Bill Thompson: “Moved To Speak” (About Zimmerman Verdict This Morning)

Today Bill Thompson, Democratic candidate for NYC Mayor, gave the following speech on the recent verdict in Florida and what it means for New Yorkers of all races and in every community. I got the remarks in an email where Thompson asked that it be forward it to friends and neighbors. I decided to blog it instead.

For my part, I don’t care for the remarks because it fails to address the real question of our failure to dismantle institutional racism by forcing a real dialogue on race and racism in America. That discussion cannot be based on the parameters defined by the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman dynamic or involve the treatment of other minorities in America.

In the meanwhile, read and reflect on Mr. Thompson’s careful remarks and why it’s insufficient.

Remarks as Delivered – July 28, 2013
The Book of Proverbs promises that “Out in the open, wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square.”

In the aftermath of the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, the President spoke with great wisdom. I was moved. Most Americans were moved. Of course, people being people, we were moved in many ways, moved most perhaps because of where we stand and in whose steps we walk. Thousands and thousands were moved, in peaceful outrage, to the streets in cities across our country. Others were moved to quiet talks with their children, especially those of us, like me, with young black sons. Still others, out of crass politics at its ugliest, or the stubborn stain of enduring racism, were moved to attack our President for the courage and honesty he demonstrated when he spoke to America –
not just as our President, but as himself. As a black man. As a black man … in America … in 2013 … in the days after a jury of our peers declared the killing of an innocent black youth to not be a crime.

And I thought to myself – what brought him to the White House briefing room last week? What made this dignified, calm, thoughtful man, at the height of American power, decide to address our nation in some ways stripped of that power … not as President, but as the black man he is … I am … and we will always be.

So I was moved. I was moved to the streets, where I stood with Reverend Sharpton, Trayvon’s mother, and thousands of others at One Police Plaza. I was moved to quiet conversation, with my son, with my daughters, and with my wife. And I was moved to speak with you today.

As many of you know, it is not my first or natural instinct to talk about race in the context of politics. Some of that is biographical. I am the son of the struggle before me. And though it has not ended, I have lived in the blessing of its success so far. My grandparents emigrated from the Caribbean and seized the opportunity our city and our nation offered them to build a good life for their child. My father was the first black man elected to the New York State Senate from Brooklyn, and then to become a judge on the Appellate Division of the State of New York. My mother was a teacher, at a public school, that offered an education to kids like me. Public School 262 in Brooklyn. And I have had the enormous privilege to serve my city, including the great honor to be the first black man given the trust to manage our city’s finances.

Some of it is philosophical. Because when I look across our city, from whatever vantage point – on stage at a forum, meeting people at a subway stop, looking west from Brooklyn toward Manhattan, south from Manhattan to Staten Island or across the table at Barbara Gamble in her home in one of East Harlem’s NYCHA developments – I see people who want the same things and share the same values, no matter the color of their skin, the race of their parents, or the language of their homes. The dreams of their fathers are the dreams of our fathers. They are our dreams for our sons.

And when the rules of society – that we call and honor as the law –
allow even one of those dreams to be snuffed out in anger and fear without consequence or action, those rules fail us all.

So I feel compelled to speak today. Because, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said more than 45 years ago when he believed the policies and practices of his nation’s government did not meet the high measure of his nation’s ideals, Dr. King said, “A time comes when silence is betrayal. That time has come for us.”

When George Zimmerman was acquitted, I said that Trayvon Martin was killed because he was black. Some people criticized me for that – I don’t mean the professional race-baiters and the politicians of division. I’m talking about people I know and trust and respect. And I understood their concern. We have a system of laws in America. We have trial by jury. And anytime there is a trial that occupies the minds and stirs the passions of Americans, especially when those passions are stirred in different directions that can often be measured by race, many people look to their leaders to keep passion from turning to anger and anger from turning to violence.

Again, I understand that. And let me be clear – there is no room for any violence in response to this or any other verdict. As the President said, violence is a dishonor to Trayvon.

But truth. Truth is another story. Truth must be heard.

And Trayvon Martin did die because he was black. Of that, there is no doubt. I did not serve on that jury, and I am not here to discuss whether, under the law, they came to a reasonable conclusion about reasonable doubt.

But I do know that George Zimmerman was suspicious of Trayvon because he was young and he was black. And I believe that – even if you accept that the “system worked” in the Florida trial – you must also recognize that the system failed. It failed Trayvon. It failed my son. It failed America.

