I feel and share the anguish and outrage of the community over the injustice of George Zimmerman being found not guilty of the killing of Trayvon Martin. This fiasco was racial profiling at its worst!
It would be easy to get caught up in the hatred and negativity of these times, especially with this particular tragedy. Fighting hatred with hatred, however, or resorting to violence, as we learned from the Civil Rights Movement, is not the answer.
We are challenged by the words in Romans 12:21 to “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
The numerous marches and synergy following the jury’s decision that we are witnessing across the nation and here in Rhode Island is a good thing and long overdue! Personally, I’m glad that the sleeping giant has awakened to address this and hopefully many other longstanding injustices (racial profiling, foreclosures and the eviction of tenants, high rates of minorities in the criminal justice system, exploitation as it relates to usury and Pay Day Loans, violence in our community, access to quality education and housing, equal employment opportunities, single parent households, etc.).
Scripture also exhorts us not to move the old landmarks. We need to reflect on the lessons learned in the 1960s and ’70s, to return to and rededicate ourselves to the principles of self-preservation, self-reliance and organizing the beloved community. This will require renewed determination, discipline and dedication.
After the injustice done to Trayvon Martin, the real tragedy is if our community goes back to sleep and lets these injustices continue unchallenged. We can’t do this by burning bridges, but must build the necessary bridges and work together to address the many needs of our community. We all need to work together and turn Trayvon’s tragedy into a blessing!
Harold M. Metts is the Democratic State Senator from District 6, Providence, and a Deacon of the Congdon Street Baptist Church.