I have listened to the outrageously racist rants of the Papa John’s employees on the voice mail of two Florida residents.
“F*ckin,’ F*ckin,’ F*ckin,’ N*gger, N*gger. F*ck, F*ck, F*ck the N*gger!”
The most hateful, vile words in the English language rolled off their tongues so effortlessly; it was scary.
As I watched the video of the phone call, I noticed that the cell phone number where the call originated from was the same place where Trayvon Martin was killed: Sanford, Fla. Trayvon was a young African-American teen who was murdered in a Sanford, Fla., neighborhood while holding a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles.
It is quite unsettling that this city has once again made the news with a racial incident only a few weeks before the trial of Trayvon is set to begin.
The trial for Trayvon’s murder is set to begin on June 10, 2013, in a Sanford, Fla., courtroom. The defense has tried to paint Trayvon Martin in a negative light by attempting to force the media and public to focus on controversial photos allegedly found on Trayvon’s cell phone, such as pictures of a gun and marijuana.
Not only are these issues irrelevant, but they have also been put into the jury’s mind in these low-blow attempts to present Trayvon as a “bad” teenager. Clearly, the defense went ahead and introduced this information to the public, because they are well aware that these details won’t be admissible during trial.
Still, the defense knows that potential jurors will see this information and possibly hold it against the unarmed teenager’s character throughout the course of the trial.
Regardless of their sneaky efforts, Trayvon did not have a gun, skittles are not a weapon and the last time I checked, tea is not a dangerous instrument. Period.
What’s the connection between the Papa John’s employees’ racist voice mail and Trayvon Martin’s untimely murder?
The racist-filled voice mail reminds me of Forsyth County, Ga., where Oprah Winfrey did a show about the county being all-White in the early 1990s. At the time, Forsyth County’s residents discussed how they would do everything to keep Blacks out.
Watch Oprah discuss Forsyth County here:
What percentage of Sanford residents feel this way? Was Zimmerman singing, “F*ckin,’ F*ckin,’ F*ckin,’ N*gger, N*gger. F*ck, F*ck, F*ck the N*gger!” as he pulled the trigger on this young, unarmed teen? Did Zimmerman wish to keep his community “all the same” and decide that this particular Black boy didn’t belong there?
We do know that Zimmerman said, “ These a**holes. THEY always get away,” moments before he murdered Trayvon.
Perhaps Zimmerman is very similar to his fellow Sanford, Fla., Papa John’s workers except Zimmerman’s song was not being recorded on voice mail and Zimmerman was not carrying pizzas; he was carrying a gun, a weapon he used it to end the life of young Trayvon.
Eric L. Welch Guster is founder and managing attorney of Guster Law Firm in Birmingham, Ala., handling criminal and civil matters, catastrophic injuries, criminal defense, and civil rights litigation. Mr. Guster has become a go-to lawyer for the New York Times, NewsOne, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, Black America Web, and various radio programs about various court issues and high-profile cases.
Follow Guster on Twitter @ericguster.