We Needed This Verdict

A new call for action in the fight for justice

| 7/17/2013, 10:13 a.m.
Verdict in the George Zimmerman trial stirs unrest. But will it stir change?
Donovan M. Smith

We can shake our heads in disgust and stomp our feet all we want, but if we do not force change we have done absolutely nothing but exhaust energy to make ourselves feel better. And we certainly have not brought justice for all of the Trayvon Martin’s that exist in this world.

Give some blame to the mainstream media that granted, has a flare for sensationalism, but this was undoubtedly a racially motivated case.

Trayvon Martin’s life was in jeopardy for most of his life because there are a boundless number of people whom like Zimmerman would have found his brown skin and the notion of criminality synonymous, thus providing a groundless but long cultivated basis for their fear.

Even Michelle Obama, in a 2008 interview alongside her husband, and then-candidate Barack Obama said, “The realities are as a black man, Barack can get shot going to the gas station.”

Calling and interacting with lawmakers in the Legislature to demand change is obviously necessary in the wake of this case. You may have no faith in the system, but you are in it, and to accept it as it is only allows other people to dictate the rules for you.

It is a must that people organize if a change is to come about. If not, there will forever be a legion of people whispering I want things to change, while others yell over them.

It is your right to continue living in a world that outrages you, but if change is truly what you desire, take the action that justice calls for outside your front door.

Rest in peace, Trayvon Benjamin Martin (Feb. 5, 1995- Feb. 26, 2012).

Donovan M. Smith is a writer, photographer, and web-editor for The Portland Observer. A northeast Portland native and graduate of the prestigious Oregon Episcopal School, he is committed to bringing the most important and impactful stories to the community.