The implications of the George Zimmerman ruling are difficult to lift. With every keystroke sensations of anxiety and pain spiral to my fingertips. This article has been long in the making solely because I am conflicted with the current “post-racial” America slogans that liberals and conservatives alike spit out their mouths; but, they don’t pronounce this post-racial America out of any facts or in tune perceptions: its out of wishful thinking, it’s the reason why the words are unsavory in their mouths and therefore they spit them out to be rid of them. But we are not rid of race in America.
This case, like the O.J. Simpson case in the 90’s, weighs us down, once again. Out of all the countries in Europe, some of whom were responsible for the beginning of the slave trade, out of all of these countries, race relations is on the mend–however, America, with its self-perceived light on the hill mentality is still in the dark ages. Why are we still talking about race in 2013? And, if this is a post-racial America, how heavy is the absence of race on us still!
The air of injustice is thick in my lungs. I can’t breathe because if i did I might shout, shoot, kick, stab. So, I hold my breath, so I don’t inhale the hypocrisy going around. The implications here are that I, we, may be holding in our breaths but what happens when we exhale? George Zimmerman’s ruling will have a dramatic effect on black-white relations far into the future.
In the words of Jonathan McKnight, a Florida real estate businessman, who is black, “I’m hurt,” the elder McKnight says. “And what I mean by hurt is that I’m disappointed. I felt like we were set back, because how can I tell people to trust the justice system when there is no justice? He told me what the verdict was,” McKnight says of his son. “He was panicking. He said, ‘Dad, he’s free.’It’s just really hard to trust the justice system right now,” Jonathan Jr. says.
This case is greater in size and proportions than many that have come before it because it was a child. Regardless of how the defense portrayed Trayvon Martin: he was a child. Unlike the Rodney King verdict, who was an adult–not that really matters–it strikes home when its a child. My mother told me before writing this article: ” I don’t see how six women came to this conclusion; when it comes to children I don’t see color”. But, they did come to this conclusion.
The verdict fell with force upon many, but not I. I said in my spirit before the trial begun that Zimmerman would be let free: first, the trial is being held in a state with zombies, secondly, this state has a long history of racial injustice.
Sanford restaurant owner Michael O’Brien says justice was served and credits Zimmerman’s legal team.”It didn’t come out the way a lot of people wanted it to, but it’s absolutely how it’s supposed to work,” he says. So, O’Brien may be right, but his correct opinion coupled with the new perception of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law may prove problematic in the future.
According to CBS News, McKnight says his son has learned that his safety may be in his own hands. Asked why he feels he must have that conversation with his son, even though civil rights laws are in place, McKnight says, “Because the laws are only words if they’re not enforced.”
It required the force of the big bang to get me to write this little article; but, it’s a step in the right direction. Despite the implications of George Zimmerman’s ruling, what is difficult perhaps for Black America is the justice systems view of the value of black life–even the life of black kids. I know I am not valueless, I am beyond worth. I just wish the jurors would have come to that same conclusion.
By: Cedric Hines