What Makes Trayvon Martin So Different From Amadou Diallo & Sean Bell?

    Comments: 0  | Leave A Comment

    Random violent attacks on people of other races, looting, chaos for days on end….is this to occur in a matter of days or weeks?

    Florida police have already begun preparing for riots if George Zimmerman is found not guilty in his second-degree murder case.

    The jury will begin their deliberation on Friday, June 12 and the Florida police department has already made a public service announcement to Florida residents that might be upset if Zimmerman is acquitted of the charges of murdering Trayvon Martin in February 2012.

    They are urging everyone to “raise your voice, not your hands.”

    But why is there such fear brewing about this Zimmerman trial? This isn’t the first time an innocent black male has been shot and killed by a non-black person in this country.

    On February 4, 1999, Amadou Bailo Diallo was killed by four white plain-clothed police officers who released 41 shots on him as he was standing in the vestibule of his apartment building in New York City. Of the 41 shots, 19 struck him. Months later, all four officers were acquitted.

    The police department wasn’t fearful of retaliation then.

    And on November 25, 2006, Sean Bell was shot four times and killed on the morning before his wedding by a group of plain-clothed white officers as well.

    Once again, police were not preparing for any riots.

    Yes, there were many protests by many angered residents of this country, but police weren’t this worried about violent reactions when the killers didn’t get what they deserved.

    So, what is so different about Trayvon Martin to make police anticipate such riots?

    For one, George Zimmerman wasn’t a cop. He thought way too highly of his low leveled position as a neighborhood watchman. It seems as though he had an arrogant mentality that he was a high authority figure, when his job only entitled him to be a watchman and WATCH, but not react.

    The fact that he got out of his car and followed someone that “looked suspicious,” believing Trayvon was another “fucking asshole” that always gets away, shows that he felt a sense of entitlement: he was an authority figure that could do whatever he wanted.

    Everyone watching this case who believes that Zimmerman should be punished cannot believe the arrogance that this CIVILIAN possessed. And this brings me to my first question:

    If cops shoot innocent black men (Diallo and Bell) and could get away with it, and now mere civilians can do the same, are black men truly not safe in this country?

    However, let’s not forget the fact that Trayvon Martin was only a juvenile. Unlike the adult victims that I previously mentioned, Trayvon was only 17 years old.

    Then arises the next question:

    Are young black children truly not safe in this country at all?

    Both of these questions are major ones, but together…they raise a larger one:

    Can a non-black CIVILIAN shoot and kill a young black CHILD and get away with it?

    CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin said it best:

    “People care about gun rights. People care about race. People care about children. People care about the right to defend yourself. And this case has all of them wrapped up together, and that’s rare.”

    From the lynching of young black men just mere decades ago, to Emmitt Till to the Birmingham Church bombings, history has witnessed innocent black children being wrongly killed by non-black adults and their killers walking free. Not to mention that the church bombings and Emmitt Till were two of the worst events that occurred in this era. Is it a coincidence that they involved kids? I think not.

    Black America is reliving this pain that was believed to have ended decades ago; that is until George Zimmerman. And the fact that he is Hispanic makes no difference, if anything, it makes matters worse.

    If someone who is a non-black person but not white can kill an innocent black person, especially a child, and get away, then white racists have leeway to do the same all over again!

    Black America is becoming aware of this, and that my friends, is the tension police are feeling at this very moment. 

    The case of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman has awoken the fear that Black America experienced during the Civil Rights era, where black children could leave their homes and never come back because of the color of their skin. 

    This tension is magnified compared to the cases of Amadou Bailo Diallo and Sean Bell. 

    Black America feels that history is repeating itself by endangering innocent children. And in 2013, we’re not about to have it happen all over again without a fight. 

    Ishaw Thorpe

    Ishaw Thorpe (pronounced eye-shah) is a News/Politics Editorial intern at GlobalGrind. She is also a contributing writer at Yahoo! and Examiner. Follow her on Twitter for all things news @IshawThorpe

    Tags: »

    Comments

    blog comments powered by Disqus