George Zimmerman’s lynching of young Trayvon Martin with a black Kel Tec PF 9mm has ignited a justifiable international outrage. Lynching is defined as “Any assemblage of three or more persons which shall exercise by physical violence and without authority of law any power of punishment over any citizen…” The “citizen,” in this case, is 17-year-old Trayvon Martin; the “assemblage of three” is the sociopath George Zimmerman, Sanford police chief William Lee, and District Attorney Norman Wolfinger.
The very same night that The Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan told an international audience that white people protect and cover for each other, young Trayvon was chased down and destroyed and then his white murderer was coddled, pampered, and released, apparently having accomplished for authorities what they themselves can not do while in uniform. As Zimmerman said to authorities, “They always get away”—“they” of course, meaning niggers. The detectives who responded to the shooting referred to Zimmerman’s act as a “negligent homocide,” an “unnecessary killing to prevent unlawful act.” They recommended the charge of manslaughter. But Chief Lee and D.A. Wolfinger reviewed that report and simply threw out the charges on the spot. Parking in a handicapped space and jaywalking elicits a harsher penalty in Sanford.
Who would deny that their calculation was a simple one? They saw the Jewish surname “Zimmerman” next to the long-dishonored term “black male” and found a law to excuse a brazen felony. Or maybe they knew the 42-time 911 caller’s father is a retired U.S. magistrate judge. However they reasoned, they were merely following a long-established policy where no white man ever went to jail for lynching a Black man. Indeed, lynching has a deep and honored tradition in Florida. Southern whites were shocked that the Civil War had ended slavery, so to protect their “traditions” the Ku Klux Klan formed and conducted ritualized community murders that masqueraded as “crime fighting.”
They had three important goals: to instill terror into the hearts and minds of the Black population, to eliminate economically successful, politically active Blacks, and to reinforce Black people’s role as plantation laborers. Thousands perished in the period right after “emancipation,” and the descriptions of the methods of torture and mayhem right here in America rival any account one might find from medieval Europe. Florida was the first to violently confront the freed Blacks in their midst. Its governor, William Marvin, explained the government’s position to a Black audience: “You must not think [that] because you are as free as white people you are their equal, because you are not.” And Gov. Marvin was in Abe Lincoln’s party! Florida’s other elected officials were even more vicious. Sen. David Yulee, America’s first Jewish senator, was possibly the most anti-Black and anti-Indian white man in American history. Yulee City and Levy County—where the infamous Rosewood massacre took place in 1923—are named in his honor. Rosewood whites murdered as many as one hundred Black citizens stealing all their property, and, like Zimmerman, not a single killer was ever arrested. It was just one of many horrifying bloodbaths suffered by peaceful Black ex-slaves around the country. As the Boston Transcript described white lynching of Blacks in 1899, “These men are out for sport. It matters little whether the negro is guilty or innocent. A suspicion does as well as a proven fact. Almost any excuse will do that will serve as a rallying cry with which to organize pursuit of the human game.”
A 1909 Florida lynching was mentioned in the New York Times in a one-column-inch description, the last two sentences of which were “Twenty shots were fired into his body. The negro confessed.” Welcome to Sanford, Florida, 2012. The difference today is that, finally, serious consideration is being given to a judicious retaliation. Some groups have threatened to “vote” in retaliation; others have voiced an old west “wanted dead or alive” version of this theme. This may satisfy our emotional demands for our long-delayed day of reckoning, but neither way offers the full and complete justice as prescribed by God for His Chosen People.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan stated a mathematical truism of the universal law: “Where there is no justice, there will be no peace.” And then he declared the reality of divine judgment itself: “Soon and very soon, the law of retaliation may very well be applied.” This is an extraordinary pronouncement but one that is not idle or insincere. He said, “Let us see what kind of justice will come for [Trayvon’s] bereaved family and our bereaved community.” Trayvon’s community first looked to the powers of Florida, who, with every new revelation, have proven unwilling or unable to abide by the most routine criminal justice procedures. Lies, deception, slander, evasion, and corruption are the best that Florida’s criminal justice system can offer—just as Gov. Marvin established in 1865.
The justice-seekers then went to the Big House in Washington to beseech the one we were told had ALL the power in the kingdom, Barack Obama. At first his spokesman said that the President would have nothing to say on the matter. But last week at a press conference, knowing the calls for justice were not subsiding, he had an answer at the ready. It was a masterfully diversionary response, seemingly designed to empathize with Trayvon’s parents, but it withheld all actual state power vested in the Commander in Chief. A man who can invade nations and replace governments has only benign reflections for a people grieving for a little dead Black boy. “All of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how something like this has happened.”
“Soul Searching”? Plenty of preachers are on the case to attend to the “soul,” but justice requires the actual powers we expect from the “first black President.” His heartfelt observation “if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon” evinced a passion but no courage, for it committed none of the forces at his disposal—such as the resources of the Department of Justice—for the benefit of the murdered child who “looks like his son.” And in case his handlers thought we wouldn’t notice, his comment that “Everybody [must] pull together” is far short of an executive order. And no policy has emerged from the White House addressing the 23 states under his authority that have enacted “Stand Your Ground” or “Shoot First” laws just like the one that encouraged and then freed Trayvon’s lynchers.
And just as “rape” was falsely charged to justify thousands of lynchings, Zimmerman’s backers have now set upon the reputation of the dead boy himself. They say he was “trouble”! But his having been suspended from the mental cages they call Florida public schools, if true, only shows Trayvon’s utter brilliance and intellectual energy. If it is true he had “traces” of pot in a bag, have they forgotten that Florida twice voted into the highest office in the land their ex-governor’s brother, an alcoholic cocaine addict and draft dodger who was arrested for disorderly conduct and theft? And whilst authorities criminally pursue the state’s Black “hoodie”-wearing candy buyers, has it escaped their attention that Florida is a major center of international drug trafficking? So, The Minister implores the aggrieved, “Think. Reflect.”
This is sage advice and far more rational than the clear Mosaic order demanding an eye for an eye. For he knows and we know that Trayvon will not be the last. White Americans have looked to that same White House and see Obama the very same way Florida sees Trayvon—as a mortal threat that must be destroyed. The arrest, conviction, and execution of the lynchers, as much as it is desired, won’t alter a fundamentally wicked system that has but one thing at its root—white supremacy. The Minister foresees a divine retaliation for Trayvon and the millions before him. His unreported words are our guide: “Think. Reflect. Then get up and do something for self or suffer the consequences…No one respects a beggar. The time has now arrived where you must beg no man. You must get up and do it for yourself.
As long as we are consumers and employees, our future is in the hand of somebody else. Prepare your children not to be beggars of jobs. We have to own land. You cannot become a producer of what you need to extend your life without land.” THIS is true justice! Our success is the ultimate retaliation! Our Minister closes with a message white America need to hear: “When we fail to do justice, we literally set up conditions that destroy peace.”