Trayvon Martin, Trial & Tragedy – By Wayne Johnson, Attorney


Photograph of Body of Trayvon Martin


What is the tragedy of the Trayvon Martin case? The real tragedy is we have forgotten that a young man is erased from his this life for no apparent reason, other than another man wanted to feel important. It does not matter that George Zimmerman got off. We seem to forget that justice in the United States has always eluded people of color. Otherwise, there would not be a Thirteenth or Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. There would be no civil rights legislation. There would be no celebrating the First Black President or United States Attorney General.

The fact is even if Zimmerman had been tried and convicted for murder in the first degree, and even given the death penalty, that young man would still be gone. The tragedy is we still believe that six people or twelve people who are brainwashed can sit on a jury and not bring their own prejudices into the courtroom. The tragedy is we still believe that a judge, who decides what evidence enters the courtroom or the jury room, is not brainwashed by his or her life’s experiences.

The tragedy is we believed that trying George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida would result in anything other than an undesirable outcome. Sanford is in Seminole County. You may know that the Seminoles were a band of renegade former African slaves, Native Americans, and other freed Blacks in a rebellion against the United States. Seminole is a Spanish word that means, “to run away.”  It is ironic that this band of renegades fought the United States army to a standstill or a stalemate and forced it to sign a treaty, yet another treaty, that resulted in the “Trail Of Tears,” another treaty that the United States failed to honor.  That band of mostly Africans were originally from that area that is now Seminole County. So, it is somewhat ironic that this case was tried in Seminole County.

In the Oscar Grant case we saw what happened on that BART platform and we saw that outcome in Los Angeles, California. Why did anyone think that six jurors from rural Florida would convict anyone of killing an unarmed Black person for allegedly looking suspicious and walking around a predominantly white community?

That fact is each member of that jury probably all would have suspected Trayvon Martin of looking suspicious and would have at least called the police. Most White folks love calling the police. If you have a candid conversation with them about most any uncomfortable situation, one of the first things they may mimic is “[W] ere the police called?” This is how some of them think. They generally feel unsafe and they feel that their lives are in danger anytime a Black man confronts any of them. If they have a firearm, they may discharge it.

They wanted to send a message to the country. That message is we believe the stereotypes about Black men. We do not want them wandering about our neighborhoods. If they do, we want to know what they are doing. We certainly do not want them “back talking” or being uppity.

Trayvon Martin was killed for being an “uppity nigger. “ So was Oscar Grant. If they had just kept their mouths shut, they would still be alive. The question is do we want our Black youth to be docile, and live? Do we want them to stand up, and speak out when they feel they are not being treated fairly?

Even in a State where firearms are not allowed, no one knows who possesses a firearm. So when you speak up to another person you never know who will produce a firearm. So, unless you do not care whether you live or die, it is best to conduct yourself as though the other person has a firearm and will not hesitate to shoot you.

What do you tell a young person? We have come to expect too much from the justice system. We do not want to be in trial over the death of a family member anyway. A trial will not give you justice. Even if you prevail, all you will receive is money in a civil trial, and in the case of a criminal trial, you may send the other person to jail or to death row. You will still not have your prized possession.

What you do then is gather evidence and you keep walking to your anticipated designation. You do not have to prove yourself. Observe license plates, descriptions, and you make a report. If you are a minor, make a report to your parents or guardians.

Be careful. Be smart. Live to see another day. Justice is an elusive concept.

© Copyright 2013 admin, All rights Reserved. Written For: Earth Colony

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *