Zimmerman’s Freedom and the Charges Against Me

July 22, 2013
By

 

The political nature of my charges cannot be over-stated here. To give human rights to a mechanical entity constructed solely for the sake of profit and exploitation is a perversion of those rights and what it means to be a human being.

In Florida, a white man walks for the obvious murder of a black boy. That young boy, that black child, wasn’t even given the rights of a dog. When the verdict was announced, black people across America rise up to protest our non-citizen status. What could be called a riot ensues. A handful of people are arrested with charges of felony vandalism. I am one of those defendants.

When Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin he wasn’t even arrested. When a window was broken in Oakland, I was viciously slammed to the ground, causing injury to my legs, arms, and head. Even though I’m fighting cancer– and the disgusting conditions of the Santa Rita County jail are not conducive to healing — on top of being significantly injured by Oakland Police Officers, I was not allowed to be released on my own recognizance.

A window is made of sand and can be replicated exactly. A rectangle window, of the dimensions I am being charged with breaking, doesn’t need to be replicated because the manufacturer keeps spare windows around for replacement. The United States justice system considers this a serious crime warranting felony charges.

Trayvon Martin was a human being. There will only ever be one of him, and we have lost him and the joy he brought to this world forever. A human life is priceless because it can never be replaced.

Trayvon Martin could realistically have grown to be a political leader who would bring peace to warring nations. He could have grown up to cure AIDS, Cancer, or Diabetes. We know this to be realistic because the brother was a high achiever in school, earning a 3.7 GPA. He could have developed some new treatment for drug addictions. The point I’m trying to make is, aside from being the pride and joy of his family and community, he could have made the world a better place for all of us. He could have stopped wars, cured diseases, and gotten people off of drugs. At this point we will never know what we have lost, aside from the fact that he was a beautiful young black boy who was loved and cherished. His murderer was given freedom and even got his murder weapon back that, god forbid, he may murder another child with. This is the impotency of the US justice system, incapable of treating black people as human beings. By the same token, in Oakland, California, a place considered to have some of the strongest enforcement of civil/human rights, we are charged as felons, a charge that could land us in a penitentiary, for a display window that was broken with no injuries to any human beings.

While America is incapable of enforcing the rights of Trayvon Martin, a human child with a 3.7 GPA, corporations have been legally recognized as human beings and are being protected with the full extent of the law. I’d like to see the California ID that was issued to Men’s Warehouse.

With the handling of my case and the endangerment to my vulnerable cancer-ridden body, combined with the acquittal of Zimmerman, it would appear that the US justice system has no value for human life, or, even more troubling, it has no value for black life. While Obama gives a televised speech on the oppression of black boys/men, I am being railroaded for a broken window. I am the black life that he claims we need to have a higher value for. While my own plight is troubling as it is, the idea that we are setting a new precedent of violence against black men and boys is terrifying when I think of the kindergarteners in Martin Luther King elementary school in West Oakland and the infants in Highland hospital (the Alameda county hospital where poor people go). I write this with teary eyes because, as a grown man, I understand what I’m facing, but how do we prepare children to face specific and targeted genocide against them?

shakur, hannibal - HEADSHOT

 —————————————————-

 

Hannibal Shakur is a community organizer in Oakland, California. Born and raised in Richmond, California, he is one of several people arrested in the protests against Trayvon Martin’s still-unpunished killing. Please come out to support Hannibal and another comrade on Tuesday, July 23, 9AM at Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland, Dept 115. (Childcare and snacks will be available!) See Facebook page here. You can donate to Hannibal’s legal fund here. And you can read Hannibal’s piece, The Incomprehensible Black Anarchist Position, here.

Tags: , , , ,

38 Responses to Zimmerman’s Freedom and the Charges Against Me

  1. Ooishi on July 23, 2013 at 1:51 am

    Viva Hannibal!

  2. Ooishi on July 23, 2013 at 1:51 am

    Viva Hannibal!

  3. Ooishi on July 23, 2013 at 1:51 am

    Viva Hannibal!

  4. Ooishi on July 23, 2013 at 1:51 am

    Viva Hannibal!

  5. Ooishi on July 23, 2013 at 2:46 am

    Help his family pay for his legal funds here!
    https://www.wepay.com/donations/101419068

  6. Ooishi on July 23, 2013 at 2:46 am

    Help his family pay for his legal funds here!
    https://www.wepay.com/donations/101419068

  7. Ooishi on July 23, 2013 at 2:46 am

    Help his family pay for his legal funds here!
    https://www.wepay.com/donations/101419068

  8. Ooishi on July 23, 2013 at 2:46 am

    Help his family pay for his legal funds here!
    https://www.wepay.com/donations/101419068

  9. Zac on July 23, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Terrible article. I’m a Trayvon supporter and do believe that Zimmerman should be incarcerated for manslaughter. However, that has nothing to do with the fact that you’re going around smashing in store windows and acting like a jackass. MLK would be proud.

