When George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a lot of people expressed feelings of anger, grief, sadness and disappointment. Rapper T.I. has chosen a different route — role playing — saying if he were Trayvon’s father George Zimmerman would not be free to roam the earth saving families from overturned cars or racking up speeding citations in Texas.
According to SOHH.com:
“Man, it was some bulls**t,” said T.I. “My hat goes off to the Martin family, because if it was me and my child, there wouldn’t have been no trial. I’d have been on trial. It would’ve been the trial of the father who killed the man who killed [his child]. That would have been my story. My hat goes off because [the Martin family] are much more clear and level-headed thinkers than [myself].” (News Radio)
Indeed. The Martin family chose to believe in our justice system. And while some believe that system failed them, it is our justice system that separates us from the code of the streets T.I. is operating from. Is T.I. wrong to express himself so bluntly? A father himself, T.I. likely has put himself in Trayvon Martin’s parents shoes as many of us did, imaging how we’d feel if we lost someone we loved in a similar manner.
But do statements like this help the larger conversation about black men and boys, our justice system and righting historic wrongs? Is T.I. helping or hurting the bigger point about justice for black families in America?