First to Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, my sincerest condolences & deepest admiration for your ability to fight this fight through your grief.
I’m on tweeter almost daily, but can usually only retweet the facts of the case. Composing my own tweets hits too close to home. I have 2 boys of my own walking the streets everyday and the thought I might get the phone call the Martin family did is too frightening to entertain.
Having raised them in the North Jersey/NYC metro area, they are well versed in how to respond to being stopped by police whether driving, or walking Never resist, even though you have every right to, I tell them their word will not hold up in a court of law if they anger an officer and get beat-down. If you’re stopped while driving, hands on steering wheel until the officer asks you for license, etc. If you are stopped & frisked, don’t resist, because what you have a right to do is dictated by the money you have to defend those rights when your black.
Like most African American families, I have the spectrum of socioeconomic groups branches. One composed of the “poors” several generations caught in a cycle of poverty, poor education & drug addiction. I have the bourgeois branch that managed to break away from that core, but tend to look down on their less fortunate relatives & are clueless to the fact timing & luck have more to do with their success than just hard work. Thankfully we have a few core caring prosperous family members, but they are heavily outnumbered.
I have had a nephew die in jail because he was a hemophiliac & refused his medication & bleed to death- not found guilty in prison mind you, just arrested. There was no lawsuit, that part of the family didn’t do anything about it. Two murdered & the killers was acquitted despite witness testimony.
And DNA wasn’t even collected in either case. When I lived in the inner city, I was robbed almost every year. Finally the intruders had cut themselves and left blood all over my home. I thought, now I got them! The police flat out told me unless I was the mayor’s daughter, I could forget about there being any DNA evidence testing.
I’ve had my own run ins with the law where evidence was so poorly collected and charges virtually made up out of thin air, if I wasn’t a stronger person I would’ve plea bargained just to not have to go to trial hearings for two years. I was innocent but it cost me several thousand dollars to stay out of jail until the prosecution finally reduced the charges. If I had not had the money, I would have spent 2 years in jail then been found innocent.
Don’t let Forensic Files & Court TV fool you, very few cases are truly investigated and thousands die or are unjustly convicted. The injustice of the system itself has been a painful truth for Blacks for centuries. But Trayvon Martin’s death has turned all that upside down.
NOW YOU DON’T JUST HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE POLICE TAKING YOUR LIFE OR LIBERTY? NOW YOU HAVE TO WORRY THAT A STRANGER JUST OBSERVING YOU, IN THERE PERSONAL VIEW NO MATTER HOW WARPED OR SHAPED THAT IS BY PREJUDICE, YOU MIGHT GET KILLED!! THIS CAN’T BE! WE CAN NOT HAVE A NATION WHERE YOU HAVE TO BE PARANOID ABOUT YOUR EVERY MOVE BECAUSE EVERY CITIZEN IS EMPOWERED TO JUDGE YOU.
Oscar Grant & Sean Bell still haunt me, but at least they were struck down by police, unfortunately that’s black life in America. We marched, we rallied, but for whatever reason I can’t imagine at a time when we have more black millionaires than ever, none of these people came together to launch a movement to virtually shutdown the system economically. Imagine Oprah Winfrey, Jay Z, Bob Johnson sponsoring a sit in, busing people to New York & Oakland until justice had been done. They are our “Koch Brother’s” black folk who could be working behind the scenes in concert to effect change. The pressure of a peaceful mass protest would have brought much swifter & real justice. No knock to the local protests, they are wonderful, but imagine the impact of all those people being in Sanford, FL. Local protests are basically a police nuisance, even if they get coverage, but don’t apply the pressure needed for real change. Only if the economy is effected in a real way. by peaceful protests, the responses rapidly changes from a never ending dialogue on the nightly news to action. But they didn’t, & they won’t. Anyway…..
Everyday that George Zimmerman remains free & Zimmerman types remain confident in their right to snuff out a life based on their inner gut reaction, no one can really confidently close their eyes and sleep at night. You’re child could be next, hell you could be next. Hold your baby’s tight,no matter what age, because now even when a case has the world spotlight. racist murderers are allowed to roam free. And kill.