Have we learned anything from the murder of Trayvon Martin?

Say it with me, “RACISM/WHITE SUPREMACY IS REAL.” The reason for the collective dismay of Black folks in the wake of the murder of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman is the wholesale disbelief that we live in a society dominated by racism/white supremacy. Black folks think that because Oprah is a billionaire, because Jay and Bey are BFFs with BO and MO, because your uncle is the HNIC at somebody else’s corporation that Black folks in America have somehow “progressed” and America as a whole is washed clean of its racist inclinations…. GTFOHWTBS!!!

In America, in 2013, decades after the “civil rights” movement, a young black boy can be murdered in cold-blood by someone with OBVIOUS racial motives and that person can get off Scott-free… And guess what, the powers that be are counting on marches, protests, riots, blacked out profile pictures, and other meaningless gestures of sympathy in order to justify the next round of oppressive legislation that already waiting in the wings.

Meanwhile, in the REAL WORLD, GZ raised $80,000 for his defense last week alone!!! That means that there are PLENTY of folks who believe that he was justified in his actions. Who, pray tell, donated that money? Was it the Black folks who are so outraged by a not guilty verdict? Or, was it the silent, consenting majority who could care less if another Black boy gets murdered?

All I’m saying is, maybe Black folks should stop expecting the system that enslaves, oppresses, and miseducates us to be fair and judicious towards us. I hate to break it to you, but it doesn’t matter how much you do the “right” thing, how old or young you are, how educated or affluent you are, how deeply spiritual or fundamentally religious you are. In the eyes of the system of racism/white supremacy, you my dear Black brothers and sisters, are still a nigger and your life really doesn’t matter.

And for those who will take issue with the synonymous usage of racism/white supremacy, answer me this. Who runs shit? Who makes the rules? Who owns the prisons that over 50% of our Black males are housed in? Who governs the institutions that show a steady decline in the health and welfare of Black people? Who owns the businesses that will hire an illegal immigrant before hiring a Black man? It sure as hell ain’t Black folks. Tell me, how does a people who make up the minority of the global population come to control everything and everyone? Surely, a system must be put into place to maintain the status quo… Right?

This system is complex, self-perpetuating, and unsustainable. Eventually, the majority will have to awaken to the reality that THEY hold the power and that tyranny, in any form, is not only unacceptable, but those responsible will be held accountable. As long as the system gets away with murder, as in the case of GZ and the countless would-be assailants like him, then there should be no shock and no awe. We allow this with our silence, our prayers, our slothfulness to buck a system that constantly fucks us over, and our refusal to accept an African-centered worldview.

Trayvon’s death can shed light on where we are, how we got here, and what we must do next as a people… OR, it can be yet another rehashing of old, well-worn, 1960s mantras of “We shall overcome”, rallies, marches, and empty rhetoric with no real effect on our community at-large. The choice is, and has always been, ours.

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