I feel that I have been through a whirlwind of emotions with the Trayvon Martin case, like a wild roller coaster ride that never ends…until today. Today the roller coaster ride ends for me. I have passed through the emotional responses to the verdict from shock, to disbelief, to righteous anger, to now a pensive state. This pensive state has made me question what lesson that we, as a society can learn from the case. We all know the details and the outcome; the pundits on the cable news networks are having a field day.
I have decided to not listen to them. I have decided to go within myself and examine why this verdict has affected not only me, but the world consciousness at large. There must be a lesson in all of this. The struggle that I am having is trying to figure out exactly what that lesson is. Could the lesson be that we, as Americans, have an African American President, yet race relations are no better than in the 1960s? Has anything really changed since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his “I Have a Dream” speech? How can this be? What possible lesson can society learn from the death of a young black man who was murdered in cold blood while his killer gets off scott free? This, my friends, is the question that we must ask ourselves both individually and collectively.
We cannot get to the point of asking the “why” until we get beyond the anger. But how do we get beyond the anger? Does anyone know? No one wants to simply resign themselves to the verdict, and that is understandable because the verdict was unjust. We must, however, take a deep look at ourselves introspectively as human beings on the individual level, and as members of humanity as a whole. Those of us who seek world peace are struggling today to try to maintain our balance. We want justice, yet justice has been denied. Is this denial of justice part of the bigger plan to raise the mass consciousness of society to do something about the injustice that people all over the world must face on a daily basis? But what can we do to get past the anger and concentrate on raising consciousness? I do not have an answer for that now, perhaps the wound is too deep, and the tragedy is too close to home, both socially and psychologically.
Forgiveness appears to be the only answer. But who do we forgive? Is it Zimmerman? Is it the biased jury? Is it the complete breakdown of the American Justice System? Social activists would say that we need to “fix” the American Criminal Justice System, and would go on to cite all the many indignities that people have suffered because of it, Trayvon and his family included. They might advocate for the overturning of the “Stand Your Ground Law,” or push to reform gun control legislation. Well, Congress had the opportunity to reform gun control, but ignored American public opinion. So reforming the laws doesn’t seem to be the answer. I am not saying that activists of all sorts are not valuable in changing the way in which a society is run, however, at this point…how many people need to be murdered until the lawmakers get it.
We know that unless there is a shift from Republicans to Democrats in the House, nothing is going to change. All the activists can do is get out the vote the next election. This is not meant to be a political commentary, rather it is a commentary on where we are collectively, as human and sentient beings in the big picture, and that is mass consciousness. This is what we must truly examine, and dig deep within ourselves to find compassion for all of those involved in this case. It is a difficult task, but not an overwhelming one. This nation has made it through the OJ trial after all. Yes. The whole issue of race relations came out in that verdict too. But we, as a collective, got through it. Let us try to get through this in a way that will give solace to the many victims, including the friends and family of Trayvon, and all of us who grieve for him. We must do this to save ourselves and to move forward into a new, higher way of being human.