Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How should we respond to the Martin/Zimmerman case?

For those who feel that justice was not served in Florida, a stark reminder that unfortunately, racism in the US is never very far. Walking the streets of Florida by an unarmed African American can be seen as a threat by a paranoid vigilante carrying a gun, who went against the advice of the police, and sadly, a shooting/killing did occur; yet the legal system, and Law Enforcement, even under an African American President and an African American US Attorney General cannot change this - yes, recent events are sobering. Yes, anger is understandable. However, in the end it accomplishes very little, other than its destructive, antisocial capability. This case is likely to be consigned to the dusty history, as the Emmett Till case was, decades before. Question: did we (collectively) learn nothing from the past?

So the question becomes how can we move forward? Certainly not by following the examples of our political leaders, who today are debating the 'nuclear option' in the US Senate; that is socially irresponsible, and complete insanity.

However, we can learn by examining history and asking: what would a Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr, a Cesar Chavez do in such a situation?

Examine the facts: ultimately, in any law and order situation, the law will invariably prevail, right or wrong (failure to do this ends in chaos, not benefitting anyone on any side).
So all three leaders protested wisely: they peacefully attacked the moral authority of the those who pulled the triggers, who charged with water cannons, and police dogs, and tanks.

All three leaders organized, and educated: breaking windows, blocking freeways is not going to change anything. However, peacefully, with dignity, and persistently protesting an injustice will move the opposition, as it did the once mighty British Empire, and Jim Crow laws, and farmworker conditions.

Above all, plan not for destruction, but for your success. Burning down a court or legal office while claiming it did not serve you, in the end it does nothing to serve you. Making it serve you, now that is success. Learn from the concepts of 'kamakazi' and  'jihad': going so far as acting by causing one's own death, does not accomplish anything for the living; plan for your revenge in life, by living, not in a jail, nor in the hereafter, but in the present, in the face of odds. Learn to transform the opposition.

Yes, it takes longer; what is the alternative?

Elders, parents and leaders, come to the aid of our children. Discuss, speak up.

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