Some Travel Journeys are Internal: Arrest in Trayvon Martin Case

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George Zimmerman was arrested last night in the killing of Trayvon Martin. I gathered solace in this progress in the case.  But what shall I do with the rage and disappointment I felt in the way this case was handled.

The special prosecutor gave one of the best, most balanced press conferences I have ever witnessed. Trayvon Martin’s parents gave a tempered, heartfelt and eloquent response to the prosecutor’s actions. Reverend Al Sharpton admitted he’d not had faith that the system would move forward as originally promised.  Viewers were reminded this was not a moment to celebrate.  The state of Florida reminded America they were there to prosecute and protect, victims and the accused alike. The media covered  this story with complete smugness that  proper action had been taken. It was a real kumbayah moment.

But when I woke up this morning I wondered, what has changed.  Has any underlying  societal change occurred that would prevent this very same type of thing from happening.  It has happened all of my boomer life.

Walter Mosley gets at this question in a different way than the one I asked in an article he wrote for the dailybeast today:

“The crime is an unarmed man-child shot down in the streets of America when the admitted shooter is allowed to walk free. The crime is a nation of possible Florida vacationers who have to march in protest in order to get the tourism-based state to turn its eye toward justice. The crime is a corporate-/owned media that picks and chooses among the cases for which it will open the floodgates of national opinion. The crime is the everyday citizen of America in the 21st century using archaic and inaccurate terms such as white and black rather than fellow American. The crime is a broader media that has convinced our citizens that they are in such imminent danger that they feel it necessary to vote for legislation such as Stand Your Ground.”

I could not have framed this worldview as Mosley has. Better that you read his  entire piece to understand how he draws the correlation between this case and deaths of  children in Afghanistan, the mentally ill, and folks in the prison industrial complex. I do see the common threads and recognize the false ways we try to understand each other based on race, color, ethnicity,  or gender.

Do you think Trayvon’s death will spark a conversation for a new generation.


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