I can’t say I was surprised at the verdict. Because, to apply the famous words of George Zimmerman, these assholes always get away. There is a lot of blame to go around for the fact that there is no Justice for Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17- year old African American kid who was profiled, hunted, and killed. High on the list of what killed Trayvon and what allowed his murderer to go free is the white privilege and systems of racism and oppression that this country was built upon and executes (pun intended) with full force, in a slightly more nuanced form, today.
Before we go any further, I am aware I am white, and in many ways benefit from these systems of oppression that I am condemning. However, I am not- to preempt the comments that will take up some space on this topic, suffering from white guilt. I see the world as it is. This is not an opinion. The United States is a racist, sexist, oppressive country. If you disagree, you need to pull your head out of your rectal cavity, clean out your ears and your eyes, and work towards a place where you can see this fact. When you do, the world around you will start to become a better place. If you don’t then, in my book at least, you are an asshole.
You may very well ignore my powers of persuasion and choose to remain an asshole, a choice that may even have Darwinian roots given the previously established fact that assholes always get away.
George Zimmerman, I am very aware, is not white. His ideology, as described by Aura Bogado writing for The Nation, is “one that is suspicious of black men in his neighborhood, is one that adheres to white supremacy. It was replicated in the courtroom by his defense, whose team tore away at Rachel Jeantel, questioning the young woman as if she was taking a Jim Crow—era literacy test.” It was also, I might add, replicated in the press conference after the verdict in which Mark O’Meara, the lawyer for Zimmerman, compared the death of Trayvon to a bad car accident or cancer.
The only cancer, in my opinion, is the prevailing culture, which metastized onto the law of the state of Florida and combined to acquit Zimmerman of any wrongdoing.
Geraldo Rivera, I am also aware, is not white. And yet, the propaganda he pimps also adheres to the prevailing white supremacy. Geraldo, reporting from outside the courthouse just after the verdict, told the viewing audience “white people everywhere are relived at this verdict, it is OJ in reverse.” And added that he was PROUD of black people for not rioting and then told a mother of three mixed race children, all of whom were gathered outside the courthouse, that “the lesson your kids should take from this is- to avoid these situations at any costs. Don’t wear a hoodie. If you dress like a thug, you might get treated like a thug.”
Got that kids? When a racist vigilante packing heat profiles, stalks and kills you, it is your fault.
Also, Capitalism itself also must share some of the blame, as it fuels both the racist culture and Alec and NRA written laws that give us this wild west barbaric system of justice that is embedded in the Florida stand your ground law and offers so much legal wiggle room to vigilante pricks like Zimmerman that the prosecution had to make zero mistakes in trial. They made a few mistakes, perhaps the biggest of which was agreeing to a jury that had exactly ZERO African American mothers sitting on it. Not a single person who would know in their blood what it is like for their child to be profiled.
That every nearly 100% of African American mothers in 2013 would know this feeling in her blood and from personal experience is why this case is, at least in part, is a civil rights case and not just a self defense case.