I heard Melissa Harris-Perry, an MSNBC host, speak after the decision and I found her words heart wrenching and tragic. She was saying that black mothers will be hugging their children closer. Mothers will try to come to terms with the fact that black children are not valued in this country. I am paraphrasing poorly, but for any mother to feel that in 2013, just shows how far we have to go to get equality for all.
Look, I am Jewish. There was a time when Jews walked the streets with Stars of David on their clothing and were marked for harassment, jail, torture, and death. Once the mark was removed, you can't tell who is Jewish or who is not, unless wearing Orthodox garb. We can blend in, but if you are a person of color...you are always a mark. Maybe that is why I feel so deeply about this tragedy. I have written so much about injustice and racism since I began writing this blog. I haven't gotten any closer to having answers. I don't understand why the TV talking heads keep saying the perspective falls on racial lines. I think that's bulls**t. I think it falls more along the lines of liberals vs. conservatives, pro-gun reform vs. NRA, educated vs. ignorance. To say that it falls along color lines seems too simple. I live in NYC and I haven't met one person that thinks that George Zimmerman shouldn't pay for killing Trayvon Martin.
Did you hear the comments of the defense attorneys after the verdict? O'Mara and West should be ashamed of themselves. They were so damn happy that they won. They missed an opportunity to be compassionate and empathetic to Trayvon Martin, his family, and the entire black community. It's not their fault that the laws are written the way they are, but the arrogance and righteousness at the press conference was unseemly and disgraceful.
Maybe the people of Florida and all over the United States need to get active and change the laws of the land. Why are only the small-minded, ignorant, bullies able to get things done? I have to believe that there are more of us, but we aren't good at rallying and effecting change. The laws need to change. All people should be treated equally. All children need to be safe. They shouldn't fear for their lives when they are walking through a neighborhood, going to school, or playing on the playground. I am sure I am preaching to the choir, but the choir is singing a little more wistfully today.