Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Zimmerman verdict, yet another notch in the belt of the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy

Understand what I say, Prospero:
For years I bowed my head
for years I took it, all of it
your insults, your ingratitude...
and worst of all, more degrading than all the rest,
your condescension,
Prospero, you're a great magician:
you're an old hand at deception.
And you lied to me so much,
about the world, about yourself,
that you ended up by imposing on me
an image of myself: -
underdeveloped, in your words, incompetent,
that's how you made me see myself!

And I loathe that image . . . and it's false!
But now I know you, you old cancer,
And I also know myself!

I am just undone.  Though I had hoped against hope that these women, these mothers, would set aside their white privilege long enough to look at this case in its entirety and see it for the racial profiling murder that it was, my fears have been realized -- a Black child is dead for the sole crime of walking to his father's house, and his murderer walks free for a second time, thanks to the machinations of the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy (WSCP).

Laid low by a horrible summer cold all weekend,  Audre Lorde's words from "Sister Outsider," (accompanied by a non-stop headache) pounded incessantly in my head:
"For the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change."
It's certainly ironic how well the gay community learned this lesson, while we on the other hand, continue to settle for the "temporary" game.  Our problem, as I see it, is we need to stop electing and supporting lawmakers who, entrenched in their own kind of privilege, turn a blind eye to the need to cease using "the master's tools."

The Supremes' recent, successful attack on Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (and Congress' apparent unwillingness to address it); Congress' failure to pass gun control legislation; racial profiling and stop & frisk statutes, coupled with the deadly and dangerous Castle Doctrine, Stand Your Ground, and Make My Day laws are all a sampling of the "master's tools" which affect us disproportionately, yet our mis-leadership class (to include the Changeling), seems unable or unwilling to fight for and/or fashion new "tools" to defeat them.

If you read Elder Lorde's essay through a non-homophobic lens, it is impossible to miss the interconnectivity of white supremacy, capitalism and patriarchy evident, not only in the Zimmerman verdict, but from the day George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Benjamin Martin.  New York Times  Op-ed Columnist, Charles M. Blow brilliantly and eloquently delineates the many instances of that interconnectivity in his, The Whole System Failed Trayvon Martin, so I won't belabor those points here (but please, do read this absolutely moving and factual piece of writing).

However, another of the far-from-subtle racist strategies the Zimmerman defense team used to lead these mostly white, women jurors like horses to the acquittal water trough that Mr. Blow omitted, was their resting their case on the testimony of Zimmerman's young, white, blonde, female neighbor who spoke at length about "two African-American males" who broke into her home to rob and terrorize her.  Talk about invoking those visions of the need to protect frail, white womanhood that left many a "Strange Fruit swingin' in the Southern breeze!"  Some would call it brilliant strategy, I call it priming the racism pump.  But this case was never about race to hear them tell it. {smdh}

Oh!  And let's not forget this stupid statement Zimmerman attorney, Mark O'Mara made after the verdict, which obviously gives the lie to his whole, "I believe in civil rights garbage":

Now there's some white supremacist patriarchy on parade, particularly given this: 'Stand your ground' denied in domestic violence case.

And then, no sooner had the verdict been rendered -- here comes this "Juror B37," giving an interview to Anderson Cooper (no doubt laying the groundwork for her now-aborted book deal).  She's definitely a charter member in the WSCP.  Take a listen to the interview and I'll tell you some of the reasons why I think so after:

