A profile on Amina Art Ansari

My latest post published in the Miracle Newspaper is a two-part profile of Amina Art Ansari

Hope you enjoy!

Image

Image

“Black man’s murderer got away with murder”-hardly ever the headline!

I feel an immense rage reverberating through my body—!! Just read that the only ethnic Juror (B29-Maddy) on the Zimmerman case has come out claiming that she knows that “Zimmerman ‘got away with murder’ for killing Trayvon Martin and feels she owes an apology Martin’s parents”. Well, thank you for your apology as that undoes the colossal mistake that you made and the years of oppression and mistrust! Aghh! I am so angry, I can hardly see the screen and hardly type because my hands are shaking in anger. So, I am sorry if what I say in the next few paragraphs make no sense at all. Image

This proves there was so much wrong with this trial–Really don’t care, if someone says it had nothing to do with race, it had a lot to do with race. Zimmerman’s legal team went out of their way to play on the black is dangerous stereotype by painting him in the same manner.  In the original call, Zimmerman is asked by the dispatcher what the ethnicity of the kid is and he says he is “black” (1:03).  The story is about race because it is a white man suspecting a black man of being dangerous. The man has bragging rights for walking away from murder—Not sure how the jurors will live knowing that because of their verdict, there is a guilty man walking around free to kill again!

and this is why the Jury system is so very dangerous!
“Zimmerman concedes he shot and killed Martin in Sanford on Feb. 26, 2012, but maintains he fired in self-defense.
“That’s where I felt confused, where if a person kills someone, then you get charged for it,” Maddy (Juror B29) said. “But as the law was read to me, if you have no proof that he killed him intentionally, you can’t say he’s guilty.”

“As much as we were trying to find this man guilty…they give you a booklet that basically tells you the truth, and the truth is that there was nothing that we could do about it,” she said. “I feel the verdict was already told.”

Law is seldom just black and white (no pun intended)-it is the application of that law that makes it hold any merit or value. A crash course in the form of a booklet is not the best  way of deciding someone’s fate. An ordinary person may not have the knowledge or understanding of the law to its extent (especially when it is presented to them in a shortened version)! Plus, human beings are ALMOST NEVER able to make decisions without other personal factors affecting how they relate to a certain story. We don’t live in a vaccum! The all white panel could NOT have felt the empathy, nor understood the threat the young black man felt as they have not been subjected to years of suspicious scrutiny–It is precisely because of the lack of feeling that scrutiny that we had Juror B37, making a statement on Anderson Cooper’s CNN show, that she believes Zimmerman’s “heart was in the right place” when he became suspicious of Martin and that the teenager probably threw the first punch. This is a classic example of the woman accepting the mainstream narrative that if he is black, you probably should fear him and the likelihood of him throwing the first punch is of a higher probability–never mind that all this testimony was one-sided from the killer himself, since the other witness was buried six feet under anyways!

Juror B29 is a blatant example of groupthink in action in our society. Groupthink “is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.” That is exactly what happened here. Juror B29 could have continued not agreeing and they could have deliberated some more, but hey who wants to be the sore thumb standing up against the grain right?

THIS is also the precise reason why we should NOT stop talking about such atrocities. If it feels wrong, it probably IS wrong! And why should the Trayvon Martin story concern any of us, especially if you are not black? Well, because if you are a minority, you better understand and recognize the system of oppression that exists in the form of White Privilege. And why should it concern you if you are white, because there are enough people out there who will use the colour of their skin (white) to use their white privilege whereby putting all of the good white guys and white girls  (and I believe there are More of them than the haters) as part of a big group of people who are complacent. This only adds fuel to the already existing racial tensions that exist in the world and creates further mistrust. Oh and also simply because this sort of injustice is ABSOLUTELY wrong and immoral.

I am not black, but I can relate to the anger my fellow black friends are feeling. This anger comes from a place of being under the lens for far too long as a minority- where my religion and my faith have been put to trial the same way as the colour of their skin. And even though our struggles are different, but the resulting pain and anger is a actually very similar sentiment!!

In the words of rap group N.W.A “F*** the Police,” the law agencies, the jurors, the system of oppression, the oppressors!

NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE for Trayvon Martin Today

Today is a dark day in the collective history of Americans and the American Judicial System. The killer of Trayvon Martin is found innocent on all counts and is a free man walking. Race politics still exists in America and it is painful to watch it surface its ugly head again. Trayvon, is now being put on trial for being black and a “thug”–everyone seems to have forgotten he is the victim. Victim blaming is the worst form of legitimizing injustices, it exists in rape cases and it exists in race cases.

Below are some of the highlights of the different commentary on the Zimmerman Trial and my thoughts on them:

no J,nop

“Since it was Zimmerman who stalked Martin, the question remains: what ground is a young black man entitled to and on what grounds may he defend himself? What version of events is there for that night in which Martin gets away with his life? Or is it open season on black boys after dark?

Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict will be contested for years to come. But he passed judgement on Trayvon that night summarily.

“Fucking punks,” Zimmerman told the police dispatcher that night. “These assholes. They always get away.”

