The George Zimmerman Trial Shows How YOU Might Not Care About Black Life

As the old saying goes “everyone and their mama” was talking about the NOT GUILTY verdict, this previous Saturday, given to George Zimmerman in the death of 17-year old Trayvon Martin. The country was divided into many sectors of opinions and beliefs about the case. People (like me) felt that the State of Florida didn’t present a great case – it seemed like an episode of Perry Mason. I’ve heard many ridiculous statements about this case ranging from “This was just like the OJ trial/verdict” to “You stand up more for Trayvon Martin than you do Jesus.” The biggest opinion, however, centered around this tone: no one talks or cares about black-on-black crime. From what I’ve read and heard, this is the biggest reason as to why this case shouldn’t have been given any credence. Now, I understand where some people are coming from when they address certain individuals armchair and keyboard activism. Unsettlingly, the more and more I kept seeing people use that point as the main reason they shouldn’t care, began to make me wonder if there wasn’t more to those statements than what they let on… This constant throwing around of a lack of concern about “black-on-black crime” made me realize that the people who constantly use that point really don’t care about black life… regardless of who is doing the killing.

George ZimmermanThose who spouted their opinion about “black-on-black crime” and their belief in the common lack of concern for violence? Well, it shows just as much about them as the people they are speaking about. It shows, at the end of the day, how much THEY don’t care, either way. For them to say that black people are only concerned about the death of Trayvon Martin because of the racial dynamic makes me realize they just want an excuse to not care about ANY Black life. The ideology that people aren’t concerned about the deaths Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, St. Louis, New Orleans, and others takes away from the many, many people in these cities who ARE on the front lines working to make some of these communities better. There are many organizations and people making a difference in the hood, such as Cure Violence . They are in over six cities in this country, and three cities internationally. So don’t say there aren’t people out there concerned about black-on-black violence. There are.

What’s interesting is that the individuals speaking out the most on this issue are more than likely the main people who don’t do anything or care about anything going on in urban neighborhoods. There. I said it.

Ice Cube’s character Doughboy in Boyz in the Hood said “Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.” Now, I am not suggesting that they should care about the hood or black-on-black violence – it is, after all, their choice to care or not. However, if you don’t care about it or you’re not trying to positively affect those suffering communities… why comment now about “black-on-black crime??”

Yes, “black-on-black crime” is an issue – we all know and accept that. But riddle me this – what does this have to do with Trayvon being profiled and losing his life?

The real deal is that some people think no one should have cared about Trayvon Martin’s life because they didn’t really want to have any empathy for the situation. It’s apathy. They feel apathy to all of it, and that is why they constantly bring it up as the as the reason the case doesn’t make sense.

stop-the-violence-flickrThis trial was indubitably about race, BUT, it was even more about the perception of race in this country. People still must believe that racism today is the Klu Klux Klan burning a cross or fire-bombing someone’s home. The reality that Trayvon’s character was on trial just as much (or even more than) Zimmerman is something we have to evaluate in this country. People went through Trayvon’s tweets, toxicology, and text messages and made him out to be a “thug”. The interesting thing is that people will say that these things made Zimmerman’s assessment and actions against him more plausible. The reality is most teens have or do smoke marijuana, say dumb-ass things on social media and overall make bad decisions. Think about all the dumb-ass things you did and said at 17 years of age? However, we didn’t have Instagram, Camera phones, and all this technology to highlight our turbulent teens. The same people who had so much angst against Trayvon and his youth expected people to give Paula Deen a pass for supposedly only being a racist 20 years ago. They want to indict that Trayvon was a “thug” for some actions in his youth but want people to give Paula Deen a break for saying racist things as a grown ass adult.

The excuse of people only being concerned about this situation when “black-on-black crime” exists every day is one of the biggest cop outs I have heard. Some people making those comments about “black-on-black crime” have very valid points. BUT, I will always question who is bringing this up and what their motives are. Are they really involved and trying to make these communities better? Or are they just an apathetic person who just doesn’t want to be concerned or care about the death (of not just this young man) but any young black man or woman. It makes it very hard to take critique from someone when they aren’t in the trenches or righteously trying to learn and understand about the violence in the inner city. It would be like telling women how they should go through their pregnancy when I am not a woman, never been pregnant,  a doctor, worked in health care, or sat down and tried to understand the process of a woman’s pregnancy…Damn, people do that too don’t they *shrug*.

trayvon_martin with fatherThink about how much you really care about a black person being killed before you go to commenting on “why this” or “why that?” If you’re generally concerned about all death in this country and making it a better place, I am all ears. However, if you really don’t care about death unless it hits your home than I need you to reevaluate your statements and consider how much you care about not one a black persons death…but human death.

