Tag Archives: trayvon martin

I’m Sorry, White America! I See the Truth Now!

So, for a bit of time now in this blog and on Twitter, I’ve been taking many in the white segments of the American population to task for wanting to put blame on Trayvon Martin (the victim of a shooting) and dismiss the culpability of George Zimmerman (the shooter).

Now, via my association with The Field Negro (http://field-negro.blogspot.com and @thefieldnegro on Twitter) comes to me this story of a poll suggesting most white Americans don’t really believe Zimmerman is guilty of anything, despite the preponderance of evidence that he at the very least disobeyed police instructions and provoked a conflict with an unarmed black teen.

You know, even though even a casual reading of the facts of the case so far indicates that Martin was minding his own business and Zimmerman was at the very least criminally negligent, most of my fellow white folks apparently see some other truth.

So, it couldn’t be that they’re afraid of the specter of racism and are denying reality to rally around one of their own, right? I must be wrong. And so, I think I have finally figured out what happened that night. Black and white America…and everyone in between…you can thank me later.

The Real Story

George Zimmerman, dutiful neighborhood watch captain, is patrolling in his SUV and spots Trayvon Martin skulking through the area wearing a hoodie and menacingly brandishing a pack of Skittles and a soda as he leered at helpless and terrified citizens through the windows of their homes, mouthing threats to them silently through the glass.

Calling 911, Zimmerman reports suspicious behavior and is told that police will handle it and he shouldn’t continue to follow Martin.

Sensing something in the tone of the 911 operator’s voice that suggested possible collusion with the hulking Negro beast marauding in his neighborhood, Zimmerman continued to pursue Martin, knowing he was the only hope of his fellow residents against a fearsome threat fueled by candy and soft drinks.

Suddenly, Martin turned and saw his pursuer. Knowing it was a valiant neighborhood watch captain (for how could the youth even conceive the person following him in an SUV might be a molester, stalker or even a violent racist!), he snarled and began to lunge for the vehicle, scrabbling at Zimmerman’s windows and then cocking back a fist to plunge through the glass and pull the other man from the safety of his SUV.

Realizing now the terrible danger he was in, and suspecting perhaps the 911 operator actually had his safety in mind after all, Zimmerman backed his vehicle away, dislodging Martin and then preparing the leave the scene so that police could do their job properly.

But despite reaching speeds approaching 35 miles per hour in a residential area (and oh how Zimmerman dreaded doing such a lawless act!), Martin was keeping up with him, and used strange mental powers to open the locks on Zimmerman’s doors, pull him out of the vehicle and begin pummeling him.

With no choice, and his heart sick with the thought of it, Zimmerman pulled his pistol, and shot the horrid villain dead.

Now, the only reason we’re not getting this story, and instead getting an ever-changing and increasingly illogical tale from Zimmerman, his legal team and his well-connected judge father, is because of a vast conspiracy in the White House. Yes, “President” Barack Hussein Osama-bin-Obama is spending trillions to turn black youth into genetically enhanced, superpowered Muslim agents of destruction, and Zimmerman unwittingly discovered one of them.

I’m so glad that I know the truth now.

Again, my apologies, “White America.”

Hating the Wrong People

I’m not planning to make this blog into a litany of endless social injustices, despite what it may seem like as I follow up two Trayvon Martin posts with one about Shaima Al Awadi. But her case is worth noting as well, as it also points to a sickness of racism that continues to run through the veins of America—not just toward those who are born citizens (like African-Americans and most Hispanics) but also toward those who come here to enjoy the same rights and freedoms we do, and to contribute to our society and culture.

For those who aren’t familiar with the case, go here and here for some brief news stories. But the jist is this: An Iraqi woman (a mother of four) was found beaten to death in her California home, apparently with a threatening note next to her body saying she was a terrorist and should “go home.” Reportedly, the family had received a threatening note before but had dismissed it as a prank. Short of an unlikely finding that some family member or other person close to her killed her and used the note as a cover-up, what we have here is another hate crime…a crime committed for no good reason but to vent rage at someone “different.”

There is a similarity here with her and Trayvon, in that he looked “threatening” to George Zimmerman  in part for daring to wear a hooded sweatshirt, and Shaima wore the traditional hijab of her Muslim faith. Trayvon was almost certainly seen as a thug for his clothing almost as much as his skin color, and Shaima was likely seen as a terrorist or sympathizer of terrorism for her clothing, which was a part of her religious faith. A religion, I might point out, is practiced overwhelmingly by people who don’t want terrorism any more than the average Christian or Jew does.

The painful irony of this situation is that apparently Shaima came to the United States to flee the brutality of the Saddam Hussein regime when he still lived and ruled in Iraq. And then, in a land build by repeated waves of immigrants, she is seen as an enemy instead of the next wave of contributors and citizens, and killed in an act of senseless violence.

I admit I’m not as personally offended on a deep, heartfelt level with this case as with Trayvon. If I got torn up about every sick and violent tragedy that makes the news I’d be a basket case. Trayvon’s situation strikes hard for me because I have a son and daughter who are biracial and a Black wife. I have Black in-laws. Many of my online friends are Black (probably more of my offline friends would be, too, if I wasn’t stuck in the whitest state in the nation). And African-Americans have been systematically shat upon for centuries in this country. But the Shaima case still hurts.

Even formerly reviled immigrant groups like the Chinese, Irish, Italians, etc. in American history pretty much have been embraced, but Blacks continue to be “other” in the view of society. I wonder if the overblown threat of terrorism (oh, I know it’s a real threat…but it’s still been blown up beyond what it is) means that Arabs may end up in the same boat as Blacks and in many places Hispanics…always seen as some “thing” that contaminates American purity.

