Sunday, July 14, 2013

George Zimmerman Not Guilty, I'll Keep Living (Sunday Reflections)

Over the last year and a half everyone has been awaiting the trial and then verdict for George Zimmerman's murder case. It all started on a rainy night when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin in his neighborhood. What led to this? No one knows.

What we do know is Trayvon was walking from the store with skittles and tea. Zimmerman called 911 alerting that there was someone strange in his neighborhood. Trayvon wasn't actually strange. He just had a hoodie on. However, Zimmerman did not listen to the 911 operator's request that he leave the situation alone. What happened next led to Trayvon's death and horrible police measures. The police later questioned Zimmerman on the killing, but never arrested him. They let him keep his gun too. Two months went by before Zimmerman was arrested and the case was taken away from the Sanford police to be handled by higher authority.

Because this was such a high profile case, picking a jury was tough. In the end Zimmerman's verdict was left in the hands of six women. Since there were no actual witnesses, all of the evidence was of what could have possibly took place the night Zimmerman killed Trayvon. One witness, Rachel Jeantel, just happened to be on the phone with Trayvon before the phone cut off and he was killed. The others lived in the area and heard screams.The general public already had their verdict, but the jury decided to go in the opposite direction. They said George Zimmerman was in the right for shooting Trayvon Martin. They said he was not guilty of any crime. Okay, there is a lot more to say but this is my short summary. Now that it is over, I will keep living.

My current work schedule is from 3pm to midnight. Every night upon getting off from work and heading home I hold my breath. My apartment complex looks like a scary movie at night. It's silent. There are trees. There are dark pathways depending on how close to my door I can park. Every once in a while there's a strange person lurking in the shadows, or getting out of their car too, or even standing in plain sight looking lost.

I'm a short black woman with an Afro. 4'10 is my height to be exact. I love loud colored clothing and colorful make-up. I stand out like a sore thumb, or a pretty face in the crowd. I've never been in a fight, so I don't know if I'd be capable of defending myself if someone were to attack me. I should be changing my profile picture to black, or a hoodie, or even be ready to march like everyone else. Instead I'm sitting my in living room thinking of future plans.

How much laundry can I get done tomorrow before Oprah's Life Class? It's the Fatherless daughters edition. Should I go eat out and do laundry? Lunch and dinner dates by myself have become a new happy norm. How can I save up enough money to leave Houston again? Leaving Houston makes me feel alive. Will I ever get married and have a child? Hmm..

Why am I doing this? I have to keep living. The majority of us were born into a world that others influenced us to fear. There is the local news that starts off with the top crime stories of the day. There is a George Zimmerman everywhere, whether he is convicted or not. We're taught to watch our backs because we never know when white privilege will strike. There is also black on black crime. Then there are also just generally crazy people all around us. See, that is so much fear, which is why I choose to live.

I have to wake up each day and put a smile on my face. I have to chase my dreams so I can be happy. I have to fulfill goals in order to make a change for myself. So I'm not going to let this case hold my back, or take my hope for better things to come. Instead, I'm going to continue to live.

P.S. Trayvon Martin's life has been lost in this huge case, but we should not stop our lives. Keep striving for better. Make changes. Do something progressive.

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