Modern Day Lynching:Trayvon Martin is Emmitt Till of our Generation

It Must Be Something In That Swamp Water:

I was checking my daily news feeds when I chanced upon this which is the most personally sickening thing (to me) to come out of the “great” state of Florida.  This is saying something, because this is the very same ass-backwards state where twelve idiots voted to acquit a woman (who I wont give the satisfaction or publicity of naming), despite pretty compelling evidence of wrongdoing to the tune of criminal negligence at the least.

Casey Anthony has been booked into the Orange ...

Casey Anthony has been booked into the Orange County Jail and is being held without bail on charges of child neglect, filing false official information and obstructing an investigation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/03/20/justice-department-to-investigate-fatal-shooting-of-trayvon-martin/

Alright alright, I know that I’m a little late to the game but this is a truly tragic tale.  It’s the story about the murder of an unarmed adolescent at the hands of an adult with a firearm. 17-year-old Trayvan Martin (African-American) shot in the chest and killed on the night of February 26th, at the hands of George Zimmerman 28, as he was returning to a friends from the local 7-11.  Trayvan had gone to buy snacks, much as you would expect any “teenager” to do.  Understandably, this is a story which has swept and split the nation, about that age ol’ issue we can’t seem to outrun, or ignore, no matter how hard we try to…..RACE….  This case evokes such loud national outcry, near unanimous indignation, the likes of which we havent seen since the brutal murder and later  public funeral of young Emmett Till.  The Chicago youth murdered down in the Mississippi Delta while he was visiting family back in 1955.

            

15EmmettTillAfter

15EmmettTillAfter (Photo credit: Image Editor)

Eerily Similar To Emmet Till

The Till case served as an epochal moment, beginning the “Movement” for many people.  Pure, unabashed Southern racism and brutality on display for the whole world to see.  Due to the good ole’ boys atmosphere filled with white indifference that “horse and pony show” trial, which resulted was all that a negro could hope to receive in the Jim Crow south ofde jure segregation.

 This case, over a half century later, has captured notice of the nation   and illicits such an unanimously strong response, not for the multitude of    theories or sense that the plots thickening,…a classic case of “whodunnit”….No, it’s far worse than that.  It has captured all of our attention for the glaring lack of  such.  There is only one story, no alternate narrative, just one solitary explanation, the facts, plain and simple.

No second shooter on the grassy knoll here, just George Zimmerman. A murderer by any reasoned understanding of the term, yet he was never even placed under arrest by the Sanford police department.  They cited his claim that he acted in “self defense” as reasoning for the lack of such an arrest.  According to Florida state law he acted within his rights as far as the Sanford Police Department‘s concerned.  He’s licensed to carry a firearm, and he was only protecting himself…..(from the skittle toting boogeyman)….right?   Now I don’t know about any of you but I’ve had enough personal encounters with police and watched enough late night Law & Order to know the cops never take the first story someone gives them as complete unwavering truth.  Toss in the fact that this resulted in the loss of another human beings life and he should have at least spent the night in jail while they went over the evidence and his account of the events and made sure that “self defense” rang true.  Perhaps then, it would have dawned on them that his whole account is either total bullshit, or he’s mentally unstable.  I mean, completely insane, and I’m talkin bat-shit crazy here people.  The “self defense” defense kinda goes out the window when you are the one chasing the other person as they are running away from you.  You’re the one packin heat, trying to play hero and save your neighbors from the “black menace”, or whatever it is he convinced himself of.  Next thing you know he’ll say the twinkies made him do it….  I only say black menace because the majority of the 40 something calls he placed to the police involved…[drumroll]….[ding.ding.ding] you guessed it! African Americans.

Trayvan Deserves Justice:

Initially I began to look into this somewhat skeptically.  Assuming there stood good chance that it was being exaggerated and blown out of proportion.  I was fully prepared to have to separate fact from fiction in determining my own judgement.  All it took was one listen to the 911 tapes which were released.  Nearly instantly, I felt the need to vomit.  Its a taste that still clings between my cheeks unwilling to vacate until justice is served.  Very clearly you can hear the young boy yelling, no screaming out for help in sheer terror in the background as someone called police. And then you hear the gunshot that ended his suddenly truncated life, cut all too short by a man who dispatchers told to leave it to authorities. Perhaps it is the fact that most Americans when confronted with the facts of this case (which are the same in any article you read about it) have a similar response gastric response to mine which has led the government to assure the public that it will make sure that due process is observed and justice served…..  Assurances which hold absolutely no meaning on the 20th of March for a murder on the 26th of February.

