“WHEN NOBODY LISTENS TO A COMPLAINT THAT APPEARS TO BE LEGITIMATE, WHEN NOBODY TRIES TO RECTIFY A BAD SITUATION, A VIOLENT ACT IS PERHAPS THE ONLY WAY LEFT TO FOCUS ATTENTION ON THE WRONG, AND HELP SOMETHING GET DONE ABOUT IT” — John Langone
When 23 year old Mohamed Merah went on his bloody Jihadist rampage in the French city of Toulouse that left seven people senselessly dead, three of them children, I wondered if this was how he felt? As if his legitimate grievances and the grievances of his people were continuing to go unheard. Before dying in a hail of gun fire at the hands of French special forces soldiers the young terrorist told a negotiator, ”you kill my brothers, now I’m killing you.”
While it’s probably impossible to pinpoint the exact motives for his attacks, righteous indignation, hatred of French society, or just youthful frustration – I can tell you exactly what is driving the protest that have erupted all across the country in the wake of the Trayvon Martin killing in Sanford, Florida by 28 year old George Zimmerman the trigger happy neighborhood watch captain.
Trayvon who was 17 years old and unarmed when he was gunned down insides of a gated community was killed for being black in a nice neighborhood which in the eyes of George Zimmerman automatically made him suspect.
In America we have DWB (Driving While Black).
Which will get you stopped and possibly ticketed on GP (General Principle).
WWB (Walking while Black).
Which will get you Id’ed and frisked.
And plain old BB (Being Black).
Which in Trayvon’s case got him a bullet in the chest.
Same thing with Emmet Till, Rodney King, Sean Bell.
But as the protest that have rocked this nation from one side to the other following Trayvon’s senseless killing attest.
Black people have reached a breaking point.
We are tired of being murdered by police.
Tired of being murdered by the George Zimmerman’s and Joe Horns of the world.
And tired of being gun down senselessly by each other. Enough is enough.
Like Mohamed Merah in France, the African-American community has reached a breaking point. A point were the pain of doing nothing is far greater than the pain associated with change, meaningful change.
The abolitionist and ex-slave Fredrick Douglass said, “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of injustice and wrong that will be imposed on them.”
For too long that’s what the black community has been guilty of quietly submitting. Quietly submitting to our sisters and brothers being railroaded by the criminal justice system on trumped up charges, the same justice system that allowed George Zimmerman to walk away after killing a unarmed defenseless black teenager. We quietly submit to the constant assault and killing of black men young and old at the hand of the police. Quietly submit to one form of injustice after another.
Until now, finally the community has reached a breaking point. A point to where all 13.5 million of our voices young and old are saying a COLLECTIVE NO MORE.
NO MORE TRAYVON’S, SEAN BELLS OR RODNEY KINGS. NO MORE ANTHONY GRAVES’.
NO MORE INJUSTICE.
Martin Luther King said, “an injustice against one is an injustice against all.”
Which makes us all Trayvon Martin.