There was a big sense of disappointment I had in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman not verdict in the death of Trayvon Martin.
But I wasn’t overly shocked or surprised when the verdict came down on a weekend night. What we witnessed last Saturday was what we feared but already knew.
Racism still exists in America. Despite having a second term, bi-racial President, racism is very much alive. After President Barack Obama was elected into the White House, some people in our society thought we had reached a point in our country where we could move past the injustices in America.
It was believed that prejudices and discrimination was a thing of the past, that America has become wiser and stronger. Although as a whole, we are wiser and we are stronger.
There are, however, certain prejudicial elements in this country that are so deep that it will take another 100 years to uproot.
Is the racial problem we face a matter of an individual’s choice or a nationwide instituted ritual? The answer to that question is pretty clear for civil rights activists protesting the Zimmerman verdict.
“Where have you been, wake up the answers are all around you, one activist said at a recent rally. “It’s clear that things must be fixed at the institutional level in order for there to be a dramatic change. “
I don’t consider myself to be an activist but I would have to agree with them that the problem is systemic.
Dating back to the wrongful verdict in the murder case of Emmett Till, leading up to the execution of Oscar Grant, now the stalking and killing of Travon Martin, one must begin to think there is something wrong with the criminal justice system.
That’s not to mention the countless of other young black men whose lives that have fallen into eternity thanks to the wicked hands of murderous racists whose deadly intentions has yet to be justified.
In the case of Trayvon Martin, his killer walks around today a free man after receiving a verdict of not guilty.
A Florida jury determined that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that Martin was assaulted but in fact was the aggressor and that his killer (Zimmerman) was only defending himself.
When you hear about this, it just doesn’t sit well with you no matter what your ethnicity, culture or creed is. Martin was only 17-years-old. He weighed 158 pounds, at least 50 pounds lighter than his killer at the time of the attack.
Martin died holding a pack of Skittles.
Zimmerman was told by a police dispatcher not to follow the young man after he claimed he saw a suspicious character in his neighborhood. It is amazing that Zimmerman, who had prior brushes with the law on his record, was still allowed to be a neighborhood watch volunteer.
Zimmerman was also allowed to own and carry a firearm.
With a smoking gun and a teenage boy laid out in the street, Zimmerman wasn’t even arrested at the time of killing Martin. It would be weeks before he was arrested. Where is the justice in that?
Fortunately this situation is no’t over. Hopefully, the case will now be picked up federally and we get to watch our nation rise to excellence in the proper handling of the case in which the infamous state of Florida failed to do.
Dennis Freeman is a college student and a photojournalist. His porfolio includes shooting photos for Sacramento City College, covering the Sacramento Lions of the United Football League and the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. Dennis is a native of the Bay Area and resides currently in Sacramento where he does freelance photography. He is recently engaged and a proud father of his young son Elijah.