Dear George Zimmerman,
Although we’ve never met, I would like to share a few words with you.
Even though I strongly disagree with the choices that you made on the evening of February 26, 2012, I do not hate you.
My spiritual beliefs have taught me to pray for you as much as I am praying for the family of the young boy that you murdered.
George, you are not the enemy, but rather, the mindset that you and too many Americans have about young black men, and people of color in general, is what needs to be addressed.
Although I do not agree with the verdict in your case, I do appreciate that this case has started a national conversation around the issue of race and the justice system.
I do know that because you racially profiled a young black boy, that millions of people across the country are now organizing and demanding that you, and the larger criminal justice system, be held accountable.
As a result, the greatest justice that could now be achieved would be to acknowledge the fact that your mindset should be the real criminal on trial.
We do not live in a post-racial America, and in fact, all of us have a responsibility to atone for the hundreds of years of slavery and violence inflicted on African Americans, Native Americans and other communities throughout our nation’s brutal history.
So I would just like to say that I forgive you George Zimmerman and I hope that you take these words to heart and know that I mean no harm.
I am only doing my part to help educate you about the consequences of your actions and how the impact of this case is felt so deeply because of our country’s continued history of oppression and racism.
So I hope that America kills what I can only describe as the “George Zimmerman Complex” in all of us.
I hope that America acknowledges that you’re as much imprisoned as those in prison because you will never be truly free as long as you see yourself as different than the millions of people who look just like Trayvon Martin.
And I hope, that at the very least, that you, and the rest of our country, recognize that we can’t truly achieve equality in America until we all start to recognize that all of us are indeed one.
To help create awareness of how violent crime impacts the families of the victims, and to provide support and advocacy for these families, donate to http://www.trayvonmartinfoundation.org
Mike de la Rocha is an LA-based musician, writer and entrepreneur. To find out more about Mike visit mikedelarocha.com and follow him on Twitter at @mrmikedelarocha