Skip to comments.Trayvon Martin case a travesty of justice: Acquittal was largely due to institutional racism
Posted on 08/08/2013 8:27:37 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
The "not guilty" verdict for George Zimmerman's killing of Trayvon Martin did not come as a surprise to African Americans or anyone familiar with the US justice system. Ultimately, the trial was theatre because the decision to clear Zimmerman was effectively made the same day that he shot Trayvon, a 17-year-old African American.
Footage of the "arrest" of Zimmerman showed him walking into the police station without handcuffs, even though it was not disputed that he had shot and killed an unarmed teenager. The police knew, from Zimmerman's own 911 calls, that he had stalked Trayvon. They knew that Zimmerman assumed that Trayvon lived in the neighborhood (in the interview Zimmerman said he continued to follow Trayvon to "get an address"). They knew, from one of the witnesses who called, that someone was yelling desperately, heartbreakingly, for help.
Zimmerman's father would claim those calls were from his son, not Trayvon, even though George Zimmerman himself said during the interview that it didn't sound like his own voice. Further, and I wonder why this question was not asked: Why would someone with a gun scream with such terror for help? (Incidentally, the cries for help stopped abruptly when Trayvon was shot.)
Other than photographing Zimmerman's face, the police did not collect forensic evidence from him, despite clear inconsistencies in his story during the initial interview on February 26. They didn't dust his hands for gunpowder residues. They didn't scrape his nails or hands for DNA evidence that could have clarified the nature of the physical struggle between him and Trayvon. They didn't collect urine or blood samples to see if he was doped up on drugs. They didn't take his clothes for evidence. Zimmerman had just shot and killed another human being and the police didn't even take the gun away from him as evidence.
They let him go home.
A young man with a life yet unlived lay dead, face down in a pool of his own blood, a bag of candy and a can of iced tea testifying to his intentions that night, and the police let the man who killed him walk out of the station. Instead, it was Trayvon's urine that was tested for drugs. It was Trayvon's lifeless body that was examined for evidence so that Trayvon, from the grave, would be the one who had to defend himself for being killed!
Many of my Facebook friends in Europe were astonished. "How can this happen in the US?" asked a Norwegian friend. Most people of colour, and particularly African Americans, know well the answer to this question, and it comes in two parts: 1) the "Good Ol' Boy" network; and 2) the value of a black body.
George Zimmerman's father is a retired Virginia Supreme Court magistrate. It seems he likely had spoken with the police that night, and that the police knew, based on the previous 48 times that Zimmerman had called them, that his father was a magistrate. This could explain, partly, why the police didn't even make a pretense of doing the minimal work required when a person is shot and killed, because this is how the "good ol' boy" network works in the United States. It's the fraternity of white privilege and white supremacy that communicates with itself in in nods and winks and in unspoken words coded into speech to protect that privilege and that supremacy. To the police, Zimmerman senior was one of them and so, then, was his son.
Had it not been for the vocal outrage of the African American community that spread through social media, Zimmerman would likely never have been charged and Trayvon would have been just another dead black man - a number in breathtaking statistics, like the fact that about one in every three African American men are incarcerated at some point in their lives.
But the primary reason the police didn't arrest Zimmerman is that in the current power structure, black bodies are worthless and expendable. Not only did the police allow a murderer to walk out of the station with his gun that night, but they lazily bagged Trayvon's body as "John Doe" and carried on. Not one officer thought to knock on a few doors in that gated community to try to locate the young man's family, who were surely worried that their son had not come home. We know all too well that things would have gone very differently had Trayvon been white.
The contempt, the disregard, and the disrespect for the black body runs through this whole case. It runs through this country and transforms itself to adapt to the times. It moved from slavery to Jim Crow laws and lives now in the so-called "War on Drugs" that targets, by legal design, African Americans. The evidence of racism in these laws is abundantly clear.
Most recently, austerity measures creeping into American cities disproportionately target African American children. Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York closed 54, 23, and 26 schools, respectively. In Chicago, 88 percent of children whose lives were upended by the closures were African American, even though they represent only 43 percent of all Chicago students. Those disparities were similar in Philadelphia and New York.
The statistics are staggering and heartbreaking, but they provide a clear picture of the many ways in which African Americans, especially African American men, are targeted from the time they are born. If they are not broken by their broken schools, they will be caught in the snags of racist police brutality, or discriminatory employment practices, or the pervasive assumption that criminalises black and brown skin, which is ultimately what led to the murder of Trayvon Martin. It's what provoked four white police officers to fire 41 bullets at Amadou Diallo, another unarmed black man, in 1999.
Black bodies are sacrificed for personal professional gain. Easy to entrap, coerce and manipulate, young black men have made the careers of many politicians and legal professionals. The most noteworthy is the case of the Central Park Five, a group of young men of colour accused of brutally raping a white jogger in Central Park. Black men were rounded up wholesale that night and the police picked the most vulnerable five, and told them they could go home if they admitted to raping the jogger.
Scared and bewildered, the boys made up stories that changed and adapted according to what seemed to sound good to the police. Their accounts didn't match up at all with each other, nor with the known details of the crime. The timeline of events didn't make sense. Semen found at the scene did not match any of them. In fact, there was not one shred of forensic evidence linking any one of the boys to the crime. Listening to one of the "confessions" to Linda Fairstein, the prosecutor, it was easy to see that the boy was making things up just so he could get out and go home, as the police had promised him. But they didn't go home, of course. They went to jail, until the real rapist confessed 12 years later and tests showed a match to the semen on the victim. The lives of five boys were stolen in their prime, but what mattered was that legal careers were made, including that of Linda Fairstein.
