Saturday night, we watched as the verdict of “not guilty” flashed across our TV screens. We experienced, to a certain degree, the sadness that Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton felt as the murderer of their son was set free. Actually, we can’t really imagine what they must have felt. What they just experienced was the death of their son for the second time. His entire existence made a mockery of in just a few of weeks of deliberation.
Last year, I wrote a post asking what we should do now after hearing the news of Trayvon Martin, an innocent child, murdered by the hands of a neighborhood watchman. Last year, we were enraged and frustrated but those feelings didn’t move us into action. This year, especially after the verdict, I feel like we are more aware of the flaws of the justice system and are willing to become activists for change.
So what now? It’s tough, but doable. Here’s what I suggest.
- Decide that this is about you, too. Trayvon could have been your brother, cousin, son, or nephew.
- Educate yourself on the judicial system and how it works. Know the laws being passed in your area that will affect you. Need a place to start? Join local chapters (like the Urban League of Greater Atlanta) whose mission is to empower.
- Educate others. Each one, teach one, reach one. I know people are looking down on others because they are “online activists” but I say to hell with that. If you know what you’re talking about, use whatever platform you have to educate others. This is a new generation. Unfortunately, we’re not marching or protesting peacefully anymore. Do what you can and ignore the naysayers.
- VOTE. The past two years have made me realize how our votes really count. And not just on a presidential level. Clearly, President Obama cannot do anything about laws that were elected by YOU. YOU have the power to change those laws. Start at state level. Yes, the laws are set up so that we can’t understand what or who we are voting for. But if we collaborate with the right people, we will get the right knowledge and make the right decisions for a better tomorrow.
I must say that this case really bothered me. And yes, I am aware of all the other murders and black on black crime happening around the world. Our job here is not to diminish the significance of one situation in order to make another more important. They are all important. Unfortunately, it takes media spotlight for us to realize the injustice and disparity of our great nation.
I really hope, if anything, this continues to be a topic of discussion until we come to beneficial solutions.