On Trayvon: Reactions, Analysis and More


via the Black Youth Project

Domestic Violence and George Zimmerman’s Defense” via The Nation

Zimmerman’s attorneys successfully argued that those acts were inadmissible or irrelevant. But these accusations offer us other truths: that violence against girls and women is often an overlooked and unchecked indicator of future violence.

Open season for black boys after a verdict like this” via The Guardian

Appeals for calm in the wake of such a verdict raise the question of what calm there can possibly be in a place where such a verdict is possible. Parents of black boys are not likely to feel calm. Partners of black men are not likely to feel calm. Children with black fathers are not likely to feel calm. Those who now fear violent social disorder must ask themselves whose interests are served by a violent social order in which young black men can be thus slain and discarded.

Beyond Trayvon: Black and Unarmed“—Slide show via The Root

Remember that it’s nothing new for a black man without a weapon to be killed.

“I’m not a race-baiter. I’m a historian. I’m a realist.”—NYC Councilman Jumaane Williams via The Nation

George Zimmerman Molestation Accusations Are Relevant” via Slate

If you’re trying to establish that Zimmerman had it in him to hunt down and murder a teenager who is much smaller than himself, then a history of sexual assault does help demonstrate this.

The Time Isn’t Right But It Is Now: Processing Our Anger for Trayvon in the Black Feminist Way” via Crunk Feminist Collective

I know it may seem selfish for sisters to even suggest that our struggles matter in this moment. But if the treatment of Rachel Jeantel, Trayvon Martin’s friend, has taught us anything, it is that we are in this shit together. Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, has been an exemplar of Strong Black Womanhood throughout this ordeal. What other choice did she have? But while many folks may admire her strength and resolve, We Black feminists know that those regal robes of superwomanhood are much too heavy a load.

Questlove: Trayvon Martin and I Ain’t Shit” via New York Magazine

I’m in scenarios all the time in which primitive, exotic-looking me — six-foot-two, 300 pounds, uncivilized Afro, for starters — finds himself in places where people who look like me aren’t normally found. I mean, what can I do? I have to be somewhere on Earth, correct? In the beginning — let’s say 2002, when the gates of “Hey, Ahmir, would you like to come to [swanky elitist place]?” opened — I’d say “no,” mostly because it’s been hammered in my DNA to not “rock the boat,” which means not making “certain people” feel uncomfortable.
I mean, that is a crazy way to live. Seriously, imagine a life in which you think of other people’s safety and comfort first, before your own. You’re programmed and taught that from the gate. It’s like the opposite of entitlement.

Fear & Consequences: George Zimmerman & the Protection of White Womanhood” via The Nation

Yes, white women—all of us—are taught to fear men of color. We need to own that truth, own that shameful fear. Most importantly, we need to name it for what it is: deeply held and constantly enforced racism.

White Womanhood, protectionism, and complicity in injustice for Trayvon Martin” via Feministing

This follows a lineage of white women crying rape (yes, I said it, I said it because that was often what happened–unjustly, untruthfully, when there really had been no rape–I say this as a survivor who believes survivors and finds this an affront) by black men who were lynched. Black men who were slaughtered in protection of white womanhood and its purity. The collusion of white womanhood and white supremacist patriarchy is clear–but let me be clear about something. The violence I have experienced–domestic and sexual violence–has been at the hands of multiple WHITE men. I don’t see white men being shot for that, nor do I want them to be.

But I am ashamed, and women like these women on the jury ARE white women’s problem.

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If Trayvon Martin Had Been a Woman” via The Guardian

Trayvon Martin’s murder and subsequent profiling have been likened by some to the lynchings of black men that stained American history during the 19th and 20th centuries, casting him as a latter-day Emmett Till. But popular memory has virtually erased the lynchings of Mary Turner, Marie Scott and Laura Nelson and the 115 black women, who were hung alongside their husbands, brothers and sons. The strange fruit of astranger sex that also dangled from southern trees.

Lastly, Colorlines has provided some powerful photo essays. Take a look here and here.