Short published an open letter in the aftermath of the verdict in which he details possible solutions to the problematic justice system.
He joins a list of celebrities who have spoken out about their thoughts surrounding the Zimmerman trial.
In his letter, he writes:
“As I have sat and listened to debate after debate, in depth analysis and tempered opinions on “The Verdict” I couldn’t help but feel helpless, frustrated, hurt and yes, angry. As I plummet into the labyrinth of my mind in search of answers, solutions, or a way I could help subdue the burning desire for things to change, my only recourse was to start writing.”
“Presume we step back and take pause for a moment. Pause to take a cultural and personal inventory on where we have come as a people. As oppose to being blinded by the present emotional and economical condition of our nation, our community. What if we begin by acknowledging some of the triumphs, rather than becoming consumed solely by the injustice? I ask these questions for one reason being, that if I reflect and remember just how far we’ve come, instead of sitting and stewing over what has happened, I am now ensuring that I am not going to allow this “Decision” to stifle me as a human being nor as a black man in America.”
“It may seem quite pretentious and easy to hear coming from my heart. However, I assure you I experience the same profiling and discrimination daily regardless of what I happen to do for a living. We must recognize that if we allow this particular ‘lost battle’ in the continuing war, that is ‘Race In America,’ to take us backwards, we will be backtracking and negating the progress that we have already made to date.”
Short goes on to express his gratitude to predecessors who fought for the freedom of black Americans today.
He acknowledges that their efforts paved the way for talents like his co-star who might not have become one of TV’s biggest breakout stars.
“Without those blistered hands and feet it wouldn’t be possible for a black woman to be the lead of a television series on network TV,” he writes. “Without those afraid, yet valiant, warriors, Oprah wouldn’t be one the wealthiest business icons in the world. Tyler Perry wouldn’t have been able to go from homelessness, to providing jobs for a multitude of unrecognized actors and actresses.”
Short suggests alternate ways to speak out against the verdict and discourages engaging in “self sabotaging behavior by looting and rioting.”
“Trayvon was a victim of racial profiling but we are the survivors and always have been survivors. We shouldn’t let Trayvons death be in vein, but rather use this time to do a cultural evaluation into how we can unite in a way that will force our voices to be heard and undenied by our government and politicians,” he writes.
He concludes his note with this statement: “May this letter bring someone out there hope, and a desire to rise up and help lead us to change. We have work to do. But nothing we can’t handle.