  1. "Why would they want to pick me?"  Because you dear, were exactly what the defense was looking for -- someone who could not identify with Trayvon, but instead, the murderer and his attorneys. 
  2. "No, cuz I hadn't followed the trial at all."  No "trial" yet silly woman, but even if you didn't have an idea of what had happened, you most certainly already had some prejudicial ideas brewing in your head, as evidenced by statements you made in your voire dire here.  Aside from "just a broad spectrum of names,"you mentioned "the issues they were having in Sanford when they were having riots" which to your mind, involved "a whole lot of indiscretion and, angry people, and picketing people..." who,  according to you, "can do what they can do as long as it's peaceful." Yet, you thought that, "maybe it was over done." (Am I the only one who missed "the riots?")  And oh, your "Absolutely not" answer to whether you had any discussions about the case with family?  Total bullshit -- what about the book? (see first related story below)
  3. "I thought he was awe-inspiring.  The, the experiences he'd had over in the war, and I just never thought of anybody that could recognize somebody's voice yelling in like a terrible terror voice when he was just previously, half-hour ago playing cards with him."  Awe-inspiring?  Really?  Based on experiences he'd had over in the war? {smdh}
  4. "Chris Serino did...To me, he just was doing his job...  He was doing his job the way he was doing his job.  And he was going to tell the truth, regardless of who asked him the questions....Because he deals with this all the time.  He deals with, you know, murder, robberies, um, he's in it all the time.  And I think 'he has a knack' to pick out who's lying and who's not lying."  Preconceived notions much?!  All I have to say about her blind trust in law enforcement as evidenced here is, "Ignorance is bliss."  Doesn't she sound all blissful about Serino?
  5. "I think they wanted to happen what they wanted to happen, to, to go to their side, for the prosecution and the State....There was no doubt, that they had seen what had happened, because some of it was taped."  A clear and unbiased review of the evidence dontcha know.
  6. "I didn't think it was very credible, but I felt very sorry for her...I think she felt inadequate toward everyone because of her education and communication skills....Because she was using phrases I had never hear before and what they meant.  I think Trayvon probably said that...I just think it was everyday life, the type of life that they live and how they're living and the environment they're living in."  I'm not even going to get started on this unsavory, racist mess -- because it'd take up the entire post!
  7. "I think George Zimmerman was a man whose heart was in the right place but just got displaced by the vandalism in the neighborhoods, and wanting to catch these people so badly hat he went above and beyond what he really should have done...It just went terribly wrong."  Well, yeah?  He killed someone!  Call me crazy, but this sounds like an admission of racial profiling ("these people?") and excessive use of force!
  8. I think George told the truth basically" even though "there were some fabrications,  enhancements.  So kind of lying's okay, right? 
  9. "I think he might have, I  think George probably thought that he did because George was the one who knew that George was carrying a gun." This doesn't even make any sense!  Trayvon might have grabbed for the gun, but George was the only one who knew he had one?  What kind of logic is that?!
  10. "I think he did, because of the evidence...where George says he was punched" Because of what George said.  See, that's the problem.  How can there be a fair trial when the only other witness is dead?
  11. "I think the roles changed.  I think George got in a little too deep, which he shouldn't have been there.  But Trayvon decided that he wasn't gonna let him scare him, and let him get the one-up on him, Trayvon got mad and attacked him."  So again she admits that George was the initial aggressor, but this child had no right to fear for his life.
  12. "I found it credible."  She found the cartoon, based solely on information fed into it by the defense -- credible.  Why am I not surprised (about the cartoon part or the defense-fed part)?
  13. "I don't think he did.  I think just circumstances caused George to think that he might be  a robber or trying to do something bad in the neighborhood because of all that had gone on previously."  And that's not racially profiling him -- even though the robbers in the neighborhood had previously been described as Black men?  This woman keeps pissing on everybody's leg and calling it rain.
  14. "I think he just profiled him, because he was the neighborhood watch and he profiled anybody coming in and acting strange."  So now he did profile him.  {smdh}
  15. "Over-eager to help people" -- now comes the litany on "frail white womanhood," an excuse Klansmen and their kith and kin have been using  for years to justify lynching (or their women tipping out with the help).
  16. "...if he didn't go too far.  He just didn't stop at the limitations that he should've stopped at." He was just frustrated with the whole situation in the neighborhood...he just didn't know when to stop and things just got out of hand."  First of all, that was an awful, long pause before she gave that convoluted answer about whether he could be a neighborhood watch in her community.  And is it me, but doesn't she just keep saying things that gave Trayvon more than enough reason to be in fear for his life?
  17. "The law became very confusing." Problematic for any jury of non-lawyers, to be sure, but then, why is it they only asked for one clarification?
  18. "That was our problem.  I mean it was just so confusing."  So the law was confusing, the instructions were confusing, so what -- they just punted?
  19.  "...because of the heat of the moment and Stand Your Ground."  But his defense wasn't a Stand Your Ground defense was it?  Did I miss something?
I don't believe this woman's crocodile tears, for a single second!  I think she's a not-so-bright, opportunist, with an attorney for a husband who should be prosecuted for something her-damned-self (not exactly sure what yet, but something -- let's wait and see how this whole, breaking sequestration thing pans out).

