From the stack.
The societal impact of the Martin-Zimmerman trial:
People are using Trayvon Martin’s death as an excuse to project their own deep-seated issues with racism and will not be capable of intelligent, empathetic debate until they’ve cooled down and afforded themselves an education.
Addressing Trayvon without first addressing the absence of critical thinking in our schools, the lack of introspection, the reasons for our low tolerance and our country’s skewed value system does nothing more than create a sounding board for the ignorant. So rather than facilitate more racism outcry, I’d like to address young black people specifically.
I believe we lost that trial for Trayvon long before he was killed. Trayvon was doomed the moment ignorance became synonymous with young black America . We lost that case by using media outlets (music, movies, social media, etc.) as vehicles to perpetuate the same negative images and social issues that destroyed the black community in the first place. When we went on record glorifying violent crime and when we voted for a president we never thought to hold accountable. When we signed on to do reality shows that fed into the media’s stereotypes of black men, we ingrained an image of Trayvon Martin so overwhelming that who he actually may have been didn’t matter anymore.
Don’t you find it peculiar that the same media outlets who have worked so diligently to galvanize the negative stigmas of black men in America are now airing open debates on improving the image of black males in American media? Do you honestly think CNN is using their competitive time slots for philanthropy?
“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” – Rahm Emanuel
People respond to perceptions. And when perceptions are put out there in a specific manner, it should surprise no one that people will react predictably.
If we really wanted to ensure Trayvon Martin’s killing was not in vain, we’d stop perpetuating negative images that are now synonymous with black men in America. We’d stop rapping about selling drugs and killing niggas. The next time we saw a man beating a woman, we’d call for help or break it up, but one thing we would not do is stand by with our cellphones out — yelling WORLDSTAR! Instead of rewarding kids for memorization, we’d reward them for independent and critical thinking.
We’d spend less time subconsciously repeating lyrics about death and murder and more time understanding why we are so willing to twerk to songs that bemean women and boast of having things we cannot afford. We’d set examples of self-love for our youth by honoring our own hair, skin and eye color. We’d stop spending money on designer gear that we should be spending on our physical and psychological health. We’d seek information outside the corporate owned-media that manipulates us. We’d stop letting television babysit our kids and we’d quit regurgitating pundits we haven’t come up with on our own.
Education, introspection, self-love and excellence are the only ways to overcome the wrath of ignorance. So before going back to popping molly and getting Turnt Up, I urge you to consider the implications of your actions. Your child’s life may depend on it.
The more I think through the Treyvon Martin case, the more convinced I am that any profiling that Zimmerman did was appropriate. We all profile everyday.
If we see something out of the ordinary that we feel poses a potential threat to our safety, we have a right to notice and take action. That action might only be to take metal note. It might be to take literal notes.
It might be to call 9-1-1.
It might be to follow while on the phone with 9-1-1.
I’m here to tell you that if my neighborhood begins to experience heightened levels of crime and I’m driving through my neighborhood, watching or just going to get a quart of milk, and I see someone that I find suspect – I’m following them.
And living in a free society with laws based on liberty of the individual, I get to do that without having to answer to questions of motive or prejudice.
More and more as I talk to people I know and meet I find myself swayed by only one argument as it pertains to the Treyvon Martin case:
Shooting an individual over simple assault is unacceptable.
That is, if one white guy were the victim of another white guy beating him, firing a gun to kill would be inappropriate. Or, if a woman were being beaten by a man, that woman would be wrong to draw a gun and shoot to kill.
This argument is simple: deadly force to avoid further bodily harm is wrong.
I think that reasonable people can disagree with the conclusion, but it is the one argument I find valid.
I’ve never not thought that we needed to have a conversation about race. Of course we need to have a conversation and we have to have one now more so than in the recent past. It hasn’t been since Obama – McCain in 2008 that we’ve talked about race in a significant manner. And this moment in time seems more poignant.
So yeah, let’s have that conversation.
And that means putting on your big girl panties. A conversation means interaction; interaction in ways that might be difficult, emotional and divergent from your own views.
So here is Bill:
Controversial? Yup. Opinionated? Yup. A conversation starter? Yup.
So, Hayes has an opinion. I get that. And his opinion is that he doesn’t like O’Reilly’s opinion. Which, I guess, is fine. But what we’re trying to do here is have a conversation. Which, like I said, is about engaging with UNlike minded people.
Hayes isn’t doing that here. What he’s doing is anti-conversation having. What he’s doing is offering a soliloquy, a speech of one with no option of dissenting views.
Which, like I said, is fine. But it’s not a conversation. And we need to have that conversation.
Easily the story of the week and month. In the running for the story of the year.
The nation has been gripped, though less so until the trial started, by the Zimmerman Martin narrative. The reason for the hype and national attention?
The story has been constructed as a defining bias in America. A young black man unfairly treated by a white man in “authority” and then mistreated by a racist justice system.
My take of the verdict was one of inevitability. In my mind, from the very beginning, there was little, or even any, doubt that Treyvon assaulted George and that, acting in self defense, George shot Treyvon.
With that said, I have felt a profound sense of loss for the family of Treyvon. They have lost a son who set out to buy an evening snack of Skittles and tea. On his way home, an encounter with a neighborhood watch member went wrong, horribly wrong, with the result that a young man lost his life.
I get the tragedy. I get the feeling that must be racing through the family’s veins. I get the idea that something is wrong.
But I don’t agree that those feelings change the fact that George Zimmerman acted in self defense.
It’s going to take a long time to figure this one out and come to some form of peace. For the nation, the families and even for me. What was it that caused Zimmerman to suspect a young Treyvon? What was it that caused this young man to lash out and feel that his only recourse was to beat Zimmerman? Is it race? Is it natural suspicion? Is it biases? And if so, are those biases justified or are they horrible examples or residual bigotry?
All these feelings, investigating these feelings and questioning all of it is natural.
Time will tell.