by Mumia Abu-Jamal
July 8, 2013 – By the time these words reach you, perhaps it will all be over. “It” is the Zimmerman trial in Florida.
I have no idea what the ratings are for CNN, nor CNBC, for that matter, but I’d bet they’re pretty elevated from their usual summer viewership.
In this place of prison population, every man with a mouth wants to discuss the case. In the chow hall. On the walk ways. In the gym. On the yard. Not even the buxom (and buttsome) beauties of “Love and Hip Hop” have garnered that much attention.
“Are you watching the trial?” “Who do you think is gonna win?” Questions bounce like basketballs, as all eyes are locked on this, the latest “trial of the century.”
The trial of George Zimmerman for the homicide of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin has snatched a level of public attention that hasn’t been seen since the mid-‘90s – in other words, the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
I believe, frankly, that Zimmerman will be acquitted. I may be wrong – but I don’t think so.
I’ve never seen a defense lawyer utilize, so skillfully, the ju-jitsu-style techniques of witness flipping. In all honesty, the state’s prosecution witnesses became defense witnesses.
And where the defense was adroit, the prosecutor bumbled and fumbled.
I may be wrong – I hope I’m wrong – but I don’t think I am.
We shall see.
© Copyright 2013 Mumia Abu-Jamal. Read Mumia’s latest book, “The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black Life in America,” co-authored by Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill, available from Third World Press, TWPBooks.com. Keep updated at www.freemumia.com. For Mumia’s commentaries, visit www.prisonradio.org. For recent interviews with Mumia, visit www.blockreportradio.com. Encourage the media to publish and broadcast Mumia’s commentaries and interviews. Send our brotha some love and light: Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM 8335, SCI-Mahanoy, 301 Morea Road, Frackville, PA 17932.
The Zimmerman verdict
by Benjamin Todd Jealous
A jury in Sanford, Florida has found George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin.
I know I am not alone in my outrage, anger and heartbreak over this decision. When a teenager’s life is taken in cold blood, and there is no accountability for the man who killed him, nothing seems right in the world, but we cannot let these emotions alone rule.
In these most challenging of times, we are called to act. There is work left to be done to achieve justice for Trayvon. The Department of Justice can still address the violation of Trayvon’s most fundamental civil right – the right to life, and we are urging them to do so.
We can demand the Department of Justice address the travesties of this tragedy.
Sign our petition to the Department of Justice. Tell them to file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.
We continue to grieve the loss of Trayvon with his parents, his family and all who loved him. Do not forget what brought us to this day.
George Zimmerman was arrested and charged because we would not back down when he was initially released. The Sanford police chief was removed from his post because we voiced our disbelief that he would overrule his detectives and block George Zimmerman’s arrest.
And, perhaps most importantly, not a single state has passed a “stand your ground” law in 2013 – the first time in eight years – because we refuse to let the memory of Trayvon fade from the hearts and minds of America.
So, now we have a choice: We can be felled by our sorrows over the jury’s decision, or we can turn our frustration into action. We can demand the Department of Justice address the travesties of this tragedy. We can take a step forward in our efforts to finally end racial profiling in America once and for all.
Benjamin Todd Jealous is president and CEO of the NAACP.