yesterday in florida an all-female jury (five white, one latina) found george zimmerman not guilty on charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter for fatally shooting trayvon martin, an unarmed black teenager, february 26, 2012.
zimmerman is a 28 year-old volunteer neighborhood watchman in the gated community of sanford. martin was walking back to his father's house on a dark and rainy night after buying a bag of skittles and a can of ice tea.
i wanted to write about this yesterday. i really did. but i couldn't. i was unable to find the courage to articulate my emotional turmoil and spiritual warfare. until i saw a tweet by the activist, humanitarian and singer john legend. his tweet said, "my heart hurts."
i felt such profound sadness yesterday. spirit knew i needed to talk to somebody about how i was feeling. but i lacked the humility to pickup the phone and call someone. anyone. my heart was hurting so bad. i feel compassion and empathy for the martin family and their allies worldwide.
i've never had faith in the criminal justice system. i distrust the stand your ground law. i'm resentful towards the secretive right-wing american legislative exchange council and the koch brothers, who fund their oppressive efforts. i'm disgusted with the prosecution for their horrible incompetence. they were a non-mother fucking factor!
and my heart hurts.
i'm disappointed with the judge and the special prosecutor for not educating the jury on the etymology of the term, cracker. while on the witness stand, rachel jentael, martin's friend - the last person to speak with martin - said martin called zimmerman a "creepy cracker." in the south, the term cracker is neither derogatory nor racist.
i detest zimmerman's trial lawyer, mark o'meara, for suggesting, after his client was acquitted, if zimmerman were black there would be no trial. i wanted to punch him the face for his insensitive remarks. racial profiling was not discussed in the trial, yet martin was racially profiled and stalked by zimmerman: even after law enforcement instructed him to get back in his car.
yes, there have been peaceful marches throughout the country in both large and small cities. a plea for calm has been issued by president obama, martin's parents, florida law enforcement agencies, governors, senators, community-based organizations, non-profit institutions, athletes, celebrities, social media people and progressive folk everywhere.
and my heart hurts.
trayvon martin was found dead. george zimmerman was found not guilty. fuck the evidence! fuck the law! and we're supposed to do what? pray? turn the other cheek? give it to god? hope this doesn't happen again? is this what a post-racial america looks like? no, this is the real america. this is america's his-tory and enslavement and con-stitution and declaration of independence and jim crow. apartheid has reared its ugly head. again.
dred scott. emmitt till. fred hampton. rodney king. michael griffith. yusef hawkins. amadou diallo. patrick dorismond. oscar grant. sean bell. ramarley graham.
today, in new york city, there are hundreds of cops on the street everywhere - but young, black men don't feel safe. after trayvon, who's next? is there justice for young, black men in america? or, in the words of richard pryor, is it, just us?
and my heart hurts...
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.