I Had A Dream This Afternoon: Will People Riot Because Of The Zimmerman Trial?

15 Jul

By Parisienne & Open Book

Almost 53 years ago on August 28th, 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous I Have a Dream speech to over 250,ooo civil rights supporters at Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. King described his dreams of freedom and equality arising from a land of slavery and hatred. Today with the majority of young black men housed in prison in the US. Is it possible what happened to Rodney King and Trayvon Martin the extreme and fatal results of discrimination and repression of black men in America?

On February 26, 2012, George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin during a confrontation between the two.  George states that Trayvon jumped out of the bushes and ambushed him and that he shot Trayvon in self-defense. The case has since gone to trial and on July 12, the sheriff’s office in Sanford, Florida asked people not to riot whatever the outcome may be.

 Ironically, Zimmerman’s prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda used Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech in his closing arguments arguing that star witness Rachel Jeantel should be taken seriously, regardless of her “unsophisticated” testimony,

“I had a dream … that today, a witness would be judged not on the color of her personality, but the content of her testimony,” Mr. Rionda told the jury.[1]

How close are we to realizing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.s dream today? In a recent book by Michelle Alexander entitled The New Jim Crow Law: Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Here are a few facts regarding racial progress in America:

  • There are more African Americans under correctional control today — in prison or jail, on probation or parole — than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.
  • As of 2004, more African American men were disenfranchised (due to felon disenfranchisement laws) than in 1870, the year the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified prohibiting laws that explicitly deny the right to vote on the basis of race.
  • If you take into account prisoners, a large majority of African American men in some urban areas, like Chicago, have been labeled felons for life. These men are part of a growing undercaste — not class, caste — a group of people who are permanently relegated, by law, to an inferior second-class status. They can be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries, and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education, and public benefits — much as their grandparents and great-grandparents once were during the Jim Crow era.

“In an article addressing the status of contemporary African Americans, Alexander said, “The clock has been turned back on racial progress in America, though scarcely anyone seems to notice. All eyes are fixed on people like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey who have defied the odds and achieved great power, wealth and fame”.[10] Alexander sees the masses of ordinary African Americans as being relegated to the status of a “racial caste,” even though the official approach to dealing with minorities has been redesigned to avoid explicit use of racial attributes. According to Alexander, forms of “racial control” in the United States evolve as required by changing political circumstances and contemporary standards, with the policies of the current criminal justice system replacing Jim Crow laws, which in turn had replaced slavery. Alexander aims to mobilize the civil rights community to move the incarceration issue to the forefront of its agenda and to provide factual information, data, arguments and a point of reference for those interested in pursuing the issue.”[2]

Saturday, July 13, 2013 George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the Trayvon Martin case.  Its sad it took Trayvon Martin’s life in order for people to finally see something has to change. Here are a few peoples reaction to the verdict.

 
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49 Responses to “I Had A Dream This Afternoon: Will People Riot Because Of The Zimmerman Trial?”

  1. Open Book July 15, 2013 at 4:07 PM #

    First let me say how sad I am for Trayvon Martin’s family. All of us here on LIH pray Trayvon’s family finds strength and comfort during this difficult time.

  2. Open Book July 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM #

    Paris-

    Thank you for choosing this topic and leading this discussion.

    Did u watch and follow the Zimmerman trial?

    • parisienne July 15, 2013 at 6:31 PM #

      OB,

      My thoughts and prayers are with Trayvon’s family as well. I did follow the case because I was interested in seeing what the outcome would be seeing as Zimmerman chose to follow Trayvon although he was told not to. George’s choice to follow Trayvon is what put him in this predicament.

      Then again Marisa Alexander got 20 years in prison for shooting a gun in to the garage wall to scare away her ex husband who beat her. The jury deliberated for only 12 minutes. Yes, I wrote that correctly. 12 minutes. In the deposition, he admitted he would have beaten her had he been able to get the gun away with her. He also admitted to having 5 baby mamas and abusing 4 of them.

      Stand your ground didn’t work for her because the judge said Marisa had enough of a “cooling off” period when she ran into the garage to get the gun. She could have kept running and she did not.

      Marisa did not shoot her ex. Just warning shots.

      • Open Book July 15, 2013 at 9:21 PM #

      • Open Book July 15, 2013 at 9:49 PM #

        “Then again Marisa Alexander got 20 years in prison for shooting a gun in to the garage wall to scare away her ex husband who beat her. The jury deliberated for only 12 minutes.”

        So u are saying (if we go by this case) Zimmerman should have at least gotten 20 years because he invited incident or went looking for trouble?

        • parisienne July 15, 2013 at 11:26 PM #

          http://www.cga.ct.gov/2013/rpt/2013-R-0067.htm

          If I’m reading this correctly, Zimmerman should have gotten life in prison because Trayvon died from his injury. Zimmerman waived his right to a stand your ground case and opted for a jury trial.

          Marissa Alexander fired a warning shot to scare away her ex and she got 20 yrs. she used the stand your ground law and it failed her.

