The Zimmerman Trial is Over — Let's Talk About Darryl Green Instead


George Zimmerman was tried and acquitted because his guilt was held in reasonable doubt. Media outlets have chosen to focus on that one incident, one person, and one problem. Meanwhile, 16-year-old Darryl Green was murdered for refusing to join a gang. Meanwhile, 12 people were killed and at least 62 wounded in a series of shootings over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Meanwhile, criminals, gangs, and shoot-outs have plagued the city of Chicago. But when mainstream media latches on to something controversial that will get them good ratings, who the hell cares?

Wrong. On December 28, Chicago had its 500th murder of 2012, marking the second time the city reached that number of homicides in a single year (the first was in 2008). When the number of homicides in an American city outpace the number of U.S. soldiers who die in Afghanistan over the course of a year, something is wrong, and we should care about it.

Some have speculated as to the causes of violence in Chicago, citing a limited police force, depopulation, and failed public housing. However, the most obvious cause is the prevalence of gangs. In recent years, Chicago's gangs have splintered, and rival factions have been locked in a state of war. A gang audit conducted by the Chicago Police Department found that over 600 factions exist within the city. At least 100 of the 2012 homicides were attributed to the Gangster Disciples alone.

One of the latest victims of gang violence was Darryl Green, who was found face down on a set of stairs in an abandoned building. Very little information was given to his family members, who were told by police that he was beaten to death. An autopsy later revealed that Green had been shot. picked up the story, and pushed the hashtag #JusticeforDarryl as an alternative to the tag #JusticeforTrayvon.

I think it's fair to ask why #JusticeforDarryl doesn't seem to be as important to people as #JusticeforTrayvon.

In one case, we have a young man who allegedly refused to join a gang, standing for his principles — and against a criminal organization — in the face of death. On the other, we have another young man (I refuse to call them children) who allegedly attacked a neighborhood watchman. The evidence points to Darryl giving his life as a victim, and Trayvon leaving this world as an aggressor. Darryl's story took place in a city that's confronting a clear-cut, concrete problem that can be measured in human lives. In contrast, Trayvon's story points to ephemeral issues to do with racism.

Why don't we examine the big problems that are easy to see? People are being hurt and killed in big cities because of gangs at war. Let's talk about something we know about. Let's talk about gang violence.