Apparently Sanford Police didn’t get that administration or law enforcement memo, or the one from the rest of the world for that matter.  You know, the one that said “these times they are a chaaaangin” to quote Dylan, or that we now live in the 21st century where blatant racism is no longer accepted or allowed.  This case was closed in their eyes, had been for some time and would have stayed that way had the pesky media not gotten ahold of it.  A fact which draws yet another eerie parallel to the death of young Mr. Till, way back when, in 1955.  Were it not for the media coverage it received and the movement it helped to galvanize, it was just one of countless, instances  of southern white justice being served in the eyes of white Mississippi‘ans. Nothin out of the ordinary.

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/GRAPHIC-Trayvon-Martin-911-calls-released/-/1637132/9450044/-/6m827cz/-/index.html

I would just like to make clear that my post draws upon many of the articles recounting this horrible tragedy and is not taken specifically from one or the other.  It is merely my reaction to this terrible event, based upon the resources I had at my disposal.  I have tried to fairly give credit/track-baks where I was able.

Leave a comment

15 Comments

  1. Um, the Hispanic shooter had injuries to the back of his head, Martin’s father confirmed it wasn’t his voice yelling on the 911 call, there’s been a crime wave in the neighbourhood where most of the known perpretrators have been black, and that picture you showed of Martin is six years out of date. In reality, he was a 6’2″ and quite muscular.

    This is being turned into a race narrative before any of the facts come out; rather than Emmitt Till, you should be comparing it to OJ Simpson.

    Nixon got lambasted for opining on Manson before the trial; Obama got lauded.

    Reply
    • That explanation would hold a credible shred of being legit. If Zimmerman hadn’t followed this supposedly intimidating character (who he had 10+ years and 100lbs on) knowing that the police were already on the way. In fact he was prompted by the operator NOT to follow. I know that if somebody followed me like that and was invading my space profiling me, then yeah, I would imagine that I would be pretty damn upset and an altercation could ensue. Something which should not have served as any big surprise to Zimmerman who by any credible analysis of the situation had zero desire to avoid a confrontation. Quite the opposite, at every crossroads in that event the choice to escalate was made. Im not saying that Martin is in any way innocent of escalating it as well. Im more concerned with the fact that Zimmerman, armed with a gun, forced a confrontation with and then shot the unarmed Martin, said it was self defense and that was that…no further look needed, no need to hold him over night or drug test him, you know, the little things, like checking the facts(im sure that gun law does NOT apply to intoxicated individuals). This police department has had previous racial flare ups between the minority community in Sanford and the mostly white police department. Take The fact Martin was African American and apply that to the framework I just described, and YES race IS a big part of this. Not because of Zimmerman necessarily, but because the lack of action taken by the PD, the fact that minority youths ARE profiled, not just in Sanford but in damn near if not every community where there is a large urbanized African-American population. The fact that the United States is the worlds largest police state, EVER, incarcerating more people than even China which has 4 times our population. Minorities ESPECIALLY African-Americans make up a disproportionate amount of that population, many of them for non violent crimes which they are now serving lengthy prison terms for. Roughly 34% of a prison population which has crested over 2 million the last I looked. 34%, and you wanna tell me the police didn’t treat this case differently than they would have if Treyvan a black male had shot Zimmerman a hispanic or worse yet somebody white?

      Reply
      • Treyvan (sorry if I get the spelling wrong) was a kid. There’s got to be stuff you can do before killing someone, even if you are a bit suspicious. People just shouldn’t be allowed to walk round with guns, it’s asking for disaster. The police here in Oz have guns, and they shoot innocent people. If the average citizen has a gun to prove his point every time he feels a little antsy, you’re going to get killings.

