One of the questions I got asked this weekend by a few of my white allies during the just concluded TTNS who sincerely wanted to understand what was happening was why I and many African-Americans were highly pissed about the unjust verdict that went down in Sanford, FL.
Grab a seat. This might take a while.
While many of us weren't shocked and were even expecting to hear the words 'not guilty' come out of the mouths of a six person jury that had ZERO African-Americans on it (and do not even try in the comment thread to point out there was a Latina on it) it was still painful to hear and realize that this grown azz white man (and that what Zimmerman is, people despite his Latina mother) just got away with killing a Black teenager.
That fact continuing to be ignored by many of you predominately white and conservafool peeps either gloating about this verdict or trying to whitesplain it is much of the reason we're seething about it. It also didn't help before this verdict even went down that four black robe wearing white men and a sellout self hating knee-grow on the Supreme Court gutted Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act.
Black folks have and NEVER will forget our 400 year negative history with the people who continue to gleefully oppress us and our continuing human rights struggle in the US. All that verdict did was remind us is there are elements of the white community who will always hate us, and elements of you who are clueless as to the white privilege you walk around with that shapes your opinions to the point you have blocked from your minds that an unarmed 17 year old kid was killed by a grown azz man and got away with it.
It was also galling to see Zimmerman's attorneys gloat in victory, Georgie boy arrogantly demand the Black community 'apologize to him' and his bigoted brother Robert, Jr express fears on CNN that his brother would be shot by armed vigilantes.
WTF? It was also a bitter slap in the face that reminded us that where the US justice system is concerned, it's definitely not color blind and Officer Friendly has a problem with POC's be they cis, gay or especially trans.
Every time a white person parts their lips to disrespectfully call our legitimate vocalizing of the jacked up things we see happening to us as 'playing the race card', we get even more offended and angry about it.
In addition for the renewed fear I have for my teenage and toddler male cousins (and frankly female ones aren't safe either) and their chances of not fulfilling the depressing statistic that 1 in 4 Black males will die before their 30th birthday, the verdict also reminded me of all those microaggressive and macroaggressive racial incidents I dealt with on the other side of the gender fence.
A DWB traffic stop in Highland Park, TX just a few days after Christmas in 1980 in which mine and my cousin's crime was wanting to see Christmas lights. Another 1983 one in Southwest Houston in which me and my friends after leaving a club were pulled over and disrespectfully asked by a white cop after we all showed our IDs why we were in Southwest Houston with South Park addresses on our licenses.
It brought back the bitter memories of being followed in the Joske's in Gulfgate Mall by store security as a white male scooped up a rack of designer jeans and ran past them on his way out of the store.
It brought back the 1990 memory of me in an IAH Terminal C parking garage elevator on my way to work, the elevator door sliding open on the 4th floor of it and a white woman my age switching her purse in her arm and cowering in the corner as I seethed and gave her the side eye.
I said to her at the time,"If I were the larcenous type, do you really think I would rob you while on my way to a job that pays me quite well every two weeks, wearing a loud ass red jacket with a Continental badge hanging from it with my name in bold print and a loud yellow City of Houston Aviation department badge with my social security number on it?"
It also reminded me of the verdicts in which the murderer of Chanelle Pickett walked out of a Massachusetts courtroom a free man and CeCe McDonald is sitting in a Minnesota jail for defending herself against a neo-Nazi. The anger and frustration boils over as I think about what Roger B Taney wrote in 1857 in terms of being considered someone who 'has no rights a white person is bound to respect' and seems to be a mantra that the Republican Party and the conservafool movement gleefully puts into political action.
So if you're wondering why I'm still pissed about the Zimmerman verdict, now you know.
Post a Comment