How did the system fail? Here in New York City, we have institutionalized Mr. Zimmerman’s suspicion with a policy that all but requires our police officers to treat young black and Latino men with suspicion, to stop them and frisk them because of the color of their skin. 600,000 of them in 2011, more than 90 percent innocent, are profiled as Trayvon was profiled.

If our government profiles people because of skin color and treats them as potential criminals, how can we expect citizens to do any less?

How did the system fail? Because we have gun laws across this country that empower, even encourage, individuals to take the law literally into their own armed hands. Without a gun and license to use it, would George Zimmerman have gotten out of his car? I don’t know. But without a gun in George Zimmerman’s hands, Trayvon Martin would almost certainly be alive.

I believe, as sure as I call Barack Obama Mr. President and I am privileged to stand here before you, that the long arc of the universe bends indeed toward justice. But it requires people of strong, good will and a chorus of common dreams to bend it.

I do not believe our government can stop racism. But I do believe we must constantly look to see how it may enable it, even unintentionally. So we must ask ourselves – when fear of young black men ends in deadly violence against the innocent, has our government perpetuated that fear by targeting people of color with suspicion? Do our laws empower it? Do they create more possibility for violent confrontation, not less? If we believe – as we should and we must – that those accused of a crime are innocent until proven guilty, how can we abide policies that treat whole groups of people as possibly guilty before they are even accused of not being innocent?

The prophet Isaiah tells us that the servant of the Lord “will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth.” And here … now … we are the servants the Lord has.

So in this moment, in these times, when the days are long, the temperature is hot, and for many of us, the disappointment over Trayvon Martin’s death is terribly real – let us rededicate ourselves to bending that arc. The verdict in Florida was a verdict – but it was not the verdict.

Let the verdict of these days instead be this: that in protest on our streets, in quiet conversation with our families, or in the halls and chambers of our government, we will ask the hard questions, face the hard truths, and honor our fathers’ and mothers’ dreams. And let that verdict spread from here, from our city of opportunity, where liberty guards the harbor that has welcomed generations of new Americans. For all of our sons, for all of our daughters, and all of theirs to come.


Bill Thompson

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email FOMB08@GMAIL.COM.
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1 Response to Bill Thompson: “Moved To Speak” (About Zimmerman Verdict This Morning)

  1. Dale Benjamin Drakeford says:

    I am a supporter of Bill Thompson. I am certain he is the best candidate and possesses the better skills to lead the City of New York. One of the reason I think that is exactly represented in his intelligent review of current “race” events. He understands the facts that include not having grown enough in removing “race” from our actions. I think he understands the unending power struggle of a species competing against itself. He is clear in his positions if not one-sided definitive (that may satisfy some and alienate others). I get that (particularly in specific matters like Zimmerman). That said, this discussion brings up my full perspective–in case you haven’t read it enough already…

    Dale Benjamin Drakeford
    July 19, 2013

    With the much admired viewpoints of astute, prudent and just Stanley Crouch (New York Daily News, p. 26, 7-15-13) in tow and his conclusion notwithstanding to the contrary, from all that we have read, heard and reviewed over and over in the Zimmerman case and verdict, we can conclude beyond a shadow of a doubt that power prejudice is alive and well in America. “Race is a myth,” the learned and researched (see Ashley Montagu) John L. Hodge has instructed, but racism is a state of mind and prejudice a way of life. We see it exploited on Big Brother (ironically by a Zimmerman!) and in memoirs that play out as current events (see David Dinkins). The recorded words of George Zimmerman, “That kind always gets away with it,” and the documented jury responses, such as “We felt sorry for him,” (meaning George not Trayvon) for how they came to their decision (New York Times, p. A12, 7-16-13) clearly shows this. We agree with Crouch that Zimmerman “should have been convicted,” but should has never been a priority in America. Zimmerman is about power prejudice against a certain polarized “race” and this does not always necessitate racism. The case represents the insidious way prejudice can be played out with a mandate and reward. Who is disproportionately killed in America? Who is disproportionately imprisoned in America? Who is disproportionately contraeducated in America? While it is easy to claim things are generally better, the answers to those questions remain historically consistent with when things were worse. Power prejudice, you see, litters the world and puts an asterisk on the ideals of America.

