The George Zimmermans always get away with murder
Akwasi Evans | 7/26/2013, 12:38 p.m.
On Nov. 19, 2011, Vietnam War hero Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.’s medical alert necklace inadvertently went off. When White Plains, N.Y., officers responded to the alarm, Chamberlain told them he was fine and did not need help. Disregarding Chamberlain’s statement, police broke down his apartment door and began tasering the 69-year old retired marine. The police say that Chamberlain came at them with a butcher knife although their guns were drawn. As officers subdued Chamberlain officer Anthony Carelli shot Chamberlain at close range cursing him and calling him the N-word.
On May 11, 2011, Byron Carter, 20, and a teenage friend drove down to 6th Street in Austin, Texas, looking for a party. When they learned that the party was in East Austin, they returned to their vehicle to leave. When the 16-year old started the engine, two large men dressed in all Black approached the vehicle. It was approximately 11:30 p.m. and the frightened youth tried to pull away. As they began driving away officer Nathan Wagner assumed his partner’s life was in danger because the vehicle brushed his knee so Wagner opened fire striking Carter, the passenger, four times killing him and hitting the teen with one bullet. A grand jury found that Wagner was right to shoot the unarmed Black youth who were not involved in any crime the same way the White Plains Grand Jury found that Carelli was not culpable and the Florida Southern Belles found Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Martin.
The reality is that America as a whole still considers everybody of African descent worth less. Everything that African Americans own, offer, contribute or do is devalued. A recent survey revealed that White America actually believes that Black people don’t feel pain like they do. Martin, Chamberlain and Carter are dying proof that bullets not only hurt, they kill. Their families are still struggling with the pain of their loss.
One possible silver lining in the George Zimmerman acquittal is that it has already sparked a debate across the nation about race. That debate needs to continue and it needs to be open and honest.
We need to ask ourselves why White privilege and Black disenfranchisement are two sides of the same coin. We need to question why people from Europe adopted White as their cultural color after forcibly requiring Africans to accept the status of being Black. If you are reading this article in a newspaper, not one person reading this paper looks like the paper it is written on and nobody reading this article looks like the ink on the page. I asked a friend of mine Monday night how many White soldiers died in the 100-year war between Great Britain and France and he immediately gave me the correct answer: None. Every casualty in that 100-year war was English, French or a mercenary of either army. So the two questions that stimulate my consciousness concerning race are why do people of European descent so desperately need to see themselves as “White” and why must the multi-hued Africans all be “Black?”
If Asians could shed their Yellow label and Latinos could cast off their Brown label, why are Europeans and Africans clinging so tenaciously to their White and Black labels. And if the simple answer is privilege and disenfranchisement, maybe we should all be as proud of our heritage as Latinos and Asians. Until we abandon the inappropriate colors we label ourselves, people considered White will always be given the benefit of the doubt and people considered Black will always be considered criminals. And even worse, paraphrasing the prophetic words of Zimmerman, “F’n racist, those aholes always get away with it.”