Black Women for Wellness is deeply relieved that the Florida state attorney general has arrested and will press 2nd degree murder charges against George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin. It is one step forward toward achieving some type of social justice in this country for African American peoples, yet it is also a illustrative example of how far we need to go toward achieving equity and equality.
We mourn the death of Trayvon Martin, and know that his family will only find some peace with today’s charges against and arrest of George Zimmerman. But it is some peace, it is something to lend them solace that the life of their son will create a legacy of goodness. It is some solace that perhaps the next Zimmerman will think twice before assaulting or murdering an African American child, then stop. It is some solace that the next unjustifiable killing of an African American child will be prosecuted and the villain will be held accountable and responsible immediately. BWW hopes this will be the start of a trend that respects and values the lives of Black people…that the criminal justice system takes crimes against African Americans seriously, that our human rights will be upheld in courts of law because until today, there has been very very little reason for belief or trust in that system to actually render justice for folks of color.
Our attention needs to stay focused, please remember to keep the pressure on – we know from experience that juries can come back with interesting verdicts (this month marks the anniversary of the Los Angeles Civil Unrest following the acquittal of policemen who beat down Rodney King –to think we all believed our lying eyes) – we know that the maximum sentence might not happen – we know that many things can keep the family of Trayvon Martin from receiving the justice due, from the community of African Americans receiving justice long overdue. Our communities should plan to keep the pressure on, let this small victory fuel the passion, movement building and desire for justice that the family of Trayvon Martin and African Americans in general deserve.