Sankofa Study Circle

Monday, April 16, 2012

No Justice Just Us, Trayvon Martin a Moment or a Movemnet Part II

Brother Salim Adofo
National Vice Chairperson
National Black United Front
Now that George Zimmerman has been arrested, the struggle for self-determination, self-respect and self-defense for Black people in America cannot stop. An arrest does not necessarily guarantee a conviction, and a conviction does not mean justice has been served. Trayvon Martin's death is just one in a long list of Black families that have been torn apart as a result of a Black person being unjustly killed by law enforcement, white terrorist groups such as the Klan, or vigilantes such as Zimmerman. The circumstances bringing about Trayvon's death is connected to a much broader issue which is the mass incarceration of Black and Latino people, and the seemingly never ending abuse and brutality by government law enforcement agencies. Justice for Black people in America will not come until these issues are addressed and resolved. 
In Dr. King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail he writes, "We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
How long will Black people wait? How many more Emmitt Till's, Trayvon Martin's, Sean Bell's, Oscar Grant's or Amadou Diallo's need to happen, before the Black community finally wakes up? Dr. King made it very plain by saying that freedom must be demanded and that justice too long delayed is justice denied. For Black people in America there has been no justice, there has been just us expecting somebody else to undo, what they are guilty of doing in the first place.

The only answer for Black people is to use this moment, to build a movement by becoming part of an organization. Black people should be part of an organization that is working toward controlling the economy, the political offices and the social structure of the Black community.
Going back to Dr. King's writings, he wrote the following in his I've been to the mountain top speech, "We do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you. And so, as a result of this, we are asking you tonight, to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola in Memphis. Go by and tell them not to buy Sealtest milk. Tell them not to buy -- what is the other bread? -- Wonder Bread. And what is the other bread company, Jesse? Tell them not to buy Hart's bread. As Jesse Jackson has said, up to now, only the garbage men have been feeling pain; now we must kind of redistribute the pain. ...But not only that, we've got to strengthen black institutions. I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in Tri-State Bank. We want a "bank-in" movement in Memphis. Go by the savings and loan association. I'm not asking you something that we don't do ourselves at SCLC. Judge Hooks and others will tell you that we have an account here in the savings and loan association from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. We are telling you to follow what we are doing. Put your money there. You have six or seven black insurance companies here in the city of Memphis. Take out your insurance there. We want to have an "insurance-in. Now these are some practical things that we can do. We begin the process of building a greater economic base. And at the same time, we are putting pressure where it really hurts. I ask you to follow through here." Ironically after this speech, Dr. King would be killed the very next day.
The National Black United Front invites those that are in the Metro Washington DC area to attend its "Black Arts Movement: A visual and performing art exhibition, dedicated to the life of Trayvon Martin." Lets keep the name of Trayvon Martin alive and the pressure on the system to prosecute George Zimmerman to the fullest extent of the law. The exhibition will take place Saturday April 28th , 4pm, at Tendani Art Place 1922 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE Washington DC.

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