Land of the Not So Free

While I am not a citizen of America and I didn’t grow up here, I live here now and what I see frightens me for the future of society in this country on so many social levels.

The verdict came down on the Trayvon Martin case last night after 18 hours of deliberation, I didn’t watch the case, I only saw snippets. I only know what the media wants me to know. The only people who really know the truth are George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, but Trayvon’s dead, his life snuffed out by an over zealous neighbourhood watchman. Or was Trayvon an enraged teen and Zimmerman acted in self defense.We’ll never know. George Zimmerman will live out his life and he only he can know the truth of that night. But why did he not heed the advice of the 911 operator to wait for police, why did he think Trayvon was a threat in the first place. We live in a world unfortunately where if you act a certain way, look a certain way then you are a threat, even if you’re not. The idea of shoot first ask questions later is scary. Citizens being armed is scary. You can’t make rational decisions in a split second of life or death. This boy, and he was a boy, lost his life because he went to buy some candy and a drink in the dark in an unfamiliar neighbourhood. He could have been anyone. George Zimmerman did what he thought was right, did he act with a jaded view of young black men? Was he racial profiling, would he have done the same if Trayvon was white or Latino? We will never know and while advocates insist this is not a race case and he was found not guilty from lack of evidence, the facts are a young black man is dead because he was walking alone with his hood up in a neighbourhood where he was not known and was assumed to be a threat.


The law is complicated and flawed. It can be manipulated to serve a purpose and doesn’t always follow a moral code. How does Zimmerman get off and a black woman gets 20 yrs for firing a gun in the air to warn an abusive husband, who already had a history of violence against her? How do the police get acquitted for killing Sean Bell in New York? How do they get away with beating Rodney King in LA? Why are these men being targeted? Why does being black automatically put you on the wrong side of the law?

This case, while supposedly not about race, is so very much about it. Hundreds of people a day are murdered by guns, that doesn’t make International news.It doesn’t even make national news. Why this case? Would he have been acquitted if the races were reversed? If Zimmerman was black and Trayvon latino? Would it have happened in the first place? Again we’ll never know. And while the law says he is innocent until proven guilty and if there’s reasonable doubt about it he must go free.

The facts remain that Trayvon is still dead and Zimmerman still did it. Is that really justice? I think not.

The worst part… every black mother worries a little more for their sons tonight, every wife and girlfriend of a black man worries a little more for their husbands and every white person fears retaliation a little more which worsens race relations.

In a land where all men a created equal, equal is still defined by the colour of your skin.

America has regressed tonight and for that NOBODY wins.


Comments 34

  1. Although I think the whole Zimmerman case went way out of context (especially with the media highlighting specifically on the case), the Zimmerman trial will be one not forgotten by the many. Although Zimmerman was found not guilty, knowing that he killed a man is still punishment.

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      But not justice for the boy who didn’t deserve to die. So much went wrong that night, things we’ll never know but what we do know is that if Zimmerman had listened to police and NOT stalked Trayvon, he would be alive…. probably. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. Wow – you summed this up very eloquently. I am so saddened to know that Trayvon’s family will not get the answers to these questions and many more. Zimmerman should be in jail, you kill someone you go to jail. He shouldn’t have had a weapon in the first place. This provides more hatred and anger in an already hostile situation. It is so sad when you place so much trust in a judicial system, because the other option is we become the judicial system, and realize time and again how flawed it really is. I pray that his parents find some solace in knowing that many people – white/black/asian/latino are horrified that Zimmerman did not get the sentence that he should have.

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  3. You are so right. Nobody wins. My one wish the minute I found out that I was pregnant with my first was that the world would become a little kinder, fairer, smarter. It was a wish I have yet to see.

  4. You are right, we will never know. Even if Juror B37 or whatever her number is, releases all of the information, we were not there. I long for the day when we won’t have to mourn for lost chiildren, and if/when bad news from human behavior has to be reported, it can be reported about a “PERSON” not a black person or a white person, but a PERSON. Here’s hoping!

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  5. Great post and some very good points, Molley. This was a very sad situation. But in my opinion, as a species, forget this being an issue just within the U.S. for the moment, we have really not evolved a bit spiritually in the last 2000 years (minus a small minority when compared to the world at large).

    Until that happens, the violence, intolerance, greed and exploitation will continue unabated. I believe racism/intolerance in various iterations exist everywhere.

    Similar incidents probably occur hundreds if not thousands of times a day across the world where the weak, poor and marginalized are abused, attacked and exploited as a matter of routine. How many Latinos have gone missing or been slaughtered in Mexico by drug cartels?

    What’s unique in the U.S. perhaps is that we are made more aware of the individual incidents that occur here and since they are always depicted in the media as watershed events, we have a greater sense of outrage when they do happen here than when they do in other countries. How do we react?

    Facebook is the perfect environment to witness the outrage that spills out in comments for several days after a tragic event only to cease when everyone goes back to posting about what they had for lunch. We all expect changes to come, but most of us do very little to help make those changes because it requires some degree of sacrifice. And really, the sacrifice is not that great. I am a firm believer that there is much we can do to improve race relations within this country just by reaching out to people within our own communities and that is as simple as saying hello to someone who passes you on the street, or holding the door for someone behind you in a store. Simple acts that make people feel connected, alive and accepted.

  6. Yes. Stuff like this makes Americans, and humanity, and the entire world just become embarrassing. Awesome words. Right now, I’m shamed to be American. And human. And that this stuff happens.

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  7. Hey, just reading this because I followed you over from HMM where I was guest-posting today.

    Very thoughtful, and I agree with you. I love hearing the perspective of non-US citizens and people who didn’t grow up here as well. I think we’re pretty isolated/egocentric here, with oceans on two sides, and Canada (too cold to think about) to the North and Mexico (DRUGS!) to the South… Melting-pot my ass…

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