Ferguson, Missouri is a scant six miles from the house I grew up in. As I write this, it’s less than thirty miles away from me. I know Ferguson, Missouri. I knew it back when it was predominantly white. My parents would take me there often when we visited the old Korvettes store that resided in nearby Cool Valley just down the street off Florissant Road. White flight had kicked in a long time ago. Now, predominantly black, I have family and friends living there neck deep in the chaos that is following the murder of the young, black Michael Brown at the hands of a local police officer.
Despite the despair you might see and/or hear in the news, Ferguson is a beautiful little town with a lot to offer people. The white flight that the town experienced has a lot more to do with the drastic downsizing of McDonnell-Douglas, of the major employer for the area, before it was bought out by Boeing many decades ago. Without the constant infusion of revenue from defense contractor paychecks that fueled city development, a lot of people saw the writing on the wall and fled to greener pastures. As “traditional” America left, a new browner populace moved in ready to take advantage of inexpensive housing in an established area.
What makes Ferguson look like some kind of perdition is not the population, but the heavy handedness of the police against a peaceful African American community. In response to watching a black, eighteen year old Michael Brown and his friend walking down the middle of the street, a police officer initiates a confrontation that results in the young man’s death.
This happens just days after a similar confrontation is initiated against Eric Garner, the forty year old black man who suffered from asthma and obesity and wound up in a choke hold by police officers after he had the audacity to express his frustration at being harassed by the police accusing him of illegally selling cigarettes. Mr. Garner didn’t resist arrest. When the officer grabbed the frustrated black man from behind and put the long arm of the law around Mr. Garner’s neck, the black man put his hands in the air as if to surrender. Never once did he fight back to defend himself. And when he complained he couldn’t breathe the police responded by watching him die. Who knew the penalty for a black man selling cigarettes was death?
Michael Brown probably thought about that when the police officer drove the squad car right up against him. According to witnesses the officer couldn’t even get out the car without hitting the young man that was about to die. Michael Brown probably felt threatened. And if that was truly the case then he was right because the unarmed, young black Michael Brown wound up dead. The police department claimed that there was a struggle for the officer’s gun before the young black man was murdered. An investigation is being conducted so we’re not privy to everything. But we have enough information to know that another black teenager died needlessly because of another gung-ho police officer.
Black people are frustrated and angry. The black community wants swift justice. The police department wants to slow things down to make sure every move that goes down from this point forward is careful. Leaders of the black community say they wanted peace and they asked the black community to respect the memory of Michael Brown and the family of Michael Brown with peaceful protest and prayer. The leaders of the police department said they wanted peace as well. But then the police department responded by pulling out their camouflage uniforms, riot gear, full body armor, assault rifles with rubber bullets and laser sights, and the mine resistant armored personnel carrier that are little more than small tanks. People were arrested without being read their Miranda rights. The police arrested journalists. The police arrested the local state senator and an alderman that were there to support their constituents. The police fired tear gas at people protesting peacefully.
These people were unarmed and exercising their Constitutional right to peacefully protest. Now there have been some opportunistic people using this chaos to loot business and for other criminal activity. And while they might be “inspired” by the death of Michael brown to commit crime, the bottom line is that they are criminals and they deserve to be arrested and prosecuted because they committed a crime. They committed a crime and deserve punishment just like the police officer who killed Michael Brown committed a crime and deserves to be punished. But instead of arresting criminals, the police want to arrest peaceful protestors, politicians, and journalists who have the audacity to question their authority.
Now all of this is unfortunate. There was no need to kill the unarmed Michael Brown. There was no need to respond to the unarmed protestors with an escalation of police driven violence. How would the police respond if somebody in the Ferguson neighborhood brought out their own armored vehicle? Let’s think about that for a second with an analogy. How did the United States respond when Russia brought their armored vehicles to the border of Ukraine? It was unacceptable. It was a clear sign of defiance and a provocation. The mere presence of peaceful protestors is a provocation to the police. But the police are free to bring their big toys out when they are the ones who are clearly in the wrong.
And if all of this isn’t enough to show the rotten stench of disparity in America, let’s throw one more issue into the mix. Where was all of the police in camouflage and riot gear and military vehicles when Cliven Bundy was stirring up his militia buddies in Nevada earlier this year? Those protestors were armed to the teeth with assault weapons and sniper rifles aimed at federal officials and instead of meeting that force with government sanctioned overwhelming force, the encounter was deescalated and the government is still examining the situation, waiting to exercise its options. Imagine what would have happened if Cliven Bundy was black and the armed people who gathered to support him were black. I’m sure Mr. Bundy would have been dead a long time ago.