Finally, please do not make the mistake in thinking that I feel only the defense and the jury's belt got notched here.  The prosecution is just as much a part of the WSCP as they are.  If they weren't, how could they allow themselves to end up with a predominately white jury?  You can't tell me there are no Black folk in Seminole County who can be considered a peer of George Zimmerman's, you just can't.    The legal definition of a Jury of One's Peers is as follows:
The constitutionally guaranteed right of criminal defendants to be tried by their equals, that is, by an impartial group of citizens from the legal jurisdiction where they live. This has been interpreted by courts to mean that the jurors should include a broad representation of the population, particularly with regard to race, national origin, and gender. Notice that this doesn't mean that, for example, women are to be tried by women, Asians by Asians, or African Americans by African Americans. When selecting a jury, the lawyers may not exclude people of a particular race or intentionally narrow the spectrum of possible jurors. (emphasis mine)
And don't say there couldn't have been an impartial Black person there either.  Based on the interview above, Juror B37 was hardly impartial but they chose her!  And please tell me why they chose to use all those video-taped statements from Zimmerman?  He got to testify without ever having to take the stand!  And it's clear as day it was that "testimony" upon which the jury heavily relied (particularly since Trayvon was dead and couldn't testify)!  And why charge 2nd degree murder given the Keystone cops had orchestrated their version of "catch and release" and, had done a half-assed investigation, providing them with little to no evidence to support such a charge? "B37" was right about one thing -- the medical examiner could have done a much better job. I don't care how much Angela Corey prayed with Trayvon's parents.  After beaugardin' her way into the case, she and her office dropped the proverbial ball -- hugely.  But no big deal right?  It was only a young Black boy who was murdered.  They'll get over it -- eventually.

And for all Brother Ass-coverer, Holder's speechifyin', I'm not holding out any hope that Federal charges will be brought -- though they ought to be, because there's no doubt in my mind that Trayvon's civil rights were violated.  But, both he and the Changeling were very careful  in not committing to anything in either of their spewing-forths, hiding behind that whole "rule of law/nation of laws" thing which was never meant to be applied to us in the first place.  After all in this system, it's never what's true, it's what can be proven.  And based on the bungling of this case from beginning to end, they can't seem to  sufficiently prove diddly.

The criminal justice system in this country has been broken for a very long time in favor of the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy, Family.  For those of us who do not have the liberty of claiming white privilege as Zimmerman has in this case, there is no "arc of the moral universe bending toward justice" currently.

But as I revisit Caliban here...
But now, it's over!
Over, do you hear?
Of course, at the moment
You're still stronger than I am.
But I don't give a damn for your power
or for your dogs or your police or your inventions!

And do you know why?
It's because I know I'll get you!
I'll impale you! And on a stake that you've sharpened yourself!
You'll have impaled yourself!
...I think the parents of Trayvon Benjamin Martin can take some small comfort in the fact, that their son's death, given the groundswell of support -- just may have played a pivotal role in changing that trajectory.  I know I'm willing to do all I can to help it along.

Peace and many blessings Sybrina, Tracy and Jahvaris...

- How the System Worked -- The US v. Trayvon Martin
- Did George Zimmerman Juror B37 Break the Rules of Sequestration During Deliberations?
- Is George Zimmerman white or Hispanic? That depends
- Our real problem is white rage
- White supremacy, meet black rage
- White Truth and Shame
The Trayvon Martin case: A timeline


pegodaaj said...

Deb, glad we e-met on Abagond's page. Thanks for following my blog. I'm following yours too. Would have emailed this, but I don't seen an email. Have a great day!

