FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Jury of Trayvon Martin’s Peers

by NOEL IGNATIEV

I will not address the trial or its outcome. People will think what they please. I do have several things to say about the responses.

Many are organizing protest marches. What are they are protesting? The verdict? Had the verdict been otherwise, would they have organized support marches? Although they may differ in their demands, both protest and support marches reinforce the authority of the legal system. (I note in passing that many of those protesting defend the legal system when it works to their advantage, for example in the acquittal of Angela Davis or Huey Newton. Would they really want to do away with the stipulation that to be convicted a person must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?)

The most meaningful challenge to the authority of the legal system would be to hand Zimmerman over to a jury of Trayvon Martin’s peers. That is the way, I think, a communist society would deal with a case like this (if we could even imagine a case like this happening in a communist society).

I note that in one city (Boston) some lefties, mainly white, are planning to leaflet subway and bus terminals in Dudley and Roxbury, in the black district (where they do not live), informing the residents there of a planned march. This is wrong on two counts: first, the problem is not centered in the black district; if these lefties want to bring about a change in the conditions that led to the killing of Trayvon Martin, let them address the people in the white gated communities (real or metaphorical) where they grew up, which resemble Sanford, Florida more than they do the black district of Boston. Moreover, the black folk of Boston, like every place else, have shown on any number of occasions that if they wish to express their outrage at the verdict, they have ways of getting the word around, through the churches, the black radio stations and the barber shops and beauty shops, and do not need white lefties to help them.

Lastly, many of the protestors are demanding justice for Trayvon Martin. Trayvon Martin is beyond the reach of justice. What they really mean is revenge. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. I am opposed to revenge, in principle, because it degrades the human spirit (although I am not opposed to exterminating rats, cockroaches and other vermin who threaten human health).

Noel Ignatiev is the author of How the Irish Became White (Routledge, 1995), and co-editor, with John Garvey, of the anthology Race Traitor (Routledge, 1996). He can be reached at noelignatiev@gmail.com

This article appeared on his blog.

Noel Ignatiev is the author of How the Irish Became White (Routledge, 1995), and co-editor, with John Garvey, of the anthology Race Traitor (Routledge, 1996).  He blogs here. He can be reached at noelignatiev@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
April 28, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Slandering Populism: a Chilling Media Habit
Andrew Levine
Why I Fear and Loathe Trump Even More Now Than On Election Day
Jeffrey St. Clair
Mountain of Tears: the Vanishing Glaciers of the Pacific Northwest
Philippe Marlière
The Neoliberal or the Fascist? What Should French Progressives Do?
Conn Hallinan
America’s New Nuclear Missile Endangers the World
Peter Linebaugh
Omnia Sunt Communia: May Day 2017
Vijay Prashad
Reckless in the White House
Brian Cloughley
Who Benefits From Prolonged Warfare?
Kathy Kelly
The Shame of Killing Innocent People
Ron Jacobs
Hate Speech as Free Speech: How Does That Work, Exactly?
Andre Vltchek
Middle Eastern Surgeon Speaks About “Ecology of War”
Matt Rubenstein
Which Witch Hunt? Liberal Disanalogies
Sami Awad - Yoav Litvin - Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Never Give Up: Nonviolent Civilian Resistance, Healing and Active Hope in the Holyland
Pete Dolack
Tribunal Finds Monsanto an Abuser of Human Rights and Environment
Christopher Ketcham
The Coyote Hunt
Mike Whitney
Putin’s New World Order
Ramzy Baroud
Palestinian, Jewish Voices Must Jointly Challenge Israel’s Past
Ralph Nader
Trump’s 100 Days of Rage and Rapacity
Harvey Wasserman
Marine Le Pen Is a Fascist—Not a ‘Right-Wing Populist,’ Which Is a Contradiction in Terms
William Hawes
World War Whatever
John Stanton
War With North Korea: No Joke
Jim Goodman
NAFTA Needs to be Replaced, Not Renegotiated
Murray Dobbin
What is the Antidote to Trumpism?
Louis Proyect
Left Power in an Age of Capitalist Decay
Medea Benjamin
Women Beware: Saudi Arabia Charged with Shaping Global Standards for Women’s Equality
Rev. William Alberts
Selling Spiritual Care
Peter Lee
Invasion of the Pretty People, Kamala Harris Edition
Cal Winslow
A Special Obscenity: “Guernica” Today
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey’s Kurdish Agenda
Guillermo R. Gil
The Senator Visits Río Piedras
Jeff Mackler
Mumia Abu-Jamal Fights for a New Trial and Freedom 
Cesar Chelala
The Responsibility of Rich Countries in Yemen’s Crisis
Leslie Watson Malachi
Women’s Health is on the Chopping Block, Again
Basav Sen
The Coal Industry is a Job Killer
Judith Bello
Rojava, a Popular Imperial Project
Robert Koehler
A Public Plan for Peace
Sam Pizzigati
The Insider Who Blew the Whistle on Corporate Greed
Jesse Jackson
Jeff Sessions is Rolling Back Basic Rights
Nyla Ali Khan
There Has to be a Way Out of the Labyrinth
Rivera Sun
Blind Slogans and Shallow Greatness
Michael J. Sainato
Trump Scales Back Antiquities Act, Which Helped to Create National Parks
Stu Harrison
Under Duterte, Filipino Youth Struggle for Real Change
Martin Billheimer
Balm for Goat’s Milk
Stephen Martin
Spooky Cookies and Algorithmic Steps Dystopian
Michael Doliner
Thank You Note
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail