Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Yet Another View on the Trayvon Martin Case

Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman


For the past couple of months, you could not help but to hear about the murder of Trayvon Martin. You may not know the name of the parties involved, but you may know about the “kid that got shot in Florida by the neighborhood watch guy.” I am 100% certain that I do not have to go into detail about what happened. Information about the case is literally everywhere (check out the case’s timeline on Central Florida 13 News). Once the mainstream media caught wind of the Martin case, they latched on and went in full throttle.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, it did not take long before they began digging into the teen’s background in an attempt to smear his image. At first we all became accustomed to the sweet-faced picture of Martin that was used alongside Zimmerman’s. But the media did not want that. A black teen simply cannot be innocent. It was not long before we began seeing pictures of Martin with his pants sagged super low, hearing about him getting suspended for drug possession, and people breaking into his e-mail account would have also hacked into his Twitter account had it not been deleted (the Wagist blog has a post contributing to the smearing of Martin’s image).

I never viewed Martin as some innocent teen who had never done anything wrong (most teens are anything but innocent...been there, done that), but whatever transpired in his life prior to February 26 did not justify Zimmerman killing him. And who is digging into the negative aspects of Zimmerman's past? All I know about him is that he has had a past altercation with a cop as well as an ex-girlfriend (or fiancĂ©). Let me not forget that for a little while the media was saying that Zimmerman was supposedly half Latino (which automatically made him a “minority”), so race could not possibly be the issue. A lot of people bought that story as if there was no way non-whites could be racist towards one another. You never heard of a Latino who was racist towards blacks? Or vice versa?

However, I digress from the original intention of this writing, which was to prove how Martin is this generation’s Emmett Till, but I cannot do that...I refuse to do that (there plenty of online posts already making the comparison anyway, so no need for another). Emmett Till was murdered in a completely different era that my generation cannot possibly begin to understand. It is one thing to read about racism and analyze it, but it is something else to experience such palpable hatred because of your skin color. My generation knows nothing about the kind of racism that existed during the time of Till. What we experience today is discrimination. There is a tendency to lump events together as if they are the same when they are actually quite different. Only the problem is the same while the circumstances merely mirror each other. The problem is racism, but in that case we could compare every case where a black male has been shot at or incarcerated in the past 60 years at least.

There are some things I would like to say though...

To the Black Community: We always jump up to the protest when those in our community are killed by whites. Is black-on-black crime less painful to accept? Where are the rallies for the black men who are killed by other black men? Where are spotlight hungry Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson then? This is not to criticize the protests that the Martin case has spurred; it is only an observation. I think the protests are great. It proves that we can still mobilize. Another observation that I find interesting is that we always demand justice from the same people who were involved in the injustice in the first place. It is similar to Americans demanding that the Wall Street bankers who caused the economic recession  in the first place to fix the economy. It does not make sense.

Also, I notice that we get mad about these senseless killings, but the madness never results in tangible changes. We attempt to deal with the circumstances without ever working towards solving the problem. If we really wanted to do something we would hit them where it hurts: their pockets. How about becoming a sustainable community on our own and stop supporting this system that obviously does not care about us? It is the only way to show this society that we mean business. It cannot just be protests after protests. There has to be an economic plan along with the protests because the same thing will continue to happen with no accountability. We need to seperate ourselves from this system that is killing us off left and right. Let us stop Martin Luther King-ing it and start Malcom X-ing it (get it?).

Is it me or does the arrest of Zimmerman seem like a way to pacify the black community? I was not ecstatic when I heard of the arrest because, again, the arrest of one man does not eradicate the  real problem. Zimmerman will most likely be a free man at the end of this trial. By the way, has anyone wondered why the mainstream media has gotten so involved in this case? We have already established that they do not have the black people’s interests at heart, so why all the coverage? The case is becoming a media circus. Could it be to get ratings? Could it be a public distraction while something major is in the works? Or could they be using the case to laugh at black people, as in “Look at these dumb ass niggers! Haha!” This may go deeper than meets the eye.

To the (Racist) White Community: I am very well aware that white people are having a field day sending Zimmerman long distance high-fives for “nabbing another nigger” who was eventually going to “contribute to criminal activity” anyway. I have seen the online comments. Others simply do not care. Either way, I hate to bust your little bubble, but since Caucasians are the majority race, they commit the most crimes...against each other. The media does not want to admit this though. They would rather focus on black-on-white and black-on-black crime rates to perpetuate the idea that blacks are criminals meant to be caged.

In reality, 84% of white people killed every year are killed by other whites (Williams, 2012). Why? Because white tend to be surrounded by mostly whites. Just like blacks tend to be surrounded by mostly blacks. Stop trying to act as if whites are so much more civilized and nonviolent. Statistics show that “with respect to aggravated assault, whites led blacks 2-1 in arrests; in forcible rape cases, whites led all racial and ethnic groups by more than 2-1. And in larceny theft, white led blacks, again, more than 2-1” (Williams, 2012, para. 10). As a matter of fact, history has shown that whites are the most violent racial group on the planet against their own and others...while claiming to be devout Christians. (Oh, really now?)

To those people who claim that the race card is used too often: You are kind of correct. Sometimes, we are too quick to yell out racism without having all of the information to gain a clear perspective. Everything is not a race issue...but race sure as hell plays into cases like this. Black people are viewed as violent animals and when it comes to authoritative figures like the cops (both wannabes and real ones), it is always, “Shoot first, ask later” where blacks are concerned. When you are black, everything seems like a race issue (even more so if you are poor and black). If it was another racial group that had been historically demonized in society, then it would always be a (insert racial or ethnic group her) issue. Until you, or people who look like you, are the ones constantly being targeted, you will always fail to see a problem much less racial inequalities.

Finally...

I need my black people to understant that if all we are going to do is protest, then young black men like Martin will continue to be killed. Just recently in Chicago, 22-year-old Rekia Boyd was killed by a stray bullet to the head from a cop’s gun and 15-year-old Stephon Watts, who was autistic, was killed in his own home by officers (read about them here: The Socialist Worker. There are many more that have not been acknowledged by the media and probably never will be. When will we realize that every day we are participating in our very own destruction by supporting a system we claim is oppressing us?




Sources:

Williams, E. W. (2012, April 10). Don't white people kill each other, too? The Root. Retrieved from http://www.theroot.com/views/why-don-t-we-talk-about-white-white-crime?page=0,1

0 comments:

Post a Comment