A month after starting my blog last year, I was going to write about the Trayvon Martin murder but thought, nah, I’m not writing anything political on my blog. He had been dead a month then.
So I planned to go to a Trayvon Martin rally at Union Square. The closest I came to broadcasting anything about Trayvon Martin was a post on Facebook, announcing that I was going to the demonstration, wearing my hoodie. I didn’t post pictures or say anything else after that on social media, but did subscribe to the Justice for Trayvon Martin Facebook page.
The rally was planned for 6PM but I got there and saw the usual, some left over ragtag Occupy Wall Streeters, skateboarders, students from NYU and homeless people. There were also police standing in groups at different points of the square. I looked for signs of a crowd convening but saw nothing, so approached people, asking if they knew about a Trayvon Martin demonstration. They didn’t but the police did. “They’re scheduled to be here 7pm,” one said.
While questioning whether to wait, I went to Starbucks, ate a piece of cake, drank coffee and read some old philosophy. I read from Socrates, who said in this book that physically harming someone else is the worst damage you could do to your own soul.
Later, through the Starbucks window, I saw people gathering and was glad I had decided to stay. I hopped off my seat and walked to the crowd.
An hour later, holding a memorial candle, I stood center stage amidst a few hundred people of all races, also holding candles. Now it was dark. I quoted what I had just read in Starbucks from Socrates, in relation to George Zimmerman killing Trayvon Martin, and yelled out to the crowd that it is a “fucking shame” – yes I was angry – that this beautiful woman’s son has become internationally known for this, instead of becoming internationally known for discovering a scientific contribution helping to cure neurological diseases. At the time I had an egoistic fantasy that my four year old nephew would grow up to become a neurosurgeon. But could he have the same fate as Trayvon Martin? There’s a picture on my refrigerator of my nephew that resembles Trayvon Martin as a child.
Later on the bus, on the way home, a woman got on and walked by me. “You were great tonight,” she said.
I’m tired of this shit happening every year. We’re going in circles in this country. I’ve written before that it doesn’t make a difference in this republic that the president is biracial.
If Zimmerman were black and Trayvon Martin white, his ass would have been jailed, ASAP! What are the solutions for black people, whose children aren’t protected in their own country? This is what I mull over now.
In the nineties a fifteen year old named Latasha Harlins walked to the register in a convenience store to pay for an item. The store owner accused her of stealing the item in her backpack. So she reached over, tousled with her and wrested the item from her bag. In defense, Latasha punched her in the face. The woman pulled out a gun and shot her in the head. The white female judge ruled that for the murder of this, child, this store owner should get probation with no time served.
There’s “fallout” from living in this kind of a culture — those who fall between the cracks, black, white or otherwise. And black people shouldn’t make excuses for bona fide hoodlums, but this is evil.
When Bernhard Goetz shot those black kids who tried to rob him on the train, it was justified. This is another scenario but to paint a different part of the picture – when those twenty children were murdered in Newtown, I was devastated, they were just children, it didn’t matter that they were white. And if the murderer had been black, I would have been just as devastated, because they were children. This is the same sentiment I would expect to receive for our black children.
It is sad, and angering and preposterous. I – too, I’m tired of such bullshit
I’m glad you can commiserate SSG! In a way I do see where people come from when they think this is okay because they’re scared and small-minded — this goes for all people. It’s funny to me how they could justify this but if the situation were reversed there would be no justification whatsoever.
I hear you! And it is not okay!
Great post Sandee! I agree, if Trayvon Martin would have shot Zimmerman, He wouldn’t have a chance to even say self-defense, and if he did, no one would believe him. I liked that the prosecution did talk about what would happen if the roles were reversed. Have a great weekend xx
I appreciate you chiming in Carla because I know that you’ve been following this case for a while. I hope you enjoy your weekend too and I’m glad you had a good time with your daughter.
My gut instinct, when I first heard this story, was that Zimmerman was guilty. He just seemed like a guy wanting to do some harm. He wanted to over power someone for his own emotional needs. Just the idea that he was told not to pursue Trayvon but chose to go against that instruction, tells me he had something other than safety or justice driving him.
That’s my gut and I’m not usually wrong. I don’t see color in this case, to be honest. I just see an angry guy driven by a need for power and control in the form of violence. It could have been Trayvon pursuing Zimmerman. To me it’s the stuff on the inside – the fear and anger and need to restore one’s own power that drives this behavior.
Great post, Sandee. Glad you wrote this.
Wow — I love the way you described the motivation — I can relate to it, sadly, being driven by my emotional needs — scary. Having to restore one’s own power. Oh Lisa, I think I need to make an appointment with you to sit on the couch and tell you my problems — hahaha! A friend of mine thinks — she didn’t say it in these words — that this is what motivated my fixation on this one woman where I work, and why I think she shouldn’t be working there.
I read your post from my email, via my cell-phone and I was in tears when I was finish. You’re right this is so much deeper than just race but the injustice makes it about race. Awesome post Sandee!!! Very touching and true. I’m glad you’re one of many who took a physical stand.
I thank you so much for your support and understanding. Yesterday I got very little sleep — not because of this — but it only made me rant on about it even more. I was a little delirious probably because of lack of sleep, so it made me a little more obsessive than my usual. My poor sister — I kept calling her about this.
Yeah. *sigh* It’s just so disheartening to know that for all our talk of a “post-racial” society, we’re still judging people on their race. I hate that people of color are disproportionally arrested and convicted of crime. It’s institutionalized racism at its worst. The part that gets me about Zimmerman is that he claimed he was just defending himself. After he got out of his car and followed a young black man for no other reason than he was black and an unfamiliar face. He was the idiot who put himself in that position in the first place. No one seems to remember that.
I know there are some young hoodlums out there who need to be aced, but I concur with something someone said about the case — Zimmerman decided to go after this kid BECAUSE he had a gun. And I know this is something black youth need to remember as well, but why in the world couldn’t Zimmerman have fought with his hands if he felt he needed to defend himself, instead of being a pussy?
He tried that. Then he started losing, so he pulled out his gun. He’s a racist coward, and karma will catch up with him eventually.
I certainly hope so!
Great piece, Sandee! I wish race wasn’t the issue here, but I’m afraid it is. Check out my take on this tragedy http://gladiuspoeticus.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/just-another-black-kid-for-trayvon-martin/
Thanks GP! I’m really interested in seeing your take indeed — I should expect that you’d have a pulse on this thing with your activist mind — even from Surinam! Have a great day and I’ll definitely check out your piece…