    • The Great Griffito on July 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      Ah yes, the old “all black people must live up to the expectations of MLK.” Whenever I see a white person commit any minor crime, the first thing I think is, “way to live up to Mister Rogers.” What an embarrassment to the progress of white people everywhere…

      Smoke bomb, Griffito out.

  10. Zac on July 23, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Terrible article. I’m a Trayvon supporter and do believe that Zimmerman should be incarcerated for manslaughter. However, that has nothing to do with the fact that you’re going around smashing in store windows and acting like a jackass. MLK would be proud.

  11. Zac on July 23, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Terrible article. I’m a Trayvon supporter and do believe that Zimmerman should be incarcerated for manslaughter. However, that has nothing to do with the fact that you’re going around smashing in store windows and acting like a jackass. MLK would be proud.

  12. Zac on July 23, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Terrible article. I’m a Trayvon supporter and do believe that Zimmerman should be incarcerated for manslaughter. However, that has nothing to do with the fact that you’re going around smashing in store windows and acting like a jackass. MLK would be proud.

  13. TyBone on July 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    You say: “When a window was broken in Oakland” and detail how you were victimized. But you haven’t said that you were innocent of breaking the window? Seems like a pretty major thing to not mention.

  14. TyBone on July 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    You say: “When a window was broken in Oakland” and detail how you were victimized. But you haven’t said that you were innocent of breaking the window? Seems like a pretty major thing to not mention.

  15. TyBone on July 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    You say: “When a window was broken in Oakland” and detail how you were victimized. But you haven’t said that you were innocent of breaking the window? Seems like a pretty major thing to not mention.

  16. TyBone on July 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    You say: “When a window was broken in Oakland” and detail how you were victimized. But you haven’t said that you were innocent of breaking the window? Seems like a pretty major thing to not mention.

  17. Caleb Powell on July 24, 2013 at 10:29 am

    This is a very poorly articulated rant, Hannibal.

    You write: “In Florida, a white man walks for the obvious murder of a black boy.”

    No one agrees except the fringe. You are so mad because of Martin that this gives you the right to commit vandalism? And then you blame the cops? Where’s your moral compass?

    Yes, a case can be made that at the very least, Zimmerman should have gotten manslaughter. Race DID play a part, but your refusal to examine both sides is puzzling. Yes, the right wing deserves harsh criticism, they advocate only for Zimmerman, but that doesn’t mean the left should parallel the flaws of the right. Yes, Marissa Alexander should not be serving 20, but she left the scene, got a weapon, and returned, and that’s why she was convicted. But the left omits this detail. But you assume Trayvon had a 3.7 GPA (a proven hoax), this makes you seem gullible and biased. You assume the jurors absolved Zimmerman because the jurors were racist. This is complete bullshit, a simplification, and lazy. Even though an eyewitness put Martin on top of Zimmerman (The witness said that it was dark, but the person wearing black was on top of the person wearing red), you assume this does not matter. Just like Zimmerman’s cuts and broken nose don’t matter a damn, but they should. The left doesn’t care that Martin called Zimmerman a “cracker,” as the left goes after Zimmerman’s past but continues to post pictures of Martin as a 12-year-old. These items reek of subjective journalism. Zimmerman started the incident, he should account for wrongful death and manslaughter. Final word, the left should concentrate on disproportionate death penalty sentences for minorities, economic disparities, and real examples instead of trying to insert hyperbole and reverse racism into the argument. And the argument that Zimmerman walked because whites are racist is a statement of moral superiority, and classifies as a counter racist accusation.

    If you fight prejudice…don’t be prejudice. as a lifelong liberal, (pro-choice, anti- death penalty, secular, gay friendly, higher taxes for social programs, pro social health care, affirmative action ok, etc.), I find myself increasingly disappointed in the preachy, judgmental tone of the articles like this (which is one of the reasons why I have never been right wing). Try to convince someone who doesn’t share your blind outrage, write to the right-wing but open minded person. That’s all.

    • The Great Griffito on July 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      I bet you’re a real fun, easygoing guy to hang out with at parties.

  18. Caleb Powell on July 24, 2013 at 10:29 am

    This is a very poorly articulated rant, Hannibal.

    You write: “In Florida, a white man walks for the obvious murder of a black boy.”

    No one agrees except the fringe. You are so mad because of Martin that this gives you the right to commit vandalism? And then you blame the cops? Where’s your moral compass?