    So what is the difference between “Power Prejudice” and plain old prejudice? The latter comes to us by nature and the former by nurture—the values we are taught, the behaviors we praise, the social laboratories we support and the personal will we are ready to exert and export. The practitioners of power prejudice are of no particular “Race” or color. They are of a particular horned attitude, perspective and unearned pride. They infect every segment of society and their character trait can invade every act: From chief executives exacting executive privilege (i.e., Andrew Jackson militarizing and policy-making genocide against Native Americans) to your neighbor over-stepping his community responsibility.

    Comes Malala Yousafzai
    Straight shooter midnight

    Michael Benjamin (New York Post, 7-15-13) delivered a daring confessional as a “recovering politician,” writing on “the addiction” of politics (so rightly personified in the characters of Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer our New York targets of the moment). Benjamin writes of the addiction power and I summit that prejudice is an affliction from which America can never retire or cower. We need to be concerned about the emotional addition of voters that would sum Weiner and Spitzer as suitable leaders for the showcase city of planet earth. These political “addicts” are not racist per se it is power prejudice at play to present themselves as all deserving with unlimited opportunities while the rest of us are the pawns on their private chessboard they present as public service. Zimmerman is the legal example of this power prejudice machinery which is far more dangerous than overt racism because it is in that “mask” Benjamin speaks of not under the readily visible hood of the KKK or on the stomach turning tattoos of skinheads. We see it in disguise in the work of numerous entertainers as they small d diva for human rights violating dictators and civil behavior mocking tyrants across the globe and then return to our much maligned nation as the conquering dotting (as in punctuated punctual) and doting (as in lavishly loving) patriotic daughters of the budding republic. We see it at Apple, the company we have made the most valuable in the nation, because it employs business practices abroad where worker rights are a merry myth or futuristic fairytale. Hypocrites are us all (see Isaiah 64:6). We see it on E. 233rd Street in the Bronx where just yesterday an “African-American” woman upon seeing her, perhaps three year old boy (with a pep in his step that can only represent innocent joy for healthy legs) return a thumbs up to a fellow pedestrian (equally happy about his still working senior legs) say “Excuse me. What did I tell you about being friendly?” When this conservatively dressed lady was looked upon for some elaboration, she was non-responsive. She well represented her desired character trait for her son of uncaring and non-participatory with persons perceived to be of no resources or influence, or perhaps as an independent strength operating at a safe distance. Critics will say that I am mixing “Apples and Oranges,” but that is exactly my point. Power prejudice is clever at that, in how it circulates and perpetuates. “Apples and Oranges” are 99% the same but we give them names to identify their structural and aesthetic 1% difference. The character traits of those that engage power prejudice are 99% aligned to those that are racist in their character traits of suspicion, contempt and distain. Such people are not such by “race” but by character. They are diametrically opposed to the character trait of friendliness even when they wholesale it as public servants the way Weiner (the Al Jazeera cash con that patronize Jewish voters) Spitzer (the do as I say not as I do prosecutor of his own kind) and Zimmerman does.

    They endure the bountiful elements of different trees
    And suffer the indignities of the same desperate fall

    From the beginning the Zimmerman case was earmarked as “Open and shut.” The decision at end of day is that the only thing open and shut is that power prejudice is alive and well in America. From the start any reasonable person understood the facts. Any reasonable person understood that Zimmerman was looking for trouble. The very definition of a “Neighborhood Watcher” is a looker for trouble. Any reasonable person understands that Zimmerman found trouble, because human trouble is easy to find even if one has to create it. Any reasonable person understands that Zimmerman called in his suspected found trouble to the professionals and was given instructions to stay put, not follow (or if you want to be reasonably obliging of dangerous Florida law, stand your ground right where you are, not where your suspect or found trouble is). Any reasonable person knows all that has been discovered, uncovered and examined that Zimmerman did not follow the simple professional directions, nor stand his ground, but instead choose to occupy the ground of Trayvon Martin. Any reasonable person knows that Zimmerman followed Martin. Any reasonable person knows that Zimmerman followed Martin with a gun. Any reasonable person knows that based on what was reported from fact, not farfetched possibilities that Zimmerman was the aggressor because Martin didn’t even know Zimmerman existed until Zimmerman placed himself in Martin’s space. Any reasonable person can conclude that when confronted Martin used what was common to both men—the sidewalk. Martin used it for the purpose it was intended for—to walk, and when attacked for self-defense according to defense attorney comment. Any reasonable person understands that self-defense is a natural right for all human beings—even those named Martin–even those of color in America. Any reasonable person is appalled that Zimmerman has the right to self-defense, even when he is the aggressor, but Martin does not when he was the victim. Any reasonable person will imagine, based on the defense attorney comments, that Zimmerman was getting a well-deserved old fashioned whipping for his nosey, trouble-making, confrontational behavior. Any reasonable person will understand that Zimmerman, the frustrated unfulfilled macho man was embarrassed and frightened by his well-deserved whipping and realizing he could not manage man to man (or in this case man to teenager) used not the arms, legs, head and sidewalk available equally to both, but what he and only he possessed—a gun. Any reasonable person will understand that Zimmerman the coward, the whipped, the aggressor, the frustrated unfulfilled man then became a killer. Prejudice is alive and well in America because reason had no position in the jury deliberations because prejudice and reasoning are intellectually at odds. Writes Ekow N. Yankah of Yeshiva University, “I do not have to believe that Mr. Zimmerman is a hate-filled racist to recognize that he probably wouldn’t have noticed Mr. Martin if he had been a casually dressed white teenager,” (New York Times, p. A23, 7-16-13).

