Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Room of My Own: Is Something Missing?

George Zimmerman trial --
no sound in the black and white
Rodney King beating video

under the Florida sun
Martin Luther King Jr.
in a hoodie

a trial is not
a morality play ....

killing a mockingbird

Trayvon Martin Day                                 Trayvon Martin Day
a white girl shares her popsicle      or      Justice and Peace painted
with a black boy                                       in black and white

Note: I just added one more haiku ("George Zimmerman trial") to explore these troubling issues. The infamous video of police beating Rodney King in 1991 "increased public sensitivity to, and anger about, police brutality, racism, and other social inequalities throughout the United States."-- excerpted from the Wekipedia Entry, "Rodney King."

Updated, July 16:

I just added one more haiku to make a haiku sequence, entitled Something Missing.

Updated July 20:

I added one more haiku to the sequence and changed the title to Is Something Missing? 

Updated, July 23

I added one more verse as a concluding haiku.


  1. View the Rodney King beating video,

  2. Below is excerpted from today's Democracy! Now, "NAACP Leads Push for Federal Civil Rights Charges Against Zimmerman After Race Kept Out of Trial," which can be accessed at

    BEN JEALOUS: To being criminal charges. We are actually looking for them to being criminal charges under the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd hate crime law. And part of the standard for that, the kind of, if you will, the high bar aspect of it, is that you have to prove that race was a factor and that bodily injury was done. And we believe that both can be proved here.

    You know, because we went through this kind of surreal trial where the judge blocked all discussion of racism, of racial profiling, we haven’t focused in a long time, for instance, on witness number nine, who was George Zimmerman’s own cousin, who called the police just a few days later and said that that witness believed that their cousin, George, had done this out of racial motivation, racial hatred, if you will. And we haven’t talked much about those young boys who lived in his neighborhood, who felt like they were targeted by him because of their color. And so, there’s actually a lot here....

    BEN JEALOUS: Oh, yeah. Look, I mean, it’s pretty clear that he primarily called the cops about a young man of color that he was worried about. And when you put that together with the young men of color who lived in his own neighborhood who felt like he was stalking them and harassing them, you know, well, there you go. It seems that every time he was worried, there wasn’t something to be worried about.

    And the reality is that if an officer said, "Hey, I followed that young, innocent black kid, and I confronted him, and I taunted him, and then I—and then, you know, I was in plain clothes so he didn’t know I was an officer, and we tussled, and then I shot and killed him," we would say, you know—and if we said, "Why?" and he said, "Well, you know, because there had been a lot of break-ins in the neighborhood done by young black men, and he was a young black man," that’s not good enough. We don’t accept racial profiling as grounds for our officers when they do something like this, and we shouldn’t accept it from citizens, either. And that’s why we pushed so hard to pass the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd hate crime law, because the reality is that when citizens target each other because of their race and someone gets killed, that person should be held accountable....

  3. In the second haiku, "Martin Luther King Jr./in a hoodie" refers to a widely circulated image on the Internet.

    Below is excerpted from a Yahoo! News piece, "Image of MLK Wearing Hoodie Goes Viral," which can be accessed at

    The reaction to the verdict was filled with pieces of original content made for the Internet, as well as photographic evidence from the protests that sprang up around the country. One such piece that made a big splash was an image of Martin Luther King Jr., altered to be wearing a hoodie, which became the lightning-rod clothing item that activists used to show their support for Trayvon Martin. It was created by artist Nikkolas Smith, and was retweeted more than 1,400 times from activist Van Jones's Twitter account alone. Travon Free, a writer for 'The Daily Show," tweeted a photo that he described as "Zimmerman's jury." Tying in another racial controversy, the image depicts seven people, each with the face of Paula Deen.

  4. Michelle Alexander: "Zimmerman Mindset" Endangers Young Black Lives with Poverty, Prison & Murder, aired on Democracy! Now on Wednesday, July 17, 2013,