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Kwami Abdul-Bey

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”
— Abraham Lincoln

I am good at attention and gratitude.

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  • Kwami Abdul-Bey commented on something to do

    Tell the Justice Department: Open a Civil Rights Case Against George Zimmerman

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    Kwami Abdul-Bey9 months ago

    I see the death of Mr. Martin as a very unfortunate thing. And, the factual circumstances that led to his death are, for me, awful to comprehend. And, I can only imagine just how painful it was for Mr. Martin's parents to see Mr. Zimmerman acquitted.

    For me, the polarized encampments that have been set up as a result of this entire situation is far worse than what actually happened throughout the duration of such. There is so much emotive reacting and very little rational and analytic reflection from either side of the aisle. Both proponents of the avenging of Mr. Martin's death and proponents of the protecting of Mr. Zimmerman's self-defense rights are so focused on their own perceived realities of what may or may not have happened that they have blinders on to the fact that this is a most unfortunate lost-lost scenario no matter how it resolves itself.

    I care not for this petition because it attempts to simply this whole situation incorrectly using legalese as English, creating a false reality.

    Firstly, civil rights are not "fundamental." Civil rights are privileges are are granted by the government to its citizenry for the exercise of such usually through permitted and/or licensed means. Voting is a civil right. Life is a human right, not a civil right. Life is fundamental because it is a right granted by the Creator, not the government. If life were a civil right, then it could be taken by the government at will, as other other civil rights. However, the government cannot just randomly take the right to life.

    Secondly, since this was a state criminal case in Florida, you would have to confirm to the legal definition of stalking before you could theoretically accuse Mr. Zimmerman of "stalking" Mr. Martin. And, reading this petition is the very first time that I have heard such accusation, as I do not recall it being lodged during at any time during the trial and I do not remember Mr. Zimmerman being charged with such crime.

    Thirdly, the thought that it is prudent for a non-party to petition the federal government to intervene in a state criminal case demonstrates a total lack of civics education. Mr. Zimmerman was not a federal agent, nor a state agent, which is the very minimal legal requirement for the federal government to pursue criminal civil rights litigation. Mr. Zimmerman was a private citizen, who, it appears, was overzealous in carrying out his duties as a volunteer neighborhood watchmen.

    I greatly understand the angry and disgust in the emotive reaction to the acquittal. At the same time, I understand how this case should have never been tried in the first place because it was too political from the onset. The governor should have never bowed to the Facebook publicity and fired the county prosecutor and replaced such with a state prosecutor with the instructions to convict. That was an inappropriate miscarriage of justice.

    Then, the prosecution failed miserably in developing a case against Mr. Zimmerman because the evidence that it presented did not support the charges that it waged upon him. And, at least a few of the prosecution witnesses were incredible in their testimony and turned out to be as much of liars as Mr. Zimmerman himself was when he was initially interviewed by the police on scene.

    I am an advocate of Mr. Zimmerman having to accept full responsibility for the very poor choices that he made that night that led to the death of Mr. Martin, who also made some poor choices that night as well. But, I am not willing to further pervert the justice system to exact some herd-mentality, jump-on-the-bandwagon revenge for what shoulda/woulda/coulda happened.

    In my opinion, this case should have never made national news, and it definitely does not deserve the time and expense of a federal criminal civil rights trial.

    Right now, the only logical response is not federal intervention, but rather Mr. Martin's parents immediately filing a wrongful death civil lawsuit against Mr. Zimmerman, as the evidence is very clear that he is, in fact, the cause of Mr. Martin's untimely demise. And, in a civil trial, Mr. Zimmerman will not have the luxury of declining to testify. He will have to get on the stand and explain what happened that night, as he is the only person alive that knows. The hurdle that Mr. Martin's parents will have to overcome is to reduce as much as possible the likelihood of Mr. Martin having equally contributed to his own death by his own actions, which is going to be a very high hurdle based on the evidence presented in the criminal trial.

    It would be a really beautiful thing to see Mr. Zimmerman voluntarily accepting responsibility for his actions and contacting Mr. Martin's parents on his own and attempting to work things out.

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  • Kwami Abdul-Bey commented on a link

    Why Teaching the Tulsa Race Riot Is More Than Just Teaching History via magazine.good.is

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    Kwami Abdul-Bey11 months ago

    I appreciate your willingness to explore with and expose your students to information such as this that is not readily available as part of the standard American history curricula. As a proponent of the study of historiosophy embedded within my "Current History" lectures, I, too, invest time in offering my students opportunities for exploration within and exposure to this story.

    I would only add that you also may consider such related incidents as the Elaine Massacre of 1919 in Helena County, Arkansas, and its aftermath, which resulted in a years long legal battle that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. (This is the ONLY race massacre in U.S. history that has documented involvement of governmental entities on both federal and state levels.)

    This better-than-fiction historical tale was widely covered in the international media of the day, pitting the established militant-minded National Equal Rights League (NERL) (funded by Madame C.J. Walker and Marcus Garvey, and led by Ida B. Wells-Barnett) against the relative newcomer mainstream-minded National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (funded by Henry Moskowitz and Julius Rosenwald, and led by W.E.B. DuBois), in the final battle of the organizations' ongoing rivalry for the heart and soul of Black America. The NAACP emerged as the victor, thusly changing the landscape of racial relations in America forever.

    Several of my former students have, on their own, drawn direct connections to what happened in, and around, Elaine with what followed shortly thereafter in Greenwood and Rosewood.

    For more information on the Elaine Massacre of 1919, see the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture (http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=1102) and/or read the book "Blood in Their Eyes" by Grif Stockley (http://books.google.com/books/about/Blood_in_Their_Eyes.html?id=P9BoU7V6dEAC).

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