It’s depressing. A woman beaten to death out of hate, when she wasn’t the enemy.

Just because she practiced a religion misused and twisted by terrorists and because she had the same ethnic background as many of them.

I wonder how my pale-skinned brethren would feel if Blacks just started beating on random Whites on Wall Street for wearing the threatening and oppressive three-piece suit or on small town Main St. for wearing a baseball cap that marks them as a potential racist redneck?

Of course, it wouldn’t be a learning moment for America; it would just be an excuse to go out and oppress, beat or kill the Blacks who didn’t do the evil. Nothing changes there, right?

May Shaima’s family find the strength they need to keep going on and move beyond this tragedy while also keeping the memories they need of Shaima. The same for Trayvon’s family.

It’s just a pity more Americans aren’t crying out for justice in this case or even Trayvon’s. I’m disappointed. We should be better than that, as a country that says it’s free and open and accepting. As a country that claims to be above petty abuses and unethical behavior.

But we aren’t. We’re fast becoming a nation directed by thuggery, and that’s not a place we should be.

Bottom line: If we can’t get outraged—from the halls of Congress to the meeting halls of Main Street America to the pool halls of the most sketchy neighborhoods in the cities—when our citizens start killing women and children for the perceived wrongs of other members of their racial/ethnic/religious/whatever group, we don’t have any damned business telling anyone else anywhere else in the world what to do.

Put up or shut up, America.

Trayvon: The Beat Goes On (Beating On His Character)

So, it took weeks, but the right-wing nutjobs and the racist asshats in Florida finally have begun to weave together enough material to begin to assassinate the character of a murdered youth.

He had been suspended from school…so the hell what? As I understand it, he was suspended for chronic tardiness to a particular class, not for bad behavior or thuggery. I haven’t heard anything so far that indicates he was anything but a mostly good student.

There was marijuana residue in his backpack. Residue. Maybe he smoked pot, or maybe he let a pot-smoking friend borrow his backpack. Point is, there were no drugs in that backpack and from what I’ve heard so far, tests on his corpse showed no drugs. And even if he did like to smoke pot now and again, let me make a couple things clear. First, I was an honor student, and I hung out with other honor students, and being a good student doesn’t mean you don’t ever imbibe or smoke things you aren’t supposed to. Ergo, doing such things doesn’t automatically make you a bad person or a bad student. Also, when was the last time you saw a violent pothead? People who smoke marijuana are generally peaceful folks, unless they’re putting a whole lot of other things in their body in addition to the pot.

Oh, and he listened to gangster rap? Oh myyyyyy. How…how…you know: who cares!!! I have gangster rap in my music collection. Plenty of his white classmates listen to it, too, I can guarantee. Listening to country and western doesn’t mean you’re an idiot redneck either. Nor does listening to punk rock make you a punk.

Finally, there is evidence that perhaps George was roughed up a bit? That Trayvon might have reached for his gun?

Oh, really?

Let’s recap:

  • George was in a vehicle, following Trayvon (which would creep me out and make me feel threatened and in danger if I was a youth)
  • George called 911
  • 911 told George they didn’t need him to follow the “suspect” and police would take things from there
  • George didn’t follow directions
  • In addition to continuing to stalk Trayvon against official instructions, George chose to exit his vehicle, carrying a weapon.

So, George was acting creepy as hell, and didn’t stay in his nice, safe vehicle, and that’s Travyon’s fault? We don’t know exactly what went down when they were both on the street together, and we never will…but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if George scared the hell out of Trayvon (for no reason and with no authorization or authority) and Trayvon thought (justifiably) that his safety was in danger and perhaps his life. Maybe a fight started then, but Trayvon didn’t make it happen. He didn’t reach into George’s vehicle and drag him out of it.

There was only one armed person who picked a fight. That was George Zimmerman. A man with a history of questionable behavior and vigilante tendencies. He’s a murderer and Trayvon’s a victim.


Where’s the Outrage?

You know one of the things that most pisses me off about the murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Florida?

The response from conservatives.

Where’s the outrage?

Most of them only got publicly outraged about President Obama’s words of empathy and sympathy for Trayvon’s parents, accusing him of opportunism and fanning the flames.

So far, the only one I know about calling attention loudly to the injustice of Trayvon’s killing is U.S. Rep. Allen West of Florida, a high-profile conservative and one of two African-American Republicans currently serving in Congress, who lambasted local authorities for their mishandling of the Trayvon Martin case thus far. Other conservative folks seemed too intent on trying to suggest Trayvon was a “bad kid” even days after it became clear he wasn’t one…or they’ve been too busy trying to defend Florida’s insane laws that helped make this killing happen…or they’ve been blaming Trayvon for wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

But you know what? Trayvon did the kinds of things conservatives keep telling black folks that they need to do to “be safe” and “fit in” and “be respected.”

He did all those things and got good grades and had big dreams and laudable goals for his future adulthood. George Zimmerman, disobeying police instructions and making himself judge, jury and executioner, took all that away.

Why aren’t conservatives outraged that a “good” black kid who did “all the right” things was murdered? Why aren’t they mad that they lost one of the potential “respectable” black people who might grow to appreciate the GOP? Why aren’t they angry that a promising young person had his life stolen away? Why are they more interested in defending a vigilante who was out of line instead of a kid who did “what he’s supposed to”?

I’m sure it isn’t racism. Or hypocrisy. Or pig-headed lack of compassion. Or maybe even just plain evil.

No, it isn’t any of those things.

It’s ALL of them.

If you aren’t taking Trayvon’s side in this matter, fuck you…fuck you hard…and fuck you forever. You’re as dead to me in spirit as Trayvon is corporeally.