Feb 13, 2014

After the Zimmerman verdict, I sat speechless for about an hour.  I read through comments on Facebook and Twitter, even commenting myself, but  I literally did not utter a word.  One comment I read questioned why every one seemed surprised.  It was not as much of a surprise as it was flat out anger at injustice.  Wrong is wrong whether or not we can see it coming.  Finally because of a concern that my shock and disgust flipped a switch in my brain, I had to make sure that I could actually speak.  I called a friend to vent my frustration.  Seven months later, I find myself somewhat on edge again awaiting the verdict in the Dunn trial, hoping and praying for justice.

This particular trial did not garner as much media attention as the miscarriage of justice that was the Zimmerman acquittal.  Make no mistake about though, the attention that the Dunn trial has garnered is because of the senseless death of Trayvon Martin.  Along with much of the southeast, I am snowed in today which makes me even more on edge because my attention is not as divided as it normally is.  Verdict watch seems to be the top agenda item of the day for me.  Even if I were at work, I would check in every chance I could.  In a lot of ways, this feels like deja vu.  We most certainly have been here before.  The only legal reason that this is not a clear-cut case is that there are unjust laws on the books that can facilitate an acquittal.  Even if the unjust self-defense laws did not exist, an acquittal is still very much possible because of the lack of empathy for black victims of white perpetrators.

Jordan's mother, Lucia McBath, tweeted that regardless of verdict the truth has been told and God will judge in the end.  Undoubtedly she wants the man who senselessly killed her son to be held accountable.  How much solace and comfort a guilty verdict will bring to his parents and loved ones is hard to know.  They have suffered the worst loss imaginable. The words 'not guilty' sadly are not the worst set of words they have heard.  Though an acquittal is an insult added to such a senseless loss.

Justice, unfortunately, will not bring Jordan back.  However, justice does send a message that paranoia and bias (implicit, explicit, conscious or unconscious) are not justifiable reasons for taking a life.  Justice sends the message that standing your ground does not allow for provoking perilous situations with a "get out of jail free card."  Justice tells us that mouthing off is not grounds for death.  Justice tells us that there are alternatives to reaching for a gun.  And justice will tell us something that we have been wanting to hear for a long time, justice tells us black life matters.