    Yes, a case can be made that at the very least, Zimmerman should have gotten manslaughter. Race DID play a part, but your refusal to examine both sides is puzzling. Yes, the right wing deserves harsh criticism, they advocate only for Zimmerman, but that doesn’t mean the left should parallel the flaws of the right. Yes, Marissa Alexander should not be serving 20, but she left the scene, got a weapon, and returned, and that’s why she was convicted. But the left omits this detail. But you assume Trayvon had a 3.7 GPA (a proven hoax), this makes you seem gullible and biased. You assume the jurors absolved Zimmerman because the jurors were racist. This is complete bullshit, a simplification, and lazy. Even though an eyewitness put Martin on top of Zimmerman (The witness said that it was dark, but the person wearing black was on top of the person wearing red), you assume this does not matter. Just like Zimmerman’s cuts and broken nose don’t matter a damn, but they should. The left doesn’t care that Martin called Zimmerman a “cracker,” as the left goes after Zimmerman’s past but continues to post pictures of Martin as a 12-year-old. These items reek of subjective journalism. Zimmerman started the incident, he should account for wrongful death and manslaughter. Final word, the left should concentrate on disproportionate death penalty sentences for minorities, economic disparities, and real examples instead of trying to insert hyperbole and reverse racism into the argument. And the argument that Zimmerman walked because whites are racist is a statement of moral superiority, and classifies as a counter racist accusation.

    If you fight prejudice…don’t be prejudice. as a lifelong liberal, (pro-choice, anti- death penalty, secular, gay friendly, higher taxes for social programs, pro social health care, affirmative action ok, etc.), I find myself increasingly disappointed in the preachy, judgmental tone of the articles like this (which is one of the reasons why I have never been right wing). Try to convince someone who doesn’t share your blind outrage, write to the right-wing but open minded person. That’s all.

  19. Caleb Powell on July 24, 2013 at 10:29 am

    This is a very poorly articulated rant, Hannibal.

    You write: “In Florida, a white man walks for the obvious murder of a black boy.”

    No one agrees except the fringe. You are so mad because of Martin that this gives you the right to commit vandalism? And then you blame the cops? Where’s your moral compass?

    Yes, a case can be made that at the very least, Zimmerman should have gotten manslaughter. Race DID play a part, but your refusal to examine both sides is puzzling. Yes, the right wing deserves harsh criticism, they advocate only for Zimmerman, but that doesn’t mean the left should parallel the flaws of the right. Yes, Marissa Alexander should not be serving 20, but she left the scene, got a weapon, and returned, and that’s why she was convicted. But the left omits this detail. But you assume Trayvon had a 3.7 GPA (a proven hoax), this makes you seem gullible and biased. You assume the jurors absolved Zimmerman because the jurors were racist. This is complete bullshit, a simplification, and lazy. Even though an eyewitness put Martin on top of Zimmerman (The witness said that it was dark, but the person wearing black was on top of the person wearing red), you assume this does not matter. Just like Zimmerman’s cuts and broken nose don’t matter a damn, but they should. The left doesn’t care that Martin called Zimmerman a “cracker,” as the left goes after Zimmerman’s past but continues to post pictures of Martin as a 12-year-old. These items reek of subjective journalism. Zimmerman started the incident, he should account for wrongful death and manslaughter. Final word, the left should concentrate on disproportionate death penalty sentences for minorities, economic disparities, and real examples instead of trying to insert hyperbole and reverse racism into the argument. And the argument that Zimmerman walked because whites are racist is a statement of moral superiority, and classifies as a counter racist accusation.

    If you fight prejudice…don’t be prejudice. as a lifelong liberal, (pro-choice, anti- death penalty, secular, gay friendly, higher taxes for social programs, pro social health care, affirmative action ok, etc.), I find myself increasingly disappointed in the preachy, judgmental tone of the articles like this (which is one of the reasons why I have never been right wing). Try to convince someone who doesn’t share your blind outrage, write to the right-wing but open minded person. That’s all.

  20. Caleb Powell on July 24, 2013 at 10:29 am

    This is a very poorly articulated rant, Hannibal.

    You write: “In Florida, a white man walks for the obvious murder of a black boy.”

    No one agrees except the fringe. You are so mad because of Martin that this gives you the right to commit vandalism? And then you blame the cops? Where’s your moral compass?

    Yes, a case can be made that at the very least, Zimmerman should have gotten manslaughter. Race DID play a part, but your refusal to examine both sides is puzzling. Yes, the right wing deserves harsh criticism, they advocate only for Zimmerman, but that doesn’t mean the left should parallel the flaws of the right. Yes, Marissa Alexander should not be serving 20, but she left the scene, got a weapon, and returned, and that’s why she was convicted. But the left omits this detail. But you assume Trayvon had a 3.7 GPA (a proven hoax), this makes you seem gullible and biased. You assume the jurors absolved Zimmerman because the jurors were racist. This is complete bullshit, a simplification, and lazy. Even though an eyewitness put Martin on top of Zimmerman (The witness said that it was dark, but the person wearing black was on top of the person wearing red), you assume this does not matter. Just like Zimmerman’s cuts and broken nose don’t matter a damn, but they should. The left doesn’t care that Martin called Zimmerman a “cracker,” as the left goes after Zimmerman’s past but continues to post pictures of Martin as a 12-year-old. These items reek of subjective journalism. Zimmerman started the incident, he should account for wrongful death and manslaughter. Final word, the left should concentrate on disproportionate death penalty sentences for minorities, economic disparities, and real examples instead of trying to insert hyperbole and reverse racism into the argument. And the argument that Zimmerman walked because whites are racist is a statement of moral superiority, and classifies as a counter racist accusation.

