The trial is over, the pain and the anger is as fresh, and as severe as it was back in the days of the spring of 2012 when it first happened, and the glee of individuals and corporations who have engaged in a game of character assassination of the victim while elevating a neighborhood watchman/wannabe cop with his own checkered past to cult hero status has been just as infuriating.
No the state of Florida will not be handing out justice to Trayvon Martin’s murderer George Zimmerman, which is not at all surprising given the glacial like pace that the authorities in Sanford, Florida moved at when deciding whether or not to bring charges. As we all know by now Zimmerman was not arrested that night, not even drug tested, and witnesses were not talked to by police until six weeks later, bringing the police’s commitment towards this case into question one last time.
Moving forward the question now is where do we go from here? That question doesn’t just extend to those of us in the African-American community or to good-hearted, well intentioned people of all kinds who think that what occurred in that Florida courtroom over the last month was a travesty of epic proportions. It is a question that should definitely be posed to one of the two most powerful political parties in this country that is well versed in proclaiming it’s populist bona fides concerning America’s downtrodden. The Democratic Party.
Are elected Democratic officials all across this country, some of whom have expressed deep sadness for the family of Trayvon Martin and most of whom have benefited professionally from the votes of individuals who could easily find themselves in the same position as Trayvon Martin really ready to take on the system of laws and regulations put in place that provide us with the opportunity for more outcomes like Trayvon Martin’s?
As has been reported The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has behind staunchly behind Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. One would be a fool to believe that that law didn’t play a part in Zimmerman’s thinking on that rainy night in 2012. ALEC’s alliance with The National Rifle Association along with their large and seductive influence over the Capitol building D.C. enabled “Stand Your Ground” to pop up in 24 other states around the country since it’s debut in the “sunshine state” in 2005. The one thing that also cannot be argued is that elected Democrats in congress love receiving the cash of the NRA and ALEC as much as Republicans and are more than happy to do their bidding assuming the checks continues to clear.
Are elected Democratic officials willing to take on politicians like sometime liberal, most of the time Wall Street Republican Michael Bloomberg? By the way, when you sit down and think about it what is the difference between Bloomberg and George Zimmerman actually, aside from the fact the Bloomberg had enough of his own money to buy a couple of elections and then rather than do it himself he order his own personal Zimmerman – New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly – to carry out his “guilty until proven innocent” profiling system of African-American and Latino men known as “Stop and Frisk.”
Are elected Democrats willing to take on laws on the books that incarcerate young black and brown men at alarming rates especially when compared to their white counterparts. Politicians of both parties have decided to do business with corporations that profit from the “private prison” business. The United States as a country makes up 5% of the world’s population, yet the United States alone is responsible for locking up a quarter of the world’s prison population. When these houses of horrors go up they obviously need to be filled with bodies, so we as a society are inundated with “Rockerfeller Drug Laws”, mandatory minimums, and massive plea deals that accomplish the task.
Once an individual is re-admitted into society he/she still does not have the ability to partake in all of society’s freedoms. People can be turned away from voting, housing and a good paying job. This is the equivalent of serving a life sentence without really serving a life sentence.
According to the United States Bureau of Justice cost savings from the use of private prisons have not come to fruition. A 2011 ACLU report stated that private prisons are more costly, more violent, and are a contributor to the increase of mass incarceration rates. So in short the United States is locking up more people – black and brown people in particular- at an unbelievably high cost to taxpayers while fat cats who run these places rake in profits. What say you Democrats.
The Progressive Coalition that showed up for Barack Obama in droves in both 2008 and 2012 need to prove that they can show up in those numbers in off year elections like the one coming up in 2014. The only way to stem the tied of the possible extinction of abortion, the flat out demonizing of the poor through public policy, the shameless voter suppression tactics used against those same poor people and people of color, the vile discrimination faced by gays and lesbians in everyday life and in the workplace, and yes the repeal of laws that render black and brown men like me and more importantly Trayvon Martin to second class status when it comes to our ability to do something as benign as walk down a street in our own neighborhood is to be in that booth on the first Tuesday in November of that year.
If that does happen though, If that coalition shows up to bestow their God-given, unalienable right on a group of individuals from a political party (including a President) that has talked a good game, One would think that that party would be willing to do the work and champion the ideas of the people who put them in their jobs. If all of us as allies of Trayvon Martin, regardless of race, age, sex or sexual orientation are willing to hold our end of the political bargain then all of these so-called Dems that we elect should hold up theirs.
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