• Pingback: Critical Mass Progress | CI: No Justice, Still, for Us()

  • Pingback: Critical Mass Progress | CI: Black Life, Perceived Threat, and “Stand Your Ground”()

  • Hello this whole case is causing nothing but racial tension. i almost feel like that’s what the media is intentionally trying to do..

    •  @executivegifts If this case involved your child, would you not want the media paying attention to it?  Might the media’s attention to the murder of a child have something to do with the Sanford police department’s gross negligence and failure to apprehend the self-professed killer of a child, who was merely walking home, when there was abundant probable cause to do so?  Might it have something with the fact that if were not for the media’s attention to this matter, the Sanford police would have continued to cover  up this matter, thereby failing to hold the self-professed murderer accountable to the community and family he has irrevocably harmed?  The fact matter is that the murder took place Feb 26 and it is now April and the murderer has yet to apprehended and charged with a crime.

      • conlakappa

         @Seeta  @executivegifts
         Seroiusly.  It’s the “causing” racial tension that rubs the wrong way.  If racial tensions no longer existed in this country, I must have missed it.  Yes, it’s not every day Birmingham 1963 but it sure as hell doesn’t approach any post-racial paradise.

  • kabrahamson19

    Thank you all. This discussion has been extremely helpful to me in clarifying the facts of the Trayvon Martin case. There has been so many different stories in the media that I start to get confused with all the different instances that have been brought to attention in the media. I just can not stop thinking about the fact that if the roles of Trayzon and Zimmerman would have been reversed. The shooter would have been most likely arrested on at the time of the shooting or at least within the week. It is a sad story. 

  • Chey Bryant

    I think I might be already ‘fed up’ or unsatisfied with *talking* about Trayvon Martin and the injustice that surrounds his death. That sounds mean, or sad, but there is something very crucial happening right now around discussion of his murder. I know from past disasters that this is a very crucial moment that we very rarely get. This is a moment when the entire country is paying attention, the news stations are paying attention, and the federal government is paying attention. Whether the attention is bad or good everyone is paying attention. That doesn’t just happen all of the time, and when it does it doesn’t last for long. So how do we use this time of recognition to begin destroying the issue of systemic racism? 
    Though Zimmerman is not the source of the issue, maybe he is the beginning? I don’t really see another logical way to 1) get the justice due to Trayvon & his family and 2) break into destroying one of (if not the biggest) issues with out criminal justice system. So while the world is watching, maybe we should be be working to make sure that Zimmerman experiences the full extent of the law for his crime, just as if would probably happen if the tables were turned. 
    This may not be the best way, but it is a suggestion. I wonder if it may help at this definitive moment. 
     
    -Chey Bryant  

    • yes — we need to
       
      “1) get the justice due to Trayvon & his family and 2) break into destroying one of (if not the biggest) issues with out criminal justice system.”
       
      my concern — as always  – is that many if not most will be satisfied with 1), that is Zimmerman alone and fail to move the issue to the macro level of systemic racism
       
      That is ultimately where we need to go

  • Panyia

    ‘That’s because what killed Trayvon is systemic, not the action of an extremist, a lone “bad apple.”’…..I agree with this quote. So many people are blinded from reality and forget that individuals themselves are not the only agent in controlling their lives.  And yes, many forgot that there are larger social forces that regulates peoples lives. So how do you go about this????  Should we do something about it or should we leave it alone?  Either way, both ways have their own pros and cons right?

    •  @Panyia We always must do something and creating awareness of the structures that make this and otehr tragedies possible — even probable – is always a place to start 

  • Yasuragi

    Trust you guys to always, always cut to the heart and truth of the matter.  Thank you for this.

    • KayWhitlock

       @Yasuragi Hey, Yas, thank you.  Lovely to see you. 

    •  @Yasuragi So great to see you here Yas!
       
      Thank You..

  • rubyr

    Absolutely crucial diary, ladies. So educational, as per usual. Thanks so much.
     
    In the NYC area:
     
    1. Stay in touch with Middle Church’s anti-racism work: middlechurch.org
    2. April 21-24–Building multiracial congregations conference: middleproject.org
     
    No matter your position on religion, organizations like churches that are
    fighting for social justice are a good place to start and meet like-minded people.
     
    Middle Church held a hoodie service for Trayvon Martin. Hundreds attended and
    there was a heavy media presence. Spreading the word about these atrocities, one
    step at a time.

    •  @rubyr thank you rubyr!! so glad to see you as always

    • KayWhitlock

       @rubyr Thanks for the Middle Church news, rubyr.  Very good to know for those in the NYC area.  Happy to see you.

  • PatriciaLevesque

    Where do you start with this?  Do you start with the predominately white/male NRA gun lobbies that promote “stand you ground” legislation for exactly this type of situation, or the “party of white men” politics of the GOP which constantly undermines any effort to even the playing field for minorities with decent health care and access to education?
     
