Trayvon- A Pan African Perspective

“The names and the faces have changed but the game is still the same”
Emmit Till- 1955
Amadou Diallo-1999
Trayvon Martin – 2013
NAME – Till- (age 14)
RACE – Black/African American
INCIDENT – Whistled at white girl in Money, Mississippi.
INJUSTICE – Murdered and brutalized beyond facial recognition by white vigilante.
JURY DECISION – Perpetrators acquitted and set free.
NAME – Diallo- (age 23)
RACE – Black/Continental African
INCIDENT – Reached for his wallet to identify himself in lobby of his domicile in Bronx, New York.
INJUSTICE – Shot and murdered by 19 bullets (from 41shots) by 4 un-uniformed white NYC policemen.
JURY DECISION – Perpetrators acquitted and set free.
NAME – Martin- (age 17)
RACE – Black/African American
INCIDENT – Walking while Black (WWB) in Sanford, Florida
INJUSTICE – Murdered by a white stalker while peacefully returning home.
JURY DECISION – Perpetrator acquitted and set free.
“Recently, three students from Kenya were mistaken for African Americans and were brutally beaten by the New York police. Shortly after that two diplomats from Uganda were also beaten by the New York City police, who mistook them for African Americans. If Continental Africans are brutally beaten while only visiting America, imagine the physical and psychological suffering received by your brothers and sisters who have lived there for 300 years. African problems are our problems and our problems are African problems.” Malcolm X addressing to Organization of African Unity (OAU), July 1964
The legal system based on a constitutional document written in the 18th century, when enslaved Africans constituted 1/5 or 20% of the population, has proven itself historically inadequate in providing justice for Black people in America. This is an understatement. Furthermore, the 19th century’s Emancipation Proclamation and 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the constitution have also been problematic in resolving our situation.
To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “America gave Black people a promissory note that has come back to us as a bad check marked insufficient funds.” And in spite of Dr. King’s eternal faith in “the Bank of Justice” we can conclude, 50 years later, that it is indeed bankrupt. So we find ourselves here in the 21st century (2013), with an African American President of the United States, still faced with some of the same negativities and injustices that have plagued us since the founding of the Republic in 1776/89 and the aftermath of the Civil War that ended in 1865.
In the Dred Scott case in 1857, Chief Justice Taney’s Supreme Court ruled that “A Blackman had no rights that a Whiteman need respect”. In the most recent case, in Sanford, Florida, Mr. Zimmerman was told not to pursue Mr. Martin. He disobeyed and pursued him anyway. He murdered him. And now, in the American tradition of Taney, Till and Diallo, Mr. Zimmerman is a free man.
Many are asking does America’s pledge of “liberty and justice for all” really apply to her Black citizens? Others believe the answer is self-evident. The late Trayvon Martin was not on trial. Yet the jury saw fit to posthumously convict him for his own murder. The only thing Trayvon was guilty of was “Walking while Black” (WWB).
I believe that a strong and powerful United Africa will make a profound difference, for the better, in how Black people are perceived and treated in the United States, just as a strong global China has done for Chinese Americans. In the meantime, the traditional notion of a “jury by one’s peers” should be updated to keep pace with the history of racial justice in America. Legislative and constitutional remedies should be put in place to insure that all future juries equally reflect the demographic of the perpetrator and the victim. In addition the second amendment to the US Constitution (“right to bear arms”), which was crafted in the 18th century days of the one shot re-load musket, must be revisited in the context of 21st century realities of rapid fire assault guns and WMDs. Finally, the “stand your ground” laws of Florida and other states, that make it even easier for white people to continue their practice of shooting African people dead and getting away with it, must be immediately repealed
Nuff said
Ed Brown (Mwalimu K-Q Amsata)
Author: “The New Pan Africanism 2020”
August 17, 2013