Last night I was shocked to hear that Zimmerman went free. I don’t get it.
I am discouraged, and question how much conscience has left some of our fellow Americans.
…but clearly not all.
And once again I feel our country is divided. Facebook posts making jokes about not going out today in fear of getting jumped by angry black people…how good the justice system is. Black and white statements (pun intended) like – “He was tried and set free and that’s that.”
Feeling a bit lost for words, I heard a beautiful sad melody this morning that I did not recognize, though I easily recognized the voice.
As I listened, and watched the video, I started to cry, but my heart was full of love for those of us who care. And it also makes me proud to be a musician. This song is, in a word – brilliant.
Please watch this song/video “Stand Your Ground” by Arlan Feiles.
(On a side note – I am sad that The Recording Academy put in committees to take the democracy away from independent musicians…like Arlan. I would have loved to see him submit to Americana this year, and have the members decide, rather than a group of “I know betters”.)
Continuing my frustration with injustice, I’d like to share one more story I just read from a friend of mine, Thomas Hutchings. He grew up in the burbs of Idaho. He is biracial. And a wonderful musician. (Another side note. We will be performing together in Boise on August 3rd.)
This was part of his post this morning on facebook:
Ellison’s Invisible Man came to mind after finding out the Zimmerman verdict this morning.
“I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids — and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination — indeed, everything and anything except me.” – Ralph Ellison
There’s a lot of racial anger out there that I think can be overcome with some intelligent civil discourse, so lets focus on that positive conversation.
After years of being called by racial slurs, followed around by security in stores and surprisingly seeing women clutch their belongings for dear life sometimes when I step onto an elevator, Ralph Ellison’s words still hold true 60 years later. I feel so sad and disappointed that anyone with teenage boys my complexion or darker has to now be even more concerned and vigilant for their safety.
My Dad used to always make sure me and my brothers were home before sundown and I hated it. Looking back I always thought it was ridiculous in such a small town, but now I understand he was trying his best to keep us safe; Even if it meant he had to kick our asses to protect us from something we couldn’t understand at the time out of love.
Thomas is one of the kindest gentlest souls I have ever met….I wonder what Treyvon would have grown up to be?