Ferguson may look like a hell hole. But it’s not because of the people who live there and walk down the middle of its streets. Ferguson is a hell hole because the black people there are treated like enemies of the state. This is just the latest example of a long list of examples of unarmed black people losing their lives because of some perceived slight by some police officer with a chip on his/her shoulder. Ferguson looks like a hell hole because it is full of black people and black people are truly the enemies of our police state.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Ferguson Missouri Police
A police officer in Ferguson, Missouri takes aim at someone peacefully protesting the murder of Michael Brown.
You’d have to be just fucking dead or just dead in the brain not to know anything about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The latest round of fighting follows the age old formula between the two combatants that has changed little since the two have existed. Israel says the Palestinians hate their very existence to the point that Israel feels the need to rule surround Gaza with an economic blockade that chokes the life out of the people there to the point where political leaders feel compelled to fire rockets at Israel that for the most part are destroyed against Israel’s United States sourced iron dome shield but then Israel is compelled to retaliate against the useless Palestinian rockets with its own deadly accurate force with weapons again sourced from the United States against Palestine’s nonexistent iron dome that inevitably winds up killing hundreds of civilian men, women, and Palestinian children to which Israel claims the only reason they wind up killing the children is because the Palestinians hide their weapons amongst the civilians in an effort to use them as shields to which Israel is helpless to do anything but act as a hapless actor in the killing of Palestinians because Israel has a right to defend itself.
The only problem with that scenario is that Israel is far from being unable to control its role in the senseless killing and/or murder of Palestinians. Israel has the right to defend itself. But it does not have the right to needlessly mow down masses of civilians with weapons of mass destruction. On a daily basis we can watch the news for the latest video of Israel’s relentless proclivity for the destruction of the Palestinian people. Israel has taken aim and pulled the trigger at the homes of the Palestinian people. Israel has destroyed entire buildings with the claim that a rocket may have been fired from its vicinity. Last night, I saw a video of their precision guided weaponry taking out an entire city block of buildings in order to prevent another launch of an ineffective Palestinian rocket. They have targeted and devastated schools full of Palestinian children trying to seek refuge from the onslaught. They have destroyed mosques. They have even gone so far as to obliterate buildings flying the flag of the United Nations and designated as a safe haven for anyone trying to escape the war. But even the flag of the United Nations offers no sanctuary from Israel’s war machine bought and paid for with great expense by the taxpaying people of the United States.
It’s as if Israel is hell bent on using the Palestinian people as targets in this slaughter disguised as war. The Israelis have bought deeply into the argument that the warmongers in the Gaza strip are using the Palestinian people as shields to hide their weaponry behind. This argument is so ingrained that the warmongers in Israel believe that all they have to do is target the children because, ipso facto, where there’s Palestinian children there will be Palestinian weapons. Destroy the children and you’ll destroy the weapons. And once the weapons are gone and there’s no need to continue with the murder of the Palestinian people the world can go back to ignoring the fact that Israel has an economic blockade around Gaza to continue the slow murder of a people under the tried and far from true theme that the Palestinians want to destroy Israel. To be honest, if that’s how they truly felt, who can blame the Palestinian people after the shit
Israel has done to them?
I mean really, who but Israel is afforded the luxury of killing children under the pretense that there was a bad guy in their midst. That’s not how this works. It doesn’t matter if the bad guy has a gun pointed at the good guy. If the bad guy is hiding behind a child, a woman, or any innocent bystander then the good guy stops. It doesn’t matter if the bad guy is holding his/her own child. The good guy doesn’t just shoot with and take a chance of innocent people getting hurt. That’s a rule that even Dirty Harry didn’t break. You avoid killing bystanders because if you don’t, you’re no better than the people you claim you want to stop. Keep your gun pointed. Keep ready to look for an opening where you can take the bad guy out with minimum collateral damage. Intimidate the bad guy with catch phrases like “ask yourself if you feel lucky” or “go ahead and make my day” or “get off my lawn” or whatever. But don’t be so cavalier as to shoot first, kill the suspect brandishing an ineffective weapon at you and the hostage without a second thought, and then point a damning finger at the bad guy while telling the world that you had no choice because you have the right to defend yourself. Defending yourself doesn’t mean you have a right to wanton murder.
