Two things I care about profusely have been happening simultaneously the past two weeks.
The debate over SB1 and HB2 in the Texas legislature, which would effectively reduce access to abortions by a large percentage in Texas.
And then, the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman murder trial.
While I definitely want to see Zimmerman convicted, my attention has been focused on what’s happening right here, right now, in my own state.
But even so, I’ve been keeping tabs on the Zimmerman trial.
As I’ve been reading a few articles here and there, something caught my eye. It was one of the comments in this article: 10 Upsetting Things People are Saying About the Trayvon Martin Case.
Does anyone actually care about the Trayvon Martin case? Because I don’t. Why is it being covered by every major news station as if it were the case of the century? No one I know in person or online mentions it at all. It’s tragic that a kid died, but what makes this case so special?
That comment was posted on this Reddit thread, by the user spectrum. There are more upsetting comments on the thread, but that was the one that has bugged me and bugged me.
Um, yeah, dude, I care! Uh, maybe parents of black children care? Maybe parents of black boys care even fucking more? Um, maybe Trayvon Martin’s parents care? Maybe black people care? Maybe white people care? Uhhhh Wait. Do they?
For the most part, it’s not a case that catches the attention of the average person in my daily life.
But then I tell myself that it’s in part because of the Texas legislature. But I know that’s not true. If we weren’t having this debate in Texas right now, I’d be paying closer attention to the trial. And I’d be posting about it and here’s what I’d get.
Now, I don’t know that for sure. But it’s what I guess because when I’ve posted before about Travyon Martin it’s been mostly other moms of biracial kids who I know online showing concern about the case.
So, do we care about Trayvon Martin any more than we would if he was any other murder victim?
I don’t know. But my white friends should. And here’s why.
If you’re white and liberal and you don’t care about this case, then you are continuing to protect the status quo of a society that allows these types of cases listed below.
To me, Zimmerman was guilty from the outset. I realize that in the eyes of the law, he must be proven guilty. But the facts were in from the get go. Zimmerman profiled Trayvon Martin. He shot an unarmed child in cold blood. I don’t care if Martin threw a punch at Zimmerman or even tried to beat him on the sidewalk.
Trayvon Martin was the one under attack. Trayvon Martin was the one defending himself and he lost.
Why didn’t Zimmerman run if he was scare? Kick Martin in the nuts. Why the fuck was he even out of his truck?
Get the fuck away if you’re scared. Don’t shoot an unarmed kid.
The only difference between Zimmerman and the cases I’ve listed below is that he lives in a different time period than one and the rest of them were just a lot fucking dumber than Zimmerman and some admitted they were racists pieces of shit.
If you are white, you should care about Trayvon Martin. He was a child. He was not doing anything wrong. He was profiled and murdered in cold blood on the street by a racist. It is so obvious to people of color.
It is easy for me to see it because Trayvon Martin has the same skin color as my kid. So let me put it to you this way. If the case was all the same, but Trayvon Martin was a white kid with a football jacket on walking down the street chatting on the phone with his girlfriend, and some guy pulled up, picked a fight with him, and then shot him, he’d already be in jail. I guarantee it.
This trial is a potential travesty. There is already speculation that Zimmerman will walk because nobody knows for sure if Martin was the one beating Zimmerman. But to people of color, this is a clear case of profiling and racism, so why it isn’t being treated as such in the courtroom?
So what if Martin was high? Or even had been in trouble at school? Or called George Zimmerman a cracker? It’s not all that uncommon for teenagers to get into trouble at school and smoke pot and call strangers obnoxious names.
White kids do it to y’all. And that doesn’t make them career criminals. The fact is, we hold a much different standard to black boys in this country. They must toe the line and if they don’t they get busted down. It’s not really a far cry from slavery days.
So, if you still don’t think this is a big deal, take a look at a few cases where black men have been killed simply for being black.
If you are a white liberal, you should care. Because if you don’t, then you are a part of the racist society that continues to let black men be killed at the hands of white racists. And I know that you don’t want that.
Yes, most of them were convicted. But it’s still hard to see how it continues to happen. We must send a message that racist murders will not be tolerated. They should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Emmett Till was a 14-year-old boy who was had his eyes gouged out, beaten and ultimately shot to death for flirting with a white woman in Mississippi in 1955.
James Byrd Jr. was dragged behind a truck by three white supremacists in Jasper, Texas in 1998. The murder of James Byrd Jr. led to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hates Crimes Prevention Act.
James C. Anderson murdered by three white boys who just went looking for a black person to kill in Jackson, Mississippi in 2009.
Johnny Lee Butts a black man who was killed in a hit and run in 2012. Again, in Mississippi. (For god’s sake, if you’re black and you live in Mississippi, get the fuck out!)
Everett Gant a black man in Port St. Joe, Florida shot in 2013 by his white neighbor who confessed his crime to police by saying, “I only shot a n—er.” Gant had gone over to Butler’s apartment to confront him about calling a child a n—er. Butler shot him in the head and then sat down to eat his dinner.
While these cases continue, they aren’t given the credence they should be given. Media reports on them with details of the racism as if it were just another cause and effect. People are shocked and horrified for a moment. But they continue to happen.
It’s looking possible that Zimmerman could walk for his crimes. The judge has ruled the jury can consider the lesser charge of manslaughter, probably to give them a choice, if they don’t feel he deserves the second-degree murder charge.
But if George Zimmerman is not convicted, it will send the message to white racists that the murder of black men and boys is still open season. Profiling that leads to murder should be given additional penalties and consideration inside a murder trial. This is not just about murder. This is about racism, stereotypes and the continued assault on black men in our country. It needs to stop.