Our Voice,Guest Editorial: Six Female Jurors Each Drove One Nail in the Coffin of Trayvon Martin
George Zimmerman racially profiled, stalked, then killed unarmed seventeen year old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman later told many lies in court and said he killed Trayvon Martin in self defense because he feared for his life.
It was reported that some of the ladies on the jury were mothers, yet they freed a 29 year old murderer so that he is free to shoot any other of “those people” who look suspicious.
George Zimmerman is not a policeman. He failed to meet the minimum qualifications to become one, but he referred to Trayvon Martin as a “suspect”. The word “suspect” is used by people in law enforcement or children when they are playing cops and robbers. In order to simulate his fantasy of being a real policeman, Zimmerman started a neighborhood watch program. He took courses at a community college and martial arts to prepare himself to become a U.S. Marshal. The racist and profane words he used to describe Trayvon Martina, a young teenager he had never met, to the 911 operator speak for themselves.
We all watched that television, night after night, to see why this simple trial took so long. It was like watching the 1960 movie “To Kill a Mockingbird”, but this time it was in color and was the unfolding of a real trial! Those of us over sixty expected the outcome. We had seen, or heard about, this type of injustice from our elders, but we still had enough “faith” to pray that Zimmerman would be found guilty of the murder he committed.
To quote Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen!”
My son and most under the age of thirty who have never experienced barefaced racism were expecting to see justice. Some really believed the white marble statue of “Lady Justice” wearing a blindfold with a set of balance scales in her left hand and a sword in her right hand would mean something in a 2013 Florida court.
The “not guilty” verdict ended one state action but opened up two federal reactions:
1. On the national level, Mr. Benjamin Jealous, President of the national NAACP, is sending a petition to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder appealing to the Department of Justice to investigate the violation of the late Trayvon Martin’s civil rights and death at the hands of George Zimmerman. I have signed that petition and encourage all to search this week’s Wilmington Journal for information on how you can sign.
2. Traven’s mother and father will have their family attorneys advise them on whether they should sue George Zimmerman and the State of Florida.
In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote a book that is very relevant to what we are facing today. The title is “Where Do We Go from Here-Chaos or Community?” He urged us to stand up and fight the good nonviolent fight.
What can we do? There are many things we can and must do. I suggest the following to prepare us for the very important elections in 2014:
We must use the anger we feel from that total miscarriage of justice in Florida to fuel our drive to retire the extreme conservatives we allowed to be elected to the local, state, and federal government. Those of you who did not vote put them into office. We can, and will, with your help, replace the majority of them in 2014. When we do, we will make our “I will not tell a lie” Governor Pat McCrory as weak as a small town mayor working under a council/management form of government.
We must bring our flamboyant Attorney Thom Goolsby, the Governor’s mentee, back to Wilmington in 2014 so he can spend more time on his new business. We just learned last week that Thom Goolsby is an investment tycoon. His expert financial investment advice opened up a large “shout out” from ten of his large investors.
We must learn about and become participants in the system by which we are being governed. We must become players rather than just the people paying the bills. We then teach our friends and children how to play the government game. We must move from the children’s table to the big table. We all did this on holidays in our homes after we gained knowledge and maturity. Then we can go to the polls in 2014 and know that we have influenced five others to vote for progressive people.
Our state, North Carolina, is now being joked about on national television by news shows and comedians. This will not help bring new jobs to us. Please join the NAACP or any other progressive organization and help us put North Carolina back on the right track.
To quote Ephesians 6:11, “Put on the whole armor of God that you will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
James J. Hankins is a retired vocational teacher, past president of the New Hanover County Branch of the NAACP in Wilmington, N. C., and author of the book,”What We Blacks Need to Do: His book web page is http://www.jhankins.com/. His e-mail address is email@example.com.