Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I wonder how many parents who are aware of Trayvon Martin’s murder are thinking: if that were my son, there would be a murder trial right now and consider taking justice into their own hands. I wonder how many district attorneys are thinking: to incite violence with a loaded weapon is premeditated murder and should never be considered terms for a claim to self-defense; especially after being told not to pursue by law enforcement. I wonder how many law enforcement officials are cursing the ineptness of Bill Lee for getting in the way of a legitimate homicide investigation. Perhaps him stepping down almost a month after the fact is his acknowledgement of justice denied; or perhaps he never cared enough to invest himself to work diligently with integrity.

The case of Trayvon Martin brings to question the particular role that race plays in our understanding of social events. It is never as if we are divorced from that consideration, however when a precious life is lost and dark questions loom in the daylight, we are forced to simply wonder. When a journalist from the Miami Herald can be insensitive enough to ask a grieving mother if her son ate chicken, then stifle her giggles, not being able to get past the racial innuendo that involves Black people and fried chicken, all we can do is wonder why her journalistic integrity has not been called to question or seen as compromised. How valuable is Black life?

Johannes Mehserle is now free after taking the life of Oscar Grant. Detective Michael Oliver along with Gescard F Ignore, Marc Cooper and Officer Michael Carey have all been acquitted-never having been tried in front of a jury of their peers after Oliver accounted for 31 of the 50 rounds found lodged in Sean Bell’s vehicle. Black people [especially] all over the world are wondering: How precious is Black life? In all three instances, (including the case of Trayvon Martin) a majority of white men had the authority to decide whether or not a Black man lives or dies. A decision made at the same instant that the round left the chamber, not even taking the time to consider the innocence of an unarmed man. In all three instances, this was based on suspicion alone.

Perhaps these are unrelated and isolated events that only represent a small percent of happenings. Or perhaps they are mere ripples in our waters of discord that have been spat out from the centrifuge that is the United States of America’s unequivocal dissonance on racial matters. As we spin wildly out of control, praying to whatever Gods may be, our disillusionment is only compounded by two simple what ifs. What if there are more untold stories of the like that haven’t made the news, and what if the racism imbedded in America’s institutions have run so deep that social movements for equality will continue to run their course and eventually be re-integrated into the social tapestry that is racist America.

Photo:Huffington Post


Winfield Tillett said...

STIFF-LIP JUSTICE is all that people of color can expect under White Supremacist rule. They kill and crush U like a roach, without a second thought, and they have the law on their side, no questions asked. This has always been the norm, but has been getting worse since we have a Dude in the White House. The dogs and other pets are better protected by law enforcement than people of color.

Rose Banner said...

I saw the documentary on BET, a white man who had criminal history killed a little teenage black boy for really nothing and so far he has not been jailed,but he will be soon by the grace of God in Jesus name is my prayer.