For many, George Zimmerman has been a malignancy. His very freedom is a living monument to American white privilege, judicial maleficence, and how black lives are consistently deemed void in the face of justice, despite tons of evidence to the contrary. Zimmerman, a man who has done nothing but flaunt the fact that he murdered a child for six years, is what America feels is an “upstanding” individual.
Not all of America, but a significant portion of America believes that Zimmerman, the privileged son of a retired Florida judge, is more of an American than I, an African-American reporter born and raised in this country simply because he is considered a white man. But he’s a stark raving lunatic who just happens to be white. The following is a portion of an article I wrote in the form of a direct letter to Trayvon Martin following George Zimmerman’s acquittal in 2013.
When my editor reached out to write about you, she reminded me that February 26 marks two years since your untimely death at the hands of George Zimmerman. To be certain Trayvon, I was initially pained at the coming of this assignment.
“As you likely know by now, looking down from up high, the individual accused of your death has since been acquitted of all charges relating to your death. Yes, Trayvon, it is with watery eyes that I must say your murder went unpunished by the laws of the land. Zimmermans defense team was successfully able to argue that he pursued you armed with a semi-automatic pistol because you were out of place and not because you were a young black man wearing a hoodie at night. Much to my chagrin, the jury bought it.”
“The judge in the case instructed the jury that race was not to be taken into consideration during deliberation. She did say, however, that the inept prosecutors involved in the case could say you were profiled while completely ignoring the fact that the only reason you were profiled was that of race. With Zimmermans acquittal came yet another in a menagerie of legal cases in which the justice system chose to ignore or brush over the obvious. In this instance, the obvious is that you were racially profiled by Zimmerman and, because of that, were followed, confronted and eventually shot to death.”
Those facts are more sobering than your first morning coffee. Full disclosure, I once became so sickened by writing constantly about white culpability in black death between 2012 and 2016 that I began to develop an anxiety while aggregating potential stories. I didn’t want to write another story, I didn’t want to read about another murderous cop getting off, I didn’t want to see another black mother wearing a death shawl, not one more goddamn incompetent district attorney, not one more speech from a permed poverty pimp.
I’m long past those emotions today. Yet, just like a cancerous tumor, the sociopath that is George Zimmerman continues to be allowed to roam around, causing dissension and dis-ease wherever he goes.
Eventually, as he appeared in the news less often, those feelings I once had about the sordid affair became less fiery, less visceral. Alas, I normalized his very existence so I could function properly in life. I had to. As has illustrated over and over again as of late, America loves the narrative of the put-upon white man. However, with the most recent charges, perhaps Zimmerman will get some semblance of judicial karma.
Zimmerman is being charged with stalking and harassing a private investigator Dennis Warren and a Cinemart Productions documentary producer Mike Gasparo, according to multiple reports. He’s allegedly upset that his family members were being contacted for a documentary. This is the production company working in conjunction with Jay-Z to tell the story of Trayvon Martin.
“Help Mrs. Warren out and give him a heads up, I’m going to find him. And I’m bringing hell with me.”
“Dennis is an [expletive] who bothered my uncle in his home … local or former law enforcement officer he’s well on his way to the inside of a gator as well. 10-4?”
“Answer your phone, [expletive]” and “I’ll see you before you realize it.”
These are but a few of Zimmerman’s threats against the two and their families, according to the Seminole County Sherrif’s Department. Yes, this is the man who’s word a jury believed was bond during his trial for killing Trayvon Martin.
A deputy advised Warren to respond and ask Zimmerman to stop the communication or he would involve law enforcement, Zimmerman allegedly refused and continued the texts. Zimmerman allegedly texted a link to an article in which he was quoted as saying, “I know how to handle people who [expletive] with me, I have since February 2012” and “Anyone who [expletive] with my parents will be fed to an alligator.”
Zimmerman was served with a summons on May 3 and was scheduled for an arraignment May 30.
Since Trayvon Martin’s death, George Zimmerman has consistently had run-ins with law enforcement but has served no jail time.