    Zimmerman and only Zimmerman had a gun. Zimmerman and only Zimmerman decided to follow a person with that gun. Zimmerman and only Zimmerman ignored professional directions to stand down. Zimmerman and only Zimmerman used “Stand your ground law” to take the common ground of his neighbor. Zimmerman and only Zimmerman fired a gun. Zimmerman and only Zimmerman killed. Any reasonable person understands all of this, but reason does not enter where prejudice rules.

    Zimmerman has declared that he is not a racist. Any reasonable person understands that racists often fail to reason or apply that character trait to themselves because fair reasoning is not a capacity the racist is gifted. The jury is making the same claim. I propose we accept their claim. Their transactions however, cannot dismiss they are trans-actors of power prejudice. The jury has declared, based on their verdict, that the prosecution did not make their case. Any reasonable person without prejudice understands that there was no case to make. Zimmerman had the gun. Zimmerman followed Martin. Zimmerman was looking for trouble. Zimmerman found trouble. Zimmerman fired the gun. Zimmerman killed Martin. On these facts, undisputed and unchallenged by either side, we have the case, all else is legal mumbo jumbo and prejudicial content designed to cloud or embellish the facts. None of it has anything to do with reason and all to do with manipulation of prejudicial process. The jury has determined that even in an open and shut case, the laws of Florida are best served for a partial segment of their society. Power prejudice is alive and well in America.

    The NAACP is aware that power prejudice is alive and well in America. President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous in his appeal letters focus on how pontiffs are attacking the familiar positive terms, “Entitlement” and “Voter’s Rights” as if they are dirty word gifts to the disempowered. This is a trend many have noted for “Social Security” as the power prejudice pontiffs try to reclassify what people have earned. One of my favorite charities, The Southern Poverty Law Center (actively aiding the powerless illegal immigrant, Cirila Baltazar Cruz, who had her new born given to a Mississippi couple) knows power prejudice is alive and well in America. They are also currently soliciting funds for their ongoing legal work to combat bias, hate, racism and prejudice based on the Zimmerman verdict. Steve Wonder knows that power prejudice is alive and well in America and has decided he would not perform in any state supporting the “Stand Your Ground” law that obviously has unequal treatment based on “race.” I do not have his clout, but have already decided to do the same. No knowing visit or nickel spent in any state where I will not enjoy common ground (but we are not naïve for the entangling alliances of the 1% via mutual funds, bank take-overs, inter-state business and stocks makes my goal near impossible to reach). The is aware that power prejudice is alive and well in America because it is circulating a petition for federal prosecution of Zimmerman. I have already added my name to their petition and six others (i.e., calling for the same thing. Zimmerman may not be a conscious racist but the sum of his actions reasonably define what he definitely is: a looker for trouble, a trouble-maker, a gun carrier, a poor taker of orders, and a killer.
    is a cesspool of contradictions: “Baseball Apple Pie and Chevrolet”
    War to conquer destroy charity privacy and share everything everyone say

    Gamble on your pharmaceuticals to gun tote pray and fink
    Borrow educate tithe and service until opposites link

    Steroids aluminum bats obesity additives sugar sincerity faze out
    Mechanical appendages fitness gluttony silicone fake hair (nails, eyes…) faze in
    Aside the clown’s grimace and the snake’s grin

