Posted by : Halima Khait Friday, July 12, 2013

I woke up this morning to find many of my Facebook friends’ profile pictures blacked out.  I learned it was a stand of solidarity as the country awaits the verdict on the George Zimmerman trial (notice I didn’t say Trayvon Martin?? By putting his name in front of the words “case” or “trial,’ I feel we support the defense’s tactic of using a child’s immature, yet average behavior to justify his murder).   Although I am a proponent of individuals organizing to promote action, I can’t join this particular movement because I think it’s pushing for the wrong cause.
The defense and everybody in America knows where the minority community stands on our wishes for this trial’s outcome.  At best, changing a profile photo on Facebook simply makes the majority aware that we’re paying attention.  That’s not enough.  The judge has already allowed for the jury to consider lesser charges of manslaughter and third-degree murder.  We need to make sure these types of events – racial targeting, race-provoked murder and judicial punishment based on skin color – cease to exist.  And the only way this will happen is if we address a larger issue.
Did you ever think about why trials like Zimmerman’s, Jodi Arias’ and Casey Anthony’s, that should be open and shut, are made into extended, media affairs?  Ever think it may be a political power play?  In the words of Steve Biko, a South African community leader, “To them it looks as if something would be dangerously wrong if no major political trial was held for a period of one year.”  He goes on to say, “the government and its security forces are also ruled by fear, in spite of their immense power.  Like anyone living in mortal fear, they occasionally resort to irrational actions in the hope that a show of strength rather than proper intelligence might scare the resistors satisfactorily.”  In short, these trials are distractions meant to maintain control while our “leaders” up on Capitol Hill continue to make poor and selfish decisions.
I fear that once the jury’s decision is in, everybody’s Facebook profile picture will change and the solidarity lost until the next distraction…I mean cause.  So, I’m going to sit this one out, but y’all make sure to call me when you’re really ready to unite and get to the root of the problem.

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