Wednesday, July 17, 2013



Fahim A. Knight-El

The Zimmerman verdict is now in and once again racism, bigotry and discrimination win again in the United States of America, which is one of the most racist nations on earth. The United States was founded and built upon racism and it was from this premise and perspective that evolved historically a collective mindset that continues to play itself out relative to present day American race relations; it was this variable alone that made me not surprised that a six white women jury would legally vindicate George Zimmerman by acquitting him and exonerating him of all criminal behavior (historically white men in the south have always had a licenses to kill black men). The jurors (no doubt the racial makeup of the jury reflected the concept of being judged by his peers) were definitely representative of Zimmerman (a Jew who is claiming to be more Latino than white and since the term Jew is neither a race or religion then Zimmerman could be a white Latino-Jew). There was no doubt in my mind that these Jurors had been socialized into American culture, which has always been rooted in white supremacy. Trayvon Martin, a young African American teenager was essentially murdered because of some pre-racial serotypes that George Zimmerman had about black people. Now, since the not guilty verdict has been rendered they want us to believe that this case was never about race and want us to believe that the merit of the case rested upon Zimmerman having the right to self-defense, which was supported by the stand your ground laws that exist in the city of Sanford, Florida and the state of Florida.

This contention still places this country in denial and the real conversation of race still will not be taking place in 2013 and once the emotions dies down and media hype subsides people will crawl back into their comfort zones. Minister Malcolm X once stated these folk have the ability to make the criminal the victim and the victim the criminal—there is no doubt in my mind George Zimmerman created many unlawful acts on the day that he decided to follow Trayvon Martin and the greatest of them all was that he committed an unjustified murder against an unarmed teenager. I do not agree with much that the Civil Rights Hustlers like Reverend Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network and President Benjamin Jealous of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Martin Luther King, lll, put forth, but if it was not for Sharpton using his bully pulpit and bringing the Trayvon Martin incident to national attention; Seminole County, Florida, perhaps would not have charged Zimmerman with committing a crime and there would not have been a formal legal criminal proceeding and Trayvon Martin's death would have truly been in vain. Reverend Sharpton used his Talking Head platform on MSNBC to educate and mobilized black people and all people of goodwill in general, about what was at stake, if we allowed Zimmerman to walk away from this incident without it being heard in a court of law (it was Sharpton's work that got Zimmerman charged and arraigned.)

I as a critic of Reverend Sharpton had to find some middle ground to stand with Sharpton on the Trayvon Martin issue because this incident was beyond personality, but it was about the pursuit of justice. I have three sons of my own whom I love dearly and my gut intuition told me that a gross injustice had taking place with the murder of this young man and we needed to bring national attention to this travesty. I do not know whether or not Sharpton himself had ulterior motives for pursing this case, but I do agree that it was necessary to bring this case to the national forefront and at least attempt to expose the inconsistencies that existed from the inception of the incident (it was a racially motivated murder that could not be overlooked). So I applaud Sharpton for using his huge stage to garnished national support for Trayvon Martin and his family.

I have witness to many young African Americans killed at the hands of white police officers (although Zimmerman was not a sworn police officer he was a neighborhood watchman and an overzealous security guard who in my opinion had legally over stepped his bounds) in which again in my opinion his actions had placed him in violation of the law. In recent times, if it were not for the public being armed with smartphones in particular, cameras and having immediate access to social media and capturing some of these police brutality incidents in a real time manner; and moreover, revealing a small percentage of these type criminal misconduct that have been committed by law enforcement officers against sometimes innocent citizens in which most of these type incidents would continuously be swept under the rug, as business as usual. It was unfortunate for the Martin family that there was no footage of the incident but in the deep recess of Zimmerman's mind only he knows what truly happened. In America black life has no value and this makes it easier for us to be gunned down in the streets by law enforcement and its deemed justifiable homicide.

'No Justice, No Peace' is an empty slogan—words with no meaningful consequences for those who commit these type atrocities against innocent human life. H. Rap Brown known today as Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin who once headed the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and coined the famous slogan “burn baby burn”; Robert Williams who was from Monroe, North Carolina and was a fierce freedom fighter for black justice, a former head of the local NAACP chapter in Monroe in the late 1950s who preached self-defense founded an organization called Black Armed Guards (some Christian Civil Rights workers and leaders outright rejected Dr. Kings’ call for civil disobedience and integration and were proponents of direct confrontation, Williams was one of them). Williams' activist work and definitely his book titled: "Negroes with Guns" which would later influence Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale founders of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. The United States Government and J. Edgar Hoover trumped up false charges against the black revolutionary Robert Williams and he was eventually exiled to Cuba in 1961. Just like all the big name Civil Rights and Black Nationalist leaders Williams to was a victim of Cointelpro. I do think these leaders of the 1960s and 1970s would have a very different interpretation of the slogan "No Justice, No Peace". Stokley Carmichael (Kwame Ture) also former chairman of SNNC and honorary member of the Black Panther Party would be screaming from the top of his voice after the Zimmerman's verdict "Black Power" and his most famous slogan would be that we must be a part of an organization!!!!!!!!!!!! 

