By Arelya J. Mitchell, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway
I did not like the verdict. I do not respect the verdict. There, I said it. But I did expect the verdict.
After viewing about a good 95% of the George Zimmerman trial on the shooting of 17-year-old African American teenager Trayvon Martin, I knew but was hoping desperately that I would be wrong that this would end in a “Not Guilty” verdict for Neighborhood Watch volunteer Zimmerman. Mid-way through the trial, I said to colleagues, “He’s going to walk.”
Yes, I will be so bold as to give kudos to Zimmerman’s defense team because whether one liked them personally or not, they exhibited a belief in their client. When you cannot distinguish the prosecution from the defense… then, Houston, we have a problem. Sorry, but I just did not see this same passion on the prosecution side. What I saw was a prosecution which brought out legitimate and passionate arguments in their closing, yet failed to use most of those arguments as premises on which to launch an effective case. I saw too many blunders and too many times of their aiding and abetting the defense in painting Trayvon Martin as a stereotypical thuggish wanna-be-gang banger drug driven Black teenager. A first year law student could have handled this one better.
Of course, we saw in a Fox interview Zimmerman alluding to the killing as “God’s will”, and now he has the audacity to sue NBC for allegedly doing the same profiling of him as he obviously did when he chose to get out of his SUV to follow a Black male. Not once did Zimmerman say that he identified himself as a Neighborhood Watch volunteer to young Martin. Why would he? All Black boys are thugs.
To a previous Black generation, Emmett Till represented a turning point that moved it to act rather than react. Sad to say, but Trayvon Martin represents a lost Black generation that needed a wake-up call. Sad to say, but Trayvon Martin represents a Black generation who live under this rock called allusion that racism is a relic of the past. That they are beyond Emmett Till or so they thought. That they are even beyond James Byrd who was dragged to his death attached to a truck by two white males. And this was in 1998.
This is a lost Black generation who knows absolutely NOTHING about its history. It is sad—in fact—it is downright pathetic that it has taken less than 60 years to produce a generation of Blacks, who unlike an equally young Jewish generation, does not know its history because the parents of this lost Black generation failed them and now they fail themselves on not having enough common sense to seek its history with a “never again” attitude, an attitude which has kept the Jewish community on guard.
Any warrior knows that to conquer a people, you first destroy its males– a Biblical lesson that goes all the way back to Moses and Pharaoh. It is this systemic extermination of the Black male which is presently going on in America in spite of a Black male president who serves as more of a symbol than substance.
In less than 60 years, America has made the Black child expendable. Trayvon Martin has become the poster child of that expendable Black child and specifically of that expendable Black male child. The public school system has become quasi prisons as the privatization of prisons is comfortably making its way into mainstream. Blacks have accepted this.
Only the tenacity of Trayvon’s mother and father—I repeat Black mother and Black father—and a few stubborn others (regardless of race) who brought this case to the forefront for the whole world to see that Black is still a four letter word in America’s mythical melting pot.
America’s public school system thinks nothing of priming the Black male child to go to juvenile court and immediately between the revolving doors of prisons whereas if a white male child is carted off the juvie court he gets a slap on the wrist and sent home to mommy and daddy to pursue a career without a record. Blacks have accepted this.
We had to fight tooth and nail to get a young 12-year-old mentally challenged Black boy who was sent to juvenile court and when his mother came to bring him his meds, he was nowhere to be found and the juvenile court refused to tell her that they had packed him off to a youth camp in Columbia, Mississippi. This mother had called every media she could, but got no result. I remember when she got to us and she was crying frantically for someone to find her child. Yes, I admit the situation got so tense that it is a wonder I was not picked up for threatening bodily harm and dragging some folks through the backdoor of hell. The boy was quickly put on a Greyhound bus and sent back to his mother. We carried events of this mess—yes—in 2003!
Now you have those who want African Americans to accept this verdict. Hell no! What you do is don’t forget this verdict.
Blacks back then did not accept Emmett Till’s killing; Blacks back then did not accept Medgar Evers’ killing; Blacks back then did not accept three Freedom Riders’ killings in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Blacks back then did not accept verdicts from a judicial system which was only blind when it came to dispensing justice to Black American males. Black males who have long proven their patriotism on the front lines of every war in which America has found herself only to return home to nothing.
Whether one wants to accept it or not: Lines are being drawn because there are those in the African American community who have been Willie Lynched so far down in the barrel that they could not be heard! These are the Blacks who are emerging slowly but surely and hitting the pavement, hitting the Internet, hitting minority media and uttering “No Justice, No Peace”. These are the Zulu-spirited warriors who have the intellect, resolve, and stamina to complete the Dream. These are the Talented Tenths. These Blacks cross the lines of conservative, moderate, to liberal. These are the Blacks who are sick and tired of being sick and tired! They are tired of being the minority to suffer high unemployment and have its little Black boys shot up for target practice, painted as thugs and used as fodder for prisons. And to those who think or even begin to think that Dr. Martin Luther, Jr. was passive, think again! It was he who said, paraphrasing: “If not now, when?” It was he who ‘Marched on Washington’. It was he and others like him who took the bites of dogs and still kept their eyes on the prize and held on.
It is the lowest form of a society who can afford the luxury of letting a white male stand his ground, but not afford a young Black male the right to stand his ground. Is one ground better than the other? I don’t think so!
It is the lowest form of a society that can throw a Black male into prison for years for dog fighting and let a white male walk for killing a young Black male.
And since more and more prisons are being built, we can only imagine more Black males will be caged. And why not? Obviously this is a society which views Black males less valuable than dogs.
I rest my case.
*The above editorial is on the Editorial, Op/Ed, Trayvon and Black Paper, lanes on The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway at www.blackinformationhighway.com . Welcome, Travelers!