It is far past time for Israel to be held accountable for its mass destruction of its neighbor. If this was Syria we’d be all into this mess by now with a military threat to punish. If this was Russia claiming they had to kill the people of Crimea in order to defend their selves we would be talking to the world about providing economic sanctions to stop the madness. But when it’s Israel? We simply give Israel more weapons and more armor and more of our tax paid revenue to impose their will on people trying to hide in United Nations sponsored sanctuaries. If this was Dirty Harry Callahan we would have asked for his gun and badge a long time ago. And if that didn’t stop him from killing people who posed no real threat to his existence we’d throw him in jail. Why is Israel different?
Life always gets busy. At least it does for most people. You think you have time to do all the things you want done. You want to contribute to the community. You want to contribute to your household. You want to be there for your family. You want to contribute to that Ford dealership so you can buy a new Mustang Boss. You want to exercise and take care of yourself. You want to maintain a blog. You want to exist to the point that you grow old and realize that you really can’t do it all and something’s got to give. And you start to realize, that amongst other things, a blog really isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things. If I stopped contributing to my blog as much, I’d free up a little time to do some of the other things that I would later one day realize weren’t all that important to do either.
I knew one day I’d write another post. I just didn’t know what it would be about. Would it be about undocumented Latin American children coming across the border? Would it be about a politician hell bent on keeping black people from voting? Would it be about the Affordable Care Act and how it has helped millions of people obtain healthcare despite some people’s best effort to invalidate President Obama’s signature achievement? Would it be about some white guy took a shotgun and shot a young black woman in the face through a door in the middle of the night because he was so afraid for his life? Would it be about some fat assed politician who stood idly by while his closest cronies got together to illegally shut down a major thoroughfare into New York City? Some of these topics and many others came pretty close to pulling me back to the keyboard.
But as quickly as I thought about writing something I would dismiss the thought. I’d to back to my overwhelming thought that it really wasn’t all that important for me to say whatever to the world. Given enough time I would simply go back to watching the news and continue to sit on the sidelines as the world went to hell in a hand basket.
Then I heard Rula Jebreal call out MSNBC and the other “lame stream media” outlets for their skewed coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict currently unfolding half a world away in Gaza. During her appearance on the relatively new Ronan Farrow Daily program, Ms. Jebreal accused the MSNBC network and the entire news network establishment of being supportive of a destructive Israeli policy by giving too much airtime to Israeli officials and not nearly enough to representatives of the Palestinians. Mr. Farrow tried to defend his network’s coverage, but Ms. Jebreal would not have any of it and continued to pounce. When Mr. Farrow replied that there have been Palestinian voices on the air, Ms. Jebreal countered that the Palestinians would be on for thirty seconds while they would devote entire segments of air time to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
As I listened to Ms. Jebreal I had to admit to myself that she had a point. I’ve always thought that the news media simply refused to address the underlying issue of what caused the Palestinians to fire their rockets into Israeli territory. The way the story is often portrayed you’d think that the leaders of Hamas, the organization currently governing Gaza, just woke up one day and decided to try and wipe Israel off the face of the earth with relatively crude rockets that would make a Scud missile look sophisticated by comparison. Along with Israel’s Iron Dome defense system that has been credited with literally shooting so many of these rockets harmlessly out of the sky, the idea that Hamas thinks it could destroy Israel out of some ideological fixation on its destruction is extremely simple minded.
The real reason the latest round in this never ending conflict was started goes back to issues revolving around the lack of mutual recognition for each other’s right to exist as well as border security, water rights, Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, and the control of Jerusalem and holy sites. Because of an inability for Israeli and Palestinian people to come to terms with these issues, Israel imposes its will onto the Palestinian people by force. The Palestinians live under a military blockade that has caused the vast majority of Gaza’s businesses to close. Thousand of factories were closed and tens of thousands of people were put out of work. Poverty is rampant. Unwilling to continue to live under such woeful conditions the Hamas organization retaliated with rudimentary rocket fire. And Israel retaliated with the latest lethal tools of war courtesy of the United States military industrial complex.
