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Trayvon Martin: The Defenseless Crime of Being Black in America
Trayvon Martin was defending himself and that is a crime in America
Here we go. George Zimmerman, the man who shot Trayvon Martin will claim that he was defending himself against Martin and that Trayvon was the aggressor the night he was shot. His defense will be that this 17-year-old, 140lb kid attacked him and that is why he shot him. However, it is obvious from the evidence that Trayvon was scared of Zimmerman and that he (Trayvon) thought he was being attacked and defended himself. “When the facts come out”, says Zimmerman’s lawyer, “people will see that Trayvon was the aggressor.”
Summary: It was justifiable for George Zimmerman to suspect Trayvon, even though the kid was doing nothing but walking home. It was justifiable for Zimmerman to be carrying a loaded weapon as he watched his neighborhood because he needed to protect himself from the blacks that were coming in and stealing stuff and he had a permit to do so. It was justifiable for Zimmerman to follow and confront Trayvon, even though that was not his responsibility. After Trayvon tried to defend himself, it was justifiable for Zimmerman to pull a weapon and end Martin’s life. You get the picture?
Even though, the evidence shows that Martin was scared of the weird man following him, his death was still his fault. Trayvon Martin was wrong for walking to the store and buying skittles and tea with a hoodie on because it made him suspicious and gave Zimmerman the right to treat him like a criminal. This is nothing new in American jurisprudence because being black has always been a defenseless crime in America.
A lone black man walking down the street in America is automatically considered a criminal and that is a defenseless act. If the police confronts him, or in this case a concerned neighbor, he must act or behave in a certain way or it is justifiable to use violence against him. It has always been this way.
Slavery was a brutal trade. The numbers of blacks who died just crossing the Atlantic are estimated at anywhere between 6 million to upward of 50 million. After enduring this epic voyage and being sold like animals, most slaves did lived under a brutal regime where their lives and bodies were in a constant state of danger. However, any slave who chose to speak out, rebel or tried to better him/herself were immediately met with violence or had their families sold or were just murdered.
After the Civil War, groups like the Ku Klux Klan and other organizations were allowed to attack blacks that they thought were being insolent or uppity. As a matter of fact, until 1965 race riots were nothing more than white people marauding through black neighborhoods and destroying them. Incidents like the burning of Black Wall Street and the Rosewood Massacre were commonplace. You may remember that the Rosewood Massacre was began because Sylvester Carrier shot the men who shot his mother in cold blood on her doorstep. Two white men tried to enter the house and Carrier shot them both. His act brought Floridians from across the state and they destroyed the town of Rosewood and other surrounding areas.
I grew up in Southeast Texas in the 60s. Martin Luther King was assassinated on my 5th birthday. King’s non-violent protest showed that he understood how the United States government would meet violence. The images of defenseless black people being beaten, attacked by dogs, and doused with high power hoses are indelibly imprinted on my brain. One of my most vivid memories is the complete fear that gripped our household one night as my step-father was dragged from my adopted mother’s home by two truck loads of white men. His crime? Saying hello to a white woman on the street.
In the late 60s and early 70s the Black Panther Party for National Defense came along with the agenda of protecting blacks from police violence and building programs that helped black youth. J Edgar Hoover and the FBI eradicated the party through violence, oppression and COINTELPRO. Including planning the murder of Bunchy Carter.
In the 80s, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush bought arms illegally from Iran and sold them to Nicaragua. When those planes full of weapons were emptied Manuel Noriega and his cohorts filled them with cocaine and sent them back to the US. That cocaine would become the crack epidemic and fuel the violence that was the Bloods and Crips. Later, the government would begin its War on Drugs and War on Gangs. 1 in 4 African American males were incarcerated, most for non-violent crimes.
What happened to Trayvon is just an extension of America’s policies toward African American males. The unwritten rule for minorities is that the government can use violence on you, but you are never to respond with violence. Trayvon did not know George Zimmerman. Zimmerman scared him and caused him to run. When Zimmerman caught up to him again, Trayvon chose to stand his ground and fight and that choice caused him his life because in American being black is a defenseless crime. RIP Trayvon.