Monday, July 15, 2013
Sickened, Saddened, Embarrassed, Ashamed
On Saturday evening, I posted “Sickened, saddened, embarrassed, ashamed” on Facebook.
I got some interesting comments, wondering if I was okay, what was happening in my world. One friend even promised to come for an overdue visit, but I assured him it wasn’t about me; and I could excuse a comment from someone who doesn’t live in the US. However, most were aware that I was referring to George Zimmerman’s acquittal for the Trayvon Martin murder. One friend, who I hope to retain as a friend, because she is not just a Facebook friend, commented: “I don’t understand why you say this or feel this way?” You know how it is when you love the cat but you want to just rub her fur the wrong way, only to see how she will react? I know how the cat feels.
Let’s face it: the trial started off with a knock knock joke in Zimmerman’s attorney’s opening statements. Once the trial was over and his client had gotten away with murder, the same man, Mark O’Mara, stood before cameras and boldly stated “Things would have been different for George Zimmerman if he was black for this reason: he would never have been charged with a crime.”
And that is why I am sickened, saddened, embarrassed, ashamed.”
Earlier this year, a Black Florida woman with a master’s degree, Marrisa Alexander, mother of a toddler and 11-year-old twins, with a clean record, was sentenced to twenty years for firing a warning shot at her husband, who did have a prior record, much of it for domestic abuse, and had been served with a restraining order by Alexander. Which should case you to pause and say “What the Fuck?”
Obama has cautioned that we must have respect for the Zimmerman trial jury’s decision. I do sometimes disagree with my president but this time, vehemently so. Juror B37 is widely reported to already be in the process of a book deal (at first I thought there would be blood but now I realized there will be profit.) She is one of five white women on the jury. The one non-white woman on the jury, B-29, who was described in Voir Dire as Hispanic, enjoys “The Real Housewives,” has an arrest record and recently moved to Florida from Chicago. Not one African American present on this jury of peers.
The stand-your-ground law states that a person may justifiably use force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of an unlawful threat, without an obligation to retreat. As observed in the Alexander and Zimmerman trials, it can be interpreted in many different ways and in the Zimmerman case, with no corroborating story for the defense (the victim was unable to defend himself in court, since he was dead), in only one way: Zimmerman’s.
We must begin the process of changing the laws that victimize America’s black communities. Michelle Alexander in her 2010 book, The New Jim Crow: “Denying African Americans citizenship was deemed essential to the formation of the original union. Hundreds of years later, America is still not an egalitarian democracy. The arguments and rationalizations that have been trotted out in support of racial exclusion and discrimination in its various forms have changed and evolved, but the outcome has remained largely the same.”
Did you know that Ann Coulter was caught on video cheering after the acquittal on Saturday?
An unarmed boy, innocently walking down the street, was killed by a man armed with a gun, who followed him after the police ordered time to stay in his vehicle, and a jury has said that, under the Stand Your Ground law of Florida, no crime has been committed. Ann Coulter is cheering. I am sickened, saddened, embarrassed, ashamed.