You Can Get Killed Just For Living In Your American Skin
Is anyone the least bit surprised by the not guilty verdict in the Zimmerman trial?
This one had as likely an outcome as any trial you’ll ever witness. White man stalks and shoots an unarmed black kid in a southern state which has a Stand Your Ground law. It took police 44 days to arrest Zimmerman and the jury was made up of 5 white women and one Hispanic. What did you expect? A conviction?
It wasn’t going to happen…not in America.
Anyone who believes that race was not a crucial factor in this case needs to ask themselves a single question. If the skin color of the shooter and victim were reversed, is there any doubt that Zimmerman would have been arrested at the crime scene and later convicted of murder?
Moral of this story: if you have the makings of a wannabe cop who enjoys playing the role of vigilante and gunning down innocent black teenagers, check the color of your skin. The proper shade of pale will keep you out of prison.
I was watching Joy Reid on MSNBC speaking of her son and her concerns on his safety living as a black man in America. It reminded me of Springsteen’s American Skin which tells the story of Amadou Diallo who was killed in 1999 by four New York City plainclothes policeman who fired 41 shots at Diallo. Diallo was 23-years-old, black and unarmed.
Sprinsteen sings of a young black mother telling her son:
…on these streets Charles, you got to understand the rules. Promise me if an officer stops you’ll always be polite. Never ever run away and promise mama you’ll keep your hands in sight.
It ain’t no secret…you can get killed just for living in your American skin.
Trayvon Martin found out exactly that. He is dead for the single reason that his American skin was black.