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Injustice For All

July 16, 2013

I am tired.  Tired of hearing of about how those of us who are upset about the Zimmerman verdict are ignorant of the law.  Tired of hearing about how we’re jumping on the liberal media’s bandwagon.  Tired of hearing that we’re outraged about this one black child but ignorant to the plight of all the other black children who die every day.

Does this mean that our opinions are null and void unless we hold a law degree?  Does it mean we can’t express our sadness and frustration with this situation unless we also address every other instance of a black child dying?

Clearly this is a larger issue.  We as a society have a much bigger problem on our hands than one lone shooting.  But to ignore one instance of injustice is to ignore the bigger picture.  One-third of black American children my son’s age can expect to be jailed at some point in their lives.  Only half of black children graduate high school compared with over three-quarters of their white counterparts.  Black males face a significantly higher probability of being murdered by age 45 than do white males.

By holding the Zimmerman case up as an example of what is wrong with our justice system (and our society), we are not minimizing the countless other instances of injustice.  We are highlighting them.  Was not Rosa Parks “just one person?”  Shining the spotlight on injustice of any kind should only serve to increase awareness of the bigger problem.

For just a moment let’s pretend race didn’t play a part.  If this was an armed white adult male with a history of vigilante tendencies who directly disobeyed instructions to remain in his car and instead chose to stalk and intimidate a white teenager he outweighed by 100 pounds, my reaction would be the same.  As a mother, I have told my children that if a strange adult ever approaches them and makes them feel unsafe or threatened, they should do everything in their power to get away from the situation, and if they cannot I’ve told them they should fight for their lives.  The evidence showed that Trayvon Martin did just that.

Blaming the victim for the clothes he was wearing or for his past (typical teenage) indiscretions is no different than saying a woman wearing a short skirt who has slept with men in the past is deserving of rape in a dark alley.  The fact of the matter is that justice was not served for this child.  He did not approach George Zimmerman.  He did not attack George Zimmerman.  He was scared and alone and he reacted in the same way I would have told my own children to react.  And now his life is over.

Would he have been targeted by Zimmerman had he been white?  Based on Zimmerman’s prior behavior, the answer is likely no.  Are we to conclude there is a racial bias against African-Americans when it comes to the law?  Witness the case of the black mother in Florida who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot to scare off her abusive ex in her own home.

Yes, this is just one case.  Yes, Trayvon was just one of many black children killed violently in the US.  If anything, that should be the reason we cry foul.  Something has to change.  No child, whether white, black, or purple, deserves to have a bullet put through his heart while walking home.  And no man should be allowed to get away with doing so.

As a mother, as a human being, I hurt.  I am angry.  And I will not be silenced by those who use weapons of bullying, intimidation, and callous condescension.  Call it a bandwagon.  Call me a puppet of the liberal media.  They’re only words, not bullets.  I can take it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 16, 2013 4:54 pm

    The story of that lady firing her gun and getting 20 years still blows my mind.

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