Guilty is the New Black

“Guilty until proven innocent.” This the realistic phrase that echoes thru black and latino communities in our current times.















Many of you may or may not be familiar with some of these cases but of course we all are aware of the Trayvon Martin case as well as the Oscar Grant case as these both received nationwide media coverage for several months.

Some say the Trayvon Martin trial was the biggest thing since the O.J. Simpson trial. I’m actually guilty of tuning in to bare witness to one of the biggest trials of the century.

At times I couldn’t believe what I was watching. Im not sure how I felt as I watched the attorneys for the murderer of Trayvon work relentlessly to justify his right to commit this heinous act.

By this time the accused killer was becoming a media star as Trayvons family was left to make sense of the senseless death of their son.

The case was against George Zimmerman a security officer for the complex in which Trayvon was shot dead. What made this case interesting is that its the first time many of us heard the term “Stand Your Ground”.

Apparently the Stand Your Ground Law has its roots stemming as far as the 1800’s. It was very useful in the days where settlers took land from the Indians.

These many displaced Indians were justifiably killed if they made any attempt to get their land back. It was quickly adopted as the New American way to Stand and Protect your Ground.

Although the judge presiding over the Trayvon Martin case didnt allow the Stand Your Ground Law to be used as a defense it was nonetheless implanted in the minds of every American who had yet to be exposed to the term.

Although Stand Your Ground was not used as a defense what I found interesting was the cases that followed what seemed to be almost immediately after. I have to admit this is only due to my own ignorance because I soon learned of many incidents where Stand Your Ground Law was used directly or indirectly.

There are many states that have this law. I wouldn’t classify it as a law that exploits race but in the case of Trayvon Martin I think race clearly played a big part in the slaying of this young man as well as the decision reached by the jury of his peers.

Trayvon Martin became the one that was put on trial only he couldn’t defend himself to disprove his guilt. His color, his clothes, his race made him a target for murder. Because he wore a hoody we are forever going to associate the infamous hooded sweater with Trayvon Martin.

I was on the airplane when this middle age white male turned to me and said “I see you got your hood on for Trayvon”. Actually I had my hood on because airplane flights are known to be cold but that couldnt be the reason. In his mind it had to have something to do with Trayvon Martin.

Ultimately to stand your ground is to defend yourself and/or your property. Watching the trial proceeding it became apparent that anybody can pretty much stand their ground and has the right to defend themselves in life threatening situations.

So in that respect Trayvon had every right to defend himself as well. So why did it seem that Trayvon was being made into some hooded villain.

Trayvon Martin was not on trial yet his character was being judged. He was deemed as being suspicious and this assessment led to his death.

The defense for George Zimmerman argued that Trayvon used a rock to cause injury to him and also bashed his head several times on the concrete.

When I saw the size of the concrete slab the defense offered as evidence to prove their point I thought, no way I didn’t believe it at all. It made no sense to me and I wondered who else felt the same.

When irrelevant testimony involving a separate case where two black males were accused/convicted of robbing items from the house of a young white female, this of course gave cause to be alarmed because now we have a threat of black males robbing peoples homes.

So could this be why Zimmerman felt it was his duty to follow Trayvon to the point of provoking an altercation and eventually fatally wounding the young black male.

In the eyes of George Zimmerman Trayvon Martin was already guilty. His crime was merely being Black and in a Supreme Court of the law they justified the most horrible truth, That when you are black you can be shot and killed without the least probable cause.

Trayvon Martins killer was found not guilty even when America acknowledged that this young man was clearly killed by the accused. This will forever be one of the most upsetting verdicts of our time.

It even sparked worldwide protest. But one case that didn’t get that much press and infamy is that of Marissa Alexander who used the Stand your Ground Law as a defense in her case yet it did not work for her as it had worked for Zimmerman.

Marissa Alexander was an African American mother who was outrightly being abused yet, she according to the same court system that freed George Zimmerman, did not have the right to Stand her Ground and defend herself. She was tried, convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. What also makes this unique is that no one was harmed.

Interesting how the Law works for some and doesn’t work for others.

Marissa was guilty way before the trial started. Now in the case of Jordan David you would think it would be a different outcome when a man outrightly shoots a 17 year old African American child to death because the music in his car was too loud.

We are all familiar with Oscar Grant who was shot in the back by police while laying on the ground in front of several witnesses. He was guilty of being a young black male and was killed because of it.

As was Ramarley Graham who was killed in the bathroom of his home by police officers. Needless to say he was unarmed and his killers got off scott free.

His crime as far as I can see is the same as the others. His blackness was a threat therefore he had to be neutralized.

I must admit that their are many criminals running in and around the wilderness of the Americas.

Im sure the job of keeping the peace can be overwhelmingly stressful. Im sure it becomes hard to see young black/latino men and women as anything other than criminals guilty of a crime they have yet to commit.

Guilty of innocence life stripped away savagely by what we call the civilized world. We are advanced but we were unable to save Kimani Gray from streets that would later devour him by way of a policemans bullets. Another guilty young black male.

Pace University student Danroy ‘DJ’ Henry was guilty, Sean Bell was guilty both of which were unarmed except for their unapologetic blackness. They were shot down by officers of the law and their killers are all free to this day.

Which brings me to this next young man Jonathan Ferrell. This young former athlete was gunned down by an officer who expressed his totality by pumping almost a dozen bullets into the body of this 24 year old black male.

We the jury find the young black male guilty.

Guilty is the New Black.

I wonder if Stop & Frisk could’ve worked in the case of the Columbine Shooting or in the case of Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut.

Many have and still continue to protest Stop & Frisk because it has shown that a disproportionately amount of blacks and latinos are targets of these stop & frisk tactics and more than often experience various degrees of police harassment.

But contrary to that, our fair Mayor of The Greater New York city stated that “too many whites and not enough minorities are being stopped & frisked“. Kinda raises an eyebrow to say the least. I wonder what stats he is basing this assessment on.

It would seem that although we are highly technologically advanced we may very well be digressing as a humane people.

There is a series called “Orange is the New Black” where a young white female is sentenced to jail after getting tangled in illegal activities initiated by her estranged girlfriend.

And Yes I am guilty of not only watching this show but actually enjoying it.

Either way its obvious that the color Black seems to symbolize or give reference to something or someone bad. But this is of ancient.

It’s more than racism its a deep psychosis embedded in us by fear and ignorance. It is the threading of this great country the soapbox on which politicians project their plans for change. It is the margin by which society governs itself. It is the absence or the total absorption of light.

It is everything and nothing. It is balance. It is me.

I am guilty of being black and if being black makes me guilty then may life be my sentence.

Allow me to be and live as I am

Proud to be



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