When Emotions Rule.

It’s been about five days since George Zimmerman was found not guilty for the murder of Trayvon Martin.

I want to talk about what I have noticed all over the Internet. Emotions are still running quite high, especially in the Black community, and for a good reason. Many feel that this verdict was unfair. That the jury chosen, especially because they were women, were not representative of Martin, that they did not sympathise with him and his family. Some have said that this is revenge for when OJ Simpson was found not guilty in 1995. Some have even expressed being unable to wait until Juror B37’s identity is revealed. Some feel that Rachel Jeantel betrayed her friend because Zimmerman was acquitted on all counts. Some feel that Channa Lloyd, the Black intern on Zimmerman’s defence team, is a sellout, all because Zimmerman got off scott free.

I can understand some of the public’s frustration over the case. What I don’t understand is the hostility towards the jury and especially Lloyd, who were all just doing their job at the end of the day. Why is Channa a sellout? What are you going to do when Juror B37’s name is revealed to the world? Is is going to make things better for you?

Is any of this frustration channeled negatively going to fix what is wrong in the first place?

As I’ve said before, I was upset by the verdict, but it was fair. That’s how the system works. One side was going to be happy, the other angry, whatever the outcome was. The only people who know exactly what happened that night are Trayvon and George. One is dead and one is alive, and possibly fearing for his life until he takes his last breath.

Some of you may think that I don’t get it, and you’re probably right. While I am Black, I am not African American. I have not lived through experiencing racism as some have having lived in this country, or elsewhere for that matter. All prejudices exist everywhere, and all of them will never go away. It might be because that I’m female, “light-skinned” (I will never fathom the obsession with skin tone among some Blacks, never. It’s pure stupidity, but that’s something I might touch on another day), and have had the luck of not yet coming across individuals that have succeeded in making me feel inferior because of my roots.

It’s heartbreaking sometimes when I see how people react to racial matters, or quickly say that something or someone is racist when things don’t go as hoped. They may be right, but people tend to forget that there is so much more to be considered, so much more that they are not seeing.

Let’s look at class as an example. People who have the money to get their way usually end up getting it, no? This is unfair, too. How you dress can make people judge you. Hoodies make some people feel uncomfortable, especially when they’re black.

Some people that say that racism is gone, all because the leader of the one of world’s most powerful countries is Black, are delusional and probably living under a rock. It is happening around us every single day, along with hatred of one’s sex, religion, class, sexual orientation, you name it. All of these things can be overlooked by someone in their right mind, because I and many believe that one’s character is what makes a person at the end of it all.

I have decided to take a course in African American history in the near future, to better understand where a lot of these people who feel so incredibly angry are coming from, and to understand this country, period. I have even started reading Touré’s recent work, Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? I want to get rid of my ignorance to understand other’s ignorance, if that makes sense.

I’m rambling here, just trying to make sense of all this to me, and hopefully to you, if you’re wondering as much as I am. I’m not saying that people should not feel the way they do about this case; I just want to have an idea as to why they feel that way, and to try to understand where they’re coming from.

Only in America.

I get most of my news from Twitter, and ever since the closing arguments were made on the State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman case on Thursday, I would check my timeline periodically to see what the jury had decided. I decided to not watch coverage of the trail, I read some articles, and that was plenty for me.

Not that I didn’t care about the outcome, I just had a feeling that whatever was decided, a lot of people were not going to be satisfied.

So I waited.

I was on my way home when I read that Zimmerman was found not guilty on all charges. I was upset, yet not surprised. I have a way of hoping for the best while still expecting the worst. I texted and even called a friend to let them know. And of course, my Twitter timeline exploded with all kinds of reactions; I even saw happy ones. Some people tweeted things like “#KillZimmerman”, and others kept tweeting how much they hated Florida and how bad they felt for Trayvon Martin’s family.

All of these thoughts did not surprise me either, because for me, the average person is not so hard to predict when something of this magnitude happens.

I am Black, and I am not American. I obviously have had experiences of people who have looked at me funny, have asked questions about my race, and have changed seats, inched away from me. However, I have never been physically or overtly abused for my race, at least not yet. Maybe because I am female, and I’m not always looking at strangers anyways. I have laughed about racism with my non-white friends while growing up, and still do. It is just ridiculous.

Why I am bringing up racism is because this is what has fuelled many people to feel the way they did/do about this case. Be you for or against Trayvon, for or against George, or simply watching and reading what has unfolded and will unfold, you felt something. Maybe it was some form of relief. Or sadness, you felt your heart breaking. You felt scared in general, or specifically for how Black people, Black men, may be regarded in American society today. You may have lost whatever faith you had in the justice system.

It is a pity how race is still a huge factor when it comes to even the smallest things. It is so easy to bring up, and yet still so hard for many to deal with.

I still have much to learn about America and it’s history, people, and it’s laws, all of which are changing as I type this and when you read this later.

While this is seen as a setback, perhaps people should use the energy that I saw on my timeline last night to try to make positive changes so that this does not happen again to anyone, regardless of race, age, sex, social ranking, etc., among other things. However, I feel that is going to take a while, because most of that enthusiasm waned. Some of it has turned into hatred, hopelessness, fear, and maybe aggression, violence. If nothing incredible happens sooner or later, most are going to return to their mundane lives, and this case will probably be pushed into the furthest corners of their minds.

“‘No justice, no peace’ means just what it says. Whenever you are in a society or community anywhere, if there is not justice there’s not going to be peace. But it doesn’t mean there’s going to be violence.”

– Kojo Nantambu

Some of us will see how this all plays out. If you just look at the way the justice system works, this was a fair verdict. The only people who know exactly what happened that night were Martin and Zimmerman. One of them is dead. One could have told his story, and he chose not to testify, for whatever reason.

Best of luck to whoever was involved in the case, and may Trayvon Martin rest in peace.