I want justice for Trayvon Martin.
I am PISSED at the fact that while he lays six feet under, his killer sleeps in a bed of his choosing every night. I am sick imagining the pain his mother and father must feel right now. And I am livid that this young boy went for candy and came back dead.
What’s amazing is that George Zimmerman is still a free man, and hasn’t worn steel bangles yet. It’s been weeks since he took the life of a young boy whose only weapon was skittles and an iced tea. No sugar-coating this matter here, but Trayvon died because he was young, black and profiled. I demand that he doesn’t die for naught. I want justice.
But, I don’t want vigilante justice. There’s a Black Militia group saying they want to arrest Zimmerman themselves, and many people have hinted at the fact that he should be gunned down in public. Our rage is justified, but neither of these outcomes would helpful in addressing the underlying issue at hand or fixing the problem.
The reason we’re here is that Trayvon was executed by a vigilante. A paranoid private citizen who deemed it his responsibility to patrol a gated community pointlessly ended the young boy’s life. The crime was committed, and Zimmerman’s freedom is entirely the fault of the Sanford police department and the system. The fact that Zimmerman was allowed to walk away from the boy he shot, because he claimed self-defense and the only eye witness lay dead on the ground is ridiculous. He took the law into his own hands, and, although it may make some feel better, it will really help no one if someone does the exact same thing and ends his life before he sees a day behind bars.
Although the events that occurred that February night are tragic, Zimmerman and Martin stand as larger representations of a greater problem. They are symbols of a deeply unjust system that permits a strong message to be sent perpetually: black lives aren’t worth a golden bullet. It is that system that needs to handle Zimmerman, not us.
Therefore, I think it’s important for that system to deal with George Zimmerman, otherwise, it removes the pressure off of the police to address how terribly mishandled this case has been. Vigilante justice would be their get out of jail free card.
Trayvon’s death cannot be in vain. The system needs to also be put on trial, so that the failure of the “Stand Your Ground” law, as well as the Sanford PD, can be seen in its raw form. I want the world to be able to shake its head at a country that prides itself on being a leader, while constantly devaluing the lives of its citizens. The self-righteous pedestal the United States stands on is becoming shakier, as more Amadou Diallos, Sean Bells, and Trayvon Martins are lynched, without real consequences for their murderers.
America is constantly telling black people how many damns it doesn’t give about black lives and it is angering. I don’t want vigilante justice to take the life of Trayvon’s murderer because it’ll only distract from the real victim here: the black boy who lost his life simply because of the skin he was in. Bailing out the police and allowing a vigilante to take out Zimmerman will let the system that permitted this atrocity to happen off the hook. Let them face this. I want justice for Trayvon, not his murderer’s blood on our hands.