Now by no means is anyone here saying that Palestine is right and Israel is wrong. There is plenty of blame to go on both sides. But it should be noted that the number of innocent Palestinian children that have been killed in Israeli’s retaliatory air strikes far outnumber the number of Israeli soldiers killed as they invaded Gaza in a ground assault. And yet, the media will try to convince us that Hamas simply wants to destroy Israel for the sake of ancient doctrine. If that’s truly the case then the people of Hamas are truly the epitome of stupid, and I seriously doubt if that’s truly the case.
It appears that Israel is controlling the conversation. They always have. It is their contention that everything was fine until the Hamas rockets started falling. Now, the entire Jewish state is at risk of being wiped out unless completely devastating force is used to quash the dissent. The Israeli representatives will say that they have no choice but to annihilate the rebellious Palestinians and the media are just too eager to buy into that argument. Where is the counter argument from the Palestinians? Basically, it is my understanding that this is the question, this is the point that Ms. Jebreal was trying to make. In response to Ms. Jebreal’s passionate outburst, MSNBC cancelled all of her future appearances on the network.
Now this is where my goat gets got. By far the vast majority of my news comes from MSNBC. While it is by no means perfect, I prefer the more liberal bias of MSNBC to the rabidly conservative commentary of FOX News or even the dribble of news reporting from CNN. I’ve watched MSNBC back in the days of Keith Olbermann and Dan Abrams. I will admit that I listened to the network with just a certain amount of skepticism. Not everything you hear on television is true. But it was a lot better than the network promoting their fair and balanced approach to railroading anything that isn’t the most right winged political agenda possible. I always thought that it would be FOX News that would fire people for not toeing the line. FOX News would hardly let one of their fair and balanced commentators or contributors go off their carefully crafted script. Maybe Alan Combs would be their lone, soft spoken, exception.
Obviously Ms. Jebreal was not toeing MSNBC’s line and MSNBC has the right to turn down her future services for it. My rant is not to say that MSNBC is not so entitled. But in their single minded focus on making sure their contributors speak from a single perspective with respect to this Israeli-Palestinian conflict MSNBC has lost the focus of the bigger picture. This is the only network that can take a right winged conservative like Joe Scarborough and left winged liberals like Rachel Maddow into a single formula for the entertainment and education of the masses. MSNBC had the better reputation for giving multiple views on an issue. But that reputation is now tarnished when MSNBC joins FOX and CNN and all the other media outlets that are on the Israel propaganda band wagon when they punish Ms. Jebreal for being sympathetic to the Palestinian’s plight.
MSNBC proves that it is no different than any other media outlet. They all have a job to do and that job is to make money. And since there is far more money backing the well to do Israel than there is backing the ninety percent poverty stricken Palestine any media outlet would be foolish to allow anything to jeopardize that revenue stream including the truth. Israel wants people to believe that they are just defending themselves regardless of what’s really going on. Anybody who makes the suggestion that there’s another side to this story and it should be heard just as loudly is just asking for trouble. The truth will always take a backseat to somebody’s political agenda no matter what news outlet is used for the delivery medium.
Yes MSNBC has hired activist Al Sharpton to be their talking head. Mr. Sharpton’s reputation for speaking up for people who are being railroaded by the establishment is well known. MSNBC wanted to capitalize on Mr. Sharpton’s reputation to strengthen its appeal to people who can sympathize with the downtrodden. The network went out of its way to develop an environment of political progressivism. The network even promoted itself with the tagline, “What Progressives have been waiting for”.
But when MSNBC is given an opportunity to truly develop its own reputation for speaking up for the downtrodden in Palestine it does just the opposite. Truth be told, if this latest attempt to put a leash on journalism is any indication, progressives will just have to continue waiting.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Obama Makes History Once Again
Barack Obama makes history once again by becoming the first and only President of the United States to be sued by the Congress. God help us all!
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Eric Garner pays the ultimate price for being big and black in America. The man didn’t even put up a struggle as police ganged up on him and put the man in a fatal choke hold.
The woman identified as juror B-37 in the George Zimmerman trial gave an interview to Anderson Cooper of CNN about the verdict that found Mr. Zimmerman not guilty of any charges in the murder of Trayvon Martin. The woman admitted that she and her fellow jurors believed that a seventeen year old black male was the aggressor against a twenty eight year old non black male who was following him with a loaded gun in the darkness of night.
