The Khalil Amani Reader

Hip-hop/Spirituality/Freethinking. Speaking for all underdogs!

If They Don’t Get It Right… (The not-so-curious-case of Trayvon Martin)

If They Don’t Get It Right… (The not-so-curious-case of Trayvon Martin)

By Khalil Amani

I blame my radicalness on my 5th grade Social Studies teacher—a white lady who opened my eyes to the plight of Black America and the injustices of White America—from the Kent State Riot to the Vietnam War to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The seed of confrontation was planted many moons ago. I didn’t just become this fire-spitting dragon in the Internet age on Facebook! I done rode shotgun with Yahweh ben Yahweh, sat on the same stage with Farrakhan and had dinner with Kwame Toure' (Stokely Carmichael). You don't get much more militant than that! Check the credits!


In 1980 I was a 20 year old college kid—militant to the core with a chip on my shoulder. I felt like I had a bone to pick with the white man“Omnipotent Administrator” (Eldridge Cleaver’s designation for America). I had just joined the Nation of Yahweh, a militant/racist religious sect that became infamous in Miami for severing the ears of white people and terrorizing the black community. I became anti-white and anti-establishment.


Enter Arthur McDuffie


My rage came full circle when, in May of 1980, Miami broke out into rioting and became a Towering Inferno because a black man was killed by the police and acquitted of all the charges. The Arthur McDuffie Riot started because justice was not served. Black Miami exploded for the next few days with looting and burning and killing—white people. I was there! In the thick of it—throwing bottles, burning cars, looting—the whole nine yards. Feeling like somebody has to pay for Black Death. That was 32 years ago.


Enter Trayvon Martin

With the exception of the Rodney King verdict, my gut has not felt the rumblings of retaliation and retribution like it does right about now. But I’m a grown-ass old/er man, so I can swallow these feelings. But what about these 20 year old black men today?


Unless you’ve been under a not-reading-not-watching-TV-not-looking-at-these-Internetz rock, by now, you’ve heard about the not-so-curious-case of Trayvon Martin. It is “not-so-curious” because Black Death by the hands of white men has a long history dating back to slavery right on down to Emmitt Till and now Trayvon Martin. This story is being run ad nauseam, but I would be remiss in my duty as a writer/cultural critic/activist not to speak on this apparent racist piece of fuckery.


By all accounts Trayvon Martin was a good kid. He attended my alma mater—Miami Carol City Senior High. He had his mama and daddy in his life. He was a clean-cut, non-sagging, *non-dread-locked black child who liked sports. His crime—W.W.B.—walking while black. Trayvon was not a criminal or gangbanger. He was the victim of racial profiling gone horrifically awry! (*Some whites think dreadlocks are a sign of militancy and rebellion.)


Simply put, this teenage boy was killed while walking home in the rain because his killer thought he looked “suspicious.” This kid, Trayvon Martin had just bought a bag of Skittles and a can of tea, which he was clutching in his hoodie. He was murdered by the neighborhood watch-dog—a Latino white man named Zimmerman. Even after Zimmerman told the 911 operator that he was following the suspect Trayvon, in which the operator told him, “we don’t need you to do that”—this guy followed the boy and confronted him and shot him! I need not go any further. You know the story.

Zimmerman’s defense is that he shot the kid in self-defense. But the 911 tapes reveal a screaming kid yelling, “Help! Help! Help!” Let’s keep it ghettoly real—I’ve seen many-a-fights in my day—street fights, club fights, etc., but I have never seen the person winning the fight yelling, “Help! Help! Help!”It is always the person on the bottom—the person getting thrashed—the person getting their butt kicked!


How can it be “self-defense” when you initiated the action? All Zimmerman had to do was stay his ass in his vehicle, but noooooo! He had to play Captain American by supposing he could rid the neighborhood of the local vermin.


The not-so-curiouscase of Trayvon Martin is so utterly simplistic that public outcry is at deafening levels—from white people as well as black people. This man Zimmerman should be arrested! Case closed!


If they don’t get it right… if they don’t arrest this man and find him guilty there will be bloodshed. It will be McDuffie Revisited! The vibe in Liberty City Miami is like a tea kettle about to whistle. But cooler heads are prevailing and giving the justice system a chance to work. The shame of it all is that the local Sanford, Florida police feel that a crime has not been committed. It has taken the federal government to put pressure on local law enforcement.


For hundreds of years Zimmerman’s words were on the lips of every black person—“These assholes, they always get away!” White people have lynched and beat black people and gotten away with murder. Who was Zimmerman referring too? By all accounts, “suspicious black men in hoodies who eat Skittles and drink tea.”Someone should give this man a tour of the penal system and he’d retract those words because the jails and prisons of America are mostly filled with black men.


It’s time for the bullshit to come to an end! The saying is, “Eschew Obfuscation, Espouse Elucidation,” which translates as “Avoid ambiguity, adopt clarity.” The black community and all concerned citizens are tired of the ambiguity and obfuscation. We want answers and we want justice—for Trayvon Martin and future Trayvons.


If they don’t get it right God have mercy and forgive those street soldiers. America, you have been warned!

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