Attorneys, like me, have been trained and conditioned to view things through a very particular legal lens objective and desensitized.
This is not necessarily a bad thing since it can sometimes stop us from judging, or getting too emotionally involved with our clients. As we all know, emotions can often affect our decision-making, and negatively impact our work.
That said, we are human and as African-American lawyers, we are often faced with the unique challenge of being a part of a system of justice that is largely designed to monitor and control Black people some might even say oppress us.
When it comes to the ruling in the Trayvon Martin case, I could professionally and justifiably say, “Well, you know, the prosecution really didn’t present an effective case, and therefore the resulting verdict is appropriate…”
But personally, as an African-American mother, I feel very different and yes it is personal. You see, Trayvon was on trial long before George Zimmerman ever was… long before he decided to walk to the store for some candy and a drink.
Make no mistake, Trayvon was on trial — because of centuries of negative stereotyping of black people– for being young, black and male; he was charged with the crime of ‘walking while young, black and male’; and he was quickly executed for his crime by George Zimmerman.
And Florida enabled this execution by way of the racial and, yes, legal tone it set a long time ago for Zimmerman to kill, to avoid arrest for two months, and to get acquitted.
Didn’t matter that Florida’s so-called ‘Stand Your Ground’ law was not used during the trial since it had already served its purpose. Zimmerman, a wannabe cop, was likely aware of it, and under the law, the police won’t arrest if there is quote-unquote “probable cause” the person “acted in self-defense”.
And the police simply took Zimmerman’s word for it since Trayvon was, well, dead and could not speak.
Unfortunately, in America, justice is far from blind. Trayvon, apparently, did not have the same right to stand his ground since we know for a fact he was approached by an armed aggressor.
In this country, which so often treats black people as “less than” other people –we also know that―if the roles were reversed and Trayvon had been white and Zimmerman black―an immediate arrest would have been made. And Florida likely would have sought the death penalty.
I’ll leave you with this timely quote from Enola Aird, founder and president of Community Healing Network that speaks to the need for us to look at the underlying causes of racial injustice. She says:
“We can debate. We can legislate. We can litigate. But this time we should also focus on the root cause of what happened to Trayvon Martin: the fact that for nearly four hundred years Black people have been seen as less than human. It is well past time for us to address the root cause.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
1 of 25
2 of 25
3 of 25
4 of 25
5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
5 of 25
6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
6 of 25
7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
7 of 25
8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
8 of 25
9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
9 of 25
10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
10 of 25
11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
11 of 25
12. Late nights mornings
12 of 25
13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
13 of 25
14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
14 of 25
15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
15 of 25
16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
16 of 25
17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
17 of 25
18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
18 of 25
19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
19 of 25
20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
20 of 25
21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
21 of 25
22. Claudia Jordan: ....
22 of 25
23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
23 of 25
24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
24 of 25
25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
25 of 25