“WHEN INJUSTICE BECOMES LAW, RESISTANCE BECOMES DUTY”
AN URGENT CALL TO ACTION. BLACKOUT SUNDAY AND MONDAY.
ZIMMERMAN HAS BEEN FOUND NOT GUILTY. HE WALKS — SO WE SHALL DO THE SAME. SUNDAY AND MONDAY: DAYS OF ABSENCE, A TOTAL NATIONAL BLACKOUT. Call in sick and tired. Call in angry. Call in crazy. But stay home from work if at all possible. Boycott transit. Boycott non-black businesses. Wear black armbands in solidarity (especially if you feel you have to go to work for fear of losing your job, or if you are essential personnel).
The exception: The film “Fruitvale Station,” about the murder of Oscar Grant by a BART cop. If it is playing in your town, go see it. Discuss it. In addition to the film being a learning/politicizing tool, our attendance also will demonstrate black economic power.
SPREAD THE WORD.
FYI: The photo is an Akoben (war horn), an Adinkra symbol. Meaning: a call to arms/urgent action and preparedness for action or battle. Shorthand: “Ride or die.”
Who’s WITH me? #trayvonmartin
GO BLACK TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT AND SPREAD THE WORD. WE’RE GOIN’ BLACK — AND WE WON’T GO BACK!!!
THE BLACKOUT IS ON!
#justice4trayvon #trayvonmartin #onemillionhoodies
Trayvon Martin Protests: Reactions On The Streets After The George Zimmerman Verdict (PHOTOS)
Posted: 07/14/2013 3:14 am EDT | Updated: 07/14/2013 11:25 pm EDT
As news spread of the jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman for the killing of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin on Saturday evening, social networks and cable channelsbuzzed with heated reactions. But Tweeting only goes so far, and people who wanted a stronger, more public way to express their displeasure with the verdict and support for Trayvon flocked to the streets for spontaneous protests in cities around the country.
From San Francisco to Sanford, Florida; Atlanta to Washington, late Saturday night and Sunday saw people flooding into the streets. Several cities had braced for riots in the event of an acquittal, but most of the marches were peaceful demonstrations of the verdict.
WHAT GEORGE ZIMMERMAN CAN DO NOW
By Charles P. Pierce at 7:45am
Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images
However, in theory, at least, here is what is now possible. Some night very soon, if he so chooses, George Zimmerman can load his piece, tuck it into the back of his pants, climb into his SUV, and drive around Sanford, Florida looking for assholes and fucking punks who are walking through neighborhoods where he, George Zimmerman, defender of law and order, doesn’t think they belong. He can drive around Sanford, Florida and check out anyone who is dressed in such a manner as might frighten the average citizen who has been fed a daily diet of “Scary Black Kids” by their local news and by their favorite radio personalities, and who is dressed in such a manner as might seem inappropriate to their surroundings as determined by George Zimmerman, crimebuster. He can drive around Sanford, Florida until he spots an asshole or a fucking punk and then he can get out of his SUV, his piece tucked into the back of his pants, and he can stalk the asshole or the fucking punk, the one who is in the wrong neighborhood, or who is dressed inappropriately, at least according to George Zimmerman, protector of peace. If the asshole, or the fucking punk, turns around and objects to being stalked — or, worse, if the asshole, or the fucking punk, decides physically to confront the person stalking him — then George Zimmerman can whip out the piece from the back of his pants and shoot the asshole, or the fucking punk, dead right there on the spot. This can happen tonight. That is now possible. Hunting licenses are now available and it’s open season on assholes, fucking punks, and kids who wear hoodies at night in neighborhoods where they do not belong, at least according to George Zimmerman, defender of law and order, crimebuster, and protector of the peace, because that is what American society has told George Zimmerman, and all the rest of us, is the just outcome of what happened on one dark and rainy night in February of 2012.
The judgment, when it finally came, was a dull and predictable thing. Pictures of Trayvon Martin showing off on his Facebook page trumped pictures of him on the ground, blank-staring at the night sky, a hollow point through his chest, the way so many of us hoped they wouldn’t, but suspected they would. It was hard at that moment, when the jury gave George Zimmerman back his gun, to remember that this trial wasn’t supposed to happen at all. The Sanford P.D. was ready to hand Zimmerman back his gun with a fast shuffle until people got into the streets and suggested, loudly, that maybe the circumstances required another look. This is something that should be remembered now by all those sharp guys who talk about how the evidence cut both ways, and about how the prosecution overcharged the defendant, and about how well the defense mounted its case. There wasn’t supposed to be a trial at all. In theory, George Zimmerman could have been back, standing his post, watching for assholes and fucking punks, the very next night, according to the original assessment made by local law enforcement. Instead, people who filled George Zimmerman’s fevered definition of assholes and fucking punks roamed free, wearing their hoodies at will. The gated communities of Sanford have had to do without his watchful eye, and his ready aim, for longer than the Sanford police thought was suitable a year ago. I am glad the gated communities managed to survive the siege.