Deb said...

pegodaaj...Hey! Glad to have met you as well. No problem on the following, I browsed for a while and saw some pretty interesting stuff! I'll certainly be back and thanks for following me as well.

Hey, you posted a video in the comments over at Abagond's from AcronymTV, mind if I post it (with linked attribution, of course!)

Not sure why you couldn't see the email address, it's showing up now in the comment form though. Have a good one yourself!

Carolyn Moon said...

Sis Deb, a thorough assessment of the dynamics of this case and as usual your imagery and use of prose lends to the dire implications and consequences of this acquittal.

I have a link to the Panopticon Review article on this matter through the eyes of an educator in Detroit and I noticed they've added some posts by Jelani Cobb that may be of interest to you.

With all due respect for Trayvon Martin's parents; I do think that racial profiling was at work here and the basic disregard that a young black teen would be fearful of a stranger following and accosting him on a rainy night has been overlooked by detractors, supporters and those who've accepted this verdict.

pegodaaj said...

Share away. I found it somewhere on facebook! :)

Deb said...

Hey Sis Carolyn! Thanks, I just had to get it all out of my head -- and my heart. rail profiling was at work here. And it culminated in the basic disregard for this child's fear, and ultimately, his loss of life. I'm s-o-o-o-o tired of this shit Sis, I really am.

Thanks for the link.! I enjoyed the sidebar vignettes just as much as I did the posts!

Be well...

Deb said...

pegodaaj...Thanks, I will! Coming over in a bit to comment on your latest post.

Carolyn Moon said...

Deb, I've also added your post on my link site as well as the Black Commentator Post. Just read today that Trayvon's mother is now stating on t.v. that had her son been white..this would have never happened. Do you think she's had time to re-think her initial thoughts on the shooting or the acquittal took her to another level regarding this matter?

I'm tired too Sis Deb!

Deb said...

Thanks Sis

"Do you think she's had time to re-think her initial thoughts on the shooting or the acquittal took her to another level regarding this matter? "

I think the acquittal took her to another level. Maybe in the beginning, they were being advised by the State and their attorney, that it'd be best not to make this into a "racial matter" as some form of prosecution strategy -- "We don't want to alienate the white folk who might support us." Bad advice IMHO, because it always was. I've come to understand, that's how lawyers work.

"What's the best strategy to use to get a possible win" is always their first motivation, not necessarily the truth, thought that helps. But the truth is never their sole motivation, it's the wins that count. Now, that there was no win, she's standing in her own truth (where she should've stood all along) -- "another level" as you mentioned.

I understand how we can get scared when we're faced with a serious situation about which we have no knowledge or expertise in handling -- so we defer to the "experts," who by the way, are more invested in the financial or social benefits for them (i.e. reputation, professional standing, etc.). But there ALWAYS, without fail, comes a time when we have to stand for ourselves and what we really believe, regardless of the outcome, so as not to suffer what I call a "soul murder." That's where I think she is right now.

It's a long painful lesson to learn, but learn it we must -- for our own, first and foremost, spiritual survival because, as I've said before, if your spirit's broken, it doesn't matter how the body's doing. Just my personal opinion of course...

Amenta said...

Hey Deb...Overcome that "summer cold."

Hope was the last EVIL that Zeus unleashed upon the Earth.

I felt no pain, surprise or anger when the verdict was read as an aquittal. This should be entirely expected from a racist, white supremacists, patriarchal system. I can put no belief/faith/hope in a system that explicitly tells us that it is run by criminals as it's names suggests; the CRIMINAL justice system.

Here you state "The Supremes' recent, successful attack on Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (and Congress' apparent unwillingness to address it); Congress' failure to pass gun control legislation; racial profiling and stop & frisk statutes, coupled with the deadly and dangerous Castle Doctrine, Stand Your Ground, and Make My Day laws are all a sampling of the "master's tools" which affect us disproportionately, yet our mis-leadership class (to include the Changeling), seems unable or unwilling to fight for and/or fashion new "tools" to defeat them."