    America is a Ponzi scheme in a plagiarized oligarchic garden
    Where dreams are created and demi-republics nightmares are forgotten

    America is matrimonial one man one woman same sex polygamy
    In a multi-ringed endowed circus of multi-themed DNA tested paternity:
    May good citizens keep her and protect her in her caducous caduceus grief and relief

    In effect, the jury has determined that Zimmerman has the right to remove a gun from his home, conceal it on his person, bring it into his car, walk the community with it in search of an opportunity to stand his ground even on common ground even on common ground already occupied; and Martin did not have the same right. America is a cesspool of contradictions where “race” is a myth only in textbooks read by few and racism is practiced law and prejudice is attitudinal daily mass reality. The Zimmerman case proves once again that America is convicted but not converted (see Galatians 2:20, Acts 3:19). She finally agrees to admit a handful of elite women to the master’s club in Augustus, but there is a nation full of women waiting for pay parity and to enjoy equal gender parody with men. America will give a congressional audience to one brave Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head because she wanted to learn in her prejudiced homeland, but America will not abandon her guns or history of mis and diseducation in public institutions she now barters to private interests to the detriment mostly of children of color. America will advocate full disclosure and independence but will hunt to the ends of the earth champions of the same as traitors (i.e., Snowden in the current headlights and headlines) and banish those of independent thought (i.e., Pete Rose) and with malice if they are of color (i.e., Barry Bonds). America will claim first pew, but is unable to keep the simplest of scripture demands: Keep holy the Sabbath (see Exodus 20:8) but in fairness part of this is the ongoing argument as to when and who determines the Sabbath day depending on what scripture you choose to align with while America aligns with whatever makes money for a few while the masses (mostly of color) is taught to spend on cosmetics, drugs, sneakers and cars they neither need nor should afford. America will preach far and wide that she is a democracy (and I have often agreed with the prefix qualifiers of deviant, capitalistic and elitist) but more and more the oligarchy of the 1% is showing its mighty horns in every walk of life and every footstone of death. From Anthony Weiner to Eliot Spitzer, from Bob Filner (all of whom enjoy their abuse with the people’s consent) to David Petraeus (over whom I am glad to report a victory for we have won revocation of his celebrity contract at CUNY) the power and force of the 1% to coerce, trick, bribe and manipulate the facts and morality of the 99% on the threshold of decency is evident in 99% of the tabloids, films, books, research papers, institutions of higher learning, houses of worship and life experiences. It is not surprising then that the “Two Horned Beast” spoken of in Revelations is for some (see A. Jan Marcussen) the United States of America. It is not surprising then that jury members (made up of a particularly curious six women, reportedly “five white and one Hispanic” in our world where “race” is a proven genetic myth) from the Zimmerman case are already vetting book offers. Any reasonable person will understand that a book can sell better when it has a better story or a better name (i.e., Rowling over the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, or Not Guilty When Guilty over Guilty When Guilty). The revelation that a hooded teenager walking to his “guest” residence or “father’s” residence with a treat can be stalked, hunted and slain legally in this nation certainly lends credibility to the assessment of “the two horned beast” especially as we wallow in the mischief of book vetting, government backed legalized gambling and the internet chatter that Zimmerman has the Satan gift of a Lotto win. This might just be entertainment, for as Bill O’Reilly has pointed out on his entertainment show there is a lot of celebrity nonsense being fabricated from this verdict and a lot of money generated. Made up tales only add to the marketing for real money being made, but power prejudice is not entertaining.

    Various editorials point out that the “Stand Your Ground” law was not highlighted in the Zimmerman case, but any reasonable person knows it was in the courtroom and it is on the Florida books. Power prejudice editorials slant the Zimmerman case to the perceived possible circumstances as opposed to the facts, to the political discredit of fair trial based on innocence until proven guilty and only further prove the extent of prejudicial mindsets in America. One suggested that Zimmerman would be found guilty only because he is white. Another went to great lengths to bring up the Martin’s youthful misadventures. Most tried to paint a reenactment of the events of the killing to emphasize the “burglaries of recent times in the complex.” The scenario of the imagined circumstances placed in the law of not needing to retreat blemishes these editorials with the lack of bias that would conclude that Martin stood his ground and as per Florida law suffered wrongful death. These editorials do not conclude that however, instead they conclude that only Zimmerman has the right to stand his ground even when he was the one to come to it last. Such editorials point up the law and the prosecutorial details “of reaching too high” instead of focusing on just Zimmerman as killer, as a cloud over first bad law and second facts that trump bad law for any reasonable, non-prejudiced, thinker: Zimmerman and only Zimmerman initiated, maintained and forced contact. Zimmerman and only Zimmerman became a killer. Martin and only Martin died.