Thought experiments are useless now. Of course, if the races of the two participants were reversed, Trayvon Martin already would have been doing time. Of course, black kids have to walk through a world in which how they’re dressed is evidence against them, and how they behave when profiled by sanctioned (and manifestly incompetent) quasi-vigilantes is different from how all the rest of us are entitled to behave. They are prima facie assholes and fucking punks. Of course, black kids can’t win fights without getting shot through the chest. They are supposed to act very politely, speak when spoken to and, maybe, just get off the sidewalk when they come in contact with people like George Zimmerman, who is out on that wall because we want him on that wall. We need him on that wall.
And, of course, this was not about race because nothing is ever about race. The prosecutors even told us that it wasn’t about race. The defense won its case because this was not about race. The sharp guys and pundits will spend all weekend explaining how race was an element of the events that night, but that the case, ultimately, was not about race. And because this case was not about race, nothing out of our history counts, because our history, here in the land of the free, is not about race, either. Because our history is not about race, a few weeks ago, when the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, what happened on the Edmund Pettus Bridge was not relevant. Because our history is not about race, last night, Emmett Till was not relevant, even though a few people inconveniently brought him up. But that was years ago, and the country has changed, and it is John Roberts’ Day Of Jubilee, and this trial was not about race because nothing is about race any more.
Calm is prevailing. For now. At least, that’s something. There will be much for George Zimmerman to do. Things may be a little rough back home, but there will be the victory tour on Fox. And the inevitable book deal. There will be the long career as a hero to the people in the communities that feel themselves besieged by assholes and fucking punks in their hoodies. There will be a long, lovely ride surfing the strange and wonderful celebrity that will befall him now because he stood up to the people who defend the rights of asshoes and fucking punks to walk in their hoodies through neighborhoods where they don’t belong, according to him, George Zimmerman, American hero.
But, sooner or later, what American society has told him he can do, what it has now made possible, is that George Zimmerman can load his piece, tuck it into the back of his pants, climb into his SUV, and cruise the rainy streets of Sanford in the night, all of his senses a’tingle, all his instincts honed, on the lookout with his hunter’s eye for assholes and fucking punks. There’s one down the block. What the hell’s he doing here? Asshole. Fucking punk. Better pull over and check this out.
Nothing good has come of this whole situation. Nothing.
And the last word, as it so often does in situations like this, belongs to John Dos Passos.
All right we are two nations.
Open season on black boys after a verdict like this
Calls for calm after George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin are empty words for black families
Gary Younge in Chicago
Let it be noted that on this day, Saturday 13 July 2013, it was still deemed legal in the US to chase and then shoot dead an unarmed young black man on his way home from the store because you didn’t like the look of him.
The killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year was tragic. But in the age of Obama the acquittal of George Zimmerman offers at least that clarity. For the salient facts in this case were not in dispute. On 26 February 2012 Martin was on his way home, minding his own business armed only with a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles. Zimmerman pursued him, armed with a 9mm handgun, believing him to be a criminal. Martin resisted. They fought. Zimmerman shot him dead.
Who screamed. Who was stronger. Who called whom what and when and why are all details to warm the heart of a cable news producer with 24 hours to fill. Strip them all away and the truth remains that Martin’s heart would still be beating if Zimmerman had not chased him down and shot him.
There is no doubt about who the aggressor was here. It appears that the only reason the two interacted at all, physically or otherwise, is that Zimmerman believed it was his civic duty to apprehend an innocent teenager who caused suspicion by his existence alone.
Appeals for calm in the wake of such a verdict raise the question of what calm there can possibly be in a place where such a verdict is possible. Parents of black boys are not likely to feel calm. Partners of black men are not likely to feel calm. Children with black fathers are not likely to feel calm. Those who now fear violent social disorder must ask themselves whose interests are served by a violent social order in which young black men can be thus slain and discarded.