    If you fight prejudice…don’t be prejudice. as a lifelong liberal, (pro-choice, anti- death penalty, secular, gay friendly, higher taxes for social programs, pro social health care, affirmative action ok, etc.), I find myself increasingly disappointed in the preachy, judgmental tone of the articles like this (which is one of the reasons why I have never been right wing). Try to convince someone who doesn’t share your blind outrage, write to the right-wing but open minded person. That’s all.

  21. Omar Ricks on July 25, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Hi, TyBone and Zac. Please consider re-reading the article. Respectfully, I suspect that your readings of the article might be a tad too prejudicial and dismissive to grasp what the author is saying. While some might be assuming Hannibal’s guilt based on a Perry Mason-esque parsing of what is and isn’t being said, the article seems to me to be about something beyond that legalistic framework: the fundamental absurdity of a framework in which a broken window merits immediate and violent arrest while the killing of an unarmed child doesn’t merit an arrest for 45 days. In other words, the very framework you seem to be using is the one Hannibal eviscerates right here. Hence, your readings of the article evince (in the case of Zac) or imply (in the case of TyBone) a kind of faith in the criminal justice system that neither the author nor many readers share. To many people, the legitimacy of the legal framework of guilt or innocence is gone, and the legal system has its own white supremacy and antiblackness to blame. I urge you to consider other frameworks for thinking about how power operates and why the legitimacy of the power that the US criminal justice system wields might presently be under question from so many quarters right now. Thank you for considering this.

  22. Omar Ricks on July 25, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Hi, TyBone and Zac. Please consider re-reading the article. Respectfully, I suspect that your readings of the article might be a tad too prejudicial and dismissive to grasp what the author is saying. While some might be assuming Hannibal’s guilt based on a Perry Mason-esque parsing of what is and isn’t being said, the article seems to me to be about something beyond that legalistic framework: the fundamental absurdity of a framework in which a broken window merits immediate and violent arrest while the killing of an unarmed child doesn’t merit an arrest for 45 days. In other words, the very framework you seem to be using is the one Hannibal eviscerates right here. Hence, your readings of the article evince (in the case of Zac) or imply (in the case of TyBone) a kind of faith in the criminal justice system that neither the author nor many readers share. To many people, the legitimacy of the legal framework of guilt or innocence is gone, and the legal system has its own white supremacy and antiblackness to blame. I urge you to consider other frameworks for thinking about how power operates and why the legitimacy of the power that the US criminal justice system wields might presently be under question from so many quarters right now. Thank you for considering this.

  23. Omar Ricks on July 25, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Hi, TyBone and Zac. Please consider re-reading the article. Respectfully, I suspect that your readings of the article might be a tad too prejudicial and dismissive to grasp what the author is saying. While some might be assuming Hannibal’s guilt based on a Perry Mason-esque parsing of what is and isn’t being said, the article seems to me to be about something beyond that legalistic framework: the fundamental absurdity of a framework in which a broken window merits immediate and violent arrest while the killing of an unarmed child doesn’t merit an arrest for 45 days. In other words, the very framework you seem to be using is the one Hannibal eviscerates right here. Hence, your readings of the article evince (in the case of Zac) or imply (in the case of TyBone) a kind of faith in the criminal justice system that neither the author nor many readers share. To many people, the legitimacy of the legal framework of guilt or innocence is gone, and the legal system has its own white supremacy and antiblackness to blame. I urge you to consider other frameworks for thinking about how power operates and why the legitimacy of the power that the US criminal justice system wields might presently be under question from so many quarters right now. Thank you for considering this.

  24. Omar Ricks on July 25, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Hi, TyBone and Zac. Please consider re-reading the article. Respectfully, I suspect that your readings of the article might be a tad too prejudicial and dismissive to grasp what the author is saying. While some might be assuming Hannibal’s guilt based on a Perry Mason-esque parsing of what is and isn’t being said, the article seems to me to be about something beyond that legalistic framework: the fundamental absurdity of a framework in which a broken window merits immediate and violent arrest while the killing of an unarmed child doesn’t merit an arrest for 45 days. In other words, the very framework you seem to be using is the one Hannibal eviscerates right here. Hence, your readings of the article evince (in the case of Zac) or imply (in the case of TyBone) a kind of faith in the criminal justice system that neither the author nor many readers share. To many people, the legitimacy of the legal framework of guilt or innocence is gone, and the legal system has its own white supremacy and antiblackness to blame. I urge you to consider other frameworks for thinking about how power operates and why the legitimacy of the power that the US criminal justice system wields might presently be under question from so many quarters right now. Thank you for considering this.

