A day after the Zimmerman verdict, my consolidated Facebook updates since last night:
10:09pm: Those glaring moments in history that demonstrate how poorly the law approximates justice. #Zimmerman
10:39pm: “There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.” – Maya Angelou
11:09pm: I’m pretty tired of being politically correct. I’m tired of navigating niceties and nuances to say what is just plain fucking true: Let’s stop pretending this is a post-race world when a man can die for breathing while black and remain unavenged. I don’t want to dissect the logic of the law. Because if our justice system can’t sort this out, then these laws have no logic. Every instrument at our disposal is meant to approximate the kind of living and life we deserve. And if these instruments fail us, it’s time to trade them in.
Get angry. We deserve to be.
11:59pm: For today and for everyday, this seemed relevant:
“So, your response means a great deal to me. It means a great deal because the work of unpacking race, class, gender, orientation (among other manners of identity) can’t be singularly accomplished through the looking glass of any one group or iteration. Our experiences codify what we see, and what we see often determines the range of realities we are willing to entertain and accept. In the day-to-day, my particular intersection of identities – woman, Asian American, able-bodied, middle-class – allow me to see and experience certain realities, through which I formulate an understanding of the world. In truth, of course, the world is still much bigger than what you and I know, combined. That seems obvious when said aloud, but in the day-to-day, it’s difficult to operate with the kind of humility that reflects upon our limits. It’s incredibly human to defend what we viscerally know about the world, and to doubt what we cannot tangibly feel. This is why we struggle to reconcile how one person’s privilege could be another’s pain. And even if we’ve reconciled having and not having, we struggle to acknowledge that ‘not having’ is not the same as ‘having nothing’. The experience of ‘not having’ can itself be instructional, valuable and enriching. So – even in a quest to treat people equitably – we have to consider the deep reality within each and every human experience.
My concerns are only a very small subset of what our culture should unpack and improve upon. I comment on them because I feel them most viscerally, but I know that people feel marginalized for all manners of identity that stretch miles and miles into the distance, recalling our troubled history and reminding us that history lives on in the present in ways that we are often too eager to disown. And it’s just not fair to believe that racism, sexism, ageism, ableism – blatant or subtle – have disappeared. It may be comforting and much easier to believe we are completely overcome, but avoidance doesn’t make it so. Avoidance makes it worse.”
11:27am: Don’t get over it. Progress isn’t made by those who acclimate to injustice.
2:25pm: The flawless consistency of our courts.
3:30pm: Soon, some of us will stop thinking about it because WE GET TO. For some of us, these realities are not embedded in our day-to-day such that we must continually confront pain, anger and anxiety. Such that we must continually reconcile how little we are valued in a world that promises every life an equal worth.
For some, there will come a time when all of this feels distant and irrelevant – when it’s more convenient to forget than to remember. It’s not. It’s not.
There will come a time when Facebook feeds me a new hot topic, when Twitter finds me a new trend. When that time comes (probably in a few days), I urge us – myself certainly included – to hold steady. Trends are nice, but style is better. Style is culture, is progress, is movement over moment. I’m much more interested in the people who keep Trayvon in style even when his memory is no longer in fashion.
Keep thinking about it, ESPECIALLY when you no longer have to. Consider what it means to be someone who doesn’t have to live these realities in the day-to-day. Consider what it means to be someone who gets to forget. And don’t. Don’t get over it, because progress isn’t made by those who acclimate and move on.
6:12pm: Deep breath. Law Aficionados: If you’re going to explain to me the logic of the law when its decree makes no sense, how useful is your legal education to the betterment of our society?
You’re explaining to me why physics dictate that milk cartons can’t support the foundation of a house. And I’m saying, “Who the fuck put milk cartons here?” Two schools of thought, and yours is too much school and not enough thought.
Every single social change in history has come due the reaction of someone who said: enough. Enough. Enough! And put a sufficient amount of powerful exclamation marks in different ways and means. Rage is important. It is one of the ways our passion and innate recognition of oppression can be expressed. From there, the path is long, but it has to be walked.