As we await the verdict in the George Zimmerman case - the jury is currently deliberating whether Zimmerman is guilty of second degree murder or manslaughter in the shooting death of unarmed, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year - I'm straying from the usual "What's the Diehl?" format to repost a compelling letter I found in Facebook:
Let’s keep this short and sweet...Open letter to Black folks and others who have been “poised” to Riot
REGARDLESS of the verdict, we must realize that Trayvon Martin has changed all of our lives and quite possibly the scope of American police investigations at large. Hence, there is no NEED to riot. We have already “rioted” with our words, our demands, expressions, and unwillingness to take this anymore. If nothing else, this case has fundamentally changed the minds of those who devalued another’s life based on the color of their skin or the one who has made assumptions about who looks “suspicious” because of how they APPEAR to you.
Some wonder why this case has garnered so much attention. Well, let me enlighten you. NOTHING happens in a vacuum. Since the inception of this country, we have had to suffer and even asked to embrace the gradations of humanity. Persons are judged in STAGES of their humanness. Humanity was never simply bestowed upon one because they had human DNA, it had to be EARNED – fought for. Some people were simply less than human….are simply less than human.
What did this case show us? Those days may be fewer and farther between, but they are not OVER. So when people say, “Oh, you know those people will riot….just like they did in back in 1992” (Note they don’t want to be judged by their past but will never cease to judge you by yours), the difference is we have been POISED not to riot but to EXPECT a “not guilty” verdict. If it took 46 days to merely get an ARREST – an ARREST – I think that speaks volumes. So regardless of what wrongs you perceive have been done to you (and they have), REMEMBER you have no presumption of innocence and no right to stand your ground...no matter what the LAW says. It does not apply. You will be arrested, and you may even get killed. And there will be every justification in the world given for why this had to happen.
So on Monday, or whenever judgment day is, keep in mind, even with a “not guilty” verdict, all is not lost. For we have all been Trayvon Martin and that in itself is a form of justice that no court of law can take away from us.
Signed an American Citizen and Mother of a young Black male who is big for his age,
~ Te Holman
Ms. Holman and her son