[Blog] A mockery of justice: The Trayvon Martin case (An Open Letter to President Obama) by Jose Mario de Vega

A mockery of justice: The Trayvon Martin case (An Open Letter to President Obama)

Mario De Vega

Below is the statement issued by President Obama:

“The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”


I agree with Mr. Obama that the death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy, categorically disagree with him that because the jury has spoken his calling for all Americans to engage in a so-called “calm reflection” from two parents who lost their young son.

The question there is: under the prevailing circumstances, how to remain calm? Why would the parents of that young black teenager will going to reflect on the whole tragic event?

Mr. Obama, you yourself is also a parent and may I remind you of your own words last year with regard to this incident:

“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

Do you remember, sir?

During that period when the controversy is raging, you made a searingly personal plea for Americans to come together and do some “soul searching” after the shooting death of that African-American Florida teenager Trayvon Martin by a neighbourhood watchman.

You further added then that:

“My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. And you know, I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and that we’re get to the bottom of exactly what happened.

“All of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen — and that means that we examine the laws and the context for what happened as well as the specifics of the incident.

“Obviously this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through. And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids. And I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together, federal, state and local to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.”

Do you still recall all of these words, sir?

Yes, your country is known as a government of laws, not of men; but that bastard trigger happy “white Hispanic” (whatever the hell that means!) has put the laws into his hands and killed a human being.

Yes, your jury has spoken, but it does not mean that they’ve spoken the truth or decided the right thing!

I questioned the wisdom and the propriety of their ruling and bluntly accusing them for being biased and unfair.

I am condemning your nation’s so-called “legal” concept of “Stand Your Ground” laws that allowed a bloody bastard murderer like your Zimmerman to walk free on the night that he shot cold-bloody and killed arbitrarily the unarmed 17-year-old Martin.

I am also condemning that lobbying group known as ALEC that is one of your numerous ultraright-wing groups that crafted this so-called law”.

Who or what are this bullshit ALEC?

According to the Global Occupy Movement:

“ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) is a tool for corporations to obtain access to thousands of legislators, helping them to work hand in hand to develop profitable legislation. ALEC says it promotes “free-market and conservative ideas”, including: resolutions against increasing the minimum wage, against attempts by the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, against “comparable worth” legislation that would encourage equal pay for women, privatization of prisons and replacing unionized workers with prison labor, protection of companies engaged in cruel and unnecessary animal testing, etc.”

You are asking sir, how would you as an individual and as a nation, will prevent a horrible tragedy like this from occurring again in the future?

That is a good question, yet have you also asked the other equally important question: did your world-renowned justice system render genuine and correct justice to Trayvon?

Also, pertinent to the ultimate resolution of this case is the question that you, sir need to address is: what is your position with regard to this ALEC group?

I believe that the correct way and proper manner of honoring Trayvon is not only in curbing your gun laws, but also by giving that poor boy the justice that he, his family and all people like them, who are similarly situated — deserve!

Undoubtedly, another utterly important way of honoring Trayvon is to order your Department of Justice to review the whole case.

We all know the truth that this case is yet another classic example of racial injustice, preposterous prolifing, arrogance, ignorance and extreme discrimination!

Do something, sir, before the whole of your people goes out to the street to demand justice!

Because there is no iota of doubt that in the end, WE ARE ALL TRAYVON MARTIN!

Of all the people, you should be the first one to protest this indescribable travesty and mockery of justice, you as being the first Black American president of the United States of America.

Please fulfill your father’s dream!

That is how we honor the boy and making sure that he did not die in vain!

In the stirring words of Frederick Douglass:

“At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! Had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, today, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.” (The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro, July 5, 1852)

Hence, based on that, sir, let me issue again my disgust and dissent: I am denouncing to the utmost the utterly idiotic and impertinent ruling reached by that ridiculous jury and I am also condemning in part the racism still prevalent in your country and the double standard of your overall so-called justice system.

My solidarity to the family of Trayvon Martin and all victims of violence, racism, and discrimination like him!


Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

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