The passage below is from the Guardian. It’s author, Gary Younge, a British African-Caribbean journalist based in the United States, frequently writes for the Guardian.
I hope we can look at what he says as raising a very important question: How can politicians ask that African Americans be calm?
Appeals for calm in the wake of such a verdict raise the question of what calm there can possibly be in a place where such a verdict is possible. Parents of black boys are not likely to feel calm. Partners of black men are not likely to feel calm. Children with black fathers are not likely to feel calm. Those who now fear violent social disorder must ask themselves whose interests are served by a violent social order in which young black men can be thus slain and discarded.
But while the acquittal was shameful it was not a shock. It took more than six weeks after Martin’s death for Zimmerman to be arrested and only then after massive pressure both nationally and locally. Those who dismissed this as a political trial (a peculiar accusation in the summer of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden) should bear in mind that it was politics that made this case controversial…
Since it was Zimmerman who stalked Martin, the question remains: what ground is a young black man entitled to and on what grounds may he defend himself? What version of events is there for that night in which Martin gets away with his life? Or is it open season on black boys after dark?…
Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict will be contested for years to come. But he passed judgement on Trayvon that night summarily.
“Fucking punks,” Zimmerman told the police dispatcher that night. “These assholes. They always get away.”
So true it’s painful. And so predictable it hurts.
What can feminists do?
2 thoughts on “How can the parents of black boys feel calm?”
I think Gary Younge is British, not American.
Thanks for the correction, Michael! I’ve edited my colleague’s post to reflect this. (Just reading about Gary Younge enough to make an accurate edit moves me to want to read his books: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Younge)
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