“Trials, for better or worse, are not morality plays.”
President Obama, statements: I did not think it appropriate for the President to “weigh in” as he did at the beginning of this tragedy. I think this statement was appropriate.
President Obama released a statement a day after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
“The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”
Hoodie Sunday, Rev. Tony Lee @ Community of Hope (outside of Washington, D.C), a call for the United States to be born again: Funny, I don’t like the term “born again” in reference to a Christian. I think it is redundant. But maybe its use in this context and in the Christian context is to place an emphasis on the very nature of what the United States is.
Lee is preaching on the topic “Where Do We Go From Here,” in which he uses the Martin Luther King Jr. speech of the same title.
“I wanted Martin speaking on Martin,” the pastor said in a phone conversation with The Huffington Post. “When King gave that speech, he was speaking to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and so he was using a Christian framework to talk about systemic problems with the United States. And King ends that speech with a call for the United States to be born again.”
Lee’s scripture lesson is about the stoning of Stephen, a young man who is considered an early martyr for the Christian faith.
“There has always been backlash, there was backlash with the early Christian movement with the killing of Stephen, but there in the crowd witnessing was Saul who later became Paul,” Lee explained. “We have seen great movement forward in America, but there is always backlash. We just cannot use this as an excuse, but as a motivation to keep moving forward. There is a great pain but there continue to be seeds of hope that our nation that can be born again.”
So I read Martin Luther King Jr. speech “Where Do We Go From Here,” and once again I am very impressed with the man … many lines worthy of quoting …
Now, we’ve got to get this thing right. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love. And this is what we must see as we move on. What has happened is that we have had it wrong and confused in our own country, and this has led Negro Americans in the past to seek their goals through power devoid of love and conscience.
worsts, criminal trials, defense’s opening statement, Shakespeare, Macbeth, Don West: I am not a trial lawyer, but this had to be the WORST defense’s opening statement EVER. When I saw the replay, my mouth dropped. What was he thinking???
The defense’s opening statement began with a knock-knock joke intended to show how difficult it was to select a jury in a case that has nationwide attention.
“Knock. Knock,” said defense attorney Don West.
“Who is there?”
“George Zimmerman who?”
“All right, good. You’re on the jury.”
West went on to state that “there are no monsters” in the case and asserted that Zimmerman only shot Martin because he was being brutally attacked.
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a porter intended for comic relief delivers a twenty-line monologue and satire that references events of the time. While following the “knock knock, who’s there?” pattern, it is performed entirely by one character with knocks from off-stage. The porter (drunk in most performances but hungover in the original) pretends he is the porter to the gates of hell and welcomes sinners of different professions:
(Macbeth, Act II, scene iii)
Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there, i’ th’ name of Beelzebub? Here’s a farmer that hanged himself on the expectation of plenty. Come in time, have napkins enough about you, here you’ll sweat for ‘t.
(this is a joke referring to a price drop in crops, as well as a joke about the heat in hell)
Knock, knock! Who’s there, in th’ other devil’s name? Faith, here’s an equivocator that could swear in both the scales against either scale, who committed treason enough for God’s sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven. O, come in, equivocator.
(this passage is believed to be a reference to a trial of the Jesuits who were charged with equivocation speaking unclearly or speaking with double meaning)
Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there? Faith, here’s an English tailor come hither for stealing out of a French hose. Come in, tailor. Here you may roast your goose.
(the tailor is accused of stealing cloth while making breeches, this is a joke about a fashion trend in Shakespearian times, also a pun for roasting the tailor’s iron with the heat of hell)
Melissa Harris-Perry, W.E.B. Du Bois, quotes: Melissa Harris-Perry: ‘I Live In A Country That Makes Me Wish My Sons Away’ … W.E.B. Du Bois: “How does it feel to be a problem? To have your very body and the bodies of your children to be assume to be criminal, violent, malignant.”
Melissa Harris-Perry shared a very personal response to the George Zimmerman verdict on Sunday, telling viewers that she felt “relief” at her ultrasound when she found out she was giving birth to a daughter instead of a son.
On Saturday, Zimmerman was cleared of all charges in the death of Trayvon Martin. The MSNBC host devoted her show on Sunday to the verdict. “I will never forget… the relief I felt at my 20 week ultrasound when they told me it was a girl,” Harris-Perry recalled on Sunday. “And last night, I thought, I live in a country that makes me wish my sons away, wish that they don’t exist, because it’s not safe.”
Panelists Jelani Cobb and Joy Reid nodded in agreement. Later, Harris-Perry quoted W.E.B. Du Bois in a monologue, asking, “How does it feel to be a problem? To have your very body and the bodies of your children to be assume to be criminal, violent, malignant.”
The MSNBC host has spoken out about Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old who was shot and killed by Zimmerman, numerous times since last February. She reacted to the news of Zimmerman’s verdict when it broke on Saturday night. “In this moment, black families are holding their sons and daughters closer to them,” she said. “A verdict which… feels very much as though it is saying it is acceptable, it is ok, to kill an unarmed African-American child who has committed no crime.”
In Case You Missed It, Here’s What You May Not Realize About The Whole Trayvon Martin Thing … I don’t agree that this is what this case is about, and I don’t agree that the federal government should “make this a civil rights case,” but I do think many citizens and many in the press have used this case to bring to light some truths about our US culture. And I love the MLK hoodie icon.
It’s about the awful laws that helped make this something Zimmerman could get away with. It’s about how the awful “Stand Your Ground” laws really help white people, yet really hurt people of color. It’s about the awful thing this famous dad has to tell his son to make sure he doesn’t get shot. It’s about the woman who got 20 years for shooting her gun in the air to protect her children. It’s about the awful turning point we had in protecting voters rights in 2013. It’s about the insane and awful stuff we forget happened decades ago. It’s about the awful state of our priorities. It’s about the awful racial profiling that people of all colors do. It’s about all the awful misperceptions that some people have about entire races of people.
Trayvon was a kid, like a lot of kids, with his own issues. He wasn’t a saint. He was your average teenager. But it wouldn’t have mattered if he wasn’t. Martin Luther King Jr. accomplished much more in his life, but to many people in this country, he could have been just another black guy in a hoodie. Things have to change.
If you agree, I’d love it if you shared this. Then you could sign the NAACP petition asking the Justice Department to make this a civil rights case. And if you do share it, ask your community: “How the hell do we fix the underlying problems that made this all happen?” I really would love a tangible answer that can move us toward making things actually better.
Martin Luther King Jr. Hoodie Image, Nikkolas Smith:
APRIL 4TH, 1968
by Nikkolas Smith
The Dream will never die. It is more powerful than fear or violence. It can never be swindled away or destroyed. It is one of Love, and therefore timeless.
The image appears to be the work of artist Nikkolas Smith.
The hoodie 17-year-old Martin was wearing the night he was killed became a symbol of the movement to see justice done early on in the case, with celebrities, pastors, politicians and even sports teams tweeting and Instagramming powerful images of themselves donning hooded sweatshirts.
The hoodie remained an enduring symbol of support for Trayvon throughout the trial and in the wake of the verdict. On the Sunday morning after Zimmerman’s acquittal, black pastors honored the teen with “Hoodie Sunday,” wearing hooded sweatshirts and spreading an uplifting message to their congregants.
Zimmerman, 29, was charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting the teen in February 2012. He was found not guilty on Saturday evening.