I am heartsick over the not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman and I'm ashamed to be considered what our ridiculous so-called racial social divisions call "white." Not because I want to see Zimmerman suffer or get revenge or vengeance against his deadly act, or because I don't think the jury made their decision in good conscience, but because it demonstrates once again that the racism, both institutional and social, so many of us risked so much to fight and change and defeat, is still so obviously at work in our legal system.
As has been pointed out many times, there are African-Americans who have used that law that says you can stand and defend yourself when you feel threatened and pull out a concealed gun and kill whoever you think is threatening you, black men who have done this when actually being chased and beaten by white men have still gone to prison for murder.
As was pointed out on MSNBC by a few commentators tonight, a black woman in that same district facing that same legal system who fired a warning shot into her ceiling when her violent husband was about to attack her, a man who had beaten her up and attacked her and threatened her before, when she shot a bullet into her own ceiling trying to protect herself she was found guilty and sentenced to twenty years in prison.
But a man who dismissed the advice of the police to not follow a young black boy because this man thought the boy looked suspicious and he was tired of "these fucking punks getting away" with stuff, a man who had been in trouble before for attacking what he thought was a suspicious person who turned out to be an un-uniformed police officer, a man who had trained in martial arts and was a grown adult who had over forty (or was it fifty?) pounds on the boy he was following and determined to not let "get away" with what he had predetermined was criminal activity when it was merely a teenager walking home from the store, that man who shot and killed that boy goes free while our prisons and our so-called justice system continues to hold two different standards depending on your skin tone and ethnic and so-called racial background.
I live in a community that has been cited in separate New York Times articles over the years as the most racially integrated community, outside of major cities, in the country as well as the most gay friendly community outside of the San Francisco bay area and some major cities, and I know there are white gay couples and mixed race couples who have young boys, either adopted or natural, who will grow up to look like Treyvon Martin and are holding those boys tight tonight feeling something that I'm sure every black couple with sons in this country are feeling tonight, like the worth of a young black man in the USA is much less than that of a white one, because there is no doubt in my mind, and every statistic and study we have confirms this, that if Treyvon Martin had been white and George Zimmerman black and by that I mean dark skinned and of predominantly African ancestry, the shooter would be going to prison for a long long time.