THE BLOG
07/15/2013 02:09 pm ET | Updated Sep 14, 2013

Bullets and Bastille

Oh boy, let the healing begin. Just returned from Union Square where a meet up has gone on all day for Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of the man who took him out. We don't want to remember this man's name... he still gets to live. But the poor kid who barely had a chance to smell life can only live on if people keep his name alive by talking of the great injustice.

As Bastille Day lingered on Smith Street, where revelers knocked back Ricard and Lillet in honor of a liberation moment, the crowd at Union Square was asking for another form of freedom. Freedom to live in this amazing country without fear of being shot. As the signs read, we all could be Trayvon Martin if someone has a hankering to play power meister.

"What a mess," Bette Davis might say. There were catcalls about boycotting Florida, Disneyland and orange juice. At dinner the other day, someone mentioned reasonable doubt. Well, yes, the shooter may have been provoked, and so forth; but, he still pressed the trigger and the kid was unarmed. Even in Westerns, a cowboy will rarely shoot an unarmed enemy... he usually tells a bystander to throw his enemy a gun, and only then starts shooting. That is unless he's crazy or a coward or both.

My voice isn't strong so I asked a very well-spoken guy if he could share with the group something I thought might help. Fruitvale Station, directed by first time writer, Ryan Coogler, is a terrific and true film about a similar horror. Oscar Grant was out with his wife on New Year's and heading home to the Oakland area when he and three friends were rounded up by the BART transit police and blamed for starting a fight. They tried to argue, things heated up and one of the cops shot 22-year-old Grant to death. The film paces the story and doesn't deify Grant; he's got many sides including having done time, but is trying to change his life and make a new beginning. But it isn't to be.

This film is upsetting, beautifully made and will perhaps be cathartic for everyone. It won't bring Martin or Grant back, but art does have power to heal. And that's all we can do, is try to heal. And of course, keep seeking justice.

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