          A 17 year old walking home in the rain without any weapons is shot in the heart by a man he didn’t know. His killer walks free.

          A 30 yr old woman runs from the bathroom when her ex breaks down the door. Fearful for her safety and the three children in the home, she runs to her garage and shoots a warning shot into the garage wall to scare away her ex. Her ex admits he beats her plus 3 other women. Then changes his story for the second deposition and she goes to jail?

          What’s wrong with this picture?

          • Com1c Relief July 16, 2013 at 1:29 PM #

            Thanks Paris,

            This disproves the defense’s notion that there wouldn’t have been a case or controversy if Zimmerman was black.

            • ozzie20 July 16, 2013 at 8:21 PM #

              Wow, I’m speechless… My thought’s and prayers go to Trayvon’s family too.

              With Marissa, I’m even more speechless (if there can be such a thing)! It doesn’t make any sense at all.

              • Open Book July 17, 2013 at 3:36 PM #

                Oz! Supremacist behavior is cowardly behavior. U are shocked because in this day and age with innocent school children and theater goers being gunned down. How can anyone support this cowardly ideology?

          • Open Book July 17, 2013 at 2:09 PM #

            “What’s wrong with this picture?”

            Yeah! Sexism and racism for the world to see, it looks pretty ugly doesn’t it?

            I’ve noticed those who carry out supremacist attitudes are the first ones to claim victim, time out or want to change the rules when the person or group they bully & harass fight back. What’s wrong with this picture?

  3. Open Book July 15, 2013 at 6:10 PM #

    I realize some of our readers may disagree or agree with the Zimmerman verdict. However, given we don’t know and or privy to all the facts of this case. In discussing this topic on LIH we hope to explore some of the underlining issues in Trayvon Martin’s case. Those include the “Stand Your Ground” law that 25 states like Florida has adopted which allowed neighborhood vigilante George Zimmerman to face no charges for a month after shooting Trayvon Martin. Also, the current criminal justice system and incarceration issue in America.

    • Open Book July 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM #

      This video explains more in detail The New Jim Crow Law book.

  4. Open Book July 15, 2013 at 6:14 PM #

    Here is some info on the “Stand Your Ground” law.

    “Stand Your Ground” law, which states that murder is justified in the name of protecting oneself at any cost, even if conflict is avoidable. And though his trial eventually hinged on self-defense rather than “Stand Your Ground,” so long as laws like these are on the books, vigilante violence will continue, often with no consequences.” What do u think of this law?

    • ozzie20 July 16, 2013 at 8:42 PM #

      Well if the “even if conflict is avoidable” part was taken out it seems like an ok law. That bit though is the part that is causing the trouble imo. Conflict should always be first dealt with peaceful measures. Violence should always be the last thing to be used and even then be used to disable a person attacking you, not to kill them.

      • Open Book July 16, 2013 at 9:27 PM #

        ITA Oz! However, u are thinking just like I did. This law would help people being abused. But what about a paranoid vigilante who decides to come after u with a gun and claim self defense?

      • Open Book July 17, 2013 at 3:52 PM #

        Oz! I think we are mistaken. The “Stand Your Ground” law only protects the cowardly perpetrator who use deadly force against the person they are bullying. This law does not apply to the person being harassed who defends themselves. Yeah! That sounds about right.

  5. parisienne July 15, 2013 at 6:38 PM #

    Everyone,

    I won’t be here tomorrow night but I will answer questions when I can.

    • Open Book July 15, 2013 at 9:52 PM #

      No problem.

  6. parisienne July 15, 2013 at 8:01 PM #

    Question for everyone,

    There is a debate on t.v whether or not George will write a book and get money that way. Who in there right mind would purchase the book? George, Casey and O.J. Are in the same boat. They are social pariahs for the rest of their lives no one wants anything to do with them

    • Open Book July 15, 2013 at 10:43 PM #

      Well I’m sure the Fox Network would be happy to air his talk show. After all Oliver North got a show. Why not GZ?

      Yeah! ITA social pariah is right. But I think u just answered your own Q. U would have to be out of your mind to watch or buy his book? I agree he has to earn a living but COME ON!!!!!!! Why go for the fame, and spotlight if u are sincere and regret what happened? After all GZ can go back to school and get student aid unlike other ex-offenders who committed lesser offenses? Oh! Yeah! He can earn minimum wage and not .23 cents an hour like others in prison who committed lesser offenses? Please don’t get me started. When does shooting/killing someone constitute instant book and television deals? I’m telling u actors are in the wrong profession.

      • Open Book July 15, 2013 at 11:03 PM #

        Furthermore, the mere fact the media would be discussing TV and book deals is sick. When will the news media learn glorifying gun violence invites others seeking attention?

      • parisienne July 15, 2013 at 11:29 PM #

        Please don’t stick us actors in the same boat with killers. We just like to make people believe we bad. It’s what we get paid for. Lol

        • ozzie20 July 16, 2013 at 8:47 PM #

          Lol! If it helps, by definition he isn’t famous. Infamy is what he has!