The police have a recording of Mr. Zimmerman admitting he was following the boy. We hear him refer to the young stranger as a fucking punk and an asshole as he makes the woefully poor decision to get out of his car and give chase on foot with his loaded gun tucked safely away in its holster. We’ve heard his inconsistent recollections of about what happened that night. He didn’t know where he was in his three street neighborhood that he’s lived in for a few years so he had to get out of his car to find a street sign down the same pedestrian path that the young black teenager coincidentally took to go home after his trip to the convenience store for snacks. We heard his claim that Trayvon sprang out from the bushes to attack him as he was heading back to his car just a few dozen yards from the house Trayvon was staying in with his father and his father’s girlfriend who actually owned the home. We heard the story that his head was being bashed into the concrete over and over again although his wound was cleaned up and treated with nothing more than a couple of band aids. We heard him say that his head was being bashed into the concrete although Trayvon’s body was found in the grass some twenty old feet from the nearest sidewalk. We heard him say that Trayvon saw his gun in its holster that was behind his back while he was on top of him as if Trayvon had X-ray vision. We heard him say that he realized through the fog brought on by the head bashing that Trayvon was reaching for his gun but he was able to reach his gun first as his head was being repeatedly slammed into the concrete while they were laying in the grass. We heard all these inconsistencies that proved beyond a shadow of doubt that George Zimmerman was a liar and could not.
But juror B-37 admitted that they believed his story hook, line and sinker. Trayvon Martin, the kid with nothing but snacks on his person and not a nine millimeter handgun, the teenager that was on the phone with a girlfriend and not on the phone with police talking about a fucking punk that looked suspicious and had to be stopped, the boy trying to go home in the rain and not the man who was following a stranger in the dark, it was Trayvon Martin that was the aggressor in the altercation that led to his murder that night.
What evidence do we have that Trayvon was the aggressor other than the story put forth by defense attorneys? The only thing that we have to corroborate George Zimmerman’s claim that Trayvon attacked first was Trayvon’s black skin. Despite the fact that Trayvon had never had a single altercation with law enforcement, despite the fact that the worse thing in his history was probably bragging about a school yard fight, smoking marijuana, or having poor judgment with his choice of photos to put on Facebook. On that particular night, Trayvon’s character suddenly took a turn for the worse, flipped, and he became a vicious, out of control animal with nothing but murder on his mind and in his heart.
It was a good thing that George Zimmerman was armed that night. The man who made the choice to go out with a loaded gun, the man who has been arrested for assaulting a police officer, the man who has a history of domestic violence against a former girlfriend, the man who has a history of calling police only about the black men who have the audacity to walk through his neighborhood, it’s a good thing he had the wherewithal to arm himself only for his protection against that black skin because we all know for a fact that George Zimmerman would never to anything to harm anybody.
Juror B-37 admitted something about herself, about those other five female jurors, and about our nation of people in general. When it comes to aggression between a black teenager minding his own business and a non black man with a gun and suffering from frustration over how the assholes and punks are always getting away, we all know that the black boy is simply much more dangerous. If Trayvon had only known his place in life he may have survived that night when he encountered the man with the gun chasing him in the dark. It would not have mattered if George Zimmerman was as openly racist as Byron De La Beckwith who shot Medgar Evers in the darkness of a Mississippi night. It is the darkness of skin that’s the real clue of who’s in the wrong. If only Trayvon had known that if you are black you have no preordained right to defend yourself or to stand your ground. You don’t own any ground. If you are black and you are being accosted, just remember who you are and what country you live in and submit. If someone comes up on you demanding answers, attention, or whatever you must fall to your knees, lie on your back, expose your belly and end every sentence with a “sir” or “ma’am”. And after you prostrate yourself supplant yourself and it still goes badly for you and you lose your life, rest assured you did your best as your murderer walks away free of all charges because without irrefutable evidence or a credible witness to tell the truth, people will believe you to have been the aggressor no matter what. Remember your tradition of black people being lynched for looking a white person in the eye or for not getting off the sidewalk fast enough when white people walked by. If you are black your life is not yours to keep, but yours to lose.
President Barack Obama learned a long time ago of the dangers associated with being a black politician at a national level and vocalizing anything about the institutionalized racism of the United States. While obviously racially non black politicians are free to remind the public of America’s racial shortcomings, a black politician doesn’t have that luxury out of some perception that the black politician would appear too close to the black community. When such an observation starts to manifest, the fear is that the black community’s need would trump the white community’s wants and America would never tolerate such a circumstance. It wouldn’t matter if the entire black community was slipping further into the oblivion of poverty and all the social ills associated with that condition, if white America wants ice cream somebody better make sure there’s a national plan to provide ice cream. To hell with black people!
