Bell Hooks on Trayvon Martin (for Realz) & Forgiving George Zimmerman
By Katie Halper /

After the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who fatally shot an unarmed African-American teenager, the following words of the feminist, intellectual, activist, teacher bell hooks spread like wild fire across social media.

The growing number of gated communities in our nation is but one example of the obsession with safety…. The person who is really the threat here is the home owner who has been so well socialized by the thinking of white supremacy, of capitalism, of patriarchy that he can no longer respond rationally.

White supremacy has taught him that all people of color are threats irrespective of their behavior. Capitalism has taught him that, at all costs, his property can and must be protected. Patriarchy has taught him that his masculinity has to be proved by the willingness to conquer fear through aggression; that it would be unmanly to ask questions before taking action. Mass media then brings us the news of this in a newspeak manner that sounds almost jocular and celebratory, as though no tragedy has happened, as though the sacrifice of a young life was necessary to uphold property values and white patriarchal honor…. This is what the worship of death looks like.

The words were so applicable to the murder of Trayvon Martin, that many people assumed it was written or spoken in response to the case. Actually, the quote is both timeless and prophetic, and comes from hooks’ book All About Love.

But hooks did respond directly to the tragedy of Trayvon Martin and the travesty of George Zimmerman’s acquittal in an interview with Quassan Castro for Jet Magazine on Wednesday.  Here are some excerpts that really stand out:

White supremacy has not only not changed its direction, it’s intensified as black people and other people of color have gained rights and have proved ourselves to be equal. In many ways the Zimmerman case is really a modern day lynching, it’s about racist white people reinforcing racialized power.

We can’t combat white supremacy unless we can teach people to love justice. You have to love justice more than your allegiance to your race, sexuality and gender. It is about justice. That’s why Dr. King was so vital because he used the transformative power of love as a force for justice.

Asked what she would say to Zimmerman, hooks said,

That’s a difficult question because I believe that he’s such a hater that it’s impossible to speak to him through the wall of hate. Just think, if Zimmerman had never gotten out the car, Trayvon would be alive today. Trayvon was no threat to Zimmerman. A lot of hate had to be inside of Zimmerman, to get him out of the car, stalk Trayvon and execute him.  It’s impossible to answer that. Really we can only be similar to the Amish and ask for forgiveness of his sins.

You can read the whole interview here.

3.5 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 12,827 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 8,564 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
25 Mind-Twisting Optical Illusion Paintings by Rob Gonsalves
Dovas · 7,670 views today · The beautiful and mind-bending illusions in Canadian artist Robert Gonsalves’ paintings have a fun way of twisting your perception and causing you to question what in his...
Forget Shorter Showers: Why Personal Change Does Not Equal Political Change (2015)
11 min · 5,246 views today · Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday; or that chopping...
F*ck That: A Guided Meditation for the Realities of Today's World
2 min · 5,141 views today · Just acknowledge that all that sh*t is f*cking b*llshit — you're here now, in this place, with your inner stillness. Take in a deep breath ... now breathe out. Just feel the...
The Empire Vs. The People - Police Attack and Arrest Peaceful Protestors at the Dakota Access Pipeline
6 min · 3,049 views today · On October 22, just before dawn, hundreds of people, including many families, gathered and prepared to march toward the Dakota Access pipeline construction site near Standing...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 2,652 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Who I'm Voting For...
3 min · 2,349 views today · Prince Ea announces who he's voting for. It's probably not who you think.
The Burden of the New Story
Adebayo Akomolafe · 2,131 views today · The 'new story' - that longed for milieu when all is right with the world and things are set straight - seems to be taking its sweet time coming. Why?
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 1,797 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
No Moral Superpower: Arundhati Roy, Edward Snowden, and the Crimes of Empire
Jake Johnson · 1,769 views today · When Arundhati Roy was preparing, in 2014, for a trip to Moscow to meet Edward Snowden, she was troubled by two things. One of them was the fact that the meeting was arranged...
These Incredible Stories Remind Us of Our Better Selves
36 min · 1,597 views today · #WhoWeAre is a campaign to share the stories of people whose actions show us compassion and to send a message of empathy, hope and optimism. These videos will automatically...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,570 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
#Hypernormalisation - Why Heathrow Plan Is Proof We Exist in a Catastrophic Fantasyland
Matthew Adams · 1,539 views today · The British government recently gave the green light for Heathrow airport’s third runway. It was heralded by its supporters as a vital boost for jobs and growth – and proof...
Men Loving Men
Bianca Vivion · 1,186 views today · When my father was seven he and his best friend Phil cut their index fingers open and placed them together to create a “blood pact” that they would always be brothers. To this...
'Maritime Graveyard': 2016 Deadliest Year Ever for Refugees Crossing Mediterranean
Deirdre Fulton · 739 views today · "From one death for every 269 arrivals last year, in 2016 the likelihood of dying has spiraled to one in 88," says UNHCR spokesman
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 619 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 612 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Ode to Lesvos
5 min · 573 views today · An inspiring story of a few remarkable heroes on the Island of Lesvos who helped almost half a million refugees in 2015 has been documented in a new short film called Ode to...
Writers Tom Hayden and Naomi Klein Talk About Journalism and Activism
27 min · 474 views today · Author, Activist and Former California State Senator Tom Hayden talks in depth with the author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein, about the state of the fourth...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Bell Hooks on Trayvon Martin (for Realz) & Forgiving George Zimmerman