This post was written by guest contributor Maheen Nusrat.
People often think that faith is for the weak, for those who fail to engage rational thinking. I disagree; faith is also for the strong, for those who strive for justice, for those who trust, for those who strive for betterment and for those who believe.
The day of the Zimmerman Trial verdict this past weekend was a tragic day in the American history – a day of mourning for people of rationality and of faith. It will be known as the day when an innocent child’s life was lost in vain to a failed justice system.
George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch vigilante, had been accused of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February of last year. Martin was returning after buying a can of iced tea and skittles as he walked through a gated community. Martin, a young black man, was wearing a hoodie at the time. This led Zimmerman to be suspicious of him as a possible vandal. He called 911 and then followed Martin, despite the 911 dispatcher’s warnings not to do so. Zimmerman then confronted Martin, and when Martin reacted to his threat, Zimmerman shot the young man, leading to his death. Zimmerman did this in what he claims to be self-defense; he was not arrested that night and walked home with the weapon.
Since the day the story became public, it has brought to surface the ugly face of racism and racial profiling that exists in American society today. This case has proven to many people that being a young black man in America is still considered a threat enough to arouse suspicion from self-appointed vigilantes with recorded histories of racist and violent behavior. On July 13, the jury reached a verdict that found Zimmerman “not guilty” on all counts, and he walked away a free man. Meanwhile, Trayvon’s parents and many other parents of black children slept without peace and with unease at this despicable show of injustice and an even more alarming message that in post-racial America, it is still okay to shoot a black teenager if you suspect him to be a threat. Many in the media did everything to discredit Trayvon and as a result, it was Trayvon who was on trial in his death for his suspected “thug” life style, instead of Zimmerman – the real killer. Imagine the pangs of hurt his parents must feel.
When I heard that Trayvon Martin’s killer has walked free, everything in my body ached. My eyes wept, my heart ached, my tongue spoke with anger – because my mind couldn’t comprehend how injustice of this magnitude could prevail. Nothing I said, read, wrote, or did make any sense. It was a simple case of injustice – of wrong winning over right, where the colour of your skin still determined whether you lived and/or walked free. [Read more...]