I was at an event on Saturday when I heard the verdict of George Zimmerman’s trial. NOT GUILTY. I, like so many others, was outraged! I understand the State had to prove it’s case beyond a reasonable doubt, but just because Zimmerman was acquitted, does not mean a crime was not committed.
The more news I read and watched on television, the harder it was for me to comprehend what we can do to make some changes in America. Folks try to eliminate race from the Zimmerman trial, but I don’t know if that’s fair. Trayvon Martin was a black teenager walking home in a hoodie. Based on the 911 recordings, it’s really hard to believe a white teenager walking home in a hoodie would’ve been followed.
Whether people want to want to admit it or not, racism still exist in America. Just because we have a Black President DOES NOT mean we live in a post racial society (whatever that means). Innocent BLACK men have been killed by police (you’ve heard countless stories about men in California and New York), legislation that has protected the voting rights of Black individuals is decades was overturned and a man gets to walk free after killing a black teenager who was unarmed on his way home. Had the races been reversed, there is no doubt Zimmerman would be sitting in a jail cell right now. America is STILL a dangerous place for black people, especially boys and men.
So where do we go from here? What do we do to really make a change?
It’s great to express our outrage on social media. It’s beautiful to see people protesting all across the country but what changes are we as a people going to make? Let’s put our words into ACTION!
Someone, who grew up in during the Civil Rights Era, told me that my generation was not one of activists. During a time of social injustice, individuals rose to the occasion without hesitation to force change. Who will be the activists of my generation? Who will set the standard of what we need to do to continue to seek justice for all people in America? My hope is that we as a people would be as passionate about social injustice as the generations before us.
In the midst of writing this post, I started going through my blog reader and I came across an article by Clutch Magazine titled “How To Take Action After The George Zimmerman Verdict.” How on time was this! According to Clutch, here are a few things we can do to begin to force the change we want to see:
1. Sign the NAACP Petition
The NAACP posted a petition on their site calling on the Justice Department to prosecute Zimmerman for civil rights violations. It reads: ”The most fundamental of civil rights — the right to life – was violated the night George Zimmerman stalked and then took the life of Trayvon Martin. We ask that the Department of Justice file civil rights charges against Mr. Zimmerman for this egregious violation.” Read more and sign here.
2. Contact local government officials to call for the removal of “Stand Your Ground” laws
The stand-your-ground law states that a person may justifiably use force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of an unlawful threat, without an obligation to retreat first. The “Stand Your Ground” law disproportionately give whites more favorable opportunities to kill blacks as whites who kill blacks in Stand Your Ground states are far more likely to be found justified in their killings than blacks. In regard to Trayvon Martin’s killing, the police initially did not charge Zimmerman with a crime, citing Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law. This work needs to begin in Florida ASAP!
If you are a woman and/or African American, you have no excuse not to vote!! Our parents, grandparents and great grandparents fought way too hard for anyone NOT to exercise their right to vote. It is the fundamental right every American should be able to exercise. Voting ON ALL LEVELS of Government is critical because it decides the fate of our country and influences our day-to-day lives. Someone voted for the local politicians that created “Stand Your Ground.”
4. Serve on jury duty
The outcome of the George Zimmerman trial proves that a diverse jury pool is so necessary.
5. Support the Trayvon Martin Foundation
The Trayvon Martin Foundation was created to support and uplift families hurt by violent crimes and spread awareness on the impact such crimes have on the mourning family. The Foundation also provides tools to young people on how to solve issues without resorting to violence. You can help further their mission by donating $10 by texting TMF to 50555, donating any amount here and shopping at the online store.
If you have any other suggestions of what we can do, please leave them in the comments section below.
Let’s work together and become the change we want to see! No Justice…No Peace!
Source: Clutch Magazine