Last Saturday (July 13) was the night that reiterated for the thousandth time that the system we continue to seek justice from will never provide that for us–especially if we aren’t white.
The months leading up to the Zimmerman verdict were filled with vigils and protests, outcries and anger, not for 1 young soul taken away from the earth too soon, but for many youth who have been murdered because they are black. I remember sitting in the pew at the church where the 1 year vigil for Ramarley Graham was being held, listening to countless stories from a group called Stolen Lives. I couldn’t contain my tears, my pain for them.
I have a 6 year old boy who I have to fear will grow up to be not a successful beautiful human who contributes to his community, but a target because of his skin color. My son’s future is riddled with obstacles because they close schools to build prisons. My child is worth more money to this capitalist slave system as an inmate than a productive member of his community.
All of these things came to a head Saturday night, and I could not contain the rage, the anger, the disappointment, the fear. How in the Hell can I protect my child from being the next Trayvon Martin, Ramarley Graham, or Kimani Gray? I felt helpless because I can’t protect him from this world, and it only made me more angry.
My temporary therapy is expression on social media, and while I do this often, this time was different. Some family and “friends” reacted to my posts and became critical of me and upset. They tried to pacify my anger and rage. I was told that this behavior wasn’t good; I was told it wasn’t productive, and was even called a divider, a racist. This society is so fearful of words, especially when spoken from the mouths of the oppressed. An angry Latina anarchist who speaks her mind is viewed to be so dangerous and wrong, yet we passively watch as a controlling system wipes their ass with the Constitution and no one blinks.
My words aren’t the bullets that kill our youth, but rather the ones that blow holes through the oppressive state that systematically attempts to make us worthless, to make us afraid.
I used social media to process my very strong emotions about the verdict and what it means to a society of people who share that child’s skin color. They don’t care about Black people. They don’t care about our kids and they will never give us justice.
I had the amazing opportunity to process my anger in a more direct way because I was able to participate in the NYC Justice for Trayvon march. Over 5,000 stood together in Times Square to rally for Trayvon and his family as well as all the families who have lost their loved ones to senseless violence at the hands of a racist system.
It was so invigorating to take the middle of Park Avenue in NYC and march all the way to Harlem. “Whose streets?!” That night they were ours. I was able to belt out chants and hug my comrades, break down and cry when I needed. Why? Because we were all one community that night. We all worked together that night. We were all one.
That was the display of unity I needed to see and feel. That unity is what will move mountains. That unity is what my son needs to be enveloped in, in order to survive. That unity is what will save the lives of so many children in our communities.
I will stay angry and diligent. I will continue to be a connector, bringing the members of our communities together so that we don’t have to hold a rally for a child who was senselessly killed.
It has been less than a week since this verdict and while my voice has become sore from all the chanting, I will continue to organize, educate and equally agitate the system, which has failed to represent us–especially the darker shades of us in this society.