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A Tragic Reminder of Injustice

March 22, 2012

On February 26, 2012, African Americans were handed further evidence of the rampant injustice we are subjected to in the as yet un-United States. For on this day, a 17-year old African-American boy named Trayvon Martin was gunned down in Sanford, Florida. The shooter was George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old man.

Zimmerman has admitted to the killing of Martin, but has claimed to have acted in self-defense. Why, because Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, passed some 5-years ago, allows people to use deadly force if they believe they are in danger. Get that now. They only have to feel they are in danger.

That’s right brothers/sisters. All someone has to do in Florida is think you mean them harm and they are legally allowed to KILL you.

This crime in itself is tragic. There is a mother and a father who have seen their child’s life snuffed out. A community is in distress at the apparent cover-up being perpetrated by law enforcement. A nation is stained by new evidence of its deep-seeded racial in-equality. (Just a few months ago, in September, a black man shot and killed a white man who he was in a physical altercation with and who was pinning him to the ground.

That black man was arrested, his case still in the hands of the Florida justice system. Trayvon’s killer hasn’t even been charged.

Let’s look at some facts:

1. Zimmerman was in his car when he saw Trayvon walking on the street.

2. Zimmerman pursued Trayvon against the explicit instructions of the police dispatcher.

3. Before the 911 recording was released, Zimmerman’s father released a statement claiming “at no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin.”

4. Trayvon was carrying a bag of skittles and a ice tea, while Zimmerman had a 9 millimeter handgun.

5. Three witnesses state that they heard the calls for help coming from a boy.

Black people have seen this before. We’ve experienced this with Emmitt Till. We go through the anxiety of walking while black in majority white neighborhoods or driving in certain areas in too nice a car! We are….brothers and sisters…WE ARE/WE COULD BE Trayvon Martin tomorrow. Only now, killing us is legal in 17 states. 17 “Deadwood” like areas where justice is interpreted by individuals feelings and the quickest draw.

6. In the first five years “Stand Your Ground” has been in effect, justifiable homicides have occurred at 3-times their previous rate. The law has been a factor in 93 of the cases. 57 cases were dropped or dismissed. 7 people were acquitted. That’s only in Florida.

In the words of Kool Moe Dee, “It’s the wild, wild west!”

Permanent change comes through consistent effort. – Bakare

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