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Zimmerman’s verdict reminds me of Verizon wireless

July 15, 2013

Zimmerman's acquittal
Back in the year 2000 I switched my cell phone service from Sprint to Verizon. I decided to give them a try, despite them not being a leader in the industry at the time. I went with a nationwide plan even though I didn’t travel as much then as I do now. However, I ran into a repeated unfixed problem. Every time I left my hometown of Atlanta, my cell phone service wouldn’t work. My phone either had no service at all or went into roaming. I remember calling them countless times after I left town letting them know of the problem. Each time they assured me the problem was fixed but, of course, I couldn’t tell when I was at my home base. I had to travel to test it, which was sometimes over a month or so. So I continued to pay my national plan rate giving them the benefit of the doubt. But the problem continued to prevail. I left town, it didn’t work. Really think about it. You are promised something will work and it takes the test to see if it does. You have trust. Imagine your airbag not working, but you only know in the midst of an accident. Imagine a grenade not working, but that soldier only learns of this in a war. After about 6 months I decided to cancel the service because the problem continued.

The most interesting part about that experience was I didn’t know the problem wasn’t fixed each time until their word was tested when I traveled. It was proven that their word was no good.

This experience is synonymous with my feel on the American justice system and our so-called post racial era. Every time I feel we are possibly in that era it is tested and we fail. Over time, our presidents have made promise-filled speeches, Government created symbolic changes and civil rights leaders ensure results. They continue to solicit donations for their groups, campaigns and posture in media. They have closed-door meetings and exit with plans and promises. So, Black people go about life playing fair. We take our talents and work for others, rarely seeing vice versa. We invite others to participate in our associations, clubs, movements and issues, while we rarely see the reverse, and if we do, it happens with resistance. We play fair until layers are peeled away. Then, everything they’ve said gets tested and they fail like Verizon did. This was not about the case, it was about the race. It was about how our young boys are regularly presented to America, whose life was more danger during the scuffle and the value of that life. I can’t help but to reflect on how Michael Vick was demonized for killing dogs. Now I think I understand where we are on the ladder. We, especially my young sons, are beneath dogs.

Black Americans are very trusting and forgiving. After all, the Union that prevails now in government did free us from the chains, correct? But for some odd reason, it struggles freeing us from mistreatment; the very Union that cared so much for our ancestors. What happened along the line? Did we believe in something a little too much or did we not fulfill the responsibilities of building a nation within a nation as a free group in America?

From Hurricane Katrina, to Professor Gates and James Crowley, to Oscar Grant and Sean Bell, the government has had a direct hand in marginalizing the black life. So it’s not odd for George Zimmerman, Don Imus or Paula Deen to join in the party. But until we upgrade our American systems like Verizon did, we will continue to ask other races “Can you hear me now?” And the answer will continue to be a resounding “NO!”

But you know, it must soothe one’s soul to know when something promises to work, it does. In this case, for some, the system worked like a charm.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2013 7:49 am

    Let’s keep it REAL, the judicial system SUCKS. And for Verizon, well I can give you a full book on them. As I said, the Martin family and many of our black families in this so-called Land Of The Free…Right! Was treated with the upmost disrespect. Black folks have been so beat down that they can’t see night from day. As much as I love my Black families, when will we WAKE THE HELL UP? I don’t care how much we fight for FREEDOM, it will never be. We still have too many folks living in the darkness and if you shine the light on them they will freak. Al Sharpton said it loud and clear, another Slap in the face to the American People. I say another slap in the face to the American Black People. Remember this, JUSTICE is not owned by the jury, the court or the so-called law. JUSTICE is owned by Karma…What goes around comes around…LET US NEVER FORGET THAT.

  2. July 15, 2013 8:06 am

    Great article…

  3. July 15, 2013 8:43 am

    I understood the initial outrage about this incident. Initially we had a dead 17 year old who was shot by George Zimmerman. All these months later all we know is Zimmerman was stalking Martin around a neighborhood, got in an altercation, and ultimately shot Martin.

    How can you prove murder beyond a reasonable doubt in this situation? There was far more evidence on OJ and he walked.

    This is obviously a tragedy. The people rallying around Zimmerman like he’s a hero are sickening (thankfully they’re in the minority).

  4. July 15, 2013 8:52 am

    The only thing to do it is to hit where it hurts. IN THE POCKET!!!!!!

  5. Lucy S.D. permalink
    July 15, 2013 9:52 am

    The answer is quite simple. African Americans, stop talking and take action. You can stop the madness with Economics. The dollar bill has much power. You want action? Stop spending your dollars where you are not wanted! Become the owner of real estate (rent back to your White brothers and sister for a change) Become business partners with each other and own the businesses. Become a silent partner in as many ventures as possible. The Dollar Bill utilized the right way can put a stop to much of this!

    • July 15, 2013 11:33 am

      Lucy, S.D. You could not have said it any better! You are so right! We need to be supporters of our Black Owned Businesses!

  6. John permalink
    July 15, 2013 10:39 am

    We must realize with Power comes respect and for lack of a proper term, credence. We are one of the largest groups of people on this planet yet we have as much power as we had when we were in physical bondage. We have made slight gains INDIVIDUALLY as a people but as you know without wealth we have no say in the judicial/governmental process. Voting isn’t enough when we aren’t voting for our own kind. We have no educational infrastructure or urgency to create one which allows us to grow Socially, financially and politically. I can go on but I hope you get the idea Professor. Lets get off the streets and into the psyche of the world and build our people and put us back on our thrones!!!

    • Gilliam permalink
      July 28, 2013 10:27 am

      John, I agree with you.

  7. Henrietta Turnquest permalink
    July 18, 2013 5:39 pm

    Awesome. Thanks so much. We need an action plan based on supporting Black businesses and education.

  8. Gilliam permalink
    July 28, 2013 10:34 am

    I’m tired of the talking. It’s evidence that racism is still alive. However,when I look at our young people today it saddens me. They are getting an education, disrespectful of everyone, especially their elders. The sagging britches, unkempt hair, the robbing and killing. Yet we make every excuse as to why we aren’t doing well as a race. Also when a small makeup of blacks to the right things to prepare for the future, their ridiculed. I’m ashamed. How do we get ahead when their is the issues i’ve mentioned above? How do we get ahead when their are blacks whom follow the law, get and education and so forth?

    Yet this topic really isn’t about this. it’s about a young boy whom hadn’t live his life yet. Didn’t get the opportunity to spread his wings to see where he could fly. My problem with the entire matter is the fact HE WASN’T BOTHERING ZIMMERMAN!!!!!

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