Sunday, July 14, 2013

Strange Fruit

We are now a nation that legally justifies extrajudicial lynchings. I don't know what more needs to be known or said about us than that. As a white man in a city that's 80% black, I can't look my fellow Detroiters in the eye. A jury in Florida delivers a verdict last night, and this morning I can't stomach the stench of my own white skin.




  3. From my good friend Gary Holcomb:

    Gary Holcomb also commented on his status.
    Gary wrote: "I hope that the federal prosecutors have an awareness of the ideological contours at work in this case. Zimmerman has never expressed regret for killing Trayvon Martin. Significantly, he believes that praying for the Martin family is sufficient, instead. The perpetrators of racist violence almost invariably take this position, that the killer is not at fault, that the events unraveled in a natural way, according to God's spiritual plan. Of course, the narrative doesn't add up on a material level, and Zimmerman shouldn't have been acquitted. Zimmerman's story is that Martin was reaching for the gun when he reached it first and was able to shoot Martin. The Hollywood movie narrative is obvious—good won out. Yet this ostensibly took place while Martin was straddling Zimmerman, pinning him to the ground, and slamming his head on the pavement. As for the murder weapon itself, Zimmerman's view is that the pistol was not his or Martin's at the point when the shooting took place. It was "the gun," as if it materialized by God's will so that Zimmerman could save his own life and right could be done in the end. Zimmerman's defense: “It was all God’s plan, and [therefore not] for me to second guess it or judge it.” From the perspective of those who perpetrate it, racist violence is a natural act, a reflection of motivations that must be understood according to the mystery of God's presence. Whether Zimmerman regularly displayed an open racist attitude should be irrelevant because the incident can't be understood in any other way than as a racist act. A "black male" wearing a hoodie was detained, assaulted, and murdered simply for being who he was. Zimmerman expresses no regret and takes no responsibility for his actions, as if he were sleepwalking through the killing, as if he was playing a passive agent. But he was acting during the entire incident. He identified Martin as a threat and then followed him and killed him. The reason is obvious: Martin was a scary black male, who was threatening white people. It's up to the feds to have the intelligence to recognize these contours and to be able to argue for the case."