Recently, I’ve joined millions of others across this country in outrage over the Zimmerman verdict. I was outsourcing my feelings of seeing a unity of spirit amongst Black people motivated by the act of injustice right before our eyes through the acquittal of Zimmerman.
I say outsourcing because all the while, my conscience was speaking to me in a still small voice, but one loud enough to hear over the noise of chants for justice and tears of astonishment in GZ’s acquittal. The voice in my head spoke loud and clear: Where is the unified outcry amongst Black people in particular, for the ongoing deaths in Chicago of Blacks being killed by other Blacks?
Six people killed and 17 shot this past weekend alone, including Six year old Quianna Thompson, who was ironically shot and killed while attending a vigil for another shooting victim who died the previous week. In addition to Quianna, the five other lives lost this past weekend were just as precious as both hers and Trayvon Martin’s life.
What about the lives of other Chicago victims of violent murder: Jeremiah Brown, Marissa Boyd- Stingley, Tommie Bates, Ronald Baskin, Marquis Anderson, Cherie Adams, Clifton Barney, Jovatay Alexander and on and on and on… Weren’t their lives just as precious as Trayvon’s life?
Is it because they weren’t killed by a White/Mexican, that somehow invalidates the need for our unified national outrage? Have we by our own national Black silence set the bar so low for the devaluation of Black life that only when a white jury acquits a white man for murdering one of our own, will we as a people get up in arms about how precious Black life is?
Does anyone really believe that if Trayvon Martin was killed by another Black youth he would have still become a national martyr symbolizing injustice, OR would he have simply been a 30 second blip on the local news in reporting another murdered Black youth with no witnesses.
White males with a university degree have a 2.9% unemployment rate while Black male high school dropouts constitute a 51.6% unemployment rate. That coupled with a plethora of available guns, territorial gang disputes/violence and a very hot summer breeds the perfect storm for the murder rates we are all witnessing week after week just in Chicago alone.
Under-educated, under-employed, under-skilled and overly-armed draws the line in the sand for employed contempt and a glaring lack of love for the sanctity of life, especially amongst your own kind.
Where is the unified boycott by music celebrities? Where are the sports teams/stars wearing Hoodies? Where are the politically religious and religiously political opportunists who are there to posture for the national TV cameras during the Martin case, yet silent and absent when we are killing each other week after bloody week?
No differently than any other race, Black people exhibit the same behavioral patterns of an anticipated and ongoing measured dispassion when killing their own kind.
We must also remember that White people organized en masse vehemently across the country when protesting an acquittal of a defendant who they collectively felt was guilty of murder. Perhaps if the current dynamics were flipped under the same set of circumstances and the murderer was clearly responsible for the murder and yet found not guilty, then we would again witness a similar reaction from White people. Remember their reaction to the Not Guilty verdict in the OJ criminal trial?
Nevertheless, it doesn’t excuse the amount of paralyzed dismissal we as Black people have now become so accustomed to rendering when it concerns a Black life being murdered by another Black individual.
We all feel the hurt it when we hear the news of another deadly weekend in Chicago, or Washington DC, Detroit, New York, Phily, New Orleans, etc;.. and because ignorance walks so proudly and so well armed, we can only throw our hands up in the air in the attempt to somehow maintain our sanity.
The question is: Where is our unified national outrage? Organized rallies? Sit-Ins at the State House forcing the Governor to request the FBI and all powers of the State using every means necessary to find the gun suppliers? Where is our demand to the powers that be for equal education funding across the board for Public Schools (as done for Charter Schools) and creating State based Job training opportunities requiring incentivized High School Diploma/GED Equivalent for our youth?
Where is our demand of the President and The Justice department to send in Federal troops if necessary to stop these senseless killings? Perhaps that’s the hardest part of all. Allowing our frustrations to turn into an despondency of acceptance, and that acceptance to morph itself into a growing indifference for life itself through our self-inflicted genocide.
Ultimately indicting us all, because without commissioned organized action, we then through omission, become an accessory to the very crimes we despise in our loud silence. May GOD Help Us…IJPN ~ In JESUS Precious Name.