George Zimmerman: Fearing the Boogieman

Protesters let their feelings known during a march and rally in Los Angeles after the verdict came down following the George Zimmerman criminal trial. Photo: Dennis J. Freeman
Protesters let their feelings known during a march and rally in Los Angeles after the verdict came down following the George Zimmerman criminal trial. Photo: Dennis J. Freeman

The racial divide in this country is getting wider and wider by the day. George Zimmerman going Rambo and killing young Trayvon Martin and getting away free should make every African American reflect back to the days when the lynching of black people at the hands of  whites was as common as eating apple pie.

This is not a BET Experience.

Whether black America likes it or not, this is our reality show. We can’t run from it. We can’t pretend it’s not there. We can’t afford to be blind-sided by it any longer because some of us has made it to the top as celebrities, entertainers or professional athletes.

Black America has to re-group and re-think where we are going. The next generation is depending on the black America today to ensure that they are able to fully live out the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King once visualized. But we have to act. Black America cannot sit down and be still and allow the Supreme Court to get away with gutting a key element of the Voting Rights Act.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said “our country has changed.” Human nature doesn’t change, Justice Roberts. After finding out the not guilty verdict of Zimmerman by a mostly white women jury in the death of Martin, black America got another cold-hearted slap in the face that racism is alive and well in this country.

It was routine for all-white juries to acquit white lynch mobs charged with killing black people in the day of Jim Crow. Nothing has changed. The white robes has now been replaced by those wearing black ones.

trayvonmarch2Jim Crow has been superceded by redistricting and more of the same voter suppression laws. The taking of a black life without consequences now looks like Zimmerman and the jurors that set him free. The face of racism is different. But it is still here.

America  has been able to mask its deep-seated prejudices for a while now. But what’ is done in the dark eventually comes to light. Zimmerman and his family thought he could away killing a black boy and get away with it. The only thing he did was beat the system that featured an almost all-white jury.

But Zimmerman will never get away or escape from what all of us knows about him. He can run but he can’t hide.

Zimmerman isn’t the only one who can’t hide from his past. America can no longer be pretentious when it comes to dealing with the race issue.

The unsubstantiated  feeling of thinking the country has progressed in race relations because of the election and re-election of President Barack Obama was nothing more than a lot of white noise. President Obama just happened to be a better candidate than the two guys he beat out for Oval Office.

Other than that, America has not changed much for the Jim Crow days. The bigotry is just not as blatant as it was during the time when the Civil Rights Movement gathered steam in the name of equality. The hatred for someone because of the color of their skin is not so obvious to the naked eye anymore.

The angst and the totality of disregard of African Americans is still here. I would argue it never left. Racism didn’t leave the United States because of the election of the nation’s first black President. Black America was duped into thinking it won the battle against racism that historic November night in 2008 when President Obama defeated George Bush to become the nation’s commander-in-chief.

Unfortunately, black America has discovered that we are losing the equality war in more ways than one. In order to combat that problem we must start with the basic principles of voting, making sure our ballots count in local, state and judicial matters and who serves us.

We must do a better job at getting involved in the justice system to deflate the odds of continuing to have all-white juries determine the fate of black men and women.

That became on full display during the Zimmerman criminal trial.

Zimmerman was Martin’s worst nightmare, a darkened, armed figure following him for no reason in the dark.   Zimmerman became the boggieman the night he stalked, shot and killed the 17-old Martin. The boogieman scares the you. He instills fear. And he always comes out at night.

It was a dark and rainy night that Zimmerman shot and killed Martin. It was dark when Zimmerman pretended to be a cop when he ignored orders from a police dispatcher to stop following Martin and let the police do their job. What was Martin to think?

Zimmerman could have been a rapist. He could have been a kidnapper trying to nab someone young to put into the human trafficking black market.

Zimmerman could have been someone attempting to rob him. He could have been a pedophile. All of the above would show that he had the potential to harm Martin. Zimmerman became the nightmare that nobody would want to encounter at night: a stalker and killer.

Wherever he goes, Zimmerman is still a killer. In the eyes of the law, according to his acquittal, Zimmerman did not commit murder. But he still took the life of Trayvon Martin. He won’t be able to hide from that fact. No matter where he knows, Zimmerman will be known as the man who profiled and erased the life of Martin.

Contrary to the thoughts of  a juror who was part of the crew that found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree and manslaughter charges in the death of Martin, it is very difficult for anyone with common and reasonable sense reach the conclusion that an armed man with a 9mm gun is going to be scared of chasing someone in the dark. That what a boogieman does.

He terrorizes before moving in for the kill.

Dennis J. Freeman

Dennis is the editor and publisher of News4usonline. He is also the publisher and editor of the Compton Bulletin newspaper. Dennis has more than two decades of reporting experience. His beats include covering sports, social and racial justice, and equal rights. He earned a journalism degree from Howard University. "I write what I'm passionate about."

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