Good evening everyone. This is yet another post about the Zimmerman verdict. Albeit it is indirectly related. As you can deduce from the title, I have decided to participate in some action in the aftermath. In this case, it relates directly to my career moves. After mulling it over between last night and this morning, I have decided that I wont attend NABJ 2013. For those that may not know, this year it is in Orlando, FL. This is a personal, and I feel moral decision that I have made. I am not telling anyone else that they have to follow suit. I just feel that it is the right thing for me to do.
Yes, this trip was planned before the Zimmerman trial begun. Also, its true that by doing this, I am squandering a professional opportunity to network with Black journalists from around the country. This is not a decision that I made lightly. It may seem like a rash thing to do, but I feel in the right morally by doing this. I planned to go to this trip, and was fully looking forward to the conference. But, how can I in good conscience, go and support the state of Florida with my money and resources at this time? There comes a time when you have to take a moral stand over trying to get a career going. I am only one person, but it would not sit right with me to still travel there, and act like nothing happened. I talked in my last post about doing things in protest that will have long term consequences. While this is important for me to do personally, I realize that it is a drop in the bucket. At the end of the day, Florida wont miss my little bit of money, but they do not have to have it. All of us may not have power in this society, but we all still have agency. This is my expression of agency, in light of what I see as a tragedy. If we are really serious about affecting change, then its time for those of us who can to put our money where our mouths are. No one can do everything in the struggle, but we all can do something. This is my something. Peace.
-Marc W. Polite