Per the Los Angeles Times, Dale Charles, president of the Arkansas chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, believes George Zimmerman racially profiled Trayvon Martin. Join the club, Dale. Here's the money quote:
"What we're trying to say to America is: All is not well."
I couldn't have understated it better myself.
In the same article, Rev. Al Sharpton said that the "stand your ground" laws are "the worst violation of civil rights, of state law, in this country." I'd add the gutting of the Voting Rights Act to that.
No, America, all is not well. Convicting the victim in the court of public opinion is not well. Killing a teenager because he was walking home in the rain with his sweatshirt hood up for warmth and protection is not well. A juror referring to Trayvon Martin's killer as "Georgie" is not well. A defense attorney calling the killer "innocent" is not only not well, it's legally incorrect. "Not guilty" does not equate to innocence: Law School 1o1.
All is so not well that I go to bed at night and wake up in the morning with knots in my stomach and tears in my eyes. And if I, a white woman, feel that way, I can't even begin to comprehend the deep pain, sorrow, frustration, sense of injustice, and anger black Americans feel. Take Trayvon's parents, for example. Via the L.A. Times:
Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother, said in a "CBS This Morning" interview that she was "stunned absolutely" by the not-guilty verdict handed down Saturday by the six-woman jury in Seminole County, Fla.
"I thought surely that he [Zimmerman] would be found guilty of second-degree murder, manslaughter at the least," Fulton said. "But I just knew that they would see that this was a teenager just trying to get home. This was no burglar. This was somebody's son that was trying to get home."
In the same interview with CBS, Martin's father, Tracy Martin, said he wanted Americans to know "that Trayvon was a fun-loving child. He was our child. We miss him dearly."
Martin added, "Just to have your child's life taken away from you like that, it hurts. And it's a process that will take a long time to start the recovery from. [...] Forgiveness takes time. The healing process is a long process and the forgiving process is a long process..."
My father recently died of natural causes, and I'm still reeling from that. If one of my sons had his life cut short at the hands of a George Zimmerman, it would devastate me beyond words, beyond imagination.
I'm also reeling from the onslaught of hostility and racism that have been zooming around social media these days. I'm regularly appalled by the prevalence of racial discrimination in our voting system, in lawmaking, in law enforcement, in tweets, in public comments in way too many venues, with increasing frequency, temerity, and intensity.
The utter contempt by these (often) illiterate, vile, emboldened bigots for others is stunning. It's not uncommon for someone to hurl the c**t word at me, or try to use "dyke" as a pejorative, simply because they disagree with me. Anything ending in "tard" seems to be one of the most popular default insults, and "Suck my conservative c**k" was tweeted to me the other day. Why? Because I tweeted a pro-Trayvon message to the Twitterverse.
These bottom-feeders may be a minority (how ironic is that?), but their despicable troll-y presence is felt by most political commentators (and others) with alarmingly regularity. They are also suspended regularly, but they open new accounts and start all over again. I could go on about trolls here on TPC and in social media in general, but that's another post for another time.
What matters is that such savagely antagonistic types are being fueled by the actions of killers like Zimmerman (and mind-boggling legal decisions... see: Alexander, Marissa) who feel justified in not only in spewing their hate, but also in supporting and engaging in violence.
They're being fueled by terrified, cowardly white people who feel threatened by their shrinking majority status and all those not-white people "taking over" (see: Negrophobia, Rachel Maddow video: “Be afraid, white people! The black people are coming for you!”).
They're being fueled by ALEC, the gun industry, and the NRA, all enthusiastic backers of Florida's "stand your ground" law.
As a result, they're more brazenly acting on their irrational fears.
Post-racial America? Get real.