WARNING: This was an emotional post for me and just my opinion, so please forgive me.
The Jury is deliberating over the George Zimmerman case right now. The jury is composed of all women, all of whom are white. I had a dream that Zimmerman was found guilty several nights ago, but that may have been wishful dreaming. I just am feeling uneasy about this, I didn’t think that I would care this much, but I have a tight feeling in my chest right now and my anxiety is building.
No matter what the verdict of the trial, the reality is that Trayvon Martin, a young man who went out to buy skittles and tea is dead…no verdict will bring him back.
The young man did not intend to die that night, he didn’t expect to be followed by George Zimmerman. I’m haunted by a picture of this young man’s body that was posted on a website. He is lying on his back, with his eyes open…and I promised myself I wouldn’t look at it, but I couldn’t help it…and the look in his eyes is heartbreaking. The last thing he ever saw before he was killed…is still on his face…and I am in tears right now because in his eyes…he still has that look of “how could this be happening???” I have tears running down my face because looking into his eyes and seeing that expression on his face was too close to home for me…just a look of “why” in his eyes…
I will NOT post the picture here. But I just feel like this young man’s life was stolen from him…there was no reason for Zimmerman to pursue him when he had reported it to the police already. If he was afraid that Trayvon Martin was a robber, he still should not have followed him, he should have left it up to the police to do their job.
I feel that race is such a factor in this trial and here is the thing…Martin was profiled because Zimmerman believed there had been Black men robbing people in the neighborhood and so every Black man or boy became a suspect…even though Martin was a resident of the neighborhood, even though he just wanted skittles and tea. In the twisted recesses of George Zimmerman’s mind, he may have really THOUGHT or imagined he was in danger just by Trayvon being there…the Black brute stereotype, our history and the constant inundation of negative Black stereotypes may have so twisted his mind that all logic and reason escaped him and he decided to go after Martin based on those stereotypes. Even Black women stereotypes played a role in this trial because of the way that Rachel Jeantel has been portrayed by both White and even some Black people. She has been portrayed as uneducated, unintelligent, combative and unappealing. The angry Black sapphire stereotype has been used to discredit her as a witness, she was the last person to talk to Trayvon, his last life line…his last hope and the last voice of an ally that he heard on that fateful night….
When I look at this trial I see mounds and mounds of stereotypes…stereotypes that create the foundation of institutional racism…these stereotypes are so ingrained into our culture that I think people do not even conceive that these are stereotypes…they just are…
This is a tragedy…whatever the verdict…Trayvon will not be coming back all because of stereotypes.