I’m filing this despite the fact that I’m experiencing major writer’s block. I just had a cigarette and grubbed a ton so excuse my inability to string words together effectively.
As of midnight, numerous protests have sprouted all across the country, rallying against the not guilty verdict of George Zimmerman.
After weeks of being presented numerous evidence and differing testimony, a jury of six women (all mothers) found Zimmerman not guilty of either second-degree murder or manslaughter. Suffice to say, that didn’t fly with those closely examining the trial.
I’m watching a live feed of what’s going down in Oakland right now and within a span of thirty minutes, I’ve seen flags go up in the flames, a McDonalds being broken into, graffiti, and more vandalism. My Twitter feed has gone completely off the wall and citizen journalists have taken to the streets to feed my noggin with more information. Also, apparently, riots have broken out in New York and Chicago as well.
“For Trayvon to rest in peace, we must be peaceful.”
Benjamin Crump, the Martin’s attorney, said that at the post-verdict press conference. Obviously, passion has overtaken any sense of class and has manifested itself into rage. Oddly enough, I sympathize.
As someone who, for most of his life, hasn’t been affected by institutionalized racism, I never knew what the problem was. I’ve read about it, but it never really clicked. I may not have fully comprehended it just yet after this verdict, but like many, I feel the jury and the justice system all together got it wrong. Whether the court wants to acknowledge the racial undertones of this case or not, these riots are a huge sign of a problem that has been ignored for years. And while these protests aren’t exactly shining African Americans nationwide in the best light, it’s hard to stay calm when nobody – namely the government – is listening.
Yet in that same light, these protests are tapping into the very stereotype that people expect of blacks. Yes, WE (everyone who believes that Zimmerman is guilty) are all angry, but this isn’t helping any cause. This is just ammo for bigots to use.
I’m not trying to get all Gandhi right now, but perhaps the anger should be channeled into a non-violent, but louder message. Destruction is not the answer.