Rumors of the most unpleasant kind have been circulating social media. Rumors that George Zimmerman will be getting in the ring with a willing opponent in what is being dubbed a “celebrity match” has been the most unsettling news ever to reach my ears in the last couple of days.
Nothing has appalled me more since the 2012 shooting of the 17 year old black, unarmed teen Trayvon Martin, which held nationwide media attention in anticipation for the justice system to come through the way we as law abiding citizens are expected to believe. Nothing has been felt more deeply than the outrage following his death and the judge ruled freedom that was granted to George Zimmerman, the man who fatally shot and killed Trayvon, and left entire communities of hearts full of disappointment and shame.
Whether this “celebrity” match will even reaches fruition is debatable but regardless, the mere idea of its possible reality is reason enough for even the most rational individual to feel uncomfortable. When did a man who robbed a family and close friends of a son, a brother, a cousin, a nephew, who robbed a community of a smile and a life, become a “celebrity?” The prospect is absurd and more importantly completely unacceptable in every aspect of the word. It is unacceptable and inappropriate that such a farce could even be getting media attention at all, and the fact that beyond rumors it is nothing but a sickening thought. It is a direct ridicule of a system that failed to defend those who depended on it, and a public mockery of a family that is still grieving for a young man that never got the chance to live.
Why is this even an issue? It is an issue because it a stage for the performer to have his show, it is attention that we as a people and a community should be disappointed and even upset to hear. A man profiting off the death of a child is an unspeakable crime against his memory. And even worse, it is a blow to the black community, who are still healing from its effects. George Zimmerman is to be despised for this, and ashamed to even be seeking attention. This celebrity match is nothing but a set-up, a stage for his show, a huge mistake and disaster waiting to happen.
The day Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, he and Trayvon’s family have had his death like a dark cloud hanging over their heads. Ever since that fateful day, nothing has ever been the same for Zimmerman since his finger made the action of pulling that trigger. Everybody knows that, and nobody is more acutely aware than Zimmerman himself. It is a reality that he will carry for the rest of his life, a truth that he can never change. A man who resorts to such antics is a man who has done nothing but battle his own guilty conscious for justification. Giving him a stage for his sedition is what we must not do, as doing so would only invite the worst possible attention onto what the Martin family possibly wishes would stay an awful memory, and not become a painful wound that keeps being dug back open.
Zimmerman wants attention, which he must not be given. Let him deal with his own inner demons outside of the media eye. The moment such a “celebrity” match is allowed to happen, several things can go wrong, the First of which he is given a stage to ridicule the system and mock a grieving family. Secondly, he is inviting anger and hatred. Whoever is orchestrating this event has already thought about who would rise to such bait, and the entire operation, in its sheer audacity and lack of compassion, is an opportunity to justify the killing of Trayvon Martin.
The minute an angry opponent trying to seek revenge for Trayvon, maybe even an angry black man for that matter-who is no doubt the object of this scheme, Zimmerman will get his justification for killing an innocent child through the sheer violence and brutality that is the only possible outcome for such a match. Public satisfaction, outrage, sympathy and disgust are only a few of the immediate consequences of such a thing. But more importantly and unforgettably, will be the reaction of FEAR. Fear of the black man, who has foolishly fallen into the trap made to reinforce a stereotypical role that had begun to lose its ground in the face of changing times and perspectives. The moment a black man gets in the ring with this man, who was allowed to walk away from the death of a young teen, is the moment whatever progress we have made as a community of people attempting to change the still lingering roots of a history that is still embedded deep within the conscious and subconscious minds as well as in the psychology and behaviours of society, is the moment we will be lost. Nothing is more crucial than the awareness of all the people who catch word of this “celebrity” match which should never be allowed to come to life. Nothing will be more destructive than the darkness that will descend on an entire nation nearing the end of the second term of the very first African American man to have made his mark on history simply by being the first to claim the title of the President of the United States.
I urge everybody to open their eyes and see past the anger and the hatred that may be in your heart. Although on the surface it has the makings of a racial issue, it is first and foremost an ethical issue. Open your eyes and get smart, look and see what is happening. Do not be a part of the wrong side of history. Do not even acknowledge the George Zimmerman “celebrity” match to friends or family, and more importantly on social media where it gains the momentum that it should not under any circumstances be given. The only people, who should be “getting a piece of that a**” as they say, are the inmates who weren’t given the opportunity to have George Zimmerman as their cellmate. The only thing this “celebrity” match deserves with DMX or anyone else is NOTHING. Ignore it, because it deserves nothing, and Zimmerman needs to find another way to get attention.
I’m sure I speak for more than just myself when I say that this is wrong. And a disgrace to the memory of people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks who we are trying to CELEBRATE right now for Black History Month for trying to get past these kind of set-backs. Don’t fall into the set back. Don’t get set- back by a set-up. Think smart, Get smart, and Be smart. Advocacy for change has to start with awareness, and the spotlight must be shifted. When you are the better person, nobody but the one trying to break you looks bad.
What do you think?
Editor’s note: This Op-Ed does not reflect the views of Harlem World Magazine though HW may or may not agree with some or all of the editorial.
As of this posting the “scheduled” fight between George Zimmerman and DMX has been canceled. With his spokesperson saying on twitter that the “…planned fight we never official.”