When Violence Is “Somewhat Mild”.

20 Apr

“I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son. […] I thought he was a little bit younger than I was, and I did not know if he was armed or not.”

Yeah, that happened. That was George Zimmerman’s non-pology to Trayvon Martin’s parents, as if they had lost their son in a car accident, as if it would have been fine to shoot a person “a little bit younger” than Zimmerman was, and as if you can just assume that every Black person walking back home from a store with candy and ice tea in their hands could be armed and just looking for an opportunity to attack you. Oh, wait – Zimmerman was the one pursuing Martin in his SUV, despite being explicitly told by the police to not to… “Disingenuous and insulting” were really kind words to choose for Trayvon Martin’s parents’ lawyer when describing Zimmerman’s words.

Not only did it take a huge campaign by Martin’s parents and the outrage of millions of people to make authorities investigate the killing of an unarmed teenager whose only implicit “crime” it was to be Black in public, the murderer of Trayvon Martin, a man who has been accused twice of attacking other people (namely a police officer and, oh… his ex-girlfriend), was not only allowed to be released on bail by Judge Kenneth R. Lester, Jr. who deemed those previous incidents “somewhat mild”, it is not even decided whether Zimmerman will be allowed to leave the state or not before his trial begins…

What exactly does not scream “mind-boggling” about this to you?

While Zimmerman’s father and his wife testified that Zimmerman was “absolutely not a violent person” and would “turn the other cheek” when “confronted”, and they can certainly not be blamed for trying to portray a member of their family that is on trial this way, truthful or not, it’s the job of a court to sift through all the bullshit as best as they can and try to get down to actual evidence. And what’s the actual evidence here? Zimmerman has been accused of violent behavior before and even had to visit an anger management course because of it – so much for not being a violent person at all… Zimmerman has shot and killed an unarmed teenager who he followed despite the police’s advice not to, who he seems to have actively confronted on the street and subsequently shot and killed – so much for “turning the other cheek”.

And what happens? A white, male judge finds this somewhat mild enough to set bail at a rate that Zimmerman can clearly make (…as his lawyers stated explicitly before the ruling); he sets bail at a rate that someone who is accused of second-degree murder can clearly make; he sets bail for someone who has the audacity to pseudo-apologize to his victim’s parents by essentially saying that if he had known that Trayvon was only 17, he probably would not have shot him… Right. Tell that to the police officers who took his call about the “suspicious looking”, seven to nine-year old Black kid Zimmerman once reported. And you know what? Even if Trayvon Martin did in fact attack Zimmerman, the only one who could have claimed self-defense here was Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman chose to follow Martin. Zimmerman chose to continue following Martin after the police told him not to. Zimmerman chose to follow Martin in a manner that, evidently, lead to a confrontation. Zimmerman chose to shoot Martin in a manner that lead to Martin’s death.

This was not a tragic “loss”. This was the murder of a young human being, solely because of Trayvon’s skin color. And whatever Zimmerman and his family say, whatever right they have to pull every string and use every tactic to get Zimmerman off the hook for his crime, it is up to the people in charge of judging to distinguish true from false and right from wrong here. And what was a most disgusting start in not even prosecuting Zimmerman for a whole two months until the grassroots activism that Trayvon Martin’s parents initiated finally resulted in the local and federal investigation of their son’s murder, is now on to the next disgusting sequel, and is making one thing quite clear: people steeped in white, male dominance certainly don’t care about dead Black children. /rant

3 Responses to “When Violence Is “Somewhat Mild”.”

  1. tesspowell April 20, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    You put words to the rage in my heart. May the child rest in peace.

    • accalmie April 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

      Thank you – indeed.

  2. tesspowell April 20, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Reblogged this on teesepowell and commented:
    Exactly!!

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