Make sure you check out this week’s episode of the “Straight Outta Lo Cash” Radio Show. This week’s show “Go Head and Get you a St. Ides” with guests The Ink Podcast . You can also subscribe to the show on I-Tunes or listen on your Android, I-Phone, or I-Pad with Stitcher Radio.

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17 responses to “The George Zimmerman Trial Shows How YOU Might Not Care About Black Life

  1. THIS THIS THIS THIS and THIS. These same people talk and talk and talk about the black community and rather than HELP, turn their backs on it in SHAME. It’s disgusting, revolting and as detrimental to this community as everything else we’re fighting. And once they state their opinions they walk away carelessly, wearing their cloak of apathy.

    It makes me sick.

    The case was emotional for many people, for many different reasons. I followed it, and realized very early on that there was not enough evidence to land a conviction of murder. I understood that, though it still turned my stomach to see him walk free, without even being convicted of manslaughter.

    What I don’t understand is this: how does black-on-black crime absolve this man (or any others like him) of guilt and responsibility from his actions???? What the FUCK does black-on-black crime have to do with this case?!?! Someone PLEASE explain it to me. All of these people saying “If we don’t care about the lives of our black brothers and sisters, why should they?”

    Again I say: What. In. The. Entire. FUCK.

    They should CARE because we are HUMAN. They should care because it is MORAL. They should care because he was a KID. They should care because no one deserves to die like that, so needlessly!

    But lest anyone forget history – the black life has NEVER been as important as _________ (enter anything you’d like, it would fit).

    So while we should care and care deeply and do something ACTIVE to change the crime, killing and horrid situations in our communities, we should also care a whole damn lot about a 17 old child being profiled as suspicious, followed and killed, along with his character.

    For anyone I may have offended with my language, I apologize.

    • Clap! Clap! Bravo for that enegetic comment but you miss how this race thing is more about class and the child Trayvon was in his real life. The black on black crime is something that black people themselves don’t even want to address. This trial was made mire about race by black people when they can’t even keep shit right in there own yard. This isn’t 1955 with Emmett Till my friend

      • Was that condescending and humoring “clap clap” necessary to get your point across? I highly doubt it.

        Please explain how Trayvon’s class, economic status, education or anything of that nature was known when Zimmerman followed him? In that same point, please also explain how Trayvon NOT being a saint has anything to do with that happened that night? That night, did Zimmerman KNOW Trayvon smoked weed and took pictures of guns? No. He did not. I’m equally sure that Zimmerman could have feared for his life while HE FOLLOWED HIM – but I am equally as sure that he knew nothing else other than what he saw – a boy with a hoodie on walking in a neighborhood looking suspicious.

        I am not saying this isn’t about race and that we don’t own responsibility in that – what I AM saying is that this trial should NOT be fodder to condemn people who care about his death and say they don’t care about the lives lost by our own hands within our own community. As if no other lives are important. Black-on-black crime is an issue of its own – dismissing other lives that die outside of that issue as “unimportant” because of internal strife is ridiculous.

        And you say black people don’t want to discuss black-on-black crime? What people are these? For they are not the ones I associate within my circle. Not the ones volunteering, mentoring, and helping those same children you speak of here in Chicago, where I currently live. Maybe you should take into consideration who you’re talking to.

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  3. It doesn’t absolve Zimmerman but it does give some framing onto why this is so important. If people rallied and walk for those kids in Chicago as much as saw hoodies in profile pictures it would be alright. Only reason people spoke out on this in general because media propaganda made this an issue. He was a boy but lets not act like he was some saint that was going to cure cancer. He was taking pictures of guns and running around spouting about killing people via text messages. He wasn’t a saint and Zimmerman probably did fear for his life

    • So his life was worth because of your judgement of who’s life means more?? So you can judge who’s life means more? How are you able to come to this conclusion? How are you able to say which life is worth more and what is your process oh great Captain I would really like to know???

  4. Another great and very important post that points out what people have credited necessary as valid info for an acquittal. All of which, have and/or had nothing to do with this young man being murdered. I am simply too saddened to elaborate as I usually would about all the wrong of this trial. But I will agree with one of the commentors, the case was presented in a way that a murder conviction was highly unlikely. I’m not even sure the prosecution was ever fighting for justice for Trayvon, that’s how poor of a job they did. I can only hope this case doesn’t simply blow over (like so many have) and we honestly start to see change throughout the justice dept. That “stand your ground’ law is racially biased, as well, if you look at the cases since it’s been reintroduced and it has always been. We have come a long way from the time of slavery. I can not begin to act as though I can relate to what a “slave” physically went through went through (yet the latter remains), we still live in a sad…sad…open space in time.

