Late in the evening on Saturday July 13, 2013, a six woman jury in the state of Florida announced their verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. Over a year ago, George Zimmerman was working his post as a neighborhood watchman in a gated community when he took notice of a young black man who looked “suspicious” to him. Against the advice of police dispatch, he pursued this young man, resulting in the shooting death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin. The only eye witness to the confrontation (also an ear witness to the shooting) could only testify that for the brief time he observed the fight between Zimmerman and Martin the boy was “on top”. The charge against Zimmerman was Murder 2, the jury had the option to convict on involuntary manslaughter. Zimmerman’s attorneys used the Florida statue “stand your ground” as his defense. The verdict, unanimously reached, was “not guilty”.
Many people have expressed their dissatisfaction with the verdict, some rather vocally in print, televised and radio press. All over the internet you can read postings on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and elsewhere expressing anger and disappointment at the verdict. You can also find postings expressing satisfaction as well as complacency regarding the same verdict.
Rev. Peter Dybing writes on his personal blog site about his feelings:
“Deep inside of me there is the belief that if my child were to meet an untimely end at the hands of a stranger there would be justice. Police would investigate; prosecutors would involve me as the parent of the victim. My community would recognize the tragedy.“In my grief I would be comforted. Words of compassion would wash over me. The disbelief of everyone I know would remind me that in this nation we can seek justice, expect action, find closure.“But of course I AM WHITE.”
“I am so disgusted with the outcome of the trial. It is yet another blow to the possibility of justice in America and kinship in the world.“Everyday I say a prayer and sign a petition. Everyday I work to maintain my sanity and do something to improve the world.“Those of us who are sane and who want to live in harmony with nature and each other, need to pool our resources, protect ourselves, focus our energies and stand fast against the evil walking on two legs that seeks to destroy us and this planet.“Resist depression (although its natural) focus anger(its divine fire) and set an intention to make change. Doing this will reveal new perspectives,new approaches,and new actions that we can take to change the energy field we are moving through.”
T Thorn Coyle writes on her Know Thyself blog:
“When we live in states of fear, we forget the flow of love. When we create systems that are infused with racism, that end up teaching black teens that they are only worthy of being feared, and not worthy of being loved and protected, we darken the illumination in our hearts. We fail to recognize, over and over, that spirit joins us.
“We are tearing ourselves asunder. The cost is high. Systemic racism means that every 36 hours an African American is killed by police or private security forces. Systemic racism means that when a black woman fires a warning shot into the air in an attempt to scare off her violent husband, she gets 20 years, despite the same Stand Your Ground Laws at play in the Zimmerman trial. Systemic racism means that every black and brown man in New York City has been stopped and frisked multiple times for no cause. Systemic racism means that African Americans are four times as likely to be arrested and jailed for marijuana possession than whites. Systemic racism means that more African Americans are in prison than were ever held as slaves.”
Crystal Blanton wrote on Daughters of Eve this past Saturday, after hearing the verdict:
“Tonight I have enough rage to fuel a revolution.
This moment happened right after I watched the verdict come in, and my children came home from the park. I looked at the variation of brown-colored faces that walked through the doors and I thought to myself, “I don’t know how to convince my children that they matter…” and the realization that I cannot keep them safe was staggering. My older son said to me tonight, after hearing the verdict, “it seems like it is getting worse. It is so scary….””
The Mead Muse has this and much more to say in her first posting on the Trayvon Martin matter:
“Racism is no more epidemic or prevalent in Florida than it is in any other state. We are proud to be Floridians, but we also accept that our state has issues just like any other state does. It is inappropriate to characterize an entire state or its residents by isolating a few events as being the standard just as it would be inappropriate to cast a blanket judgment on California or New York on the basis of the racially motivated deaths that occurred there.”
New York Times Op-Ed columnist Charles M. Blow, in a video talks about the Politics of Black Masculinity. (The video’s encryption keeps us from posting it to the blog.) Read his column on the NYTimes website.
- The Justice Department says it will reopen its investigation into the Trayvon Martin death.
- Robin D.G. Kelley, in the continuing HuffingtonPost coverage, tells readers how the system worked.
- Adalia Woodbury of PoliticusUSA says the Zimmerman jury was misled about Florida’s self defense law.
- Conservative blogger John Hayword on RedState takes a different look at the Zimmerman trial than most want to read.
- MoveOn.org petition to take the issue to the US Justice Department for criminal/civil action.
In other news….
- A Fox News contributor has blamed the “extraordinary creeping paganism” for contraception mandate from the US Department of Health and Human Services in 2012.
- Paganism seems to be on the rise in Britain, and the Church of England is taking steps to embrace and prevent that spread at the same time.
- Would seem that Paganism is on the rise all around the world, but not in such a way as Ms Trotta fears. Patrick McCollum is cited in this article.
- Peter Dybing joins the discussion on the use of little “p”agan and big “P”agan.
- French authorities have taken “Pagan” musician Kristian Varg Vikernes into custody on suspicion of terrorism.
- It is Christmas in July, at least for Sarah Palin as she tells “angry atheists” the truth about the holiday.
- NASA confirms the discovery of a 14 moon in orbit around Neptune.
- Bees are all the buzz as a rare species makes an appearance in Washington state.
- Jason Mankey starts his series on “Magick & the Occult in America” with an article about “The Long Lost Friend”.
- An adoption case in Michigan could spell the end of same-sex marriage bans in 37 states. Note, same-sex marriage is legal in 13 states and the Distict of Columbia as of the writing of this blog.
What we didn’t have time for…..
- Lester Chambers is brutally attacked on stage after dedicating a song to Trayvon Martin.
- The timely release of a film about the killing of Oscar Grant III by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer.
- The gay marriage butterfly effect begins: more cases against same-sex marriage bans move towards State and Federal Supreme Courts.
- 5,000 cave paintings have been discovered by Mexican archaeologists in the northern state of Tamaulipas.
- Heather Greene interviews John Matthews on his adventures in self-publishing.
- Murphey’s Midnight Rounders – Make a Chain Across the World – I Am the Goddess
- Wendy Rule – The Earth is Still Part of the Sky – The Wolf Sky
- Frenchy and the Punk – Elephant Uproar – Elephant Uproar