Statements of Radical Socialist

Radical Socialist Statement on the Exoneration of George Zimmerman

Racism is Alive

 

Radical Socialist Statement on the Exoneration of George Zimmerman

 

Having elected for a second term a Black as President, the US seeks to project an image that it is a truly liberal, democratic country where everyone has equal rights and equal opportunities. The reality is far from that.

17 year old Black, Travyon Martin was walking home on 26 February 2012, with nothing in his hands except a can of iced tea and a bag of skittles. Self-declared head of a neighbourhood watch in a gated Florida community, George Zimmerman, decided there was something suspicious about Martin. Zimmerman chased Martin, armed with a handgun. Martin resisted. Zimmerman shot him.

There is absolutely no reason for any doubt here. The only reason Travyon Martin died is because George Zimmerman, whom he did not know and whom he had not disturbed, decided that Martin looked like something that Zimmerman disagreed with, and proceeded to take the law into his own hands.

The racism prevalent in the United States, something that despite all their attempts to cosy up to the US, even the Indian elite are familiar with (racial profiling, strip searching of even a Defence Minister in the past, etc) became immediately apparent. It took six weeks for Zimmerman to be arrested and that after massive pressures. And then came a trial, in which a jury of six whites acquitted Zimmerman of all charges. In the first place, he had not even been charged with first degree murder. Instead, the original charge was second degree murder, and this was later changed as a “compromise’ to manslaughter.

Throughout last year and during the trial, it was Martin who was on trial by the media. Was he a good boy, or was he suspicious? That this had nothing to do with Zimmerman shooting him dead was blatantly ignored.  Judge Debra Nelson allowed defense lawyers to present results from a toxicology report showing that Martin had small amounts of marijuana in his system on the night he died. The lawyers and their champions in the right-wing media also attempted to claim that Martin had a history of violence--based on a video on Martin's cell phone showing two men fighting, neither of whom was Trayvon nor anyone he knew or was connected to.Indians will of course note the parallel. In Kashmir, in Manipur, this is precisely what happens. Murders are covered up with charges of being terrorists, as in Shopian. So while we note the reality of aggressive racism, backed by the entire state machinery and media, in the USA, there is hardly any reason for Indians to gloat.

With the decline of the left, the barbaric nature of capitalist “civilisation” is becoming ever more open. Democrats and socialists across the US are protesting. We extend our solidarity to them, reminding ourselves that casteism, communalism, chauvinistic nationalism and racism have much in common, certainly in cases of torture and killing of the weaker, and in state sponsored cover-ups.

14/07/2013