George Zimmerman's Acquittal Shows Nothing's Changed Since Emmett Till
George Zimmerman's acquittal for murdering Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin has everything to do with race. That's why I'm offended by white people criticizing African-Americans for making the boy's death about the racial divide that still exists in America. I was especially appalled when Zimmerman's lawyer, Mark O'Mara, had the audacity to claim that had his client been a black man, the case would never have been prosecuted. That's BS.
The Trayvon tragedy is just the latest proof that black people have not beaten racism in the land of the free. You can't tell us race had nothing to do with this case when 58 years ago, two white men named Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam were acquitted of kidnapping, torturing, and murdering 14-year-old African-American Emmett Louis Till in Mississippi. History just repeated itself.
You can't tell us it's not about race when 193 out of the 310 convicts exonerated by DNA evidence and released from prison after being wrongfully convicted are African-American, according to the Innocence Project. You can't argue race didn't play a role when it takes Alabama legislators 82 years to pardon the Scottsboro Boys, nine African-American teens falsely accused and convicted by all-white juries of raping two white women in 1931.
You can't tell us race isn't a factor when we had to hold marches across the country to get justice for Trayvon just like we had to when New York city cops brutalized and sodomized with a broom handle Haitian American Abner Louima in 1997 and when they riddled three African American men with more than 50 bullets, killing one of them, Sean Bell, in 2006. Their crime: celebrating Bell's bachelor party at a Queens strip club.
You can't tell us that if Trayvon had been white and Zimmerman had been black, the verdict would have been the same. Hell, a black man in Long Island, New York, already tried the self-defense claim in the killing of a white teenager six years ago and failed. In 2007, a jury found John H. White guilty of second-degree manslaughter for the 2006 slaying a 17-year-old white Puerto Rican named Daniel Cicciaro. White shot Cicciaro in the face after the boy showed up at his house threatening to kill his teenaged son, Aaron.
You can't tell us Zimmerman's acquittal is fair when we just saw the U.S. Supreme Court invalidate the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
I knew from the beginning that the prosecution of Zimmerman was going to be a farce. The Sanford Police Department never charged him with a crime. It took pressure from the U.S. Justice Department and marches across the country to force Gov. Rick Scott to appoint special prosecutor Angela Corey to file charges. And when she did, she filed the worst charge, second degree murder, against Trayvon's killer knowing the prosecutors assigned to the case where going to have a tough time proving it beyond a reasonable doubt. Corey put on the worst prosecution in the history of Florida.
So don't tell us race doesn't matter. Equality and justice for all in America is a sham.