Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

It may’ve begun with a bang; but it ended with a whimper.

The acquittal of George Zimmerman for the slaying of 17 year old Trayvon Martin was, for a generation of youth, a wake-up call.

Young people around the country made this their cause, and believed, as only young people can, that justice would prevail.

But belief and knowledge are two very different things. While it is true that national protests forced the state of Florida to try Zimmerman, they did not result in the ends they sought.

Zimmerman, son of a judge, defended by a lawyer who is the husband of a judge, received a trial, all right, but not one that most folks have ever seen.

An almost all white jury threw it out in roughly a day and a half of deliberations.

What does it mean? Well, it means precisely what you think it means. That Black life is as cheap as day old pretzels.

That white is privileged, and important. And that white fear is the operative perspective from which all court action flows.

For, if we reverse the two principals here and Trayvon survived this encounter, who can doubt that he would be en route to Starke, Florida, the home of Death Row and its infamous death chamber?

Trayvon would’ve had an overworked and underpaid Public Defender, who would’ve considered a life sentence a victory.

Who seriously doubts this proposition?

As long as that holds true, then talk of equality is as fantastic as stories about Santa Claus.

What we talk about – freedom, justice, equality and fair trials – is just that: talk.

When one enters the courtroom, the talk ceases.

It’s time for legal war.