And in this HOME OF THE BRAVE Trayvon Martin should not have been brave
enough to walk home in the dark with a hoodie in the rain.
By Clear Goulbourne
away this time”. Vigilante justice!
I watched closely the case and early in the game I viewed the prosecution as either incompetent or was on the side of the defense. The case rested in the fact that Zimmerman came out of his car, stalked the child and killed him but
the prosecution was “wishy washy” in presenting this. After Zimmerman was told by the police not to follow the child he cannot explain why if he sat in the car as he was told and as he claimed. The Prosecutor did not during the presentation even indicate that Trayvon had a right to stand his ground. Not until the dramatic last hour of the wrap up that this was
mentioned in passing. All the way the prosecutor asked open ended questions rather than driving home the points.
Trayvon was profiled as someone not belonging in this neighborhood because the presence of a black youth means one thing – “a criminal is among us!” What is the message to black youths? If you are followed by a strange white man in the night what should you do?
1. New Year’s Day 2009 in Oakland, California, Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old, unarmed black man who was
shot in the back by a white Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer. Oscar Grant, on his way home from
celebrating New Year’s Eve with friends in San Francisco, was shot in the back by a white BART policeman for
reasons that remain unclear. (On trial, the cop claimed he had mistaken his gun for his Taser, resulting in a
reduced conviction and sentence).
2. Florida in particular: In 2006, Laurie Lynn Bartlett alleged her boyfriend was drunk and tried to sexually assault
her. She killed him by stabbing him with a knife. She got 10 years in prison for the act.
In 2007 Ernestine Broxsie killed her ex-boyfriend. She alleged her ex "snapped" and began choking her, so she shot him. She went free.
Similar but different – In the case where the victim was white, (the Bartlett case) the justice system imposed a 10 year sentence while in the case of the black victim the defendant went free. A Tampa Bay Times analysis of about 200 cases examined the role of race in "stand your ground" and observed the following facts - when a black person is killed the defendant walks free 73% of the time while in cases where a white person is the victim the defendant is freed 59% of the time.
3. Statistics on all-white juries: The Tampa Bay Times’ analysis is supported by numerous studies
showing differences in the way whites and blacks are treated by the criminal justice system in this country.
Studies show that all-white juries are more likely to convict black defendants. Someone who murders a white
person is more likely to get the death penalty than someone who kills a black person. Is there any correlation here
in the George Zimmerman’s case? I am just asking a question; not stating a fact.
4. Application of the Stand-your-Ground Law in Florida
-“If Zimmerman had been black, would authorities in Sanford have been so quick to accept his claim of self-
defense? Are black defendants less likely to walk free than people of other races in "stand-your-ground" cases?”
The Times’ article asks. The verdict is yours and the proof is in the statistics.
in prison for firing warning shots insider her home so as to deter her abusive husband. She was escaping
from one of her husband’s brutal beatings; she had a protective order against him. The system did not afford her
the “Stand Your Ground” defense.
6. Another case of “same but different”: In Suffolk County New York in 2007 a jury found 54 year old John White,
a black man guilty of second degree manslaughter for defending his home and his son. Daniel Cicciaro, a 17 year
old unarmed white youth was shot point-blank in the face on Aug. 9, 2006. Daniel and several friends had left a
party, went to Mr. White’s house in the dead of night after 11 p.m. to challenge Mr. White’s 19 year old son to a
fight, hurling threats, expletives and racial epithets. This was a black man who defended his home and his son
against an angry white mob outside his Suffolk County, NY home and ended up shooting one of them. This is
reminiscent of the mob lynching of the historic South but this picture is cast in Mr. White’s home in Miller Place, a
predominantly white hamlet on Long Island. The jury did not consider that Mr. White and his family were scared to
death and he had a right to stand his ground in his own home.
“The trial’s racial overtones were obvious from the start, suggesting that the tension associated with the Deep South was alive in a New York suburb with good schools, high property values and privileged children.”
New York Times, By COREY KILGANNON Published: December 23, 2007.
It is now 8:18 am on the morning after George Zimmerman was acquitted for the murder of an unarmed black teenager trying to get home in the rain and already the case is listed among “Notable Cases” of “Acquittals of white defendants”. The case sits with and among others, the murder of Emmett Till in Sumner, Mississippi in 1955.
Emmett Till, 1955 a black Chicago youth was 14 years old
– He was visiting his mother's family in Greenwood, Mississippi and accused of mumbling "Bye, Baby" while wolf whistling at the white wife of the general store's owner upon leaving a store, the teenager became marked for death. The following Saturday night, rousted from sleep, Till was taken by a posse of white men seeking to avenge the "honor" of the woman Till spoke to in the store. They castrated him and beat him to death before tying him to the propeller of a cotton gin, submerging him in the swampy waters of the Tallahatchie River. When his body surfaced and was transported back home to Chicago for the funeral, Emmett's mother, Mamie Till, insisted on an open casket so that the whole world could see what they had done to her baby. The black press covered the story, which was eventually picked up by the national press, and across the country white and black Americans saw the boy's bloated corpse.
The trial and the verdict - A trial commenced back in Mississippi, significant not in its verdict (all of the men were
found not guilty by an all-white jury,) but in the witnesses who testified. Black witnesses came forward and in open court pointed out the guilty men, despite the risk to themselves that such action would entail.
Infamous Lynching http://www.americanlynching.com/infamous-old.html#post-civil
KARMA WILL SET THINGS STRAIGHT. KARMA ALWAYS DOES...
I sat in a one-on-one with a white State Representative in March of this year in his office and he confessed to me that he had first heard of “DWB” Driving While Black where black men are profiled by law enforcement if they are driving an
expensive car. It is believed, like Trayvon Martin that “they do not belong” in an expensive car and if they are “a criminal is among us”. The Rep. had only within recent weeks heard the term and understood its meaning and was appalled and sick to the stomach – he was outraged and confessed he would not know how he would act if that piece of prejudice would be imposed upon him and his 'folks'. I witnessed genuine emotions coming from this gentleman and "DWB" is one of the simplest and less dangerous harassment that is meted out every day! I know like him and others who joined the Civil Rights Movement in the distant past and in current times there are millions who are willing to contribute to the cause to right the continuing wrong of a country that claims the identity of the words of the Star Spangled Banner not as a cliché but as the fact that America is truly the “Land of the free and the Home of
the Brave” and in the words of the National Pledge of Allegiance – “One nation under God, Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Clear Goulbourne is the Managing Editor of KitchenPolitics123 Blog. She is of the old guard who sees the fight for justice as a continuum. She is a co-founder of an Issues PAC in Florida, the Florida Legal Initiative Project (FLIP) with a mission to apply a preventive model to minority youth development which will see to their education, awareness and progress.
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