It should be surprising that a 17-year-old black boy was shot and killed while walking home with a bag of Skittles candy, but in a country where a five-year-old shoots and kills his two-year-old sister with a kiddie gun he was given as a gift, it should be expected.
And when the killer of that black boy is acquitted by a jury of his peers—that is to say, a jury of equally racist white women, we should not be surprised.
No, not surprised, yet horrified all the same.
On Friday Illinois became the last state to allow concealed weapons to be carried by its citizens, including racist vigilantes like George Zimmerman.
People in America, you should not sleep well tonight. Your racists are now all armed, including, yes, George Zimmerman, whose gun was returned to him when he was declared innocent of murder.
The Trayvon Martin murder became national wall-to-wall news, in a country that loves it some real life courtroom drama. In America, Nancy Grace gets higher ratings emoting over the trial-du-jour than Christiane Amanpour gets covering a coup in Egypt. George Zimmerman was lauded as a hero in certain circles, and networks, for "standing his ground" when he got out of his car and chased, over the 911 dispatcher's objections, an innocent black boy armed with nothing more than an empty fist (the other one was clutching his candy). Donations came pouring in to Zimmerman's defense fund, which allowed him to hire some slick lawyers, though it's doubtful even the cheapest attorneys would have had much trouble convincing an all white jury that Trayvon Martin presented a clear and present danger while hurrying home in the rain.
The only person in danger that night was Trayvon Martin, who made the mistake of being born black in a country that has decided everyone has the right to own a gun and carry it with them at all times.
I have no doubt in my mind that, had George Zimmerman not been armed with a deadly weapon, he'd never have picked a fight with a healthy-looking teenager. I also have no doubt that had Trayvon Martin been white, he'd never have been shot dead before he could do more than lob a half-hearted punch at his attacker.
And now George Zimmerman has been acquitted. His crime, well, it's not a crime, it turns out, to stalk and kill someone who represents everything you hate: young black punks who "get away every time" with the real crime of being young and black and living in America.
Everyone—black, white, Asian, Hispanic, male, female—should be quaking in their boots right now. A six-member jury in Florida just declared open season on anyone you hate—and, guess what, someone out there hates your kind too.
And a legislature in Illinois has just confirmed that it's the right of everyone in America to stealthily carry a weapon that can stop you in your tracks, can put a hole in your heart, can end the hopes and dreams of you and your loved ones.
Make no mistake: This will happen again. And again, and eventually, the next Trayvon will also be carrying a weapon, and when he uses it to defend himself from the next George Zimmerman (or heck, even the real George Zimmerman), he'll be tried and convicted and likely put to death.
Because that's what happens to young black men in America. You can be shot for being black, and you can also be condemned if you try to do anything about that.
No wonder people worry about riots. And no wonder white people want to arm themselves. I would too, if I were a racist white cracker, knowing I'm a despicable piece of shit. (Is it racist to hate all racists? If so, sign me up.)
I'm going to end with the words of someone who's better placed to comment than me, and better with words too. Cord Jefferson writes in Gawker:
Trayvon Martin is dead—and so many young men like him are dead or in prison—because in America it was his responsibility to take it. It was his responsibility to let a stranger with a gun follow him at night in his own neighborhood and suspect him of wrongdoing. It was his responsibility to apologize for being a black kid who scared people. It was not George Zimmerman’s responsibility to let a boy get home to his family.