  25. Omar Ricks on July 26, 2013 at 4:02 am

    Caleb Powell, you assume Hannibal’s guilt of the crime with which he is charged. Do you, Caleb Powell, have any factual basis whatsoever for this assumption? If not, on what basis are you making this assumption? Seriously. I would like an answer to this question. What, in actual fact, is your basis for that assumption?

  26. Omar Ricks on July 26, 2013 at 4:02 am

    Caleb Powell, you assume Hannibal’s guilt of the crime with which he is charged. Do you, Caleb Powell, have any factual basis whatsoever for this assumption? If not, on what basis are you making this assumption? Seriously. I would like an answer to this question. What, in actual fact, is your basis for that assumption?

  27. Omar Ricks on July 26, 2013 at 4:02 am

    Caleb Powell, you assume Hannibal’s guilt of the crime with which he is charged. Do you, Caleb Powell, have any factual basis whatsoever for this assumption? If not, on what basis are you making this assumption? Seriously. I would like an answer to this question. What, in actual fact, is your basis for that assumption?

  28. Omar Ricks on July 26, 2013 at 4:02 am

    Caleb Powell, you assume Hannibal’s guilt of the crime with which he is charged. Do you, Caleb Powell, have any factual basis whatsoever for this assumption? If not, on what basis are you making this assumption? Seriously. I would like an answer to this question. What, in actual fact, is your basis for that assumption?

  29. Caleb Powell on July 26, 2013 at 9:39 am

    @Omar – I said “party to a group”…in no ways does that “assume Hannibal’s guilt.” Hannibal may not be guilty. Why don’t you challenge me on Trayvon’s “3.7 GPA”? Callenge your narrative about police prejudice. Here’s a story:

    We’re hooping. During a game two guys started fighting. It was broken up, and we kept playing. Ten minutes later we hear that Guy A beat the hell out of Guy B in the locker room, was arrested, and Guy B was cold cocked from behind and lost an earring. Cops come, and they want witnesses to the initial fight. Everyone says they didn’t see it until they come to me. I tell them what I saw, and then I go out and write a report. I come back and ask my friends, who were there, why they made up stories, they said, “You’re not black. You don’t have to worry about getting ID’d and put in the back of the car.” I’ve been playing with some of these guys for 10 years, going to tournaments, Hoopfest in Spokane, on the same men’s league team, poker, watching ball games at bars, but I say, “It’s Seattle in 2013, not Mississippi in 1960.” I suggest prejudice towards police is prejudice, and not fair, but I don’t have their experience. Two guys, same color, started throwing punches. The police wants a statement. We don’t see eye to eye. About a week later I’m with the same crew at a bar watching Miami-San Antonio, and I see Guy A. Guy A is new to the gym, and it turns out Guy A is a felon looking at 10 years for Assault II (disfigurement). He just posted bail after sitting for six days. Guy A tries to tell me I don’t have to testify. I hear “snitches lie in ditches.” That my statement gives motivation for what happened in the locker room. I say I don’t owe anybody, and I’m just going to do what I think is right. To me it’s not about race, it’s about hating the police. To them it’s standing up to the police. Most police are there to protect. And yet. I fear that I may be very wrong and quite right on principle. There’s differences between class and culture. Dialogue about racism has to confront the past, the present, see all sides, and be fair. Racism is thinking one race is inherently superior to another. Recognizing class differences and how demographics slant unfairly is not the same. Is what we assume is racism actually ignorance and class warfare? I’m not sure, but it’s worth investigating. In the end Guy B dropped charges (Guy B had got the best of Guy A at the gym), and that was that. Watching NBA games 6 & 7 with the guys coincided with articles on Trayvon.

    Hannibal’s article needs nuance. It’s full of rage and certainty.

  30. Caleb Powell on July 26, 2013 at 9:39 am

    @Omar – I said “party to a group”…in no ways does that “assume Hannibal’s guilt.” Hannibal may not be guilty. Why don’t you challenge me on Trayvon’s “3.7 GPA”? Callenge your narrative about police prejudice. Here’s a story:

    We’re hooping. During a game two guys started fighting. It was broken up, and we kept playing. Ten minutes later we hear that Guy A beat the hell out of Guy B in the locker room, was arrested, and Guy B was cold cocked from behind and lost an earring. Cops come, and they want witnesses to the initial fight. Everyone says they didn’t see it until they come to me. I tell them what I saw, and then I go out and write a report. I come back and ask my friends, who were there, why they made up stories, they said, “You’re not black. You don’t have to worry about getting ID’d and put in the back of the car.” I’ve been playing with some of these guys for 10 years, going to tournaments, Hoopfest in Spokane, on the same men’s league team, poker, watching ball games at bars, but I say, “It’s Seattle in 2013, not Mississippi in 1960.” I suggest prejudice towards police is prejudice, and not fair, but I don’t have their experience. Two guys, same color, started throwing punches. The police wants a statement. We don’t see eye to eye. About a week later I’m with the same crew at a bar watching Miami-San Antonio, and I see Guy A. Guy A is new to the gym, and it turns out Guy A is a felon looking at 10 years for Assault II (disfigurement). He just posted bail after sitting for six days. Guy A tries to tell me I don’t have to testify. I hear “snitches lie in ditches.” That my statement gives motivation for what happened in the locker room. I say I don’t owe anybody, and I’m just going to do what I think is right. To me it’s not about race, it’s about hating the police. To them it’s standing up to the police. Most police are there to protect. And yet. I fear that I may be very wrong and quite right on principle. There’s differences between class and culture. Dialogue about racism has to confront the past, the present, see all sides, and be fair. Racism is thinking one race is inherently superior to another. Recognizing class differences and how demographics slant unfairly is not the same. Is what we assume is racism actually ignorance and class warfare? I’m not sure, but it’s worth investigating. In the end Guy B dropped charges (Guy B had got the best of Guy A at the gym), and that was that. Watching NBA games 6 & 7 with the guys coincided with articles on Trayvon.

