Monday, July 15, 2013

THE ACQUITTAL OF A MURDERER by Kiilu Nyasha (July 14, 2013)

A correction to my piece: I misread a statement about Trayvon's age; It was 21 days before his 17th birthday, not 21 days after his 16th birthday.  Nevertheless, he was 16 at the time of his death.  

The long-awaited verdict in the Zimmerman trial was incredible -- "not guilty."

Listening carefully to the trial judge's detailed instructions to the 6-juror panel (amazing in itself), including complete definitions of 2nd degree murder and manslaughter, I was convinced that were they to follow her instructions, the verdict was bound to be guilty as charged or at least the lesser charge of manslaughter. After over 12 hours of deliberations, my worst-case scenario was a hung jury.   

Yet how could I forget that this trial took place in a judicial system I’ve longnown (through experience!) represents white-supremacist injustice; and one the most racist states in the country – Florida, the nations’ second highest incarcerator and state executioner of Black men.

Off the top, how many other cases come to mind of a young Black man senselessly murdered by so-called law enforcers? Oscar Grant, Allen Blueford, Kenneth Harding, Amadou Diallo.  In fact, a Black person is murdered by law enforcement every 28 hours,  Are their lives valued?
An endangered, stereotyped group, Black and Brown male human beings top the prison populations and those slated for state murder.  Black women and mothers are swiftly gaining a similar fate as more and more Black babies are literally born in prison.