I've been reading and hearing things like "I am sick", "Such a tragedy", "No Justice" after hearing the verdict of George Zimmerman and his killing of Trayvon Martin.
I've also seen posts like "Trayvon wanted to live the 'Thug Life', so he got what he deserved", and "This case wouldn't even have been an issue if not for the race baiters"
I've also seen people say things like "How you respond to the verdict is part of the problem", and "We pray that cooler heads prevail". In the abstract, it is a horrible tragedy that a 17 year-old boy can be stalked and killed because George Zimmerman thought he looked suspicious.
But to some of us, it's FRIGHTENING.
It's not just something we'd like to change, or something we wish would change, we are personally FRIGHTENED by it.
And so, when I see children starving to death in Africa with flies in their eyes, I think to myself "That's a tragedy, It makes me sick, there's no justice"... but it doesn't FRIGHTEN me. Yes, I think it's horrible, but I do not see MYSELF in danger because of it.
It's very convenient for me to see starving people and feel bad about it. And YES, I think it's terrible, but I am not PERSONALLY in danger of starving to death while walking down the street.
So, when I read posts from people who care deeply- and I know they do- they just can't understand the PERSONAL DANGER that many of us feel.
The Zimmerman verdict (even though I understand the burden of proof requirement), made me question even having a child, because my child will look more like me than my wife, and I'll have to prepare him or her for these truths.
Here's a good article- Eight talking points about the potentially fatal condition of being black Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2012/03/21/how-to-talk-to-young-black-boys-about-trayvon-martin/#ixzz2Z39T41p1
And now what reaction do I have? So, of course we should be able to dress however we want, but maybe Erkel's style should come in style, and we should all kick the ass of the next rapper I see wearing a hoodie and being thug.
Justin Beiber and Miley can be as thugged out as they like without anyone suspecting them.
If you're blonde with big tits, people assume you're dumb
If you're sexy and your look arouses men, people think you're immoral
If you're poor or fat, people think you're lazy
If you're black, people think you're dumb, immoral, and lazy.
Ok, so after a little bit of a cry, and two good conversations, I feel like we have to get on the other side of this. We have to get back to INSPIRATION and UNDERSTANDING.
I just realized what time it is... I've been in the apartment all day; moping around, sad, and profoundly lonely. I have an interest in absolutely nothing today.
There's that "Profound loneliness" I sometimes forget is always lurking, waiting to remind me of itself, and I can't out run it today. I haven't left the apartment. I was about to, and realized I was wearing camouflage army shorts and a tank top, and I thought: "maybe I should change?".
I am reminded of the Central Park 5, and what it felt like to be looked at like one of them. I was their age, and suddenly we were ALL one of them. What's strange is that I assumed this would be the verdict, and I even understand that the "burden of proof" and blah, blah, blah, but somehow I feel like I have been devalued... AGAIN. and I'm light-skinned!
However, all of that said, this is my favoprite article so far: http://www.timwise.org/2013/07/no-innocence-left-to-kill-racism-injustice-and-explaining-america-to-my-daughter/
Also, (and I'm adding this the day after the above), This article is GREAT and really represents a lot of how I feel- especially the "Sight" section- http://themolinist.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/an-open-letter-to-whites-about-the-black-community-and-the-trayvon-martin-case/
By the way, the reason America sees Black male youth as problematic is because back in slavery days, when a black male went through puberty, they stopped wanting to be slaves, and so that's when they started fighting back.... we have not lost that idea.
And if you say "Oh, but that was SOOOO long ago!", let me remind you that we all still think Heaven and God are in the sky, even though we clearly know that neither is.