Editor’s Note: Post contains racially sensitive language; please be advised
You want to think that you live in the 21st century and that things have changed. You want to think that the old ways of thinking are slowly dying out with each passing day; old prejudices reduced to whispers (including ones own). That is what you think until events like the Trayvon Martin case hit.
I really had no reaction; I did not cry out in fury. Its been more a resignation that in this life and these United States a Black life is weighed differently than others. The anger I feel, that bubbles up every time someone defends the decision to acquit George Zimmerman or to shift the death of a 17 year old boy to his shoulders is indescribable.
From all accounts Martin was a good kid and not a thug, yet he has become one in the 48 hours since the sentence was delivered. I mean the first juror to be interviewed basically said Zimmerman was innocent because its easy to mistake one black kid in a sweatshirt for the countless unseen Black criminals that plague the thoughts of suburbanites. I can’t even blame the woman or Zimmerman because the sad fact is some Black people commit crime and their crimes and their color mar all of us who share the same skin tone.
So in case you didn’t know if you are Black the act of other Black people good or bad reflects upon you and your actions on them.
And even knowing that it DOES NOT excuse Zimmerman’s actions. He did his due diligence by calling 911 and he messed up trying to be a “hero” and following a boy in the dark. How was Trayvon supposed to act seeing a guy who’s not police or security come upon him. People are asking that Martin be the responsible one in the situation and not the adult Zimmerman.
So he gets off and people blame the dead for being shot.
I do not know whether to laugh or cry at absurdity of it.
And so people protest and create images of Martin Luther King in a Hoodie. And people will remark on the interracial profile of the protestors. And its cute and in these hours it feels meaningless. I mean is this rainbow coalition going to take a bullet for the next Trayvon? Is super imposing Martin Luther King’s image going to make it better?
The whole thing is disheartening; we have the first African American President and the first Black Attorney General and both seem powerless in this regard. When they speak it feels like someone calling from a tall tower.
The “Talk” has now entered the American lexicon because of this case. Not the one about sex and contraception, but the one about conduct around people with badges and guns. “Do not sound aggressive”, “Its always Yes sir or No sir, not Naw”. Now the Talk has been expanded (or returned) to add anyone with a gun. The Talk is given to all Black kids but it is aimed at Black males because the Judicial system is the third option after Rap and the NBA. The Talk is the realization that yes you can be whatever you want but you also live in America which means you a Nigger, are perceived as a Nigger and at times will be treated as one outright. It will not matter if you have had no contact with other Black people and sound like Carlton Banks, you need to stay on your P’s and Q’s.
And I think that is why we are all upset
Its the 21st century and Our President is Black
And We’re still Niggers