I was heartsick for days after hearing the verdict from Florida in the George Zimmerman case. How on earth could someone—against a 911 operator’s advice—stalk a young man who was just out buying some Skittles and then shoot and kill him and claim self-defence?
Worse yet, how can that killer get away with it? I physically felt the pain of this injustice. Questions swirled in my head, like whether young black men in the US can now be murdered with impunity so long as the killer claims self-defence? As a mother, I want to cry out from deep in my soul against this injustice.
However, I am not a stranger to this heart-wrenching pain. In fact, I know it quite well. It stabs me every time a woman is raped. It twists my stomach every time I hear of yet one more girl who was forced to be a sex slave for someone else to make money.
It tears into my heart when I contemplate all of the many women who are right now being tortured and beaten, day after day. I weep when I contemplate the women who have been murdered because the man in their life thought he had a right to do whatever he wanted with the woman, because she is just a woman, after all. So much like what was no doubt going through George Zimmerman’s mind when he killed Trayvon Martin: he was just a black boy, after all. His life obviously held little value to Zimmerman. I think of my sons and my blood runs cold. How many mothers must have experienced the same feeling after that verdict was read?
In Guyana, I think the stab of this injustice was felt even deeper because this past week was also the one-year anniversary of the senseless killings of the Linden protestors.
Injustice stinks of all things vile and putrid. Those who bring life into the world simply cannot stomach the idea that death can wear the robe of a smug, racist bastard, but we are nonetheless expected to accept this vile injustice. It feels like swallowing a huge pill that just will not go down and when it finally forced down, it makes us nauseous and unsettled because we know it is evil.
Likewise, though we have also been trained to bear the cruel ways of the patriarchal culture, the bearers of life feel the pain of those misogynistic tirades deep inside our souls. Our souls cry out for justice. Those cries have not ceased for even one second in thousands of years. Karma has stored our tears, enough to cover this earth in rain for years, and the day of reckoning is upon us.
A new day is dawning that will see women finally free from rape, beatings and murder. Around the world, there is a rising up of those who have had their fill of the corruption, murder and wickedness. They refuse to allow their nostrils to be tainted with the stink of evil. The rumbling of this uprising is getting louder every day.
It gives me much hope when I see thousands upon thousands of people around the world gather together to demand justice. In Brazil last month, NPR reported about 250,000 took to the streets to protest corruption. In Turkey, the recent protests initially started to contest the urban development plan for Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park, but those protests grew to include issues of freedoms of the press, expression and assembly. In Egypt, the people took to the streets again to oust yet another leader who would not lead for all of the people, but for the interests of a few.
Of course, there were protests in cities throughout the US this week over the Zimmerman acquittal. There are also those who are now standing up and speaking out against governmental monitoring of the citizenry. They are blowing the whistle on programmes they feel go too far and in the process rob the people of their rights.
These are just a few of the many examples of how the people are ready to step up and do their part to ensure that justice is indeed a vital part of their daily lives. Regardless of crooked politicians, corrupt law enforcement agencies, failing justice systems and intruding governments, the people are showing up in tens of thousands around the world to demand accountability.
This is what gives me hope during weeks like this past one when it seems injustice reigns supreme. I have to believe that in this world, young black men will one day be able to buy Skittles without being shot. When it feels like the evil has won, I know it is only for a season. The tide is turning and justice will take her rightful place in the world.