    Hannibal’s article needs nuance. It’s full of rage and certainty.

  31. Caleb Powell on July 26, 2013 at 9:39 am

    @Omar – I said “party to a group”…in no ways does that “assume Hannibal’s guilt.” Hannibal may not be guilty. Why don’t you challenge me on Trayvon’s “3.7 GPA”? Callenge your narrative about police prejudice. Here’s a story:

    We’re hooping. During a game two guys started fighting. It was broken up, and we kept playing. Ten minutes later we hear that Guy A beat the hell out of Guy B in the locker room, was arrested, and Guy B was cold cocked from behind and lost an earring. Cops come, and they want witnesses to the initial fight. Everyone says they didn’t see it until they come to me. I tell them what I saw, and then I go out and write a report. I come back and ask my friends, who were there, why they made up stories, they said, “You’re not black. You don’t have to worry about getting ID’d and put in the back of the car.” I’ve been playing with some of these guys for 10 years, going to tournaments, Hoopfest in Spokane, on the same men’s league team, poker, watching ball games at bars, but I say, “It’s Seattle in 2013, not Mississippi in 1960.” I suggest prejudice towards police is prejudice, and not fair, but I don’t have their experience. Two guys, same color, started throwing punches. The police wants a statement. We don’t see eye to eye. About a week later I’m with the same crew at a bar watching Miami-San Antonio, and I see Guy A. Guy A is new to the gym, and it turns out Guy A is a felon looking at 10 years for Assault II (disfigurement). He just posted bail after sitting for six days. Guy A tries to tell me I don’t have to testify. I hear “snitches lie in ditches.” That my statement gives motivation for what happened in the locker room. I say I don’t owe anybody, and I’m just going to do what I think is right. To me it’s not about race, it’s about hating the police. To them it’s standing up to the police. Most police are there to protect. And yet. I fear that I may be very wrong and quite right on principle. There’s differences between class and culture. Dialogue about racism has to confront the past, the present, see all sides, and be fair. Racism is thinking one race is inherently superior to another. Recognizing class differences and how demographics slant unfairly is not the same. Is what we assume is racism actually ignorance and class warfare? I’m not sure, but it’s worth investigating. In the end Guy B dropped charges (Guy B had got the best of Guy A at the gym), and that was that. Watching NBA games 6 & 7 with the guys coincided with articles on Trayvon.

    Hannibal’s article needs nuance. It’s full of rage and certainty.

  32. Caleb Powell on July 26, 2013 at 9:39 am

    @Omar – I said “party to a group”…in no ways does that “assume Hannibal’s guilt.” Hannibal may not be guilty. Why don’t you challenge me on Trayvon’s “3.7 GPA”? Callenge your narrative about police prejudice. Here’s a story:

    We’re hooping. During a game two guys started fighting. It was broken up, and we kept playing. Ten minutes later we hear that Guy A beat the hell out of Guy B in the locker room, was arrested, and Guy B was cold cocked from behind and lost an earring. Cops come, and they want witnesses to the initial fight. Everyone says they didn’t see it until they come to me. I tell them what I saw, and then I go out and write a report. I come back and ask my friends, who were there, why they made up stories, they said, “You’re not black. You don’t have to worry about getting ID’d and put in the back of the car.” I’ve been playing with some of these guys for 10 years, going to tournaments, Hoopfest in Spokane, on the same men’s league team, poker, watching ball games at bars, but I say, “It’s Seattle in 2013, not Mississippi in 1960.” I suggest prejudice towards police is prejudice, and not fair, but I don’t have their experience. Two guys, same color, started throwing punches. The police wants a statement. We don’t see eye to eye. About a week later I’m with the same crew at a bar watching Miami-San Antonio, and I see Guy A. Guy A is new to the gym, and it turns out Guy A is a felon looking at 10 years for Assault II (disfigurement). He just posted bail after sitting for six days. Guy A tries to tell me I don’t have to testify. I hear “snitches lie in ditches.” That my statement gives motivation for what happened in the locker room. I say I don’t owe anybody, and I’m just going to do what I think is right. To me it’s not about race, it’s about hating the police. To them it’s standing up to the police. Most police are there to protect. And yet. I fear that I may be very wrong and quite right on principle. There’s differences between class and culture. Dialogue about racism has to confront the past, the present, see all sides, and be fair. Racism is thinking one race is inherently superior to another. Recognizing class differences and how demographics slant unfairly is not the same. Is what we assume is racism actually ignorance and class warfare? I’m not sure, but it’s worth investigating. In the end Guy B dropped charges (Guy B had got the best of Guy A at the gym), and that was that. Watching NBA games 6 & 7 with the guys coincided with articles on Trayvon.

