On The Murder Of Trayvon Martin.

“With the “Not Guilty” verdict handed down to George Zimmerman after his malicious murder of Trayvon Martin, the United States upholds the right to and tradition of murdering Black, Brown, and African American people.”


I don’t believe that the Americans who applauded the verdict and sought to minimize the role that race plays my asking the country to “Keep race out of it!” said it out of anger, hate, or spite. What they do not, and cannot understand is that for a growing number of Americans, especially but not just limited to Black Americans, race isn’t kept out of anything because our country uses race more than any other factor in its decision-making. It will intersect with crime, justice, injustice, and every other measurable metric. Saying “Whatever, why can’t we just keep race out of it?”” as they just have, is the privilege of people who have never been hunted, or made to live with a clear understanding that their lives are less valued than any other group in 2014.

I’m watching people who I know to be safe and sane, both as individuals and collectively call for the murder of George Zimmerman.

George Zimmerman should not be lynched.

Eyebrows raised when I used that term, but I pushed forward and made it clear that a lynching is exactly what it will be if a mob decides to ignore the court ruling and take the law into their own hands. Mob-justice is no justice at all.

No, lynch mobs aren’t the answer. Extrajudicial murder has been used against anyone marked as “other” in the USA for hundreds of years. It circumvents the legal system an inserts violent death in its place. A grizzly death that awaits anon who is marked as “other” and beyond the protection of the law, if there was any protection, to begin with.

George Zimmerman is the beneficiary and byproduct of a system that makes it abundantly clear that disproportionately punishing and murdering Blacks is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.

“The system cannot fail those it was never built to protect.” ~Unknown

A quick illustration posted in The Guardian gives us step one, the numbers that show Blacks, who make up only 14% of the population compose a staggering 42% of prisoners on death row!


In step two, it gets worse. The information in the second graph was vetted by The Society Pages. Take a look and see if you can figure it out at first glance.


What this graph illustrates is that the likelihood of actually being executed even after being convicted of murder is only 15% if the person you killed is Black. However, if you kill a white person, there is a 77% chance that your execution will be carried out.

  • The lives of Black Americans are not valuable in the eyes of the state.
  • Murdering a Black American is not often punishable by death.

A violent “call to arms” would be a horrible idea, but “patience and understanding” are just as bad if it results in a complacency that lets these tragedies continue. The unfortunate reality is that it’s grossly intellectually dishonest to not directly address the fact our system has been critiqued and found lacking many times. Identifying the problems and taking actions to solve them are two different issues entirely.

What I’m searching for is a way to circumvent an unjust system that does not result in more death.

What’s worked in the past?

This conundrum has plagued nearly every abused, underserved population around the world since the beginning of political activism.


Trayvon Benjamin Martin                  Born: February 5,1995
Died: February 26, 2012                     He was shot to death at 17 years old.

“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

                           ~Barack Hussein Obama II, 44th and current President of the United States and the first African American to hold the office.


YusefWateef (at) Gmail (dot) com




  1. Socialkenny

    I addressed this on so many blogs over the past 5 days that I can’t even know where to begin. To just sum it up, I believe Zimmer was out to kill someone that night (preferably someone black), and it happened to be TM.


  2. pooseum

    I wanted to share this with you…it moved me.

    “We decided not to stay quiet and make sure that we would be the voice Trayvon Martin was not allowed to keep. That is why we created this work, to ensure that everyone knows of the horrors that are still evident in our society and to educate the public on the monstrosity that is racism.”



    • YusefWateef

      Thanks for the update. The mural Pooseum is talking about is “We Are All Trayvon Martin,” a 50-feet-long, 8-feet-high mural unveiled by a Vietnam War refugee and peace activist Huong, in Miami. Its very well done.


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  4. Jess

    I’ve said this many times, and often many don’t want to hear it. In a way I’ve always felt that Zimmerman was a victim as well. A Victim of his own subconcious racial bias. I’m sure if you asked him if he was racist he would deny it and truly believe what he’s saying. What is unfortunate is that so many of this generation have been tought what a criminal looks like without realizing the racial aspect. Through media, pop culture, and a “colorblind” coded language that has been fed to us since the Reagan administration, many have come to immediately think young +black+male= up to no good. I believe he murdered that boy trying to be a hero, and still probably has not come to terms with the fact that his thought process has been programmed with racial bias.


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  6. Sandy

    I appreciate this essay very much. Perhaps Zimmer killed Trayvon because of self-denfense. But I believe the justice of the court is unfair. Actually,Zimmer should be punished.So it means race discrimination still exists. I am concerned about it how can we deal with the problem and how can we change this siuation.


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