With Liberty & Justice For SOME


Today is a sad day and yesterday was even worse. Of course any day on this side of the dirt is a great day but today is not one of those days. I am deeply saddened at the outcome of this trial. I am a black man. If you are not a black man, you wouldn’t understand the pain I am experiencing. I have 4 brothers and over a half dozen nephews and countless male cousins. America has failed us once again. When I say us, I mean black people or African Americans or whatever you choose to identify yourself as; you are not exempt from this. America has spoken. Seminole County may be a small part of America but it is America nonetheless. George Zimmerman being found not guilty of all charges is really a slap in the face. No, a slap is an understatement. The American Justice system basically spit in the face of all people of color. Yes, we know that blacks typically aren’t afforded a fair trial nor are we frequently afforded the opportunity to face a jury of our peers but allowing George Zimmerman to roam the streets after he took the life of an innocent child is nothing short of preposterous. What do you expect black people to do when we know that the justice system is not in our favor? What do you expect black people to do when you let a white man kill one of our children and just simply walk away? Other races don’t have to worry about having a conversation with their young men about how to respond, react and behave when they are out in public or dealing with law enforcement. Other races don’t really have to worry about being racially profiled when they are driving, talking, walking, eating, hanging around or just simply being black. No one chose their race nor did we choose to be born in America. However, the fact that we are here simply means that we are entitled to the same inalienable rights that our white counterparts freely enjoy.

Trayvon Martin was murdered a day after my birthday. Trayvon Martin was on his way home when George Zimmerman approached him. Trayvon did not pick a fight with George Zimmerman, if anything, he was defending himself from this stranger who was following him. George Zimmerman was told repeatedly to NOT follow Trayvon but decided to take the law into his own hands. That resulted in the death of a black child. Now they are telling us to not take the law into our own hands. Exactly how far has that gotten us? I am not saying respond to violence reciprocally but we must demand change. Simply expecting it is not enough.

People will try to tell you that race didn’t play a factor in this trial. Those people are either clearly out of touch or delusional or both. This trial had everything to do with race. George Zimmerman racially profiled Trayvon Martin, pursued him because he was black then killed him for the same reason. Did this child deserve to die? Did George Zimmerman have to shoot Trayvon in his heart? Could George Zimmerman have announced the fact that he’s a neighborhood watchman? Could George Zimmerman have announced that he had a gun? Could George Zimmerman have allowed the police to do their work? Of course he could have done either one of these or a combination but instead he chose to vigilantly kill an innocent child who was simply on his way home. Yes, this is about race. Had Trayvon been white, no matter what he was wearing, George Zimmerman would have looked the other way.

What am I to teach my unborn son about justice in America? Should I tell him that you start with a negative just because of the color of your skin? Should I tell him that his skin color will be his demise? My friends, black, white, hispanic and other, I have one question to ask you. What are you going to do about it? Talking is just not enough. Tweeting is just not enough. Updating your status is just not enough. It’s time for us to stand up and fight for our rights. America is showing black people how they really feel about us. We are 2nd class citizens; that’s assuming that we are citizens to begin with. First the abolishment of key parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by the Supreme Court which stated that states, mostly southern including Alaska, had to get pre-clearance from the federal government for everything related to voting, including redrawing voting districts, voter ID laws, and moving polling places, now they let a cold hearted racial profiling child killer walk free.

Justice should not be based on the color of your skin. Justice should be a birthright, a human right. We didn’t ask to be born American nor did we ask to be black, and the color of your skin should not be a sin. The pledge of allegiance for the United States of America ends by saying “With liberty and justice for all.” What it failed to clarify is who is included in the “all”. It should read “With liberty and justice for some.”

Again I ask you, what are you going to do about it? We can longer sit and watch as this country continues to fail us time and time again.

We need you now more than ever to stand up for what is right. Will you join me?

Joe Paul