Sunday, 14 July 2013

No Justice for Trayvon

I'm sitting here shaking and it's not from the cold. I'm shaking with disbelief, with rage. You don't need to hear from me about the acquittal of George Zimmerman. You don't need me to tell you details of how a young black man was stalked and shot by a man who was only arrested six weeks after the killing, and only after protests. You don't need me to tell you how utterly, utterly fucked all this is.

Or do you? I've talked about white privilege on here before, but today we see what white privilege really is. White privilege is not fearing for your family members whenever they leave the house, in case they are shot dead just for the colour of their skin. It's not watching in horror as the killer of your unarmed child walks free, as in the eyes of the law his right to defend himself is enshrined in law, as your son's right to defend himself ended with him lying dying in the road as your killer calls you a fucking punk. White privilege is having a legal system that defends your rights above those of others.

I have this privilege and tonight it makes me sick to my stomach. It sickens me to hear people talk about how this "isn't a race issue". That Zimmerman, being a POC himself (just fucking google it if POC is too complex for you), couldn't possibly have been racially motivated when he decided a young black man armed with a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea was enough of a threat to stalk him, confront him and shoot him dead shows a level of wilful ignorance that you can only have if you're white enough to think this does not affect you.

It should.

You shouldn't have to be black to see immediately, clearly, that this was about Trayvon's blackness. You can be white and be absolutely horrified at this verdict. In fact, you can't be human and see this as anything other than the absolute proof, if any were needed, that we live in a deeply racist, unequal society.

If you read this story and don't feel that desperate, clutching urge to do something, anything to change this verdict and the world we live in, to offer some shred of comfort to Trayvon's family, to move the immovable objects, then you are as much a part of the problem as Zimmerman, the jury, and the lawyers who stood there and argued that Zimmerman's right to kill an unarmed teenager was much greater than Trayvon Martin's right to live, breathe and have a future.

There is no excuse. Educate yourself. Read. Don't sit there and shake your head about how this can't be about race, or that it couldn't happen here, or any of the other excuses that mean this can happen in our society. If you're not furious then go and learn until you are furious.

Justice for some of us means there is no justice at all.

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