The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

Instead of rioting, start W-RIOT-ING

trayvon_protest_ap_img

Tonight was nothing new. Another trial played out in the eye of the media, on race, on murder, on black culture, white culture, hispanic culture, on children, and yet again another acquittal. George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin. There is no doubt about that. He admitted to doing it. He said it was self-defense, and unfortunately, there is no hard evidence to prove otherwise, and so “if the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Zimmerman is not guilty – at least in the eyes of the six-person jury. Whatever your opinions might be on the issue, those thoughts are yours, and no one can take them away from you. The verdict makes me sick. It makes me feel like there is no justice in the justice system when it comes to child murderers. Casey Anthony goes free, and now George Zimmerman walks without as much as a slap on the wrist.

My biggest fear with this outcome was the possibility of a Rodney King-esque riot. The outrage of this verdict will reach far and wide, and regardless of the racial tension involved in this case, there is a feeling that justice was not served, and that a boy’s life was taken without any consequence, and all we are left with is the phone call and the sound of someone screaming for help.

Instead of rioting, my hope is that people begin W-RIOT-ING. This is a time for words. A time for passionate speeches, and poems, and essays, and articles, and stories. This is not a time for the political figures to start bickering across the aisles of non-partisanship, or for posturing, or fighting. It’s a time for well-spoken, well-thought out piece of writing. This is a time for hip hop artists, poets, authors, musicians, actors, and citizens to write their thoughts, and once again start the conversation that has never really been finished: that of radical change in appreciation for different cultures. We must stop fighting. People must realize that a certain race doesn’t mean wrong.

So, please, instead of rioting, start W-RIOT-ING.

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

6 comments on “Instead of rioting, start W-RIOT-ING

  1. lwk2431
    July 13, 2013

    “My biggest fear with this outcome was the possibility of a Rodney King-esque riot.”

    That is why we need AR-15 semi-automatic rifles.

    lwk
    free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com

  2. John Robertson
    July 13, 2013

    No justice for the family of young teenager Trayvon Martin. Who was shot and killed in Florida on February of 2013. Instead of rioting start W-RIOT-ING, now is the time for passionate words not more violence and further racial tension. Instead of building a wedge between this country join together and use your voice. The pen is mightier than the sword. I realize that there is a lot of emotions from everyone, but do not lash out physically that will only cause more pain and suffering. In this time of connectedness via social networking sites this is the time to use them for better purposes other than dumb hashtags and retweets. This is the perfect time to use that Twitter account or Facebook statuses and Tumblr blogs, so take to your smartphones, iPads, and MacBooks. Let your devices work for you for once!

  3. Keyra Butler
    July 13, 2013

    My fear is that society is going to only look at this as a racial matter instead of a child, sorry a teenager of 17, not even becoming an adult yet, loosing his life to a man that thought he could be his own cop. I see now before me on my facebook mostly about the color of their skin and not the real story. I see team Trayvon or Team Zimmerman. Most of these teenagers I read off of facebook do not even know what really happened in this case and are just posting about it trying to make sense of it. I can’t think of much to say about how this happened, I just think about the fact that my sister is living in Florida now, and what if she was Trayvon Martin? How would everyone react on the situation then? I mean you couldn’t blame it on race because she’s more white looking than I, what if they choose to blame it on sexism and that she was shot cause she was female? I just think that people need really consider the facts that happened even though we don’t know much from just a phone call and what Zimmerman had to share on his side. That is all, R.I.P Trayvon Martin, you live on through all of US!!.

    • Christopher Margolin
      July 13, 2013

      Very well stated. While “race” is involved in this issue, it is not the main focus of this issue. The Casey Anderson case a few months back was not a race issue. What is more unfortunate is the fact the majority of people who will post about what happened, do not even know the background of the case. What makes this merely a “race” issue is the fact that too many people will turn it into one because they’re simply ignorant, and just knew that a man named Zimmerman killed a black kid, and was found not guilty. Immediate “race case.”

  4. kiwiskan
    July 14, 2013

    Just been watching this on our news here in NZ. We couldn’t believe the verdict. A total miscarriage of justice… But I agree, more violence doesn’t solve this

  5. leahgraceobrien
    July 14, 2013

    I am not shocked, but I am angry. The judicial system in Florida is out of balance. This trial sets a bad precedent for things to come.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,558 other followers

%d bloggers like this: