By Vickie Wilcher
George Zimmerman, the man who murdered 17 year old Trayvon Martin in Stanford, Florida on Sunday, February 26, 2012, has again declared that he “can’t feel guilty” for having killed the unarmed child. Zimmerman’s declaration came as part of a taped interview that the Zimmerman team released for online consumption—and of course for all those hack news organizations who thrive on the sensationalism a George Zimmerman type brings; and who are too lazy to actually produce a real or meaningful news story. But media incompetence and disregard pale in comparison to the utter and obvious contempt for Black life exhibited by United States Government and all the people of this country who continue to allow one murder after another.
No one is absolved. No one is excused. And the blood of every unarmed child who is brutally murdered, is, without exception, on all our hands. There are those who will assert that they have no power over the law—it’s the system they will say; as they sheepishly accept Department of Justice (DOJ) reports that acquit the men who murdered Michael Brown (the young man gunned down by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO) and Trayvon Martin. They will even, likely in an attempt to justify their own inaction, laud the fact that DOJ even bothered investigate these two highly publicized killings.
Ironically, in the case of Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman, after being completely exonerated by the Florida Court system and the United States Department of Justice has come out against the government; very specifically, President Obama and Attorney General Holder. But why, one has to wonder. These men did not employ any tactic that led to a conviction for him. They, even with the weight of both their offices, did not ensure that justice prevailed—George Zimmerman is a free man. He, like Darren Wilson and countless others before them, has killed a Black boy without consequence. And neither the president, the attorney general nor the public at-large has done anything to ensure that it will not happen again.
In both the Brown and Martin DOJ reports the government explains why the murders did not rise to the level of “prosecutable conduct.” The message then appears to be that there are laws that allow and perhaps even condone one man killing another if the victim is Black—and there need not be any other reason for the crime. But these laws are man-made. They are not natural or spiritual. And as such, it would seem reasonable to suggest that these “laws,” laws that allow for the senseless and sometimes brutal killing of often innocent human beings can and should be re-written. Let’s imagine for a moment a country in which the mass compelled its government to look not for ways to support the rights of one human being to kill another, but rather to find ways to compel would-be murderers to turn away from such behavior.
It’s true that kindness and heartfelt care cannot be legislated, but cultures are created and we have the power to create a culture in which the murder of an innocent person (of any race creed or color) is simply unacceptable and shall be punishable by “law.” There should be no case in which the “law” trumps the evidence and what is morally and humanly right. Put another way: it should never be the case that an unarmed young man can be gunned down and his assailant is free to kill again should he so choose. In the instance where this is the case, the whole of society must band together to re-dress the applicable laws and/or make new ones.
This must be the work of present day society. The President, the Attorney General and every random citizen of the United States of America has an obligation to protect our children and young adults. We owe them more than dime store lip service wrapped in a DOJ report. Moreover, it’s critically important that we take up this work NOW. We must immediately triage the situation to stop the profuse hemorrhaging of America’s soul that is manifest in what appears to be a heightened race based animosity; then establish a long-term care plan to ensure that the deadly parasites of racism, classism and hate that are eating away at our organs causing life threatening internal bleeding are cut like so much cancer from our collective body.
It may be stating the obvious but left unchecked, unchallenged and unchanged today’s laws will simply lend themselves to more killing. And since we do live, at least to some extent, in a democracy, changing the law is well within the authority and right of the people. This raises the point that hiding behind current laws to make it ok for the murder of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown is really not an option, nor is it acceptable for the DOJ, the President, you or me since we can change and make the laws that we are governed by.
To continue to accept acquittal after acquittal, DOJ report after DOJ report justifying the right of one human being to kill another is to collude with the murderer. For the mass to suggest that we have relinquished our rights and power to the law/DOJ and for DOJ to suggest that they too have surrendered to the “law” is to create a sickening cycle in which we are all complicit with the murderers—we are their accomplices, their alibis, their cowardice ponds; and we will bail them out with our lazy indifference even when they admit to, without remorse, having killed one of our children.