I imagine you’ve heard by now of the horrendous case of Trayvon Martin, killed for the “suspicious” behaviour of walking down the street while black and male. There’s an awesome post on the topic over at NewAPPS:
There is no doubt in my mind that, if Trayvon had pulled the trigger, he would have been arrested immediately, and the full force of the law would have been brought down upon him. And I agree that Zimmerman should be arrested, and the whole situation should be investigated. But at the same time, I keep thinking: What would justice look like for Trayvon? Would a murder charge for Zimmerman amount to justice?
A lot more would have to happen, and some of it is starting to happen. We would need a nation-wide recognition of the degree to which young black men are perceived as predators and as “out of place,” even in their own neighborhoods. We would need to wake up to the fact that black men are so often victims of violence and not just perpetrators of violence. We would need to recognize all the work that black men do to set the rest of us at ease in social situations, in order to convince us that we have nothing to fear from them. We would need to confront our complicity as a nation with the over-incarceration of black and Latino men — and with the over-incarceration of Americans more generally. We would need to repeal laws like Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law and others that enshrine the right to self-defense, even to the point of using lethal force, if you feel like your life or the life of others are threatened. We would need to pass laws restricting the use and availability of handguns. We would need to recognize structural racism at work, whether or not any “racist slurs” are uttered.
What else would we have to do to find justice for Trayvon Martin?
Head over to NewAPPS for all the links and to join in the discussion.