    The New York Post is an ongoing example of a tabloid featuring biased editorials. As late as today, in The Other Martin Case the tabloid perfectly positions its power prejudice against a federal prosecution of Zimmerman when it declares what Martin should be ignored (as in Trayvon) and what Martin should be paid attention to (as in the antiquated 1921 law). Rightly, the editorial reports how the sinner Spitzer used the law to “abuse “ but fails to point out that Zimmerman used his favorite law to do the same thing. In this act, the paper writes, “an attorney general doesn’t have to prove that his target intended fraud or in fact defrauded anyone,” (P. 28) Did Zimmerman have to prove that Tayvon Martin defrauded anyone? Has he proved that at this late date? Rich Lowry writes, “If Martin hadn’t hit Zimmerman he’d almost certainly be alive today,” (p.26) but he does not write, if only Zimmerman had stayed home, if only Zimmerman had stayed in his car, if only Zimmerman had not bought a gun, if only Zimmerman had been a straight shooter of words instead of bullets, if only Zimmerman had not been born, if only purple pigs could ponder truth. If only Lowry could confess how wickedly selective and discriminating power prejudice is.

    With Charles Krauthammer of the Dailey News (p. 29) Lowry shares the “tragedy” word to invoke sympathy for Zimmerman and deter the moving forward of federal charges. This overused word is often misused for impure purposes. Krauthammer writes directly to the point, “Attempts to make this a hate crime are irresponsible,” but he does not allow the possibility that it would be responsible to consider it a crime of power prejudice, as in Zimmerman assumes he has the power of vigilantism. Lowry mixes in “Stop and Frisk” New York law to confuse further. Here the pontiffs definitely mix contrary baskets of fruit; and character traits where one law is citizen contrived self-defense to legalize killing and the other is professional officer occasionally misapplied profiling. Here I can speak personally having been stopped seven times to date. Three of those times I was put in handcuffs. The difference is this (as we seek not to mix “Apples and Oranges”) in each New York case we are talking of police using the law and in Zimmerman we are talking about a private citizen misusing it or using bad law. As a victim of “Stop and Frisk” I must say I never felt stalked or hunted as Martin was. I was certainly profiled, and my pessimistic side takes dislike to that, but my optimistic side recognizes that profiling can also be part of good detective work (whether I like it or not). For Lowry and his power prejudice crew to bring two very different laws into the same discussion only further proves disingenuous motives. Are Lowry and Krauthammer mixing “Apples and oranges” in their quest to mobilize their power prejudice agenda? Is Zimmerman moving this forward as his attorney’s dares a civil suit for “We may file one of our own.” In taking the offensive the power prejudice clan demonstrates how collusion clever they are and how dauntingly difficult they are to defeat. We can put those writers in the same fruit basket as I and all others named in this piece and we are left with each grubbing to leapfrog out to one of greater power. I wonder now if Lowry and Krauthammer, those stalwarts of the OpEd literary club, will relieve their conscience at the height of their clout as Benjamin did. We have already established that Zimmerman is not.

    I continue to coin yet another phrase: Chicks of the same hen will seek to grub the same worms. If the PPP’s (not Pocket Poem Pedagogues or Peace Practitioner Poets such as I, but the Power Prejudice Pontiffs) can mix fruit and Martins so can I. From the bottom of human enterprise (that Bronx lady directing personal strength with unfriendly character) to the middle (elected officials mishandling discretionary funds to bogus non-profits or legitimate non-profits doing bogus work—and be sure to see Crouch of 7-18-13 for a contrary opinion) to the top (the pope rewriting the rules to fetch sainthood for two of his exclusive club) power prejudice litters and corrupts the world. It is far more familiar in current affairs than its racist cousin because it is far less transparent and more easily made credible among a competing percentage of humankind.