When the news broke that candidate Barack Obama’s pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright was a closet racist who hated white people, regardless of how inaccurate the story was, Mr. Obama had to stiff arm his spiritual mentor for his political survival. When Mr. Obama weighed in on the arrest of his friend Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr. and called the behavior of the Cambridge police stupid for arresting the prominent black American out of his own house, Mr. Obama was so vilified by his political opponents and many across the country that he had to back pedal his comments like Michael Jackson in a Billy Jean video. And when Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in cold blood and his killer was allowed to go home with his murder weapon and protests were being held all over the country, Mr. Obama’s rather benign comment that if he had a son he would look like Trayvon, his political critics again pounced on him calling the President a race baiter as they did their best to inject race into the matter as they rallied support for the black teenager’s murderer.
But all of that happened prior to Mr. Obama being reelected for his second term as commander-in-chief. Now that he’s been reelected and is no longer eligible to run for the highest office in the land again, Mr. Obama is a little freer to express himself more openly about issues of race. Before being reelected he would do his best to quell the specter of racism by saying that he didn’t think race was a factor in any happenings no matter how racially charged. But if Mr. Obama’s latest venture into the unwelcomed discussion of America’s racial dysfunction that many loath to have is any indication, things might be a little different now from the President’s perspective.
Six days after a six women jury acquitted George Zimmerman of any wrong doing in his assassination of Trayvon Martin the President surprised the White House reporters by appearing before them during a routine press conference being conducted by Press Secretary Jay Carney. Unprompted and unscripted the President extended his sympathies to the parents of Trayvon Martin. The President actually empathized with the murdered teenager saying that he could’ve been Trayvon thirty five short years ago. Thirty five years ago a young Barack Obama could have been murdered as he was walking home minding his own business and somebody thought it a good idea to snuff his life out and his murderer could’ve been acquitted because young Barry foolishly thought he could rebel against the establishment like so many other teenagers do, black and white.
Mr. Obama talked about how people responded to him in his earlier years by locking their car doors as he walked through the neighborhood, by people crossing the street as he walked towards them on the sidewalk, by women clutching their purse closer to their body as he got onto an elevator, and by being followed through a department store as if he would shoplift at any moment compelled to do so driven by his black skin. Mr. Obama knows all too well that being black is not even close to being some kind of benefit in our social construct. It is a curse that makes it possible for a black teenager to be murdered in the darkness of the evening.
Mr. Obama is ready to talk about his racism of the past. But he still needs to acknowledge the racism he continues to experience to this day. How else can anyone explain how the most powerful man in the free world is constantly hounded to produce his birth certificate as proof that he belongs in America and is eligible to serve as President unlike every single President that has come before him who were all accepted to be a citizen without question? Even though he doesn’t have to run for office again he still needs the support of the American people in order to do his job and hold his political opponents at bay. And the last thing America wants is to support any black person who is willing to say that they can’t do their job because of the racism that runs rampant in this country. Too many people are too ready to dismiss claims of racism as little more as whining in order to cover incompetence. Pull yourself up by your bootstrap is the knee jerk, overly simplistic response to racism regardless if it can be proven or not. The question is can you prove it beyond a shadow of doubt. And for many people, that shadow is so long it can never be overcome.
Americans want to hear that everything is good and racism is in our past or at least it’s getting better. In fact, Mr. Obama said as much when he gave his impromptu press conference. Despite our racial dysfunction, Mr. Obama says he looks at his daughters and their friends and comforts himself with the belief that things have gotten better and will continue to improve with time. We believe things have gotten so much better that we don’t even recognize the horrible fact that nothing’s changed. Just like Emmett Till was murdered way back in 1955 accused of doing something unseemly and paying for it with his life, Trayvon Martin was murdered today under accusations of attacking the man who was stalking him. Just like black people testified about what happened to Emmett Till and were dismissed, according to juror B-37 Rachel Jeantel’s testimony was dismissed as unreliable because of her lack of proper diction and the fact that she wasn’t properly educated. It’s a fair bet that the fact that she was black had something to do with her lack of credibility as well. Just like back then somebody got away with murder even though he was standing right there with the gun in his hand.
