The young teenager’s death, along with the acquittal of George Zimmerman for killing Martin, was proof for many that justice works for anyone without black as the color of their skin.
Why would a jury allow a grown man to walk away with murder when he admitted to killing Martin? If recorded tapes and evidence suggest that Zimmerman willfully followed Martin, why was he allowed to exit the courthouse without handcuffs?
It’s as simple as the pull of a trigger in the name of self-defense. Legally speaking, Zimmerman was warranted in killing Martin because he felt as if Martin was close to taking his life.
Because of that, a jury of Zimmerman’s peers found him not guilty of 2nd degree murder and manslaughter. Zimmerman’s exoneration is where we stand, a man guilty of killing of another human being, but clear of murder.
It’s something that is so ambiguous, it leaves many with an unsettled spirit. There is no clarity in watching Zimmerman smile as he shook hands with his attorneys after learning he would be a free man. For some, there is only anger and distrust of an already biased legal system.
So that’s why many decided to don “Justice for Trayvon” t-shirts, and declare that Martin’s death will not be in vein.
But how do we define that last sentence? What can the collective of Martin supporters do to make sure there is true justice for Martin’s death?
The first thing is to make sure there is enough political support to alter Florida’s wrongheaded “Stand Your Ground” law. No, the Zimmerman defense team didn’t use it as a defense, but the law altered the language of self-defense in the jury instructions.
While marches and vigils operate in supportive symbolism, it doesn’t do much to alter policy. The stark political reality for black Americans, especially here in Florida, is that the politicians who have the power to change the language of the law will not show up to march “for the cause.”
No diss to the politicians who showed up to support and speak in the name of equal justice, but as long as the majority in power turns the other cheek, each step in a line of marches may be for naught.
Which is also why boycotting the state of Florida may have the right spirit, it just has misguided direction. By attempting to show support for repealing “Stand Your Ground,” many entertainers are choosing to stay away from the gunshine state. Boycotting Florida will take money out of the pockets of the people the boycott is meant to support.
Any concert that’s held anywhere in America has to have workers to support it. Those workers are usually black and of the working or lower class, especially at Orlando’s Amway Arena, so a financial boycott will only serve as a means to hurt the people who are already struggling economically.
Not to mention, from what I’ve read and seen, there is no grand scheme behind this entertainment blackout. There is only anger and emotion, something that usually serves as a detriment if the emotion is not pointed in a specific direction.
Instead of a boycott, I suggest the entertainers who are spitting mad at Florida direct any potential money gained from a concert here to start a new minority political arm/political action committee.
In fact, of the top 10 political action committees of 2012, not a single one was connected to a minority cause. Taking it a step further, there were zero minority funded political action committees in the top 20.
If we are serious about changing bad legislation in the country, then we have to play the rules of the game we’re in. A bad law is a bad law, but in order to change it, we need to have enough money to influence making sure more bad laws aren’t created.
One of the big reasons why Florida, along with other states, has so many bad pieces of legislation is because the ones we elect to craft them aren’t actually reading the bills that come before them. If it has a Republican or Democratic stamp, many act as a blank proxy to pass a bill that is supported by a Republican or Democrat PAC.
So why aren’t we talking about getting serious about playing the political money game?
Lastly, there is no true minority driven legislation in this nation. Dr. Julianne Malveaux, an American economist, stated something that many of use have shouted for years: America needs an urban policy.
As we watch the slow economic decay of Detroit by way of bankruptcy, which was ruled unconstitutional by Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, it proves that urban centers across this country are in serious peril.
The unemployment rate in Detroit is almost 20 percent, and there are enough abandoned homes in the city to make it look like a zombie apocalypse just occurred.
We need to start to drive the political conversation of what’s happening in cities like Detroit, Chicago, Orlando, Birmingham and other areas where minorities continue to feel the brunt.
I would even go so far to suggest that marchers should move toward pressuring Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to create a policy to aid in the economic stabilization of Parramore.
In the past, we’ve allowed potential movements to track backwards and turn into moments. There is enough energy and emotion behind the movement to find justice for young Trayvon Martin to truly create change with substance in this nation.
We just have to make sure it’s properly directed.
- Vigils held across the U.S. for Trayvon Martin (upi.com)
- Liberal Celebs Beyonce and Jay Z Join Trayvon Martin’s Rally in New York As 100 Rallies Organized Across the Country, Bill Cosby and Charles Barkley Notjoining Their Race-obsessed Crowd (katenews2day.com)
- CBC members would support Florida boycott (thehill.com)