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  6. While it’s crucial to work to find solutions to black-on-black crime, Zimmerman’s brutal murdering of Trayvon Martin has nothing to do with black-on-black crime. Injecting black-on-black crime into a discussion about this particular case is just what racists desire: distract people from the specifics of this particular case. This verdict evinces that it’s open season on the black body. People who wish to kill black people are even more energized by this verdict. Instead of a whole lot inner fighting in the Black community, we need to come together to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. Let’s honor Trayvon Martin’s death by fighting for economic, social, and racial justice together. Very good article, Darryl!

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  8. You can’t force someone to care about you or your family. Period. Your behavior and your behavior alone speaks. Jews were held in slavery and tortured and treated horribly for thousands of years – all over the world! But what did they do? They banded together and decided to take care of their own, take care of their communities, become educated, work hard and build their own inner structure for survival which they have done very well — also, all over the world. That white people are afraid of black people or feel that black people are taking advantage of them is not anyone’s fault but the blacks themselves. We ALL react to another person’s BEHAVIOR. I grew up in Detroit Michigan. A young pretty white girl that was constantly harassed and threatened, especially after the 1967 riots. Obama thinks HE was followed? HAHAHAHAHA
    I was afraid, and for very good reason, to walk to the library alone anymore. Why? Because I was followed (as Obama says). I was followed and horrible disgusting things were said to me by young black men wherever I went. Later I went to a community college in a suburb of Detroit for a year and was afraid to walk down a hallway where 3-6 young black fellows were standing and watching me. I was damned afraid to walk down any further. I was afraid for my life! You want to condemn me because I was afraid. I was only reacting to what I had already experienced for years from these guys. They would be saying gross things to me before I go got even 50 feet from them. You CANNOT force someone to eliminate their natural fear of a group that has previously given them good reason to be afraid. What is wrong here! As humans, we have fear built into our human nature for a very good reason! For self preservation! If you don’t want people to fear you, then just act nice. Show NICE BEHAVIOR! THAT’S ALL! AND DON’T COMPLAIN ALL DAY AND NIGHT THAT I AM TAKING SOMETHING FROM YOU. I’m not taking anything from you. I’m just a simple white woman who works, takes care of my family, mows my lawn, paints my house when it needs painting, washes my clothes and hangs them up in the back yard clothes line to dry. I work and go to school and study. What is wrong with this? I am a horrible person because YOU make me afraid???
    You can’t force anyone to “feel” anything. Feelings come from within and if someone is afraid of you, it’s because of their experiences. So change YOUR BEHAVIOR. It’s really that simple. Any white woman who goes into an all-black grocery store can tell you that the black women are very rude and will stare you down. If looks could kill, I would be dead after what I’ve experienced many many times just going into to grocery store in a black area of town in Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland, etc. I am not making this up. I have actually experienced this. Black women treat white women like crap. When a black woman comes into a department store or grocery store that is mostly occupied by white women, I’ve noticed nothing but politeness and courtesy. It doesn’t work the other way. And your comparison or mention of the black-on-black crime and how we shouldn’t mention it! We all basically care about our own. If you don’t care about your own people killing one another, then why should we get all worked up about it. No one in the black community seems to care one whit if a white woman is gang-raped and killed by a group of black males. The media doesn’t even report it! We are supposed to just accept it and so there you go! That’s why there is fear and anger. The white people are the ones who are victimized over and over and no one will say a thing about that. Blacks want a pass simply because of their skin color. Since the 1960’s, the blacks in this country have been given a pass for everything. For riots, for crimes and for destroying cities, like Detroit, which was once a fantastic and safe city, but now you all want to blame the white people. Why don’t you blame yourselves and your own behavior. I’m just touching the tip of the iceberg here. And the more you keep blaming us and trying to force us to “feel” a certain way or stop being afraid, the more afraid we become and the more we “feel” we want to separate from you. You have your space and we have ours. Let’s see who keeps our yards cleaner. Let’s see whose community is safer. Many many white communities all over the world are safe and the people are smart because they study and read. It’s not the white man’s fault because you don’t do that. Stop blaming us.
    And by the way, my grandparents were all immigrants after WW2. We never had slaves, nor did our ancestors. We just came here, learned the language, studied hard, worked hard and took care of our houses and our children. You do the same and everything will turn out. YOU CANNOT FORCE SOMEONE TO HAVE FEELINGS THEY DON’T HAVE. It’s not natural. Take a look at Detroit and see what happens when Blacks take over a community. Similar to the villages in the Congo in Africa. If you want things to change here, then CHANGE YOUR OWN BEHAVIOR!!!!!

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