It’s very difficult not to be angry right now, so it’s difficult to find the right words to say about the “not guilty” verdict of George Zimmerman. When I was asked to write this piece, I refused; I was too upset at the fact that someone could get away with murdering an unarmed 17 year old, whose only crime was fitting a certain description. The same crime, which befalls many of us, who are stopped and frisked or profiled, because of how we look or where we come from.
As I began several attempts to write this article, I couldn’t help but wonder what would transpire in the following hours ahead. Like everyone else, the same questions ran through my mind: How could this happen? What form would people’s reaction take? Would it be peaceful or violent? What’s next?
Upon the advice of friends and colleagues I took a day to think about it, I read many of the comments and posts online, and it helped. It was hard to remain positive, with the outrage still fresh, but no matter how difficult or frustrated I was about the whole thing, I looked to the Martin family. I imagined their devastation, and remembered their message of maintaining hope and faith. I woke up and I saw the news showing peaceful marches and demonstrations. I saw people filled with the same hope and faith for change, for true justice, and that’s when I knew that my voice must remain positive.
If we fall into the negative, darkness of the abyss, we risk doing more harm than good, becoming that which we stand against. This is a different kind of call to arms, one that will hopefully get people to pay more attention to the issues and causes that matter. What happens from here, where we go, that’s to be determined, but what matters most is that we rise above all this and become better human beings in the process.