Movie Friday: Jay Smooth on Trayvon

Because I will never NOT share something by radio host and vlogger Jay Smooth, here’s his take on an aspect of the Trayvon Martin case that hasn’t been fully explored:

It’s weird for me to hear my beliefs coming out of someone else’s mouth, but there you go.

Jay is making the same point that I tried to make with my posts about Occupy – that we have to be active participants in our system, whether that be political or judicial. No, we may not be the ones running for office or sitting on the bench, but we have to be actively engaged. Should we fail to remain vigilant, the system is allowed to run on its laurels, which inevitably serves only those at the top. In the case of Trayvon Martin, no justice was even pursued until people stood up and started paying attention. A man murdered a 17 year-old kid, and the police let him walk free, right up to the point where the cries of a small number of people who were acquainted with the case were heard by other people who believed that a just solution must be, and could be pursued.

This week I’ve been throwing examples at you in support of the basic tenet that we have to keep our brains switched on and our eyes open, because the system we live in is seriously flawed and unjust. We can and should expect more, and in order to achieve it we have to be asking the tough questions and demanding more than pat answers.

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  1. says

    That video made me cry good tears. I have never seen or heard him before but he has the perfect mix of clarity and power for my ears. Than you for posting this motivating, moving vlog.

  2. Dianne says

    Off topicish, but related: Have you heard what happened with the police in White Plains who shot the man who they were called on because his medalert bracelet went off? Nothing. Nothing whatsoever. No charges, no disciplinary action. It also turns out that this was not the first racially related incident for the officer who actually fired the shot. He’d already beaten up some Jordanian refugees for fun in 2008. I don’t understand why the whole department isn’t in serious trouble, as in unemployed and in jail kind of trouble.

  3. Other Point-of-View says

    It’s been baffling me as well. As Crom pointed out in an earlier post, the police think they’ve gotten off scot-free but it’s only gonna bite them in the ass.

    Whether it’s a shot cop or an investigation that gets stonewalled, it will come back.

  4. comfychair says

    Reminds me of the quote “those who would make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable” (possibly paraphrased; just going by memory). That’s not wishful thinking and bloodlust, it’s a reminder of how things have played out all through recorded human history.

    How is it the powers-that-be always, ALWAYS, forget that lesson?

    It applies to the Wall Street douchebags and the 1%ers, too, not just the cops and their color-blind racist cheerleaders.

  5. says


    I first heard of him quite recently when someone linked a TED talk he gave on addressing racism several years ago: he’s a very impressive speaker. So I think you’d probably enjoy seeing this one as well.

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