But while the acquittal was shameful it was not a shock. It took more than six weeks after Martin’s death for Zimmerman to be arrested and only then after massive pressure both nationally and locally. Those who dismissed this as a political trial (a peculiar accusation in the summer of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden) should bear in mind that it was politics that made this case controversial.
Charging Zimmerman should have been a no-brainer. He was not initially charged because Florida has a “stand your ground” law whereby deadly force is permitted if the person “reasonably believes” it is necessary to protect their own life, the life of another or to prevent a forcible felony.
Since it was Zimmerman who stalked Martin, the question remains: what ground is a young black man entitled to and on what grounds may he defend himself? What version of events is there for that night in which Martin gets away with his life? Or is it open season on black boys after dark?
Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict will be contested for years to come. But he passed judgement on Trayvon that night summarily.
“Fucking punks,” Zimmerman told the police dispatcher that night. “These assholes. They always get away.”
So true it’s painful. And so predictable it hurts.
Justice Department To Review George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin Case
07/14/13 04:02 PM ET EDT
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department says it is looking into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin to determine whether federal prosecutors should file criminal civil rights charges now that George Zimmerman has been acquitted in the state case.
The department opened an investigation into Martin’s death last year but stepped aside to allow the state prosecution to proceed.
In a statement Sunday, the Justice Department said the criminal section of the civil rights division, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Middle District of Florida are continuing to evaluate the evidence generated during the federal probe, in addition to the evidence and testimony from the state trial.
The statement said that, in the government’s words, “experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation.”
NAACP Urges Freedom For Black Man Who Killed White Man In Self-Defense
NAACP president and CEO Ben Jealous and other members of the civil rights group met with local politicians and journalists on Monday as part of an effort to spur the release of a black imprisoned after shooting a white man on the shooter’s property.
John McNeil, 46, received a life sentence in November 2006 after killing a white man who was trespassing on his property. Police detectives investigating the case determined that McNeil acted in self-defense, but Cobb County District Attorney Pat Head decided a year later to try the case and won a conviction.
“If this can happen to John McNeil, then it can happen to [Georgia NAACP President] Ed DuBose, it can happen to William Barber, it can happen to Ben Jealous. It can happen to any black man standing out here or standing anywhere in America, no matter how much good you’ve done or how right you are,” the Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, told the crowd in front of the Georgia State Capitol.
The case also has re-focused the spotlight on legal self-defense claims since the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Prosecutors there initially declined to charge a multiracial Hispanic man, George Zimmerman, with a crime after he shot Martin, an unarmed black teenager, allegedly in self-defense. Zimmerman is now charged with second degree murder.
Barber, a longtime friend of McNeil’s, joined Jealous and other NAACP members in visiting McNeil in prison prior to the press conference.
The incident took place Dec. 6, 2005, when McNeil arrived home after his teenage son had called him about an unfamiliar man lurking about their property.
Brian Epp, a hired contractor with whom McNeil had past difficulties, had already pulled a knife on the teenager.
Epp refused to leave, and McNeil, who had called 9-1-1, fired a warning shot into the ground. Epp then charged toward McNeil while reaching into his pocket. McNeil fatally shot him in the head at close range. Court documents state that a pocketknife was clipped inside Epp’s pants pocket. McNeil’s neighbors who witnessed the incident backed his story.
Kennesaw police detectives investigated the case, decided that McNeil had acted in self-defense and didn’t charge him.
McNeil’s self-defense claim is supported by Georgia’s “castle doctrine law,” which allows an individual to use deadly force to protect his or her home, or anyone inside it, from a violent trespasser.
McNeil and his family thought the worst was over, until Head decided to pursue prosecution.
During the trial, McNeil’s neighbors, the two senior detectives investigating the case and a couple who said that they felt threatened by Epp when they hired him to do work all testified in McNeil’s defense. All of those individuals are white.
“We are victims at both ends of the gun,” said Marcus Coleman, who leads the Atlanta chapter of the National Action Network.
Jealous said his organization questions “stand-your-ground” laws that do not require a person, regardless of their location, to retreat from a perceived threat if they have an opportunity. But, Jealous said, “we have no qualms about the Castle Doctrine,” which governs threats that occur on personal property.
McNeil’s conviction in the face of that doctrine, Jealous said, means that in Georgia, “When it comes to protecting your home and your family, there is no law that can protect a black man from a biased system of justice.”
Jealous added that he would discuss the case with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.