Trayvon Martin and American Injustice

The shooting of Trayvon Martin and subsequent circus-act trial of George Zimmerman confirm what many of us have known all along – that the claim of a “post-racial America” brought on by the election of Barack Obama is a tragic falsehood, perpetuated by ill-intent, ignorance, and foolishness. 

In a nation where the cold-blooded killing of an innocent, unarmed child is emotionally trumped by the killing of trained fight dogs (see Mike Vick); where an innocent, unarmed child is posthumously transformed into a criminal through recollections of a typical teenage lifestyle; and where the termination of an innocent, unarmed child’s life is ridiculed for entertainment and its value drastically reduced by the pigmentation of skin, humanity is lost. 

The sad fact is Trayvon Martin’s fate wasn’t sealed on February 26, 2012 – it was sealed seventeen years and twenty-one days earlier, as a bright new life with the misfortune of being born into a ravenously bigoted American culture. Ultimately, this trial equals a third and final victimization of this young man’s life – the first coming as existential prey in a racially predatory society; the second coming as a fatal gunshot wound; and the third coming as a disgraceful mockery of “justice.” 

This “disgraceful mockery of justice” that has been on display to the world for the past week is a mere peek into the daily operations that characterize a nation. Tomorrow, the militaristic terrorization of poor and working-class communities will continue, street executions of Black Americans “every 36 hours” at the hands of police will maintain its pace, and a disproportionate number of poor, Black, Hispanic, and working-class people will be prodded through the “justice” system and guided in and out of prisons like cattle.

After all is said and done, after the jury has rendered its decision, and after the judge has spoken, regardless of the outcome, “justice” will remain but a hollow and soulless word thrown around municipal buildings, police stations, courtrooms, and government enclaves by the very people whose privileged livelihoods depend on injustice. To the rest of us, their “sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless;” their “shouts of liberty and equality – hollow mockery;” their claims of righteousness – “mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy – a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.” 

“You may write me down in history – With your bitter, twisted lies – You may trod me in the very dirt – But still, like dust, I’ll rise.” 

RIP Trayvon Martin


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