There is no more perfect place to be than in Washington DC, when the verdict in the Zimmerman trial came down. The place where the halls of justice of our nations highest court echo the voices of Thurgood Marshall, Brown vs. Board of Education, and the extinguishing of DOMA. The place where our Black President calls home. The place where laws are debated and created. The place where I found out that the struggle not only still continues but that it is more dire than ever. The place I found out that a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty.
As I left the group of women I was having dinner with and took a cab through the city, I could not help but gaze out of the window. I rolled down the window trying to catch the sounds of the city as we drove by. Black men stood in groups and all i could hear was “This is un-fucking believable”. Black women walked out of restaurants shaking there heads and seemed so solemn. It was a much quieter Chocolate City than I was used to. And then there were the white people. The white people who were walking around like it was business as usual. They were yelling and shouting with drunken tones like they had not one care in the world. It was an ordinary Saturday night. What a dichotomy.
Was justice served in this case? I feel like justice was buried the day Trayvon was killed and George Zimmerman was sent home by Sanford Police. And with every march and protest and we shoveled another pound of dirt off that elusive thing we call Justice. The people demanded an investigation and an arrest. And we got it. We must acknowledge the win in that. We must acknowledge the justice in that. And that investigation led to the trial that supporters demanded to determine the guilt or innocence of this man who killed Trayvon that night in the rain. That is our system. We allow for a jury of one’s peers to decide their guilt or innocence. That happened here today. Our system worked.
The process was initially flawed and then remedied. But did Trayvon Martin receive justice? No. Today, justice jumped back into the grave. It didn’t show up. A young Black man has been buried and his killer is going free. The disappointment and sadness that overwhelm me is certainly shared by many across the world tonight. I don’ t own the patent on the outrage that causes the tears to roll down my hot face. It is shared by many, of all races tonight as we rest comfortably in our beds while Tracey and Sybrina Fulton face the second worst night of their lives.
I was rendered speechless. I was paralyzed with sadness. My hands shook so badly that I couldn’t text, tweet, or eat. I was useless. Justice? Where is justice? Where is the day of reckoning that this case demanded? I thought it would be today. But as I rode in that musty cab through the city I realized it wasn’t today. But it was coming. And I had to be ready for it.
Florida is my native state. They get a lot of shit wrong. They have hanging chads. They have bad Governors, horrible Mayors, and suspect laws. But we do not have to play the hand we are dealt. WE have the ability to change the game, not just in Florida but throughout the nation.
Laws don’t just create themselves. They are drafted by people we ELECT — or DON’T elect through our inaction — as our representatives to state and federal government. What people have to understand is that this is not just about the killing on this innocent young life, Trayvon Martin. This is about electing people smart and progressive enough to work towards the repeal of laws that allow Trayvon Martin murders to go unpunished. This should call everyone to action, white, black and otherwise.
There is no need for Diddy to stand atop a bus and tell y’all to go Rock the Vote. No need to Harlem shake you to the polls. This is a 3-alarm fire, a wake up call. We live in a very different country than many people thought right now. One where states are allowed rule women’s bodies with no input from its owner and where citizens are allowed to profile and kill young boys for walking or standing while black.
What will you do differently tomorrow or next week the wake of the verdict in the Zimmerman trial? How will you do the work to ensure that the next Trayvon gets justice?
That will be the day of reckoning. That will be the day that we have justice for Trayvon. When this travesty is a thing of the past and our young men can walk the streets without being attacked for their “looks”. Then, we will have justice. Get off your twitter soapboxes and get in the game. March with your votes. March with your dollars. Rise up and be the change on the local and state levels that will make a real difference.
I have never had so much faith in 6 white people at the same time ever in my life. And I told anyone who doubted this jury, faith and fear could not co-exist, therefore I was choosing faith. I stand by that tonight. I choose faith. Faith that people will not let Trayvon’s death be in vain. Faith that moves the mountains that are laws that allow our young people to be killed with no remorse or regard. Faith that we will overcome this hurdle, this devastation, and this miscarriage of justice.