Thoughts On Our Sorrow: Troy Davis and Trayvon Martin
© 2013 by Alice Walker
I deliberately watched none of the Zimmerman trial, just as I have deliberately not read a draft of a new book by Jen Marlowe, soon to be published: I Am Troy Davis, about a young black man in Georgia who was by all indications innocent of any crime but was put to death recently by the state. News of these murders, of Troy, of Trayvon, is so painful that I protect myself in this way. So many murders of black men in my lifetime. The physical shock is astounding. I write this, remembering that when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968, the shock to my system was so severe I lost the child I was carrying. This shock, this assault on the psyche and body, is what is intended. That too is painful, though we may feel glad not to be, ourselves, so cruel and sadistic. I feel the grief of all people who love fairness and justice coursing through my body, deep into my soul. We are united in our suffering. Being aware of this helps.
Contemplating Zimmerman’s exoneration for the obvious murder of Trayvon Martin in a letter to a friend yesterday, I wrote this, with a few thoughts added today:
Just heard the Zimmerman verdict. It makes me think of the man given the “pleasure” of assassinating Che Guevara. He was young, and it was his birthday. He was strutting and proud to be offered this “gift,” as Che stood bleeding, weakened and alone, before him. Fast forward to recently, when the assassin became old and ill and needed surgery – and Cuban doctors (who loved Che Guevara) did their best to heal him. The ache of realization, of what he has done, when it comes for Zimmerman, will be all the punishment he will ever deserve. I remember now, with understanding, that our parents used to say, about things they regretted they had done and that they got away with: “I’d rather take a whipping….” Zimmerman will wish many times in his life that they had given him a hundred years.
This piece was published today in the Guardian of London (under a different title and with an added sentence contributed by the editor; a “quote” about Zimmerman’s conscience) which informed me they cannot publish the word “murder” only “killing” or “shooting death.” Thus protecting murderers – those terrorizing us all over the world – from even being adequately described.
In my women’s circles we discuss the four percent of the population that has no conscience and whether it is naive to think Zimmerman will ever suffer as I imagine he might. Such an ancient notion, really, suffering, repentance, considering how the criminals we see and recognize daily get away with murder and never have a moment, apparently, of remorse.
Of course if we are dealing with descendants of the Chitauri (See Credo Mutwa’s informative teaching on the subject of cold blooded reptilian ancestry of some humans) then we can expect more of what we are experiencing.
Standing together is all.