I saw the video of Eric Garner’s murder yesterday. A colleague played it during a presentation on black men’s complex trauma. I felt like a greaseball just watching. The dramatic irony was uncanny—for those couple minutes, I knew exactly what happen and he didn’t. Not only would the police kill him, but it would be completely legal.
Two years before Garner’s death, the murder of Trayvon Martin revived contemporary conversations about the legality of killing black people. His killer, George Zimmerman, wasn’t technically a cop, but his acquittal marked an important moment in American history. Obama was president, but black people were still being terrorized on the street.
Martin’s infamous video isn’t his death but rather his purchase of snacks in the final minutes of his life. Watching it today was eerie. It’s all so mundane. The familiar florescent lights in 7-11. The aimless yet certain movements around the store. Martin with his hood on. And the cashier thinking nothing of it.