I am so excited to share with you a response from my dear friend and colleague, T. Robert Hicks. This concludes "The Verdict" series, and I'm grateful to end it with a piece that captures the totality of the tragedy we experienced and are still going through.
After the upsetting verdict surrounding the Trayvon Martin case, many people posted thoughts through social media, public & private conversations and traditional media. In addition, people of all colors and backgrounds responded with tributes, rallies and even protests after the verdict was given. It was and still is a sad day in the United States and the world, when a young man’s life can be taken so easily and without much thought. Although I am deeply saddened and angry about Trayvon’s demise, my wrath is not directed wholly toward Zimmerman; he is but a pawn in the whole scheme of this evil.
There were lawyers, judges, a jury and a judicial system that upheld the law of the land over the life of a young man that was killed for probable cause. The verdict was couched in upholding a Florida state law that currently empowers anyone to pursue a “suspicious” person. Suspicion is such an ambiguous term, and I cannot imagine that its definition can be determined by one person during the dark of night. Evil has once again ensnared many people to believe a lie and labeled it as truth.
At the every least, the tragedy of Trayvon Martin is a wake-up call for America that the humanity of mankind is broken. Although I understand the communal empathetic and political gestures, blacking out one’s Facebook page or wearing a hoodie and eating Skittles are not going to change the inner core of our collective ignorance. Many Trayvons die daily in this Land of the Free.
As an American that was born black, I am concerned about this trend. A friend of mine posted, “Where is the Dr. Martin Luther King or the Malcolm X in a time like this?” My response: We are here, concerned selfishly about our daily routines (myself included), until a national scandal interrupts it. Then, we put our cell phones down, take to the streets, march in solidarity and point fingers. For justice to be done, a life of sacrifice begins today. It is the move of the offense, not defense, that wins the battle, and it always ends up with people dying to their fleshly desires. Consumption of this capitalistic economy cannot be our number one concern. Neither Malcolm nor Martin cared about the things we seem to consume ourselves with today.
People are talking about the racial implications of the case and what would have happened if Trayvon was white and Zimmerman was black. Honestly, I would be afraid to find out, and it is my hope to have neither opportunity ever again.