    Hannibal’s article needs nuance. It’s full of rage and certainty.

  33. Omar Ricks on July 27, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Hi, Caleb. Your stories are quite beautiful, and they are interesting but in my opinion that is mainly because they show two things: (1) your (and many others’) failure to understand structural racism (separate from personal and cultural prejudices that everyone, including you, has)– and remember, structural racism is something Black people don’t have the power to enact, and (2) that you pathologize Black men and try to displace your issues onto Black men themselves. To you, it is *we* who are prejudiced– and against the police! Those Black men couldn’t possibly, in your story, have any specific and valid reasons of their own to distrust the police. In a sense, this is of a piece with what you wrote earlier. After all, how else could you blame the author for “being party to” vandalism when, as you admitted, you have not access to factual information except what you guess the police said? And this, in relation to an article arguing why we shouldn’t trust the police! How else could you judge the author by the very standards that he critiques? What I really enjoy is how you are somehow *not* prejudiced when you make groundless accusations against the writer of the article. Your liberal position is crumbling beneath the weight of your own fascism. You can’t even adequately critique Hannibal’s argument on its own terms. And now you are starting to sound more like a writing coach (“Hannibal’s article needs nuance”) in service of your personal tastes than a serious interlocutor. This is progress. MAYBE YOU SHOULD TRY LISTENING FIRST instead of instantly labeling Hannibal “party to” vandalism and calling the knowledge produced by his and many other Black people’s experiences biased. Why should the author give a damn about your personal tastes as a writer? He’s making an ethical statement about real shit. And what are *you* doing? Don’t you feel any shame whatsoever, in defending a child murderer? Do you really want to be on record as a liberal (or “former liberal”) apologist for George Zimmerman? And attacking someone who is making an ethical critique not just of Zimmerman but of the entire legal framework that justifies his murdering a boy? I am glad Hannibal is saying something worth saying. Quibble with him about the 3.7 GPA when it matters. Right now, what matters is that the legal system is illegitimate to many Black people. And our supposed friends, the liberals, are too cowardly even to listen to us.

  34. Omar Ricks on July 27, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Hi, Caleb. Your stories are quite beautiful, and they are interesting but in my opinion that is mainly because they show two things: (1) your (and many others’) failure to understand structural racism (separate from personal and cultural prejudices that everyone, including you, has)– and remember, structural racism is something Black people don’t have the power to enact, and (2) that you pathologize Black men and try to displace your issues onto Black men themselves. To you, it is *we* who are prejudiced– and against the police! Those Black men couldn’t possibly, in your story, have any specific and valid reasons of their own to distrust the police. In a sense, this is of a piece with what you wrote earlier. After all, how else could you blame the author for “being party to” vandalism when, as you admitted, you have not access to factual information except what you guess the police said? And this, in relation to an article arguing why we shouldn’t trust the police! How else could you judge the author by the very standards that he critiques? What I really enjoy is how you are somehow *not* prejudiced when you make groundless accusations against the writer of the article. Your liberal position is crumbling beneath the weight of your own fascism. You can’t even adequately critique Hannibal’s argument on its own terms. And now you are starting to sound more like a writing coach (“Hannibal’s article needs nuance”) in service of your personal tastes than a serious interlocutor. This is progress. MAYBE YOU SHOULD TRY LISTENING FIRST instead of instantly labeling Hannibal “party to” vandalism and calling the knowledge produced by his and many other Black people’s experiences biased. Why should the author give a damn about your personal tastes as a writer? He’s making an ethical statement about real shit. And what are *you* doing? Don’t you feel any shame whatsoever, in defending a child murderer? Do you really want to be on record as a liberal (or “former liberal”) apologist for George Zimmerman? And attacking someone who is making an ethical critique not just of Zimmerman but of the entire legal framework that justifies his murdering a boy? I am glad Hannibal is saying something worth saying. Quibble with him about the 3.7 GPA when it matters. Right now, what matters is that the legal system is illegitimate to many Black people. And our supposed friends, the liberals, are too cowardly even to listen to us.

