|A vote for justice is a vote for Trayvon|
|Thursday, 29 March 2012 16:39|
National outrage continues over the tragic shooting of Black teenager Trayvon Martin, killed by George Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, in Sanford, Florida. Because of the crime's racial implications, Trayvon's death and the delay in arresting Zimmerman have brought more passionate protests and demands from the Black community for justice.
The incident unfortunately brings to the fore the perpetual injustices caused by racial profiling against Blacks and Black youth in particular. Despite immense progress in race relations since the 20th century, serious racial biases still exist in the nation.
Regardless of how the legal implications in the Trayvon Martin case turn out, there is real doubt that Zimmerman would have shot and killed an unarmed white youth walking in his neighborhood. Reports show that Zimmerman, during his tenure as a Neighborhood Watch volunteer, made over 40 calls to the Sanford police, all relating to suspicious Black men walking in his suburban community.
Racial profiling has afflicted Blacks, especially men and youth, for years. And often these injustices generate public protests and outrage. One remembers the nation's outrage when in 2006 six Black students in Jena, Louisiana were arrested and charged for attempted second degree murder in the beating of another white student. The charges (so swift and unlike the Zimmerman shooting), against the six teenagers, called the "Jena Six," evoked cries of unfair punishment, generating marches and general protests in Louisiana and nationwide. Although the charges against the youth were significantly reduced to simple battery, the incident was another blatant example of the imbalance of justice involving Black youth.
The problem with such public outrage is the inevitable fatigue that follows the protests and marches. Eventually, protestors return to their domestic situations and the media influence wanes as it turns to other breaking news. When the outrage dissolves, it always follows that much sooner than later, another Black individual suffers some injustice, generating another round of passionate outrage and protests.
Too often in the Black community, there is only reaction when being proactive could have been much more meaningful.
Frequently, the Black community criticizes legislators for passing laws detrimental to the community. But, these lawmakers were voted into city, county, state and federal legislatures in elections that Black voters consistently fail to participate in full numbers.
These recent events make it imperative for the Black community to become directly involved in electing lawmakers and public officials that steadfastly seek to legislate and implement laws that eliminate injustices marginalizing the community. It is pointless rallying protests of thousands each time an injustice is repeated, only for the protestors to just fade away. Protestors hardly influence charges in unjust laws after they are passed, but thousands of Black votes can prevent unjust legislators and public officials from being elected to perpetuate unjust laws.
No protest is as powerful as that vote. By voting for justice, Trayvon Martin will not have died in vain.
|Last Updated on Friday, 30 March 2012 10:52|