          • parisienne July 16, 2013 at 9:26 PM #

            Thank you Ozzie. Lol

        • Open Book July 16, 2013 at 9:10 PM #

          Hahaha! Sorry!

  7. ComicRelief July 16, 2013 at 1:26 PM #

    Hi Paris and OB.

    I heard shortly after the murder that conservative groups had contributed to the George Zimmerman defense fund.

    I’M EXTREMELY SORRY I DID SO LITTLE TO PERSONALLY CONTRIBUTE TO TRAYVON MARTIN’S EXONERATION, OFFENSIVE, OR DEFENSE FUND!!!

    Seeing how badly the Zimmerman defense team beat Trayvon’s family’s representation, I feel ashamed furious and angry about how short sighted I was.

    • Open Book July 16, 2013 at 9:06 PM #

      Yeah its sad isn’t it.

      • parisienne July 16, 2013 at 9:12 PM #

        It is sad but we all have to learn to get along at some point before we all literally kill each other

        • Open Book July 16, 2013 at 10:11 PM #

          ITA! Well said.

  8. ozzie20 July 16, 2013 at 7:51 PM #

    Sorry I’m late. I thought it was Sunday!

    Catching up right now!

  9. parisienne July 16, 2013 at 8:19 PM #

    Hi everyone,

    I’m here.

    • Open Book July 16, 2013 at 9:03 PM #

      Hi!

      I’m so late . Sorry! Let me catch up.

      • parisienne July 16, 2013 at 9:09 PM #

        Hi OB,

        I’m here take your time. Have you seen on AC360 juror B 37 is speaking out about the trial and saying 3 of the women voted guilty originally?

        • Open Book July 16, 2013 at 9:12 PM #

          Are u serious? I just got off work and haven’t watched any news. What made them change their minds?

          • parisienne July 16, 2013 at 9:16 PM #

            Well first off I’m totally pissed at this juror. She said that she believed that it was George’s voice screaming and not trayvon because George was beaten.

            • Open Book July 16, 2013 at 9:48 PM #

              Its sad! This must be like winning the lotto for this juror. I don’t get why she had to run out and talk the next day? Was she afraid the offers would dry up in a week?

              • Open Book July 16, 2013 at 9:51 PM #

                I mean for goodness sake why not think of Trayvon’s parents? This must be like reliving the tragedy again.

                • parisienne July 16, 2013 at 9:56 PM #

                  The other jurors just released a statement saying that juror b 37 opinions are her own and do not reflect theirs but they all had to legally follow the law. They are saddened his life was taken this is hard for each of them and each asks for their privacy to be respected.

                  • Open Book July 16, 2013 at 10:03 PM #

                    Sorry! Im reading it now.

                  • Open Book July 16, 2013 at 10:05 PM #

                    Hmm! What are your thoughts about this statement about juror B37?

                    • parisienne July 16, 2013 at 10:20 PM #

                      I’m thinking that b 37 is adding fuel to the fire and isn’t helping matters. Whatever happened in that jury room should stay there because knowing any of that info doesn’t help the situation. Legally they did their jobs whether we like the outcome or not. Her tidbits about letting George in her neighborhood and about learning his lesson prove to me that this woman hasno class and cannot judge the mood of the nation. We’re all having different feelings and should be allowed to work through in whatever manner is correct for each person without having it thrown in our faces.

                    • Open Book July 17, 2013 at 4:03 PM #

                      I could not agree more.

  10. parisienne July 16, 2013 at 9:21 PM #

    Iirc she said that George’s story matched up with the evidence and that there wasn’t enough to prove otherwise. She also said that the only option they were given was to find him not guilty. I don’t know how or why. I turned it off when Anderson asked her if she would have George as a watchmen in her residential area. She said yes because he learned his lesson

    • Open Book July 16, 2013 at 9:37 PM #

      I’m sorry I was trying to find the interview.

      Wow! She sure didn’t waste anytime running to the media? Does she have a reality show & book deal too? I guess she wouldn’t have gotten as much attention if GZ was found guilty. What do u think?

  11. parisienne July 16, 2013 at 9:33 PM #

    Honestly though I’m thinking the trial/verdict was bought seeing as George’s parents are both working for the legal system. His dad is a judge. You can’t tell me that they didn’t make some calls. That’s jmo.

    • Open Book July 16, 2013 at 9:40 PM #

      Yeah, that’s why I wasn’t too surprised by the verdict. Also, GZ had a full month before being brought up on charges. In that amount of time he could have turned water into wine.

  12. Open Book July 16, 2013 at 10:20 PM #

    Everyone!

    Paris thanks for doing this with me. I could not have done this without u. I will come back tomorrow and comment.

    Goodnight!

  13. littlebells July 18, 2013 at 5:47 PM #

    Hi everyone!

    LB is somewhere in this house amidst toys, diapers, bottles, laundry, and dishes. She would like to apologize for missing this great discussion. She is not surprised by the verdict. She also is not surprised by how backward and messed up our judicial system is and continues to go.

    • parisienne July 18, 2013 at 6:30 PM #

      Hi LB,

      We miss you!

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