  35. Omar Ricks on July 27, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Hi, Caleb. Your stories are quite beautiful, and they are interesting but in my opinion that is mainly because they show two things: (1) your (and many others’) failure to understand structural racism (separate from personal and cultural prejudices that everyone, including you, has)– and remember, structural racism is something Black people don’t have the power to enact, and (2) that you pathologize Black men and try to displace your issues onto Black men themselves. To you, it is *we* who are prejudiced– and against the police! Those Black men couldn’t possibly, in your story, have any specific and valid reasons of their own to distrust the police. In a sense, this is of a piece with what you wrote earlier. After all, how else could you blame the author for “being party to” vandalism when, as you admitted, you have not access to factual information except what you guess the police said? And this, in relation to an article arguing why we shouldn’t trust the police! How else could you judge the author by the very standards that he critiques? What I really enjoy is how you are somehow *not* prejudiced when you make groundless accusations against the writer of the article. Your liberal position is crumbling beneath the weight of your own fascism. You can’t even adequately critique Hannibal’s argument on its own terms. And now you are starting to sound more like a writing coach (“Hannibal’s article needs nuance”) in service of your personal tastes than a serious interlocutor. This is progress. MAYBE YOU SHOULD TRY LISTENING FIRST instead of instantly labeling Hannibal “party to” vandalism and calling the knowledge produced by his and many other Black people’s experiences biased. Why should the author give a damn about your personal tastes as a writer? He’s making an ethical statement about real shit. And what are *you* doing? Don’t you feel any shame whatsoever, in defending a child murderer? Do you really want to be on record as a liberal (or “former liberal”) apologist for George Zimmerman? And attacking someone who is making an ethical critique not just of Zimmerman but of the entire legal framework that justifies his murdering a boy? I am glad Hannibal is saying something worth saying. Quibble with him about the 3.7 GPA when it matters. Right now, what matters is that the legal system is illegitimate to many Black people. And our supposed friends, the liberals, are too cowardly even to listen to us.

  36. Omar Ricks on July 27, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Hi, Caleb. Your stories are quite beautiful, and they are interesting but in my opinion that is mainly because they show two things: (1) your (and many others’) failure to understand structural racism (separate from personal and cultural prejudices that everyone, including you, has)– and remember, structural racism is something Black people don’t have the power to enact, and (2) that you pathologize Black men and try to displace your issues onto Black men themselves. To you, it is *we* who are prejudiced– and against the police! Those Black men couldn’t possibly, in your story, have any specific and valid reasons of their own to distrust the police. In a sense, this is of a piece with what you wrote earlier. After all, how else could you blame the author for “being party to” vandalism when, as you admitted, you have not access to factual information except what you guess the police said? And this, in relation to an article arguing why we shouldn’t trust the police! How else could you judge the author by the very standards that he critiques? What I really enjoy is how you are somehow *not* prejudiced when you make groundless accusations against the writer of the article. Your liberal position is crumbling beneath the weight of your own fascism. You can’t even adequately critique Hannibal’s argument on its own terms. And now you are starting to sound more like a writing coach (“Hannibal’s article needs nuance”) in service of your personal tastes than a serious interlocutor. This is progress. MAYBE YOU SHOULD TRY LISTENING FIRST instead of instantly labeling Hannibal “party to” vandalism and calling the knowledge produced by his and many other Black people’s experiences biased. Why should the author give a damn about your personal tastes as a writer? He’s making an ethical statement about real shit. And what are *you* doing? Don’t you feel any shame whatsoever, in defending a child murderer? Do you really want to be on record as a liberal (or “former liberal”) apologist for George Zimmerman? And attacking someone who is making an ethical critique not just of Zimmerman but of the entire legal framework that justifies his murdering a boy? I am glad Hannibal is saying something worth saying. Quibble with him about the 3.7 GPA when it matters. Right now, what matters is that the legal system is illegitimate to many Black people. And our supposed friends, the liberals, are too cowardly even to listen to us.

Follow The Feminist Wire

Arts & Culture

  • Fiction Feature: “Artist Statement” (A Short Story) imgres-2

    by Christine Stoddard   I pluck my hair from the root because my scalp can make the sacrifice. Because I want to create from my own body. Because my children are hungry. Open the studio. There is no paint in the house. Open the fridge. There is no milk in [...]

  • Music Feature: Las Krudas Cubensi – “Mi Cuerpo es Mio” [VIDEO] corazon-200x300

      Las Krudas Cubensi are Cuban Hip Hop MCs, Independent Musicians, Poets, Theater Performers representing Womyn, Immigrants, Queer and People of Color Action as a Central Part of World Change. They choose  art as a weapon to fight against oppression, for justice, for balance, for our rights, to celebrate life. Kruda in Cuba means raw, unprocessed, unrefined, [...]

  • Poem Suite: Shards Rainbow Shards

    In our Poem Suites, we bring together the voices of emerging and established poets exploring a common theme. In today’s Poem Suite, two poets explore fracturing, fragmentation and “shards” from feminist perspectives. . Making Mosaics By Leah Ware Gluing the pieces together, One by one, the mirrors go down Along [...]