My recent work is tied to human rights issues and as we grow in our understanding, we will come to the ultimate realization that we in the United States of America are in a fight against a double head monster, which is race and class and both of them represents an antagonistic contradiction. Race and class undergirds the very foundation of America's jurisprudence system (surely justice is not blind). The American historian Charles A. Beard in his monumental work titled, "An Economic Interpretation of the United States Constitution" who was economic determinist maintained that the constitution was framed to benefit an elitist class of white men in particular property owners in general (the U.S. Constitution essentially was a capitalist inspired document). Dr. Cornel West wrote a timely book titled, "Race Matters" and our revolutionary legal scholar, the late Derrick Bell authored a book titled, "Faces At The Bottom Of The Well: The Permanence of Racism" in deed our scholars have spoken clearly. These works comes to the forefront of my mind as I reflect on the Zimmerman case.

I do think that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder should file federal criminal charges against Zimmerman in violation of Trayvon Martin's civil rights in which the legal basis would be to go back to the various racist language Zimmerman used in the recordings to the 911 dispatcher showing his motivation to pursue Martin was in fact driven by racial assumptions and serotypes, which should allow the hate crime statues to be introduced in a federal law suit. Attorney General Holder to his credit has launched a federal investigation into this matter; however, the cause of Martin’s death is a no brainer, he was pursued and killed because essentially he looked different than George Zimmerman whom Zimmerman characterized as a thug and who was up to no good. Zimmerman even after this verdict may continue to claim self-defense, but his use of racial inciting language is enough evidence to prove that he just wasn't profiling Martin, but he was actually racially profiling Trayvon Martin, which eventually led to this young man losing his life. 

But lest not get it twisted; I am equally appalled at the epidemic rate of black-on-black homicides that takes place in the black community, it is somewhat hypocritical for African Americans to always have these big public outcries when a white officer or white person kills a black person, but we do not mass mobilize and demonstrate in the streets and across America when blacks kill blacks (comments here still does not give white law enforcement a licenses to kill innocent black men). We have somewhat become sensitize to the black violence that exist in our community and it pains me to see all these ‘Negro’ Churches on every corner and they do nothing towards working to curbing the violence that exist in the black community. Surely, they are not followers of Jesus, the Christ because Jesus preached and worked within the theological context of a social gospel. These new prosperity ideological teaching Negro ministers who are overly consumed with building these mega churches have a moral responsibility to move beyond the infatuation with money (their God has become money and the things of this world). These daman ‘Negroes’ are preaching about money and our youth are being killed in the streets of America—many of them find it safe and easy to hide behind the pictured stained church windows and in the comfort of a modernized sanctuary than address this modern Pharaoh (Obama and his administration is indicative and symbolic of a modern type Pharaoh led government).

I can remember in the early 1990s Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam did a series of inner city speeches titled, "Stop the Killing" and he was effecting change in the black community which led to the Million Man March, I personally attended a number of those speeches and found his message to be timely and compelling but we need Farrakhan to go back on tour and speak truth to power. He is one of the few black leaders who understand and not afraid to teach on separation that is the only solution to the so-called American ‘Negro’ problem we have tried integration and it has failed dismally. In perhaps the last week of August 2013 thousands of so-called American ‘Negroes’ will be gathering in Washington, DC to commemorate the 50th Year Anniversary March on Washington that was led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963. And viewing the Zimmerman’s verdict it is evident that hasn’t much changed in America; I am tired of these mass marches, we must truly decide to take a new course of action. We should not be looking for white folk to change our predicament and we should use the Trayvon Martin incident as a tool of empowerment in order to have a serious conversation of how do we turn around the political, economic and social plight of black people relative to the aftermath of this incident.

