I knew the question or some version of the question was coming: “Do you think there will be riots if there is an acquittal?” I wanted to ask, “Do you think there will be riots if there is NOT an acquittal?” But I stuck to the original question.
Here’s my answer: No, not at all, especially not in Sanford. There have been nothing but peaceful rallies in Sanford, walks throughout the state of Florida and even the country, mainly calling for the arrest and charges against George Zimmerman. That happened. Now people are hoping and praying for fairness in this trial and justice in the outcome.
No one’s going to riot, tear up their stuff, harm anyone else – unless they want to go to jail or get themselves harmed or killed. People are not scared, though.
Still, I think folk will come together as neighbors to get certain laws changed or repealed and to make sure ALL children are protected and provided for.
Let me just say this: It’s not just the responsibility of the African-American community (people) to take care of their own just like it’s not just the responsibility of the White or Hispanic community (people) to take care of their own. We are responsible for our neighbors, for each other, as members of one race – the human race.
Anyway, the rallying in Sanford was never about a Black or White thing…It was and will always be about the RIGHT THING. Unfortunately, some people in our political and judicial system have let their position dictate how they respond to this case to protect their position / power, not to get to the truth and what’s right (justice).
Before getting angry and doing something we may regret later, we have to stop and think.
Let me clear some things up.
First, there’s a big difference between riots and protests. Riots are uprisings or disturbances. Rallies and protests are synonymous. They are demonstrations or marches.
Second, people typically rally for a purpose, just like the early rallies in Sanford which resulted in Florida Gov. Rick Scott appointing a special prosecutor to The Trayvon Martin Case and eventually that special prosecutor charging Zimmerman with second degree murder.
Third, no one knows for sure how this case will turn out. No matter the verdict in this case, we ALL have to live with it and do our part to make our communities better.
Do something good in honor of Trayvon Martin and his family – something to save our children one by one, whether by tutoring them in reading, mentoring those who may not have a father figure at home and/or donating time and money to youth programs especially those available for the summer.
© Orlando Community News, 2013