To Serve and Protect (with conditions)
The murder of young Mr. Trayvon Martin on February 26th is something I hadn't touched on because my own rage made me incoherent and coherence for any writer is an absolute must. His murder in and of itself is despicable on its own merits: George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch guy, a frustrated, wouldbe cop with a gun, acts as judge, jury and executioner when he sees a black kid who OBVIOUSLY must've been packing something more dangerous than processed sugar. Shoot first (even after being told not to engage the "suspect") and rightly trust the police won't ask any questions later.
But it's also the followup, the Three Stooges version of a police investigation conducted by what is obviously a racist police department. Obviously, if the shooter was black and the victim white and a member of the gated community or one of their own, the Sanford PD would go all Alice's Restaurant on the shooter and bring out the choppers, SWAT and produce dozens of glossy 8 x 10s with circles and arrows showing each shell casing.
This kid could have been one of my own. I have two biracial sons who've just come back into my life. One is about to celebrate his 20th birthday, the other is 17, Trayvon's age. So everything horrible and everything racist that needlessly happens to an African American strikes at my heart because my sons share that heritage. This is worse than Jena, LA, worse than even the Tea Party, John Birch Society and KKK, than virtually anything we've seen in recent years. And those sworn to serve and protect the public interest have made it plain they will protect only certain segments of the population. If you're black and needlessly gunned down, well, you had it coming to you. The Sanford cops, for some bizarre reason, are defending this racist asshole as if their own reputations were on the line, even defending the guy and bringing up one class he took in criminal justice. So, if we all take a class in criminal justice and shoot innocent teenagers, that's our get out of jail free card?
And make no mistake about it, people: This was a lightning fast lynching, plain and simple. At least black people of antiquity were allowed to hear whatever trumped-up, bogus charges for which they were being lynched. Trayvon didn't even get that. He was walking back from a C store holding a bag of Skittles and the next thing he was dead. If you're like me, it's virtually impossible to imagine a more senseless and needless death, a more innocent victim. There's no wiggle room, nothing to plausibly spin. A red bag of Skittles does not look like a gun no matter how bad your eyesight and if your eyes are that bad, you shouldn't have or own a fucking gun.
This kind of shit happens all the time all over the world. We ourselves have done this wholesale in Iraq and, most recently, Afghanistan. But this is not Iraq. This is not Afghanistan. And we are not a nation of 300,000,000 potential criminals and terrorists. We're supposed to be better than this. And law enforcement, which has been brutally and sadistically cracking down on peaceful protesters at Occupy sites from coast to coast since last September yet does nothing about what is obviously a case of murder so Zimmerman can do this again and again, is supposed to be better than this.
Please sign the petition, which has almost reached its goal of 500,000 putting pressure on Norman Wolfinger, the 18th district's state's attorney to prosecute what's shaping up to be more and more of a hate crime.