Trayvon Martin: The Hood’s Perspective
On July 14th, 2013, a rally for 17 year old Trayvon Martin took place in Downtown Oakland following the “not guilty” verdict of George Zimmerman. Trayvon Martin was murdered by George Zimmerman after Trayvon was followed on his way home and confronted, which ultimately ended his life.
After the rally, the congregation led a march from 14th & Broadway (which is now dubbed “UpTown”), through the bottoms of West Oakland, and back around to the comfort of UpTown Oakland. Close to the same route Occupy Oakland took aside from the destination of The Port of Oakland.
The march’s purpose was to “take the movement where it needed to be the most,” yelled one speaker. Signs in hand, the group moved in unison towards West Oakland in the hopes of adding onto their group. Once we arrived in West Oakland, we were met with the usual spectatorship in response to irregular occurrence in your neighborhood—Eyes. “Justice for Trayvon!” the march yelled. “Yeah!” the residents responded. Cars honked in agreement.
As i watch these people i’ve never seen before nor heard of speak on social justice for black people (many not from Oakland), i was astounded by the diversity in the collective that claimed to be for social equality. I couldn’t help but wonder what these people do when schools are closing and during other local problems that impact us directly and potentially. Do you hear about them? Do you even live here? What about the future?
"We are all Trayvon Martin!" the crowd chanted. I couldn’t disagree more. There are Trayvon Martin’s regularly in the black community and specifically in Oakland, Ca. These are not only black on black crimes, but PoC in general. These are direct social issues. The impact of the Trayvon Martin was great, but it’s concern derives from the political prowess and audacity of gov’t to be
racistprejudice towards PoC—which we’ve had to put up with since we’ve been in this country.
What we all are, are seasonal activists when a tragedy with as much media representation as the George Zimmerman trial has risen. The energy given to these protests needs to go towards directly impacting the people whom they claimed to be marching for. A march through their neighborhood will not bring equality on a social level. A march through their neighborhood will not keep schools open nor bring a decent education to the children. Read to them, teach them, help them. “We need help at the community garden.” One man said at the end of the march, speaking to the now smaller congregation in the middle of 14th & Broadway, with which received no response from the crowd.