Maurice Tracy reacts to the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin.
“There are people who will have their anger just because they are angry people not because it is based in fact.”~ Mark O’Mara on CNN about the way people may react to the Trayvon Martin verdict.
This is America.
Or, at least part of it.
What do I do? What do any of us do? Us who are dark, brown, and in spaces that we “are not supposed to be in”? Do we walk with a little more fear because we know that we can be killed and it will be sanctioned ? Do we tell our younger brothers not to wear hoodies, not to put their hands in their pockets when walking down the street late at night because they could be killed and will recieve no justice if they do anything to defend themselves? Do we tell every little black person we see that in this country your life is worth less than the life of a dog and if they don’t believe us they can ask Michael Vick and then look up George Zimmerman?
What do we tell Trayvon’s mother and father?
How does that jury look at them and not feel ashamed? They just told Sybrina Martin that she does not know her own son’s screams; I am sure if it were their child screaming they would insist that they would know his or hers. What makes a black mother any different? How does that jury look at any black person in the face and do anything but blink?
How do we proceed, America? Beyond telling black people how we should act (I have already heard so many people saying that we need not to riot; that we just need to move on and let it go), how do we as a nation go on and call this “justice”? George Zimmerman, you are free — you are a killer but you are free; so many of us are not, and are still waiting to be seen as human, let alone equal.
From slavery to Jim Crow to sending lynching photographs through the mail, to Emmett Till, to Trayvon Martin, to countless nameless others, the destruction of black bodies is profitable in this country and legal — it is tradition. But, no amount of historical reference or living in this society prepares you for those moments when it loudly tells you, “I hate you; your life is worthless.”
No one ever told us that the Middle Passage had such a long and deep reach.
And still I ask: What do we do America?
Originally appeared at The Huffington Post
Photo: AP/Haraz N. Ghanbari