The Trayvon Martin Case: A Return to Dred Scott Status

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  • Trayvon Martin is dead. George Zimmerman shot and killed this unarmed 17-year-old child who was on his way back from a neighborhood store and heading to his dad’s home.

    Trayvon was not the victim of a mugging, carjacking, drive-by shooting, or random act of gang violence. He was the fatal victim of a neighborhood watch activity carried out by Zimmerman.

    Trayvon had no criminal record, nor did he commit a crime on the night of his execution. He was alone and unprotected.

    Trayvon was not peeping into the homes of others in the neighborhood, nor was he casing places to burglarize. He was talking on his cell phone to a friend while walking home. He was not bothering anyone in the neighborhood.

    What was his crime? He was black in America and happened to be doing the right things in the wrong place at the wrong time. What was his punishment? A cold-blooded, execution-style death near his home. Why was he executed? Trayvon, who was wearing a hoodie when Zimmerman spotted him, didn’t look like he belonged in this mostly white, middle-class, Florida neighborhood.

    Why did Trayvon resist Zimmerman? Trayvon was an unarmed innocent teenager who was being followed, approached, and confronted by a stranger with a gun. Of course, we never got Trayvon’s version of the events because Zimmerman silenced him, forever.

    Let’s be clear.  Trayvon was not followed and stopped by a police officer, nor was Zimmerman making a citizen’s arrest for a crime committed in his presence. Trayvon was killed because Zimmerman thought he did not belong in this neighborhood.

    What does last night’s jury verdict in Sanford, Florida tell us about the status of blacks in America?

    First, the verdict made it absolutely clear to all Americans (and global citizens) that blacks, for the most part, are alone and unprotected in this country. There is no adequate and functioning system of justice that protects us from this type of unchecked violence, whether we live in Sanford, Florida, where Trayvon was “lawfully” executed during the administration of “neighborhood watch” justice, or we live in Chicago – the gang-banging, murder capital of America.

    Governmental officials at all levels give us with plenty of lip service about fighting crime and providing us with safe neighborhoods, but our reality is far different from these empty campaign slogans and promises. For the first time in our history in America, no one in a position of authority seems to care enough about our lives, safety and welfare to protect us from the George Zimmermans of the world or the murdering thugs and gang members on Chicago’s West and South sides.

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