February 26th, 2015 marked the 3-year anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. Just two days prior on February 24th, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice determined that there was not enough evidence to pursue federal charges of civil rights violations against Zimmerman. Justice for Trayvon did not fail once but twice. However, Trayvon wasn’t the only unarmed black man whose life was unjustly taken without consequence. We saw the same for Mike Brown, and Eric Garner, along with John Crawford III and Tamir Rice who had toy guns in a non-threatening manner, but was still gunned down without an adequate attempt to assess the situation. Had that happened, the cops might have realized that the guns were fake and that there was no threat.
John Crawford III and Tamir Rice should be alive right now. Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner and countless others should be alive right, but their not. We vowed that their deaths would not be in vain. We protested, and demanded justice through the American judicial system and the message that the American judicial system sent back to the families of the victims and every man, woman and child that gave damn to fight the injustice, was that Black Lives Don’t Matter.
The message to black people is loud and clear. You are not innocent until proven guilty therefore you will always be presumed to be a criminal. Who cares that Mike Brown had just graduated high school and was due to start college a week before he was murdered. They will dig up yours past and plaster negative images of the victim on 24-hour news cycle to convince the majority in the public that the deceased victim caused their own death.
Think about it; in order for Zimmerman to be found not guilty in the first trial the jury actually had to believe that Trayvon was the aggressor. If Trayvon had not died he would more likely be the one charged and arrested despite the admitted fact that Zimmerman targeted Trayvon and initiated the encounter. Even in death Trayvon was found guilty. America is sending an overwhelming message that black lives don’t matter by way of bias juries, prosecutors with conflict of interest, and laws designed to reduce accountability against those who irresponsibly use deadly force. Each case that came back not guilty or no indictments was a validation for the perpetrator that the shooting was justified. Justified is another way of saying necessary, acceptable, reasonable, and warranted. There was nothing that was necessary, acceptable, reasonable, or warranted about the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, or John Crawford III.
It’s time to tell America that you don’t get to kill our sons, our husbands, and our fathers and it be in vain. You know longer get to live in oblivion of the American Dream when so many are living an American nightmare. You know longer get to casually deny your intuitive bias; you will own it. America maintains many contradictions but the biggest has always been this nation’s creed of the idea that all men are created equal but that belief contradicts the extreme racism displayed against people of color all throughout this nation’s history. America could not possibly believe its’ creed when it had slavery, convict leasing, Jim Crow, and currently unarmed blacks being murdered by public servants without any accountability to their lost lives.
We can no longer accept the denials of this reality nor can we continue to endorse the idea that America is a fair and just society. Having done this song and dance for so long has only kept us trapped at the bottom of many racially institutionalized systems, including employment, housing, and education. If we care anything about the generations after us than we can no longer be complacent. We can no longer be afraid of controversy. Many black leaders of the past who left effective models of change that is benched marked throughout our history were able to do so because they were not afraid to address the tough issues. So the message back to America is that it better correct its problem on the use of deadly force and its broken criminal justice system. This battle will not end until this nation realize and uphold that #blacklivesmatter