Yesterday was a terribly sad day in America.
George Zimmerman was found not-guilty. Justice in America does not seem to exist.
I posted this sentiment on my facebook page, which garnered ‘likes’ from various acquaintances (which, if I’m being honest, felt terribly uncomfortable – to be receiving ‘likes’ for something so tragic.)
One of the people who ‘liked’ my post was a former professor at a college I formerly attended, for a very brief period of time. I never met her in person, but respect the work she has done.
She asked on her page this morning if we have become complacent in this facebook era – if we are now willing to post about injustice and then return to posting ‘stupid pictures of dogs.” It felt as if she was speaking directly to me. (It’s true, I posted a ‘stupid picture of a dog.’) While it made me uncomfortable for someone who doesn’t know me to make such a public statement about my flaws (or again, what seemed directly, if passively, targeted at me), she was, in essence, correct.
I feel deeply, deeply saddened.
I want to cry and yell and hug every mother and child I come across. I want to demand justice – too late and never, ever enough – for Trayvon Martin and his family and all of the boys who have watched this trial and seen that their lives are not worth as much as a man with a gun and a privilege he was born into but does not deserve.
I also feel completely helpless.
I don’t know how to take part in a broken system, a broken country, that does nothing to protect innocent lives and everything to protect money, power, whiteness. I surround myself with progressive, outspoken, artistic, creative, positive members of this society who are doing so much good just by being themselves and sharing with their communities. I forget that most of the country does not operate this way.
This is my confession: I’m not doing enough. Plain and simple. I – someone who prides myself on ‘doing good’ and helping others – I have no idea where to start. I have no idea how to take part in making real, actual, lasting change. Through art, and working with young people, and continuing to live my life purposefully, yes. But within the political and judicial system, no.
I do know that we must all demand justice for Trayvon Martin – loudly and publicly and nonstop. As this woman also said in her post – “If this doesn’t get lots of people off of their couches and into the streets, then nothing will.”
I’m pressing the publish button on this blog post, closing my computer, and I am getting off my couch… now.
Here’s to another day of creativity…