The Day After: With Battle Lines Drawn, Where is #Justice4Trayvon ?

“Until we have the proper dialogue with the people who can change these laws on our behalf, we will have more of the same.”
-Walter L. Smith II, activist & father of two

Interview With Smith Family

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After an 18-hour deliberation the verdict was delivered, swiftly and simply. George Zimmerman, acquitted of all charges, was free to go. With his bond released and gun returned, the Zimmerman family quickly exited the courtroom to go back to their lives, with a 350,000 dollar fundraising profit to boot. For George, though, that life will never be the same. Wherever he goes, whatever he decides to do, he is forever branded for that day, the day last February he chose to take the “law” and a young life into his own hands, despite orders to stand back by actual law enforcement. Perhaps he will now understand the uneasiness the black community has felt for generations.

The verdict has left the nation polarized, revealing once again the historically sharp split between the accepted version of justice through the court system and the justice communities affected by profiling and oppression rarely receive. Despite being thirteen years into the 21st century, our nation continues to be in denial. Many do not want to acknowledge the dangerous message this verdict sends; the profiling, stalking and incarcerating of black youth is justified, and all a wrongly assuming offender has to do to go free is claim self-defense.

Taking To The Streets of Tampa

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The mainstream media did a good job of avoiding this dialogue throughout the trial. They also did a good job at first not mentioning the enraged reaction of thousands countrywide to the verdict. Demonstrations and riots erupted within hours and carried over to today. From Oakland to New York, people of all ages and colors took to the streets to express their grief and anger. Cop cars burned and glass shattered. Once again, something about this particular case hit a nerve. For many however, this verdict comes as no surprise, for we have adopted a system designed to work for some and to fail most.

“No one should live at the expense of someone else.”
-organizer with Int’l Democratic Uhuru

The fact that there are hundreds of cases like Trayvon’s every year is devastating, and the stats are hard to face. According to the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, every 28 hours another person of color is murdered by police or by vigilantes seeking the same authority. The reality is that this is not as much about race relations, but about class. In order for this system to sustain itself, it must be upheld at the expense of an oppressed class. We live in a time where, although most of America is experiencing the side affects of this oppressive system, certain classes feel it much worse, and most of the communities it impacts live on or below the poverty line.

Walter L. Smith ll Speaking About His Children

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For the youth in these underprivileged neighborhoods, the odds are not in their favor. They, along with the majority of today’s youth, are bombarded daily with negatively influential imagery, toxic messages in social media and pop music and the distracting, glorifying nature of reality TV and tabloid print. Most are uninterested in the lazy, lackluster mainstream news coverage of issues relevant to them. (that is, when they bother to address them at all) Most of them are experiencing the pinch of the system’s slow economic collapse under a heap of debt. Dozens of schools are being selectively shut down or fazed out across the country. Many distrust the political system even if they all can’t readily explain why. The exploited classes, however, have the additional burden of inheriting their painful history in a country founded on genocide and forged through slavery. They know to be poor, to appear less educated or to wear certain clothing is to be profiled. Is it any wonder so much of our youth is lost, fearful or angry? What hope is there for youth born at the bottom of this systematic design?

Interview With Life Malcolm

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So I asked the question today; where do we go from here? With class war staring us in the face, is it justified for us to lash out? Is it justified to take to the streets and give in to the urge to see it burn? If justice isn’t served in our eyes by the courts, how to we ensure these deaths do not continue in our name? Today we spoke with Florida locals who offered a more positive future, urging for dedication from all classes to initiate that honest dialogue, to truthfully educate our youth to these realities and to not be afraid to simply tell it like it is. Justice for Trayvon , to me, means justice for his peers, for the generations that will take our place someday. The violence will not end when we finally convince our oppressors of the truth, but when we raise this impressionable generation simply knowing it as so.


In Solidarity Forever,


Special thanks to The Uhuru Solidarity Movement, the Smith Family and to Life Malcolm for sharing their passion with us.

Life Malcolm ” I’ve done the math, balance the equation”

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Life Malcolm Speaks Out

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Interview With Ashley

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Speak Out

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