      • I totally agree with you. I think that there are so many better ways to handle people and situations than in a violent manner. And anyone trying to use the “dangerous job” defense can stuff it in my opinion. The tension and hostility of policing as it stands now, in the places where it is a problem, is a direct correlation to historic mistreatment (perceived or otherwise) at the hands of a police force that neither lives near, or resembles them. Hence the war metaphors portraying the police force as an occupying force, enemies to the community, outsiders. Encounters between the two are battles, acts of open warfare. A far cry from the way most people would interact with police, seen as protectors when things go wrong. Police dont get called into the worst neighborhoods, too distrustful of a group with whom they are consistently at odds with. Having learned long ago that they are better served not to chance it by inviting trouble to their doorstep, last thing the devil needs is an invitation. These neighborhoods police themselves, one small aspect of many that made the formation of gangs seem a near necessary evil in these places that society would rather not think about ( this is part and only part of my complicated personal theory, which I can almost guarantee is dead wrong). Two major examples that stand out to me are the language of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense during the tumultuous 60’s and large elements of rap culture in general, in more recent history. It says a lot about an institution when their very ability to operate amongst certain communities with a supposed mandate to serve and protect, relies upon them being armed, well armed….better equipped than these people they’re supposedly attempting to help or enrich. It is my belief that many of these police that you hear being charged as abusive or corrupt wouldn’t be doing half of the foul ass shit they do if they weren’t carrying a weapon. There wouldn’t be the near universal abuses of power and privilege disrespecting of the rights and dignity of others either. They would be too scared, and would be forced to treat people with respect. To me, it just shows that not only do they hold no legitimacy as an institution, (a fact of which they are fully aware) they hold far more characteristics in common with an opposing army, enemy combatants…When faced with an existential crises over questions regarding their legitimacy and their motive, they merely use the media to fabricate what they dont honestly own. Might as well be some photo shoot planting a flag on Iwo Jima….

      • Sorry that was kinda a mouth full but I have very strong feelings formed through first hand experience on that subject. I live in an area with a less than stellar history of police relations. Historically it was anyone from students & revolutionaries to the Hells Angels and hippies…if you didn’t fit the mold then you ran the risk of being messed with. Present day is not much different, tattoos and urban wear or anything else they can conjure up will equate to a nearly automatic conversation with the police. Just in my short lifespan (comparatively priveledged at that) I have witnessed such gross abuses of power on such a systemic scale, often for no other reason than they could… Until I see some honest work being done to fix this I can have no confidence in this institution, in any city, across the board. No faith in their ability or desire to serve their community. I look at most and I see somebody so pitiful they must exert their will on another human being to make them feel powerful. Oh how nice it must be to hide behind a badge, member of the good ol’ boys club, living above the law

  2. Timothy Cooper

     /  March 22, 2012

    The first thing I thought of after overcoming the sick and angry feelings elicited by this event, was Emmitt Till. Mamie Till, Emmitt’s mother, was one of the bravest persons of whom I am aware. Trayvon’s parents are also extremely brave. For them to come out and expose to the world how little has changed in the injustices of the south is more than admirable: It makes them heros in my eyes. I am so glad I don’t live in Florida. However, that attitude is much akin to the “ostrich’s head in the sand.” Mamie Till exposed the evils of racism in the south to the people of Chicago and, ultimately, the world. It wasn’t long after America was hit between the eyes with this racism that Rosa Parks and Rev. Dr. King made sure that WE as a country, faced this injustice. Now it’s rearing its ugly head and the injustice MUST be exposed to America. We’ve come a long way but not far enough. Trayvon’s parents have stepped up in the same way as Mamie Till. NOW, who will carry the burdens of Rosa Parks, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, jr., Ralph Abernathy, and so many more? This is much more than a personal tragedy for the Martin family. This is a tragedy for every mother, father, son, daughter, brother, and sister in America and, indeed, the world. Trayvon Martin was my son. Emmitt Till was my brother. They were your’s too. How’s that sand working for you?

    Reply
    • Yes, this event has, and will continue to generate such strong emotional responses because across cultural and racial divides there still exists an undeniable and pervading sense of “wrong-ness”. It doesn’t matter what color you are, where or how you were raised. This is a terrible CRIME and it should be treated as such. If this crime is allowed to go unpunished it only serves as further proof that our system is indeed flawed beyond repair. A gluttonous feeding frenzy led the government to take a large active role in our everyday lives, constantly increasing its own girth year after year. Now we are left with a government so big its unworkable, legislating things unimagined by the creators. The end result is a government, laws and regulations which no longer serve the best interests of its citizens. Where corporations have more legal protections than an innocent 17 yr old kid who was just tryina “taste the rainbow” satisfy his sweet-tooth….. Had Zimmerman robbed a convenience store or stolen property or anything of value from a corporate denizen or I hate to say it, had the two parties race been switched, he would without doubt be behind bars. Instead, he just stole this poor kids life and is potentially “untouchable” because of some law that was never meant to be enforced or utilized in such a manner. Now this perhaps misguided law intended to protect has been perverted by Zimmerman and used to destroy a life barely begun, trajectory unknown…..

      Reply
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