    For the last couple of years I’v been listening to Dan Savage putting it out there that they aren’t (the GOP/right wing conservatives) just coming for gay marriage, they’re coming for straight women’s right to self determined reproductive rights, collage education for minorities, true religious freedom and separation of church and state.  The truth is that any political state’s ultimate goal is the perpetuation of it’s own existence.
     
    While we often see the drama of politics played out on the national stage with voices given to people of all shapes and shades, the majority of political power in this country is still controlled by white men who do the bulk of governing quietly with little notice.  The only real goal of this body politic is to continue the power and right of the white male.  Trayvon is the latest victim of this reality, but we can certainly hope that maybe this time the general public will finally see through the smoke to the men behind the curtain. 
     
    um, sorry about the rant 

    • Sberel

       @PatriciaLevesque Patricia, I think for each person, there is a slightly different answer, because we all have different spheres of influence.  I think the key is to figure out where your own sphere of influence is and build/effect change from there.  The thing in common is to (1) educate self (2) educate others (3) get people who ‘get it’ into sensitive positions (sheriff, county attorney, etc (4) put pressure on the people in such positions to do the right thing (5) listen to oppressed people (6) as much as you can, share your own privilege (use what you have to empower people who don’t have that advantage) (7) be humble (8) have a center that you go back to (community, congregation, etc. (10) don’t let the immensity of the work stop you from doing what you can.
       

      •  @Sberel  @PatriciaLevesque Yes! to all of this
         
        great comment patricia

    • KayWhitlock

       @PatriciaLevesque Excellent rant, Patricia.  Thanks for it.  Sberel is right in suggesting to work in our different spheres of influence.  I also advocate a politics of intersection – tell groups you’re involved with that you’re not a single-issue person, that right-wingers have a unified view.  So that whether they’re on issues of reproductive justice, attempts to repeal the Voting Rights Act, working to enact and expand anti-immigrant legislation, assaulting queers and queer rights and recognition, or simply promoting wealth for the wealthy and hardship for everyone else, they have meta-frames:  Oppose Big Government so Your Rights Aren’t Taken Away.  Family Values for White, Christian, Nuclear Families with Married Heterosexual Parents.  “They” Are Destroying Traditional American Values.
       
      Perhaps surprisingly, while I loath the Right, I think they are effective in their unified vision.  And while I might have contempt for, say, Rush and Rick and others, I do not have contempt for ordinary folks who are swayed by the 24/7 “fear and smear” tactics. 
       
      Because we haven’t effectively challenged them.  We fragment into a million single issues, and then compete with one another for attention.  There is no unified strategic set of frames.  I don’t have the answers, but I do know that frames such as “Safe and JUST Communities Without Violence” could incorporate battles against police misconduct and brutality; hate violence; AND state violence.  Such a frame – and others that might be suggested – can permit us to move many issues forward within frames that are hopeful, forward looking, and real.  And that offer us leverage to unpack “fear and smear.”
       
      Clearly a discussion I’m passionate about!
       
      Too many times, as a progressive queer, I heard from mainstream gay organizations that racism and economic justice “are not gay issues.”  Or from (white dominant) women’s rights groups that mass incarceration and police brutality aren’t feminist issues.  And on and on.  It’s like slitting our own throats, and doing it with a sense of self-righteousness.

      • PatriciaLevesque

        KayWhitlock That is spot on.  I know too many friends who vote only on their own “hot button” issues, not realizing that we are in a multi-fronted war with a very well organized machine. 
         
        “It’s like slitting our own throats, and doing it with a sense of self-righteousness.”
        Exactly

  • Ashley Curley

    This case in general makes me sick to my stomach. I hear constantly about how racism rarely exists anymore. Those people must be living under a rock or something. For a young boy to be shot and killed walking home just because the color of his skin made him look “suspicious” is ridiculous. Also the fact that the white male that shot him is not being charged is in my opinion not just. If it were a person of color who shot a white person because they thought they looked suspicious I am almost positive that the person of color would be arrested and charged in some degree. 

    • KayWhitlock

       @Ashley Curley  It’s how our (white supremacist) society wants to define racism – that unless it’s intentionally announced as racism, it’s not racism.  That belongs to the past!  That’s the Ku Klux Klan, not “respectable us.”  That’s the Criminalizing Shell Game.

      • Ashley Curley

         @KayWhitlock That is a very good point. It also makes me think about the way society is shaped. When you mentioned “respectable us” I get irritated because I know that society is looking for us to act a specific way and keep our mouths shut on the issue because to them it is not a problem. More people need to step out of their comfort zones and out of the social realm and speak up for themselves. Let the people in “power” and “control” know what they are doing is wrong. Nothing will change if people keep their mouths shut. 

        • KayWhitlock

           @Ashley Curley Exactly:  more people need to step out of their (our) comfort zone…and speak up!  The powers that be rely on our silence.  Let that silence be shattered forever.

        • Ashley Curley

           @KayWhitlock We can only hope that one day that will actually happen… 

        • KayWhitlock

           @Ashley Curley People once thought abolition of slavery could never happen. 

