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August 22, 2014, 9:41 am

Justice for Trayvon Martin and all children

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. years ago once said, “Peace is not the absence of war, it is the presence of justice.” How true whether it is in a remote village today in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where the senseless murder-massacre of nine innocent children under the age of 12 and eight others is being mourned and protested by millions of people in that region of the world, or in the town of Sanford, Fla., even after a month of inaction by local authorities, that causes millions of African Americans and other people of goodwill and conscience across America to continue to mourn and to protest the senseless murder of innocent 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Do we really feel the pain, hurt and utter sense of profound loss by the parents and family of Trayvon? Do we have any empathetic sense of what the parents of the murdered children in Afghanistan are feeling? The answers to these questions go far beyond the acknowledgement of grief, sympathy and condolence.

The “absence of justice” is the issue.

The inequalities and injustices in the case of Trayvon Martin especially are so very glaring and obvious. The growing national anger, rage and public disgust are more than justified. We support the protest rallies, marches, and demonstrations in Florida and in every state where people are demanding justice for Trayvon.

But we must also be prepared to channel our anger and disappointment into a constructive modus operandi that can and will eventually rid our society and world of the racial hatred, social enmity and pathological violence as evidenced in Florida and in Afghanistan.

The insulting and disrespectful slow pace of the local and state law enforcement authorities in Florida in the aftermath of the murder of Trayvon is in itself another hideous crime and a consequential affront to human dignity. At least U.S. Sgt. Robert Bales was immediately arrested thousands of miles away from the U.S. while waiting for the filing of formal criminal charges related to the massacre in Afghanistan.  Subsequently, Bales was transported to the Federal Prison in Leavenworth, Kan.

But right here inside of the United States, George Zimmerman still has not been even arrested. No police official has arrested Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin. No local prosecutor has filed charges before a grand jury. The “absence of justice” for Trayvon and his family is not an isolated matter and is not a unique circumstance. The entire episode over the last 30 days is terribly symptomatic in particular of the plight and struggle of young Black males in America. Racial profiling has had deadly consequences in numerous communities across the nation.

Now the Sanford Police Department is attempting to besmirch the good name of Trayvon and his family. They are leaking questionable information from the local police incident report that seeks to portray Trayvon in a negative manner. It is as if the local authorities in Sanford are determined to try to justify the actions of Zimmerman. Of course there can be no justification of the murder of an unarmed minor under any circumstances. We have to be aware and challenge all those would be lured into the petulant swamp of demonizing Trayvon’s image and lifestyle with typical stereotypical attributes.

No one should be fatally judged by skin color or by clothes type or style. No one has the right to take the life of another human being. We live in a world where the value of all life has been lowered too low. No child should be the victim of the hatred and violence from those who may have become deranged with a trigger-happy blood thirst.

We must protect our children by protecting all children. Yes, we will continue to demand justice for Trayvon Martin and justice for all people young and old who have been victimized by the forces of oppression and avarice. We therefore have to continue to march, demonstrate, protest, register to vote, raise our consciousness, and mobilized the masses of the people to demand justice and equality for all.

And yes, we need to pray together and stand together for a new America and a new world. That is why I agree with the “Prayer for Trayvon” uttered by Russell Simmons.  He stated: “By committing to purifying our own hearts first, we can ensure that Trayvon’s death is a cataclysmic event out of which will arise a new America. A country where we celebrate and embrace our shared humanity, rather than hate each other over our perceived differences.”

There will be no peace until there is justice for Treyvon and all of those who have been murdered by the ruthless hands of madness, violence and hatred. Let’s keep Trayvon’s young spirit alive in all that we will do to make the world a better place. Occupy the Dream. Occupy equal justice…… occupy the future.

 

Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. is president of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network and Education Online Services Corporation and also serves as the National Director of Occupy the Dream and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .