Monday, April 23, 2012

Trayvon Martin's Killer Has Been Released!

Like a thief in the night, killer George Zimmerman slithered out of jail around midnight. The Washington Post reports:
George Zimmerman was released around midnight Sunday from a county jail on $150,000 bail as he awaits his second-degree murder trial for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin.  
The neighborhood watch volunteer was wearing a brown jacket and blue jeans and carrying a paper bag. He met a man in a white vehicle and drove away. His ultimate destination is being kept secret for his safety and it could be outside Florida.  
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester said at a hearing Friday he cannot have any guns and must observe a 7 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew. Zimmerman also surrendered his passport.  
Zimmerman had to put up 10 percent, or $15,000, to make bail. His father had indicated he might take out a second mortgage.
His release sends a powerful message. Despite the fact that he killed an unarmed 17 year old boy, the court is essentially saying, "Mr. Zimmerman, you are not dangerous. You are not a flight risk. You probably acted in self defense."

I fear that this may be an omen of more injustice to come. I hope that this case does not end like the Emmett Till, Rodney King, Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell cases. This case may be just another eye opening reminder that the election of one African American president cannot reverse or eliminate the hideous legacy of slavery and racism.

Equal justice under the law is part of the American Dream. How long will that dream be deferred? In the words of Langston Hughes, what happens to a dream deferred? Will it explode like it did in Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict? Unfortunately, when the courts and the police fail to provide justice, the people may take matters into their own hands. This article is cross-posted on Jack and Jill Politics.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mitt Romney's Greatest Hits

Since Rick Santorum suspended his campaign, the Republican Party will nominate Mitt Romney for President. To mark the occasion, here are a few of Romney's greatest hits.

1. "I am not concerned about the very poor."

2. "I like being able to fire people."

3. Joking about his father closing a factory. I guess people losing their jobs is so hilarious to Romney.

4.  His wife drives a couple of Cadillacs.

5. Romney's aid describes the candidate as an Etch A Sketch.

6. Flip flops of historic proportions.

7. Mitt Romney's Mormon faith considers black people to be inferior and cursed.

8. Romney wanted to let the Detroit auto industry go bankrupt.

Do you want this guy to become president?!?!?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Where Do We Go From Here?

That fact that it took 45 days for George Zimmerman to be arrested and charged speaks volumes about the American criminal justice system's cold and racist disregard for black life. If it wasn't for the people marching, protesting, speaking out, petitioning and blogging, our brother Trayvon Martin would be just another dead, discarded n*****. George Zimmerman would still be on the loose, armed and dangerous. Never forget that. Frankly, it is a national disgrace that we had to protest to bring the killer to justice.

People all over this nation united and said "Hell no! We aren't going to let that man get away with killing an unarmed, innocent, young brother." As a result of the people's collective efforts, Zimmerman is now behind bars and charged with 2nd degree murder. This is why protests matter. This is why civil rights organizations are still relevant and necessary. Unfortunately, this nation will probably never be a post-racial society.

The question is where do we go from here. Should we put down our signs, take off the hoodies, stop marching, stop protesting and stop petitioning? No.

Although we are all pleased to see Zimmerman arrested, we should not celebrate yet. Many prominent individuals have said that they just want to see Zimmerman arrested. That's not enough. An arrest alone is not justice. It is merely the first step on the road to justice. Remember Emmett Till's killers were arrested and charged. Rodney King's torturers were arrested and charged. Sean Bell's killers were arrested and charged. Amadou Diallo's killers were arrested and charged. In each case, the killers and attackers were released. So, don't be pacified by an arrest.

We must remember that this problem is much bigger than Zimmerman. What about the Sanford Police Department that let Zimmerman go free? What about the continuing systemic and nationwide problem of racial profiling? What about racial differences in charging and sentencing? What about those ridiculous "stand your ground" laws in over 20 states?

Instead of jumping from one crisis to the next crisis, we must seize the moment and develop a national campaign to end racial profiling, police brutality and vigilantism. Pontification and indignation are not enough. As Kwame Ture said, we must be organized. Join a progressive organization today. Stay engaged and involved.

This article is cross-posted on Jack and Jill Politics.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

George Zimmerman's Attorneys Withdraw From the Case

Good morning family.

Yesterday, shortly after the Special Prosecutor announced that she was not going to bring the case before a grand jury, George Zimmerman's attorneys withdrew from the case. They withdrew for several reasons. His attorneys have lost contact with him. Mr. Zimmerman created a website without consulting his attorneys. Finally, he contacted the Special Prosecutor directly without counsel. He informed the prosecutor that he was not represented by counsel.

During the press conference, his attorneys acknowledged that Mr. Zimmerman never met with them in person. Yet, his attorneys vouched for and vigorous defended him on every major news station. Although they have withdrawn from the case, they continue to demonize and blame the 17 years old, unarmed, African American victim, Trayvon Martin. They continue to assert that this incident has nothing to do with race. Such conduct is despicable.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

They Killed the Dreamer, But His Dream Lives On!

Today marks the 44th anniversary of the assassination of our dear brother, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The assassins may have killed Dr. King, but they did not kill his ideas. His legacy lives on!

Despite all of the progress that we have made as a society, his call for action remains relevant today. Please take a moment to reflect these excerpts from Dr. King's Letter From the Birmingham Jail.

"You may well ask, "Why direct action, why sit-ins, marches, and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are exactly right in your call for negotiation. Indeed, this is the purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and establish such creative tension that a community that has consistently refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. I just referred to the creation of tension as a part of the work of the nonviolent resister. This may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly worked and preached against violent tension, but there is a type of constructive nonviolent tension that is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must see the need of having nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men to rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. So, the purpose of direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. We therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in the tragic attempt to live in monologue rather than dialogue....

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have never yet engaged in a direct-action movement that was "well timed" according to the timetable of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "wait." It rings in the ear of every Negro with a piercing familiarity. This "wait" has almost always meant "never." It has been a tranquilizing thalidomide, relieving the emotional stress for a moment, only to give birth to an ill-formed infant of frustration. We must come to see with the distinguished jurist of yesterday that "justice too long delayed is justice denied." We have waited for more than three hundred and forty years for our God-given and constitutional rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward the goal of political independence, and we still creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward the gaining of a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. I guess it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say "wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, brutalize, and even kill your black brothers and sisters with impunity; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she cannot go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her little eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see the depressing clouds of inferiority begin to form in her little mental sky, and see her begin to distort her little personality by unconsciously developing a bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son asking in agonizing pathos, "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger" and your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and when your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never knowing what to expect next, and plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodyness" -- then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runsover and men are no longer willing to be plunged into an abyss of injustice where they experience the bleakness of corroding despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience....

I MUST make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councillor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods
of direct action"; who paternalistically feels that he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time; and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."