Black leaders and Black intellectuals have to come out of these safe sanctuaries of Ivory Towers and reach out to these young black youth and provide better responsible leadership. This should be proof positive that in this so-called post-racial era America has continuously become more reactionary (the U.S. Supreme Court recently deconstructed part of the of the 1965 Voting Rights Act). Many so-called American ‘Negroes’ thought that by having a black president this represented a sign of social progress and they thought they had crossed the threshold of a true pluralistic society where as men as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., so eloquently stated would be judged by the content of character and no by the color of their skin. Since President Barack Obama's election America has become more increasingly divisive and even he has not been able to escape the venom of racism and American style hatred as commander-in-chief. Just reason with me, I did not know that it was against the law to walk and be present on the grounds and property of an apartment complex in which your father leases a unit. Trayvon Martin was not trespassing and essentially was not engaged in any criminal conduct or unlawful behavior; just walking back from the store with an Arizona ice tea drink and some skittles that he had purchased from the store. I am a black man and I personally know how black men are scrutinized by white law enforcement officers and how we are treated differently by the arresting officer and even as we enter the courts and the criminal justice system—there still exist racial biases and justice is determined differently for African Americans. Bruce Wright documented this in book titled, “Black Robes, White Justice”. I remember right here in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina some years ago, the former Governor of Virginia, Douglas Wilder was harassed and thrown to the ground by white security personnel at RDU Airport while he is yelling that he was the former Governor—for the record this brother was very light skinned complexion (he looked Caucasian) and is perhaps less than one generation removed from a white ancestral line. But this did not matter, he was viewed and treated no different than any other black man in America.

It appears that sensitivity and diversity training pertaining to law enforcement officers is still not enough to sensitize some of these white law enforcement agencies into understanding the culture, and race/ethnic backgrounds of non-Caucasians who might be confronted with violating the law. Moreover, this has made us just as equally suspicious of white authority figures because of the lack of trust that exist between the two races and cultures and often there is a feeling that law enforcement does not have our best interest at stake—these historical and cultural differences creates tension and oftentimes this leads to African Americans having a higher percentage of arrest records and eventually higher percentages of convictions. We are always viewed as a suspect first. For example, just because Trayvon Martin had a hoddie on his head in which in the back recesses of Zimmerman’s sub-conscious mind, it was steeped in racial profiling he had already determined that this young man was a criminal and was up to no good (although, initially and afterwards he had no tangible evidence or proof that Martin had violated or broken any laws and/or was in commission of a criminal offense). Martin had not done anything that constituted criminal behavior or criminal misconduct. Zimmerman racial predisposition against Martin was reflective of the attitudes of the dominate culture being viewed through the lens of a member of the white society as they have always viewed black men presently and historically—from Zimmerman’s perspective here was a young black man let me assume he is up to no good. (Raheem DeVaughn TRIGGER MAN  YouTube Clip).

Zimmerman was not a sworn officer and had no formal training of how to handle these type situations. Thus, when he called into the 911 dispatcher, he was instructed to stay in his car and not pursue (why didn’t he just follow those instructions?). Zimmerman was recorded of making all types of racist expletives by the 911 operator, but the talking heads desire for us to believe that the murder of this unarmed teenager was not about race. If Martin was a white teenager strolling through the same said community; perhaps he would not have been racially profiled, harassed and ultimately killed. I think any reasonable person would have reacted the very same way Martin responded to a stranger following him for no apparent reason other than Zimmerman believing that he did not belong in that community. Lets say Martin was the aggressor and initiated the conflict/fight with Zimmerman, but I am quite sure this young man was scared and had reason to believe that Zimmerman himself could have been a criminal and if it was me I too would have beat the hell out this white man following me. It was Trayvon Martin who was in a battle of life and death—self-defense should have been applied to Martin and not Zimmerman. But also the Sanford, Florida District Attorney’s office and prosecutor’s office did a very poor job laying out their case against Zimmerman and by the judge prohibiting the use of the term “racial profiling” it sucked the air out of the prosecutor’s case (if Zimmerman wasn’t a white supremacist his attitudes resemble their motives of operandi). Zimmerman at the least should have been convicted of man slaughter. I reject the notion and term of black’s desiring to riot. No, we use the term black rebellion and not rioting because that is the language of the capitalist State. No Justice, No Peace. I call for Freedom, Justice and Equality.

Fahim A. Knight-El Chief Researcher for KEEPING IT REAL THINK TANK located in DurhamNC; our mission is to inform African Americans and all people of goodwill, of the pending dangers that lie ahead; as well as decode the symbolism and reinterpreted the hidden meanings behind those who operate as invisible forces, but covertly rules the world. We are of the belief that an enlightened world will be better prepared to throw off the shackles of ignorance and not be willing participants for the slaughter. Our MOTTO is speaking truth to power. Fahim A. Knight-EL can be reached at fahimknight@

Stay Awake Until We Meet Again,

Fahim A. Knight-El

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