I know it's Wednesday, but what the hell. In addition to the normal craziness of life, my boss "left her job" Monday and that was the tail end of some serious drama. In addition, the news has had me preoccupied and not in a good way--more in a seriously ranty way.
Since I know that none of you live under a rock, I won't give any background for this post beyond "Trayvon Martin."
I have tweeted and posted many things in the last few days*, but I think this tweet hits the nail on the head with where my rage is coming from.
@LouisatheLast White teens have "scrapes" with authorities; kids of color get suspended, expelled, arrested-all for the same infractions.
It is time for all of America to wake up to this injustice--to own and acknowledge it. It is real. It is pervasive. It is wrong.
My boys--those almost comically "All-American" looking (we need to broaden the definition of All-American for sure) guys in that photo had scrapes. They were not/are not perfect. They've both been pulled over by the police and never once did the thought cross their minds they might be shot. I didn't have to buy them bright-orange wallets so that they are easily identifiable as something other than a gun when someone in authority wants to see their licenses.
They've walked down streets in their own neighborhood and other people's neighborhoods wearing hoodies and were never once considered "suspicious." Sadly, my oldest son's friend from down the street--the friend who has lived here since second grade--cannot say the same. I have answered inqutires from neighbors on at least five ocassions asking what I thought of the sketchy-looking black teenager loitering about. I am not kidding. One person even told me she'd heard a rumor he was a Katrina refugee. Since second grade, people-that is 16 years.
My brother-in-law feels a fair verdict was rendered and in a discussion on FB, he said that neither his son or my sons would have gotten into a physical altercation with George Zimmerman. I can't speak for his son, but I will tell you that while I doubt either of my boys would have instigated a physical confrontation, if they were pushed to defend themselves (maybe by, I don't know, being scared half out of their wits by some stalker dude whose intentions were unknown), either one of them would have beaten the living crap out of the other guy. Being MMA fans themselves, ground and pound would certainly have been a possibility. And that would have been their right--they would have been acting, as I believe Trayvon was, in self-defense. (Unless self-defense only applies if you use a firearm; I'm baffled).
The other thing I know for sure is that if Zimmerman were black and Trayvon was white and the same verdict was rendered, there would have been rioting in the streets. White people are just not used to injustices being perpetrated upon them the way black people are, that's the only explanation I have for the relative peacefullness of the demonstrations.
I sure hope this is not over; my only consolation (and a very cold one for sure for TM's family) will be if Trayvon's name is mentioned in history books alongside the likes of Emmett Till, the victims of the 16th street Baptist Church bombing and other innocents whose lives were lost along the path toward civil rights.
We can no longer let the racist voices of those clinging for dear life to white privilege be the most vocal in our society. Now is the time for all of us to act--if you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
*You can friend me on FB if you want access to all sorts of links and discussion. I put up some relevant and powerful information, if I do say so myself. And I do.