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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Walking While Black

Trayvon Martin is dead, shot by a self appointed vigilante. Trayvon was 17 years old, a great student, who loved to build and wanted to be an engineer when he grew up. He will never grow up.

I will never have to have a discussion with my son about the dangers of being black in America. We're not African America, so my son will never have to worry about some racist, paranoid neighborhood watch "captain" gunning him down in the street. That's the reality. The discussion I have with my son is more about not telling anyone what I do for a living, because being a liberal in this town can get you hurt.

My heart aches for Trayvon's family, especially his mother. Your son goes down to the store for Skittles and an ice tea and winds up staring at a 240 pound, screaming, crazy man with a gun. I listened to the 9-1-1 tapes, I heard that child (and that's what Trayvon was) scream for help. I heard the shot. And I wept.

Now the Sanford police chief is taking a "temporary leave of absence." In other words, a vacation. George Zimmerman, brave defender of all things white is in hiding, and the Sanford police STILL refuse to arrest Zimmerman, claiming their hands are tied because of the "Stand Your Ground" law that basically is a right to murder law. Liars.

Sanford police have a history of collusion, witness tampering and out and out lying. This is SOP for them-they allegedly told witnesses what to say, correcting their statements. They never checked Trayvon's cell phone, they never administered sobriety tests on Zimmerman, but the medical examiner performed toxicology screenings on Trayvon Martin.

Trayvon Martin was unarmed, but George Zimmerman, a man with an arrest under his belt, was not. Trayvon Martin was minding his own business, but George Zimmerman was not. George Zimmerman is alive, Trayvon Martin is not. George Zimmerman is claiming self defense against an unarmed, 140 pound teenager carrying Skittles, an ice tea and a cell phone. The Sanford police back him up. Liars.

The Department of Justice must come to the logical, the only conclusion, as must the grand jury. George Zimmerman is guilty of murder in the second degree. I do not believe it was premeditated, but I do believe that George Zimmerman went out of his way to make certain that "f-ing coon" would not escape his twisted brand of justice.

© Erin Nanasi 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

You Can Always Count on Friends

Ten days ago, I went to the doctor. The news wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible either. I'm still waiting on one more test result. One of the things I was told to do is get cut back on my stress. So, I emailed the other people organizing the We Are Woman National March, and told them I needed a break. These friends, Liz, Alaina, Lee, Lee Ann and Jenni, all said the same thing. No problem.

That's rare in the current social media environment. These are people who have never met; we came together for a common goal, fighting the war on women and pretty much everyone else who isn't white, Christian, straight and conservative. And without hesitation, they told me to take care of myself.

I did. I started exercising (ick), eating better (bigger ick) and getting more sleep. I am still worried about the last test results, and take the phone everywhere, just in case my doctor calls, but for the most part, I started feeling better. Then the "We Are Warriors" video was featured in an article for the Huffington Post, and it all exploded. Mad Mike said he needed extra help just to get through the emails. And we realized that we had to make some big changes and fast.

So, Sunday, Liz came up with a brilliant idea, one I agreed with 100%. Move the march. There was no way we would ever pull this off, from a logistic standpoint. We would never get permits, we didn't have enough time to secure hundreds of hotel rooms, and we could very well be arrested if we protest and march without proper paperwork. We scrambled to find a different day, and lo and behold, September 16th is National Women's Friendship Day and National Working Parents' Day. We emailed back and forth, there was a conference call, and we all jumped on this idea wholeheartedly. Friends outside the march loved the idea, and since announcing this morning, the majority of feedback has been positive.

On April 28th, there will be marches in every state, and the District of Columbia. Most, if not all the people involved with We Are Woman, are planning to participate in their individual state marches. We would love to see marches EVERY weekend, telling the new GOP "No more!" We Are Woman supports these state marches and will continue to encourage people to participate in their own state on April 28th.

I have heard from a few people that this is a horrible idea. We should not separate from the state marches, we should keep the original date of April 28th. If we could, we would, but there is no logical or legal way for us to do that. Especially with what happened in Virginia over the weekend. Those were peaceful protesters, addressing their state congress with grievances, and over 30 of them were arrested, because they didn't have a permit. Police in full riot gear pushed people back and a SWAT team appeared. Now imagine that on a national level. We cannot in good conscience organize a national march if we cannot at least try to guarantee the safety and liberty of the people who will be participating. Moving the date to September 16th makes it much easier for us to "get our ducks in a row."

To those of you who support us and support this change, thank you. We appreciate it more than you know. And to those of you who disagree with our decision, we understand, and if we could have guaranteed we would have the permits and the legal "permission" to bring tens of thousands of people to Washington, DC, in a little over a month, we would have done that. Given the information we have now from the National Parks Service and others, it would have been impossible. And as friends, friends who have shown over the past 3 weeks that we are a team and in this together, we came to the decision to move the date of the national march to September 16th. We believe this is the best plan, and are proud of our decision.

© Erin Nanasi 2012