A Not Guilty verdict… returned sometime between my bedtime and this morning. Truth is, I am not entirely shocked by the outcome. Though I was hopeful, I had little expectation that the justice system would indeed serve justice. The brutal reality is that Trayvon Martin’s death did not have to happen, and “not guilty” appeared fixed from the start.
Regardless, we must give rise to our voice while we are still very much alive. We must speak for social justice for all murdered children and act courageously when any child is killed. Our community’s issue is bigger than Trayvon. I wept for Trayvon but I am sickened when discussing murdered children in New York, Philadelphia, Trenton, or my second city Chicago. Though we profess innocence, many of us are found guilty, even in conscience–sitting idly by, simply nodding our head in disapproval when it comes to the rampant violence that is wiping out families and communities.
Ironically, there will be more cases which call us to respond. The name will not be Zimmerman, but perhaps one more familiar. Though the names of the criminals might be known, we won’t dare tell of their deeds though our very freedoms are compromised.
We must use our grief and outrage to ante up our courage and ask of ourselves whether we are really doing all that we can to stop killing in our community by our community. This is a challenge for me and I will not assume that the next generation will handle it. Moreover, we cannot simply pass the baton to politicians, legislators and court systems, while huddling in our private circles to just pray about it.
I am a woman of faith, and I know that my God is one of justice, but a worry-free world was never promised. I will pray, then act, speak, and fight for those who cannot. I will not let George Zimmerman cause me to grow bitter, but better. The community needs better.
So this Sunday, I draw strength from my faith, and from a modern-day hymn by the ministerial Chuck D.
”Kick it, Chuck!”
This part of the bridge is most convicting, yet it provides a perfect close to the urgent question: “Now What?”.
“Feel the people
Heal the people
Need the people
So heed the people
Help the homeless
Where’s your groove?
Check your heads
I shall not be moved
I shall not be moved
Uh come on.”
Feel, heal, need, heed, help. Amen.