Emmitt Till. Trayvon….like Amadou Diallo will probably be forgotten by most.
    Can you name the guy dragged to death by 3 white guys in a pickup in Casper, TX in the late 90’s? Do you remember Abner Louima? Can you name the guy that got shot by police when was about to or had just gotten married in NYC?

  5. That fellows name was James Byrd. The young man who was about to get married was Sean Bell. Just because people forget doesn’t mean its not important. No Black New Yorker with any kind of awareness has forgotten about Abner Louima.

  6. Out here in Texas I mention Abner Louisa and Amadou Diallo and people don’t know who they are. I was using them to point out that Americans forget….quickly!! after all they have to watch American Idol and Nancy Grace!

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