14 full days, 56 witnesses, 7 Statements by the defendant, 200 pieces of Evidence, 3 911 calls, 6 non-emergency calls by the defendant and 6 jurors. That was the trial of George Zimmerman, charged and as we now know found not guilty of second degree murder for shooting Trayvon Martin dead.
The trial lasted approximately 6720 minutes, I watched and heard them all live as they happened. Having worked on a capital case (Angel Diaz) in Florida my interest in the matter was more than, but not excluding, the issues that seemed to capture the attention of so many around the world and here in Australia. I wanted to write something during the trial, I wanted to write something when the verdict came down but what do you write when you see nothing that isn’t just part of the daily struggle.
There was nothing particularly unique about this trial or even the case for that matter. A dead black child the result of a gun shot wound is not much news to report in the US of A. And despite all the publicity, all the media and all the talk I knew during those 6720 minutes of trial time that it didn’t matter what happened in the trial, Zimmerman was getting off. How could I be so sure? Find me a trial in the south where a white man has been convicted by an all white jury of killing a black man!
Oh, you hadn’t heard that one before! Well you can spend all day looking, but you won’t be able to prove me wrong. That is the dirty little secret of race that really plagued this trial. It wasn’t that Zimmerman may or may not have racially profiled young Trayvon, we know he did. We know from his statements (“these fucking punks, arseholes”), the witness whose evidence wasn’t allowed on the stand “I know George, and I know that he does not like black people…He would start something. He’s a very confrontational person. It’s in his blood. Let’s just say that.”, And Zimmerman’s previous 6 calls to police regarding young black men apparently up to no good who it turns out did nothing. Or the witness that would have given evidence about the Zimmerman families racism (Not allowed as evidence), Zimmerman assaulting a police officer in 2005 (not allowed as evidence) or Zimmerman’s ex-fiance who took out a restraining order against him for Domestic Violence. No, none of that could be allowed in to prove this was an angry racist, a violent one who didn’t really like Black people. It wasn’t just that George was racist, that we were allowed to know, it was the systems overt racism that had to remain behind bars.
All of which made the jury of his peers, that nice representation of society (31% Black in that part of Florida), the 6 white women, perfect for ensuring history would not be made with the conviction of a white man killing a black man in the south. Oh, but one of the jurors was Hispanic I hear you say…., So was George 😉 This as DL Hughley rightly pointed out is not about the white man, not about supposed “Brown Solidarity”, this is a “Black Non-Black thing”.
This is what helps all explain away the fact that one was a boy, the other a man. One was armed with a packet of skittles and the other a gun, one more than 50lbs heavier and that heavier male with the gun also having trained in mixed martial arts for 18months being deemed the one in fear of his life and justified in shooting that black boy dead. It’s what helps you explain a medical examiner who said you can voluntarily walk around and talk 15 seconds after having your heart ripped out of your chest. Yes he said it, check the transcript. While you are there you can read another expert testify that Trayvon was the bigger threat even with Zimmerman having a gun, a great deal of practice on the firing range and close combat MMA training. Normally we’d call bullshit, but to continue to free white men for killing black men you have to continue to suspend belief in all the evidence and that is just what the jury did, just as it was planned out for them and just the way they saw it even after it was all over. Juror B37 has since stated when asked if she felt sorry for Trayvon that she felt sorry for George.
That’s how it plays out, that you can end up dead and the guy that kills you earns the sympathy. That a child who commits no crime can be shot in the heart and his killer not only get off but get his gun back. It’s a non-Black Black thing. Just like we have a non-Indigenous Indigenous thing in Australia. Where you can be a highly paid columnist found guilty of racism and yet with your TV show, radio show, blog and newspaper articles still feel “Silenced” and have one particular political party go into bat for your free speech rights. That’s how Marlon Noble can be locked up in WA for 10 years for no crime and that’s how Mulrunji can have his liver split in two but his killer not convicted just those who protested his death.
It’s a Black Non-Black thing and until we own that the next Trayvon killer, the next Mulrunji killer, has a license to kill!