George Zimmerman and Bruce Emery
Yesterday, George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. I want to highlight the tweets and posts of US activists of colour who have commented since the acquittal. This isn’t a time for white people to take the mic. Please listen to these people.
Read Brittney Cooper. Read the letter from 100 young black activists. Read Trudy.
LeVar Burton has to teach his son how not to get killed by police.
Even in the aftermath, the narrative is that black people are dangerous and violent. It’s not outrageous to the people who experience it every day. It’s part of a constant policing of their behaviour. It’s terrorism.
The racism that created this situation is systemic, and there’s plenty of examples to prove it (I believe this is the case referred to in the second tweet). Zimmerman didn’t even get manslaughter.
Some additional information: In non-Stand Your Ground states, whites are 250 percent more likely to be found justified in killing a black person than a white person who kills another white person. The NAACP has a petition up for the Department of Justice to open a civil case against Zimmerman, and you can support the Trayvon Martin Foundation – which has raised 1/3 of the funds George fucking Zimmerman got.
And here’s a fucking good resource for white people who actually do want to learn.
But as @IdiAuslander says, this isn’t just a US thing. So here’s what I do want to add:
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this trial and how it “couldn’t” happen here. But it did. It did when Bruce Emery chased down Pihema Cameron and stabbed him to death over a tag on a fence. It did when you couldn’t move for people saying “oh well he was a vandal” and acting like Bruce Emery was justified in “being afraid” of the young man he pursued with a knife. When the conspiracy theory was that Pihema Cameron and his friend “lured” Emery into some kind of trap and forced him to start swinging a knife. When our ever-vocal “law and order” advocates excused Emery’s actions because getting graffiti off your fence is so frustrating.
This happened here, New Zealanders. And a white businessman served two years for killing a brown teenager. And we cannot let this shit happen.
(Note: NRT beat me to it. Damn him..)
The Emery verdict always pissed me off. He picked up a knife and hunted the kid. There can only be one reason to do that and that is that he intended to kill.
Gosh, Draco, you make it sound so simple and logical. But obviously there’s some special old-white-dude red-mist-of-property-defence phenomenon which you just don’t understand.
Well, it comes down to fear, doesn’t it? In the same way Zimmerman was afraid of Martin, Emery was afraid of Cameron – in both cases with tragic results.
I can understand the feeling. You’re in your home, you should feel safe, but there’s a constant stream of taggers and boy racers and “youths” prowling your street, and the police are no help, you’ve read the headlines and seen the news, so you have to take matters into your own hands. No doubt the people leaping to the defense of these men think, “there for the grace of god go I”.
Of course, the reason the majority would fear the minority is a much more complicated issue, and that’s why most people, especially those in the majority, aren’t willing to get into it. Much easier to succumb to those feelings of fear and never question where they come from.