Just a few moments ago, the 6-member jury in Sanford, Florida found George Zimmerman Not Guilty in the murder of Trayvon Martin. So yeah, he did shoot and kill him, but he’s “not guilty” of doing it.
Yet Zimmerman is sitting in the courtroom, and Martin is six feet underground.
Ok, I wasn’t in Sanford. I’ve never met George Zimmerman, and will never have the privilege of possibility to meet Trayvon Martin. But for all of my 3 decades, I have been a Black male. And I know what it feels like to be a repeat victim of racial profiling. I know what it feels like for people to always assume the worst about you, just because of what you look like. Sure I do my best to mitigate this through careful, respectful speech, trying to avoid wearing exclusively dark colors, and avoiding areas where I could be mistaken for doing something wrong. But that’s still NO EXCUSE for the Pre-judgement already prevalent in society. I didn’t ask for it… I was just born with it. Even if I never spent a day of my life near Trayvon Martin, I know that we shared this victimization experience in common. And sadly, it seems he has paid the ultimate price.
Let’s get one thing clear… by our legal system, justice was served tonight. George Zimmerman was put to trial by a jury of his peers, and they rendered a verdict. Whether or not one agrees with the outcome, we must respect the process.
But we can also acknowledge that perhaps this process was Far from perfect. I am most upset that there were no African- American males on the Zimmerman Trial jury. With all due respect, you just don’t know what it’s like until you’ve actually viewed the world through that lens. I will pray for the family and communities in this case, on both sides. It’s been very hard for them.