To this I ask what should we do? What will you do or are doing since you know this is how both the "mis-leadership" class and WSCP function?

I am asking not in a Spirit of sarcasm but actually out of wanting to know how you respond to this.

BTW...GZ waived the stand your ground defense.

Deb said...

Hey Amenta!...Man, this damned cold is still hangin' on, but I've been up and about a little the last couple days. My daughter-in-law surprised me with tickets to see Cesar Milan downtown on Thursday night and I tell you, he is The Man! There we both sat with our tissues, coughing and sniffling and having a great time (she caught my cold the Sunday before!).

I'm a hopeless dog-lover, Man. I raised my 5 1/2 year-old mini American Eskimo using "Cesar's Way," and she's my most excellent "Road Dog!" I've got my son's 2 1/2 year-old Pit Bull now and I'm doing the same with him -- it's working wonderfully (you know how folk feel about Pits so I gotta make sure and do the damned thing)!

"I can put no belief/faith/hope in a system that explicitly tells us that it is run by criminals as it's names suggests; the CRIMINAL justice system. "

You know I never used to think about it that way. Just goes to show how easily our minds can be twisted by propaganda to believe the Criminals-R-Us!

You asked, " ...what should we do? What will you do or are doing since you know this is how both the "mis-leadership" class and WSCP function?"

Well, though I don't believe in the corrupt electoral system in this country -- particularly nationally, cuz I think it's rigged (nobody will ever convince me the Changeling wasn't selected). However, I DO believe that "we the people" can beat them at their own game locally, if we put our backs into it. As a matter of fact, I know we can.

True story: When I lived in the Keys, my husband and I, two lawyers and a guy who ran a local, daily formed a committee for a Citizen's Review Board because of the way the local PD harassed and often abused the little Black & Brown nickel bag boys, and folk doing petty crimes in the city because, when they'd file a complaint with IA, they pretty much got ignored, or worse, suffered worse retaliation for speaking up. We got the community involved (I had a weekly editorial column in the city's daily paper so I had a platform to put it out there), business owners made in-kind contributions, displaying our flyers and posters prominently in their storefronts and allowed our volunteers to set up tables out front of their businesses so we could get enough signatures on petitions to get our referendum for the new committee on the ballot (because the board was to be funded with city $$s) -- and we did! We all got together in City Hall that November evening and watched as our referendum passed in a landslide vote -- we'd changed the city charter and the Citizen's Review Board was born -- Oh what a feeling that was!

There is nothing to stop us from doing the same sort of thing when it comes to getting these "Stand Your Ground" type laws off the books; nothing to stop us from educating the community on those laws and the elected officials who helped put them into place, so we can coalesce and get their asses out of local government, replacing them with people who, are a part of the community, willing to work "with the consent of the governed" -- nothing but US! We can't change shit by becoming them, Man. We've got to be better than them. That's my answer.

"BTW...GZ waived the stand your ground defense."

That's what I thought, yet the judge clearly mentioned it in her instructions to the jury, and B37 mentioned it was a part of their deliberations. Worse, because they changed their "strategy," using self-defense instead, they pretty much undercut the chance that any civil suit can be brought by Trayvon's family -- according to "the law."

Deb said...

Amenta..Forget to explain that the Citizen's Review Board was instituted as another avenue for complainants, who felt Internal Affairs had not fairly addressed their initial complaints. With subpeona power included as a part of it's duties, the Board was able to call witnesses and thoroughly investigate the claims. Sometimes IA's decisions were upheld, sometimes overturned based on the information gathered. The Board had to hire and Executive Dir. (a job that was floated to me, but I declined cuz I already had a job I loved that allowed me my independence to critique the performance, in print, of the very Board I'd helped put in place), as well as an Admin. Asst., so it created two positions that hadn't existed before, for two people from the community. -- sounds like small potatoes, I know, but not to me.

Amenta said...

Deb you are sooooo right. We can beat them and you showed us an aspect of how with the Citizens Review Board the power we have. That was POWER. That the power the Panthers and Brotha Malcolm was heading.

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