By Willie Hamilton-Founder/President/Executive Director Black Men United
When a 17 year old youth is murdered and the individual responsible for it doesn’t do one day in jail, something is seriously wrong with our justice system.
Today is a sad day in the U.S. with the not guilty verdict of Mr. Zimmerman, which clearly shows that we are not a post racial society even with the election of our first African American President. Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months for animal abuse and a young African American young lady in Florida who recently got 20 years for firing a warning shot from a gun to scare her abusive ex-husband was denied the Stand Your Ground defense. Plaxico Burress served 20 months of a 2 year sentence for accidentally shooting himself in the leg. What is a black life worth?
As I write this article, I am remembering conversations with my mom and grandmother regarding how I should act or conduct myself when stopped by the police or when I’m in an area of the country with the Klan. Thirty years later I’m having the same conversation with my children. Now, Trayvon Martin is murdered by a Neighborhood Watch security person.
In this country our men and kids are not judged by the content of our hearts or our deeds but still by the way we look or dress and where we live. It is said that animals and criminals have more rights and more protections under the law than we do. My heart is so heavy and sad that many people are justifying the murder of this young man by saying that race played no role in what happened! They are making Trayvon Martin out to be a villain. The fact is, he was racially profiled from the beginning.
The preamble to the Constitution of the United States says “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
While Article 1, Section. 2 of the provisions to the Constitution’s 13th Amendment state that free persons will be counted as a whole number but excludes Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons (i.e.,slave)
This is contradictory at best. Until this country begins a serious dialogue about race and the impact of race on crime, education, violence, mass incarceration and the criminal justice system we truly cannot be what America was meant to be.