If there is anything good to come from this senselessness, it will be to provoke greater political alertness and participation of African Americans; solidarity within communities of colour towards a unified goal of collective empowerment socially, politically, and economically. Community organisers across the country are planning, organising, and acting. Peaceful protests were carried out throughout the United States and abroad in the wake of the verdict. Boycott campaigns have been launched, and initiatives to empower black youth are being implemented.
Trayvon walked to a store and never made it home. Though there can be no consolation for Trayvon's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, perhaps they can find comfort in knowing that their son has touched us all who care about social justice and imbued us with renewed resolve.
Wow -- truth from Al Goreera! Hey Al, I realize English isn't your first language, so it's cool, but "acquittal" is the not-guilty verdict. The word you're looking for is "indictment" or "persecution".
author has no clue what she is ranting about
There's a reason.
She's a Palestinian.
that’s right we have institutional racism and the dolts in the middl east just hate everyone who isn’t muslim.....head cuts anyone???
fr: Al Jazeera posts are ok , but libertarian lew rockwell posts are banned. I fail to understand the logic here
Leave, witch. You won't be missed.
Would it be a non-sequitur to counter-argue that in Arabic, the word for “black” and the word for “slave” are identical? ;)
I don’t own this site, but you knew that, right?
She later turned to journalism and fiction.
I’m getting the impression that Palestinians are predisposed to stupidity. It is constantly on display in venue after venue. It’s kind of hard to avoid generalization.
Now we know what Palestinians and Al Jazeera think about it.
Yeah, I'd been wondering about that.
“Trayvon Martin case a travesty of justice: Acquittal was largely due to institutional racism”
“African Americans” consider violent crime against “White Hispanics” (or anybody with any White blood at all) to be a legitimate career path, and armed “White Hispanic” victims (or anybody with any White blood at all) to be OSHA violations.
And the muzzies know racism, they teach it to their children every day. To bad their concept of justice is so insane.
Blacks kill whites: crickets. Whites kill blacks: RACISM!!!
Sorry, I’m over it.
Trayfon was haram.
The Palestinian people does not exist.
Hey, Susan, where's your burkha?
To understand Palestinian stupidity in particular & Arab stupidity in general, google “Muslim Inbreeding”.
It will explain a lot.
“author has no clue what she is ranting about
There’s a reason.
She’s a Palestinian.”
There is no such thing as “Palistinian”!
The correct term for such Koranimals is
“Palisimian” - “Palisimian”, not “Palistinian”, got it?
Pali journo twat.
yes of course, I was just making an observation and wondering if anyone had heard why lewrockwell was banned.
If they think we we have institutional racism, can we at least talk about it? I hate to be accused of something we don't even consider...
No, Zimmerman’s PROSECUTION was the result of institutional racism endemic to the United States.
It was a travesty that an honest, cut and dried case of self defense resulted in a rabid media circus complete with mass-hysteria, bald-faced lies and propaganda, and thousands of death threats.
That the case advanced to the point of a show trial is nothing less than abomination.
I’m frankly amazed that Zimmerman wasn’t offered up as a blood sacrifice. The only thing that stood between him and a socially sanctioned, government sponsored, media driven lynching was his defense counsel and a jury that took a brave stand for objective truth.
Yet another steaming pile extruded from the post-Trayvon BS machine.
Exactly right and well said.
Succint and most accurate, your assessment.
Lynching of Zimmermans , et al to be coming soon, were it not for a hard line forming.
They might not wish to cross it.
I wonder if this lady has bothered to read how the state of Florida pulled every trick in the book to undermine the defense's case. They withheld evidence, they sprung things at the last second, they stacked the deck at every turn. If some kind of institutional "decision" had been made in favor of Zimmerman, how do you explain this?
I don’t consider a discussion based on an accusation from Al Jazeera to be very worthwhile . rather like trying to discuss race with Eric Holder, BO, Al, or Jesse. The truth is that no discussion will ever be held because the other side refuses to deal in facts. I refuse to be called racist or to see racism at every turn just because some people have gotten their feelings hurt.
Anyone who would suggest that there is institutional racism in the US must be willing to talk about the racism against whites and asians as well as blacks. That will never happen. So since we can’t have an honest discussion about real problems the answer is no we can’t discuss it.
Im getting the impression that Palestinians are predisposed to stupidity. It is constantly on display in venue after venue. Its kind of hard to avoid generalization.
They’re doing exactly what the Soviets did: cause internal conflict.
They don’t really care about justice. They want the USA to self-destruct.
“Institutional” = invisible; apparent to no one; therefore it may be attributed in even the total absence of evidence
Anyone who would suggest that there is institutional racism in the US must be willing to talk about the racism against whites and asians as well as blacks. That will never happen. So since we cant have an honest discussion about real problems the answer is no we cant discuss it."
I would have settled for a simple "No" without the frosting.
Institutional racism is alive and well in the 0bama administration and the DOJ.
But not much, I'll wager.
Having had so much practice at twisting the truth and using the results thereof to sow discord, is it any surprise that this Muzzie b__ch tries to use that very same technique on gullible Amerikans? The ones with such an indoctrinated knee-jerk reaction to anything labeled "racist" that they seemingly react with a reflex arc rather than their cerebrum?
Dear Al Jazeera,
Salami.. Salami Baloney!
Sad, isn’t it? To make a martyr out of a hoodlum.
That's retarded, sir....
Flatulence escapes from more than just her southern hemisphere.
Acquittal was due to to a jury that decided that the prosecution failed to present sufficient evidence for a guilty verdict.
I can’t get enough of the whining from the scumbags.