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.