    “Race” is a biological myth (see Joseph Graves and Jane Buck) but is ingrained anatomically as a rite of fascination and pagan leftover with magic, luck, unicorns, vampires and werewolves that the human being, to date, cannot separate from in any reasonable and simple manner. Like Stanley Crouch I refuse to put Zimmerman up as “A grand case of racism,” because I do not want the word “grand” associated with him, but Zimmerman is an example of a masterful and despicable demonstration of racism and institutional prejudice for how one law (in practice or in mind) can perform (directly and indirectly) differently for different people.

    As we approach the 50th Anniversary of the famous Civil Rights March on Washington led by icons such as A. Phillip Randolph, we are inspired to promote another national day of mourning for another Martin. The dream of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has not been realized. There remain two standards, unequal and exclusionary, partial and sick with favoritism. Any reasonable person may conclude, as our much appreciated Stanley Crouch has, that George Zimmerman is not a racist, but that same reasonable person may also conclude that he is a recipient of and has benefited from racism. The masses are in compliance, some knowingly and some cloaked in the mischief of the devil, but power prejudice is alive and well in America.

    In the following excerpt (for it will not be done until I draw my last breath) of my long poem inspired by Peter’s criticism of Paul’s hard to understand letters, I only partially confess my guilty conscience and knowing mine well, I must confess further that I can only imagine the bleak blackness of mind and heart that embodies killers or those that excuse them.
    Convicted but not converted.
    Confronted but not conquered.
    Convinced but not confirmed.
    Condemned but not contracted.
    Contained but not constricted.
    Conflicted but not confused.
    I litter the world with learned lice lining my loins with lucifer lien
    On lessons loss and license to luminesce laundered, leveraged, looted.
    From the bees hiving my attic to the spiders webbing my basement
    My temple is full with searching snails
    Blessed with the joy that overflows the lab of my thriving toilet bowl
    The nature that gently grows from inchworm to footstone
    Cornerstone the patience that crows the withered soldier
    The King of Calamity
    The Crown Jewel of Glory
    Silencing the foes of torture tested truth.
    The love born in agony manifest for wanting inquiry frowns with eternal hunger and thirst
    The challenge to guide that stumbling one year old tricked by cracked sidewalk
    And devious design to step higher next time
    As prophet-preacher-teacher-savior I am the worst of the worst
    But as warmonger, whoremaster, pretender and cheat
    I am champion: woe the likes of I to ever meet me.
    “Eloi, Eloi lama sabachthani?”
    But it is not me that has been forsaken
    It is I that must earn my way to being forgiven
    Only the most highly human seeking the most highly divine is destined to make such a plea
    It is for me to know, myself to study and humble I to agree.
    This I tempts and is tempted
    The tempest that thumps my wicked ways muscles my horny heart
    Powerless to secede the lecherous legacy of larceny and avarice.
    I is the most impious person I will ever personally know
    Living in lush green with heavenly dashes of blue-violet-orange-yellow-red-pink
    The saved takes delight in that being more than plenty on which to magnify and think
    Communing at will with the gorgeous gall and gales of the Katydid and structured stash of the Squash Bug.
    I will misapply the simplest of instructions
    “The likeness will have dominion…”
    The interpretation of the translation of the deliberate slug
    To abuse for therapy
    To breed for contempt
    To digest for destruction and re-write for opinion
    Masking the wonderful lonely wandering for everlasting salvation
    As holy chalice filled with unholy libation
    By following with fault absent of pride
    The best of Almighty Lord creation.
    I Letter to the world
    The help I require begs in the rot of my gut
    Lives in my sitting room as peace personified
    Am sinner that broke all the God-Given Commandments and best of all the soul to spirit lied
    I am happy beyond words for nature’s mystery and contemplation for unnatural invention
    I wallow in glee to no path with the living for when I was conceived I surely died.

    “Race” is hard talk. Racism is even harder talk. Hardest of all talk is power prejudice because it is deviously developed, enveloped into the environs of our daily lives and capsuled in the collective capitals of our culture. Still, we must not retreat from shouting it out. Those of us that do not want to believe that America is the “two-honed beast” must do something to stem her march towards prophecy. Start by looking closely at the small things that loom large and the guilty things that present as innocent. In the Zimmerman case, we must start with reminding the federal government that this is not the time to drop national right over state wrong. Now is a time to note where prophecy rests, in part, with the size of the power prejudice teammates versus the might of those that will contest them.

    I am guilty of mixing my poetry and prose. They are 99% the same. They are both of the same language tree seeking to plant ideas and grow communication. They are both vehicles for self-expression for the public review. They both welcome you with peace, care and hope.


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