YES: what would allow a person of colour to stand their ground and get away with it? Because stand your ground didn’t work in this case: –different state–affluent neighbourhood–black father and white teenager (oppressor)

and this case: 

no J,nop

“Fla. mom gets 20 years for firing warning shots”

same state-same law-no deaths-Different verdicts–

This case was a clear case of defending herself against her oppressor-whom she had already taken out a protective order!

 

Image

No Justice, No Peace: What I’ve Felt and What Is Next in the Wake of the Trayvon Martin Verdict

“This means organizing to change dangerous laws like the “Stand Your Ground” and the “Stop and Frisk” policies as well as heartless gun laws in our country.”

I can’t agree more–the reason this verdict is dangerous is that it allows for illegitimate use of Stand-your-ground laws and self-defense by any person who is a bigot-gives them the legitimate license to kill so long as there is reasonable suspicion that they are possibly under threat.  All these laws have serious repercussions for people of colour…better believe that being Black in America just got super ugly—

Image

To those who defend this verdict by saying Zimmerman wasn’t white–read this:

White Supremacy Acquits George Zimmerman

“Watching Zimmerman in the defense seat, his sister in the courtroom, and his mother on the stand, one can’t deny the skin color that informs their experience. They are not white. Yet Zimmerman’s apparent ideology—one that is suspicious of black men in his neighborhood, the “assholes who always get away—” is one that adheres to white supremacy.”

Yes, this is why White supremacy matters–this is why race is a key card here-Trayvon is now on trial for being a “thug” -his life’s record being thrown in the public to malign him after his death–it feeds back into the stereotype that black people are to be feared and therefore it is okay to kill them–don’t believe me-check this craziness on twitter:

Image

The comments in this article are extremely racist–for all those who are faint of heart-your heart will bleed.

“Post-Racial” America Finds George Zimmerman Not Guilty of Murdering Black 17 Year Old Unarmed Trayvon Martin

and for the dose of the REAL truth: ,Martin Bashir tells it like it is—could it be because he shares his name?

Image

and in the guardian: ”

“George Zimmerman acquitted in Trayvon Martin case” –

Image

“O’Mara, Zimmerman’s lead attorney, said his client was “very, very happy” with the jury’s decision. Asked if Zimmerman was scared for his future, O’Mara said: “I think he’s going to be great, I think he’s still worried and hopefully everyone will respect the jury’s verdict as they should and most have said they will, and we’ll take it day by day.

“I think he wishes he could wave a magic wand and get his life back. He has to be very cautious and protective for his safety because there’s still a fringe element out there who have said they want revenge.”

The propaganda for the safety of Zimmerman only means more reasons for him to use “stand your ground” law as he now legitimately fears for his life and can use that as “reasonable” reason to believe he is under threat to possibly kill again. Yeah, parents of children of colour should be very concerned!!!

and if you want to know WHY and HOW this could have possibly happened? check out this link that gives you “Legal Insights on the Zimmerman Verdict”

“state’s 2005 “Stand Your Ground” law removed a person’s duty to try to run away in the face of danger before using deadly force, created a presumption that such force is lawful and immunized those who kill in self-defense from prosecution and private lawsuits.

The law provides that a person who claims to have killed in self-defense can seek a court ruling, before any trial, that they acted legally, but Mr. Zimmerman and his lawyer decided against that option and presented his case directly to a jury.”

and this should scare us because the Law truly is blind and it is dependent in the hands of those defending or prosecuting. It is a game of words–and whoever gets the last word in-wins!

This is the reality- there is no point in hiding our heads in the sand. We must tackle racial politics head-on rather than playing ostrich.

Image

Ramadan Mubarak -unless you are in Guantanamo

Image

Yasin Bey (Mos Def) going through the painful Guantanamo Bay forced feeding procedure.

The blessed month of Ramadan is upon us. Many of us are busy planning how we will go through this Ramadan. Many of us are worried about the scorching summer heat, looking up ways to remain hydrated throughout the day, and planning meals or feasts to end the fast at sunset. For many of us, Ramadan is a time for the whole family to come together and enjoy yummy delicacies, to thank Allah for his bounties, to be steadfast, more mindful of our prayers, spend our nights standing in Taraweeh, waking up early morning to eat Sahoor. Overall, it is a month of Happiness for most Muslims, despite the  physical difficulty of hunger and thirst. However, the sad reality is that this Ramadan of 2013 (1434) perhaps is not a month of happiness for many around.

I just watched a bone-chilling video of Yasin Bey (Mos def) voluntarily undergoing the Force feeding practice at Guantanamo Bay of the Muslim prisoners there. I cried watching that video. My heart wept seeing a fellow human being in that sort of agonizing pain. You have read about it, seen many articles on the internet about the hunger strike and the forced feeding, but NOTHING can prepare you for what you will see in this video. If you are weak of heart, please do not click the link

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2013/jul/08/mos-def-force-fed-guantanamo-bay-video

This is a painful procedure to even watch-to undergo it every day, twice a day, is nothing short of pure torture. This is not humane. I have no words. My heart makes a special prayer for the detainees. Many of these men have been cleared for release and proven innocent, yet they have not been released.

Please sign this petition to President Obama to stop this insanity. They are going to continue this procedure in the month of Ramadan. Send a message to Washington to END THIS CRUELTY!!!!!