Things might look like they’re getting better. But the simple fact that to this day we continue to let our black children die and their murderers walk free proves that it isn’t getting any better at all. In fact, if you add the lies that things have gotten better, the deception of racial equality that we live under, things are far worse now than they’ve ever been. Back in Emmett Till’s day black people knew that they were second class citizens and no amount of sugar coating about how black people weren’t slaves anymore was going to make it better. Our measure for discrimination is not how good or bad our ancestors and elders had it. The measure for racial discrimination is the fact that we still do not live in a racially equal society. Our black children will continue to die until we wake up and recognize this simple fact and really begin to do something about it.
These fucking punks always get away. Those were the words from George Zimmerman as he jumped out of his car with a loaded weapon tucked into his trousers as he chased down Trayvon Martin to keep his community safe and, if necessary, kill the young black teenager. The plethora of evidence proved George Zimmerman guilty of murder and proved he lacked any credibility to explain what went down. And yet, somehow a jury of his peers acquitted him of any charges and found him not guilty.
The jury was made of six women, five white and one Hispanic or African American. They deliberated for about nineteen hours over two days before coming back with their verdict. In the end, these women felt that the prosecutor didn’t prove their case and/or the defense created enough reasonable doubt to believe that despite everything they heard and saw that Mr. Zimmerman may have been justified with killing Trayvon Martin that night.
Frankly, their verdict was no surprise in the land of the free that is built on a solid foundation of racial discrimination born of our forefather’s willingness to condone the enslavement of black people to serve as beast of burden for white people. Black people were considered only three-fifths human from the beginning. And without ever taking any serious steps to correct the racial imbalance that became engrained into our culture before our nation even existed, we continue to exist as a nation that tolerates and condones many forms of racial prejudice.
Today, many people are defending the verdict from these six women with excuses like this case was complicated or these people had a tough job to do or the legal bar for this case was set so impossibly high for the prosecution. But the problem with all of these excuses is that if we flip the racial roles, if George Zimmerman was black and Trayvon Martin was white, would we have had the same outcome and let a black man get away with the murder of a white teenager.
Case in point, John White was a black man in Long Island, New York who was convicted of shooting and killing seventeen year old Daniel Cicciaro, Jr. Young Daniel Cicciaro was drunk when he got a posse of his friends together in order to go to John White’s house and fight his son over a girl. John White stood in front of his house with a gun to confront the drunken posse armed with baseball bats and other weapons. Instead of retreating, Daniel Cicciaro continued to threaten the White family. John White wound up fatally shooting the teenager. He was arrested and charged that night. Instead of being confronted with complicated case with a high legal bar to overcome, the jury experienced no trouble finding John White guilty of second degree murder. Daniel was armed and had used racial epithets in his rants against the White family and was threatening the White family with violence and John White was found guilty.
Trayvon was unarmed minding his own business when George Zimmerman ran after him with a loaded weapon while referring to Trayvon as a fucking punk and an asshole. He kills the boy and is told he was free to go home with his murder weapon. He isn’t even arrested until forty-five days after the killing. But then he’s found innocent. Anybody wants to guess why the hundred-and-eighty degree discrepancy?
And please don’t say some lame shit like the laws are different between New York and Florida. Florida is the same state where Martin Anderson was sentenced to boot camp for taking a family member’s car without permission. Within hours of arriving at camp he is murdered by the camp guards. No one was found guilty of any wrong doing. New York is the same state where Sean Bell was murdered the morning of his wedding day. An undercover police officer saw Sean Bell and pulled his gun out mistaking the man for someone else. Sean Bell died in a hail of bullets. No one is found guilty. The state where the law is being applied has zero to do with anything.
These six women may have had a difficult job to do. They had to put aside their racial bias and actually make a decision on whether the white Hispanic George Zimmerman was guilty for the murder of black Trayvon Martin. Many court room pundits thought that these women were mothers and would actually think about the ramifications if it was their kid that was murdered by some neighborhood watchman while walking home. That’s a hard thing to do when you suffer from an inherent racial discrimination against black people that is so ingrained into your psyche that you cannot recognize it or you simply refuse to recognize it. In the end, those six women decided their racial fear of and animosity against black people outweighs their instincts as mothers.
In the end these women decided that they were more concerned with the protection of the racial status quo than the need for justice for a scary black boy. And people like George Zimmerman, those fucking punks always get away with it. More often than not they will get away with their assault on the black community.