        •  @Ashley Curley  @KayWhitlock Amen — SIlence is complicity

        • Ashley Curley

           @KayWhitlock Very true and I am a firm believer that change is possible. People just have to be willing to act upon their words. 

    •  @Ashley Curley Agree Ashley — hard to imagine otherwise

  • ScottieThomaston

    Thanks for putting this fully in context. If this doesn’t make people angry, nothing will.

  • KayWhitlock

    Please also read this Chauncey deVega piece when you have a chance:
    Smearing Trayvon Martin: The Salem Witch Trials, Mass Hysteria, and the Specter of Black Thuggery
     
    http://wearerespectablenegroes.blogspot.com/

  • Sberel

     Thank you.  I’m having a hard time with the video of Zimmerman at the police station.  Just wishing blessings to all at this moment. 

    • KayWhitlock

       @SberelI just watched it too, Sberel.  He looks fine.  No injuries.

      • Sberel

         @KayWhitlock I think this essay is very helpful and productive.  Keep the light on the structural racism.  The individual situation is tragic, and there needs to be justice for Trayvon Martin’s family.  But it is so hard not to get sucked into focusing on that.  That is just (an essential) piece.  But that is not the work.  The work is to dismantle the system so as to prevent more deaths.  
         
        To me, that is one of the props for the white supremacy system, the worldview that has you running from situation to situation, not addressing the root problems. 

        • KayWhitlock

           @Sberel amen.  beautifully and powerfully said.  Thank you.

        •  @Sberel  @KayWhitlock Spot on — thank you
           
          To the root

        • Sberel

           @KayWhitlock The insight is actually from a anti-oppression workshop called “dismantling chaos”.  They went into how the oppressive system creates so much division, so much chaos, that it is hard to link up and break the system.  Thank you for all you do 

        • KayWhitlock

           @Sberel “chaos” is right. Wedge politics are regrettably effective – even in some liberal/progressive arenas.

        •  @Sberel  @KayWhitlock excellent — if you have any links or recommendations on this, i would love them

    •  @Sberel blessings back to you Sberel

      • Sberel

         @nancy a heitzeg Thanks and love you for all you do and are. 

  • MK

    AMAZING! Thanks to both of you Nancy and Kay.  I would love to eventually repost this at Prison Culture so please let me know if that would be possible.  I am rendered speechless by this.  Rest in Power to Trayvon and all of those unjustly targeted and murdered.

    • KayWhitlock

      Yes, of course you can repost!  Thank you for being here, MK – and for the work of Prison Culture Blog and Project NIA.

    • yes — of course..Would be honored
       
      Thank you MK!

  • adept2u

    @naheitzeg Have you seen http://t.co/M7QriblO Zimmerman has no injuries

  • conlakappa

    It’s still all too painful.  POU has video footage that Adept tweeted of Zimmerman just after he was taken into custody.  He’s showing no sign of having been in an altercation.  And was handcuffed.

    •  @conlakappa yes it is
       
      will have to look for the footage — unsurprised

    • KayWhitlock

       @conlakappa The more that comes out about Zimmerman, the worse it is.  Have you seen the Joe Oliver interview with O’Donnell?  It was just posted recently on CMP.

      • KayWhitlock
        •  @KayWhitlock  @conlakappa just wanted
           
          who i paying this sucker???????????????//

        •  @nancy a heitzeg  @KayWhitlock  @conlakappa exactly.  gop operative? zimmerman’s daddy? he is a jackass of the 1st and highest order.

        • KayWhitlock

           @Seeta  @nancy a heitzeg  @conlakappa I’m waiting to hear that he signed Zimmerman to a book and media representation contract.  As well as all of the above.

    •  @conlakappa yes, adept posted it here:  http://t.co/M7QriblO   the video shows shirt tucked in, no injuries.  there is no evidence he sought medical treatment.  thanks nancy and kay for this — i hope this “rising up” will be sustained to fight this new jim crow and not simply be another short-lived outcry and then back to bizness as usual.  the 60s are back in full force … …people need to wake up.  

      •  @Seeta  @conlakappa We cannot let this be a “short-lived outcry” Seeta
         
        we can and will do all we can to sustain this
         
        thansk you for giving us at least vehicle from which to do so
         
         

        • KayWhitlock

           @nancy a heitzeg  @Seeta  @conlakappa amen to this, Nancy.  I add my profound thanks, Seeta, for your remarkable blog. 

      • KayWhitlock

         @Seeta  @conlakappa And this time, we know that “get tough” was the right-wing response to the liberation/freedom/economic justice movements of the 1960s.  A response embraced by too many moderates, liberals, and even progressives.

  • KayWhitlock

    Good evening, all.  Please join us in remembering all who have died at the hands of white supremacist violence, whether perpetrated by individuals, or also by the state.  In their names, and in the names of all youth of color today, we must do better..

  • Rest in Peace all — we owe you some larger vision of Justice