from West Coast Greens
It’s not like we didn’t see it coming a mile away. Yet the verdict is in, and here we are, silent and shocked. Yes we’re outraged, yes we weep. But there will be more outrages, they never end. Our tears will dry. And then what?
As Greens, we are used to being powerless. Somehow, though, that is especially painful on this bloody morning after. Yes, we saw it coming, but what could we have done? More pertinent, what can we do now? Green or not Green, what can any of do now?
Should we protest? Of course, not because these protests will change anything, but because sometimes such a statement of solidarity is part of our being human. We know that these protests will become part of the kabuki dance that the media stages, Act 1: the Outrage; Act 2: the Protest; Act 3: the politicians move in. And then all is silence. Our protest is absorbed, used to reaffirm that this is still a free country, even if Black youth cannot walk the streets after dark without being murdered. Our protest is absorbed not because we are fools or dupes, but because we are weak.
We can give as good a cheerleading speech as anybody, that the people united can never be defeated, or more emphatically, THE PEOPLE UNITED CAN NEVER BE DEFEATED! Masses gonna rise up this time, no, they really are. But perhaps it would be better that we embrace our weakness, for it is there that we can find what strength we actually have.
That’s hard work. Self-proclaimed revolutionaries spout, “Trayvon Martin’s death was the result of an imperialist system of colonialism that must be overthrown.” We would agree. But in making it so huge, it becomes untouchable, and the result is that all is silence.
The self-proclaimed realists argue that we have to think small, very small. What can we attain in actual legislation, how can we align ourselves with moderately liberal politicians who play their own kabuki game to keep the reasonable left off the streets and out of trouble? They’re like the barroom drunk who can’t wait to start throwing punches, but he counts on his friends (in this case the Republicans) to hold him back. “I’ll get him next time, oh yes I will.”
Where are the Greens in all this? We are independent in both name and in fact. That gives us a shot at breaking out of the official script.
Which brings up the question of Stand Your Ground. Bills which would effectively negate Stand Your Ground have been introduced into the Florida state legislature by State Senator Bullard Dwight (Senate Bill 362) and State Representative Bruce Antone (House Bill 331). Of course, Dwight and Antone are liberal Democrats, and we in the Green Party are not liberal Democrats. But as New York Knicks fan Spike Lee once put it, sometimes you have to “Do the Right Thing”!
These bills have stalled in the legislature, ostensibly because it is known that the Republicans will stop them cold. Governor Rick Scott’s commission set up to review Stand Your Ground has recommended that they stand pat. Perhaps there will be a renewed groundswell for these bills and others like them. Will they stall out as “more realistic” Democrats sandbag them, citing Republican recalcitrance? Who knows? Who cares?
The Green Party can field candidates for the legislature, in part, on the basis of supporting repeal of Stand Your Ground. With half the seats going uncontested by either a Republican or a Democrat (see below), they are a point where the Green Party can have some impact, a crack in the system, as it were. Where the Green Party can grow like a bright young weed poking up from a crack in the sidewalk.
For now, we weep as the Black community weeps, and as the neo-nazis and the Aryan nationalists and the Klan celebrate and drink themselves sick. Tomorrow is another day. For now, let us reflect first on the Twittered words of Trayvon’s mother Sybrina Fulton:
“Lord during my darkest hour I lean on you. You are all that I have. At the end of the day, GOD is still in control. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I will love you forever Trayvon!!! In the name of Jesus!!”
and his father Tracy Martin:
“God blessed Me & Sybrina with Tray and even in his death I know my baby proud of the FIGHT we along with all of you put up for him GOD BLESS. Thanks to everyone who are with us and who will be with us [so] we together can make sure that this doesn’t happen again. Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY”
and then the final verse of Bob Dylan’s “Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”:
In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
To show that all’s equal and that the courts are on the level
And that the strings in the books ain’t pulled and persuaded
And that even the nobles get properly handled
Once that the cops have chased after and caught ’em
And that ladder of law has no top and no bottom
Stared at the person who killed for no reason
Who just happened to be feelin’ that way without warnin’
And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished
And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance
William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence
Oh, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now’s the time for your tears.