If the moral arc of the universe really did bend toward justice, I would be reporting on George Zimmerman’s incarceration for one of the numerous crimes he’s committed since he gunned down unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on that rainy night in Sanford, Fla.
Instead he’s in the news for a disturbing interview in which he once again exposes his delusion and depravity. Zimmerman claims that he was afraid to “speak his mind” during his 2012 interview with Sean Hannity because he feared retaliation from President Barack Hussein Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and, apparently, the entire federal government. Now, though, he wants the world to know about the many injustices he faced after profiling, following and killing Trayvon before the federal government apparently came to its senses.
The killer spends approximately 13 minutes massaging his own ego, including, but not limited to, accusing the Hispanic Congressional Caucus of abandonment and President Obama of race-baiting, “dereliction of duty” and breaking the law:
President Obama held his Rose Garden speech stating, “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon.” To me that was clearly a dereliction of duty pitting Americans against each other solely based on race. He took what should have been a clear-cut self-defense matter and still to this day, on the anniversary of [the] incident, he held a ceremony at the White House inviting the Martin-Fulton family and stating that they should take the day to reflect upon the fact that all children’s lives matter. Unfortunately for the president, I’m also my parent’s child and my life matters as well. And for him to make incendiary comments as he did and direct the Department of Justice to pursue a baseless prosecution, he, by far, overstretched, overreached, even broke the law in certain aspects to where you have an innocent American being prosecuted by the federal government, which should never happen.
In Zimmerman’s feeble attempt to co-opt the #BlackLivesMatter movement and chastise President Obama, we see the arrogance of white supremacy. He smugly dons it like impenetrable armor while positioning his Latino heritage as a shield—as if black Americans are too ignorant to understand the difference between race and ethnicity or to understand that his whiteness is inextricably tied to his freedom.
Not surprisingly, he also reiterates his claim that God’s plan was for Trayvon Martin to die so that he could live:
As a Christian I believe that God does everything for a purpose, and he had his plans, and for me to second-guess them would be hypocritical and almost blasphemous. … Had I had a fraction of the thought that I could have done something differently, acted differently so that both of us … survived, then I would have heavier weight on my shoulders, that sense in the back of my mind. But in all fairness, you cannot as a human feel guilty for living, for surviving.
The man has the audacity to walk around as if he were baptized in the blood of the unarmed black child he killed and then accuse his family of inciting violence.
America the beautiful, indeed.
I won’t go into the hero’s embrace that Zimmerman has received from the most bigoted segments in society, or how he’s become a de facto spokesperson for racists who haven’t had the pleasure of killing a black child, nor the satisfaction of being lauded for it. Many of us have watched this play out in horror over the last three years, so a play-by-play would be redundant. But in the wake of the Department of Justice’s Ferguson, Mo., report and the relentless, extrajudicial killing of unarmed African Americans around the country, it’s worth mentioning that he is seeking to redefine the role of victim in his image and using religion to do it.
This is the language of structural racism: This idea that God protects and privileges whiteness in the face of seething, unbridled black rage and innate criminality; this ugly, cruel belief that our freedom to navigate society is a grudging favor that can be taken away with one bullet of a bigot’s gun. The entrenched notion that once God protects the life of the white killer, the black families left to mourn should do what Jesus did and “forgive.”
As August Wilson once said, “It is in the name of the same God to whom blacks pray that blacks have been lynched and abused. All too often, Jesus has listened to the Klan.”
Yet, black America is supposed to say amen.
This is what American justice looks like in its purest form. And that is the truth we must face as we continue the fight to overturn the interlocking systems of oppression that determined that George Zimmerman was an innocent man—and Trayvon Martin was just another dead, black child.