In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s horrific murder, there has been a palpable outrage similar to the electric emotions that were generated by the state-sanctioned slaying of Troy Davis.
Though the two cases are polar opposites in certain aspects, one commonality weaves through both narratives that illuminate the underlying racist structure of this country. By the very virtue of their differences and the vast disparities in the situations, what becomes resoundingly clear is that it doesn’t matter if they’re criminals; it doesn’t matter if they’re young or old, carrying a gun or carrying a pack of Skittles.
Our boys and men are guilty on sight because they are Black.
Unfortunately, as the Sanford Police Department, spearheaded by Chief Bill Lee, continues to make excuses for murderer George Zimmerman, the chorus has taken an ugly turn that needs to be addressed.
Why are self-righteous Black folks using this opportunity to shift the blame to the issues plaguing the African-American community?
For every post of support for Trayvon, there are two that read:
“Well, I’m tired of us killing each other!”
“I don’t know why y’all worried about what the white man is doing, you need to be worrying about what’s going on every day in the hood!”
And I completely agree, but the problem with that train of thought is simple: Shifting blame to crimes that have been committed brother against brother, sister against sister, in a time when we need to come together to foster a sense of solidarity is counter-productive and broadcasts the disconnect that fractures our community to the world. It screams that we don’t care about racism; we don’t care about gun toting white bastards with superiority complexes menacing young Black boys and girls. Shifting the blame away from the racism and focusing the microscope squarely on the evil that is perpetuated in our own communities does nothing but allow racist, violent criminals like George Zimmerman to get away with murder – literally – and allows the Sanford Police Department to be accessory to murder after the fact with no discernible consequences.
Yes, we need to stop killing our own; we needed to stop killing our own long before Trayvon’s death and will need to stop killing our own long after. Where was the outcry, the mobilization efforts to curtail violence in urban slums across the United States the day before Trayvon was murdered?
I’m the first to say that we need to hold ourselves responsible for the state of Black America. By default, we are often our own worst enemy. That does not mitigate the fact that the root of the state of Black America is not of our own making. Pay close attention. I didn’t say the branches of poverty, the un-nurtured flowers of children living in broken homes, nor the weeds of crime.
I said the root.
Racism, classism, bigotry, psychological and physical slavery, still holds power over our communities. Should that fact be minimized because we have picked up the mantle and turned against ourselves? Does one evil outweigh the other? Should we ignore the fact that we can do everything “right” by society’s rules and still be moving targets?
We can stress education, we can move to a predominantly white gated community, but our children can still be lynched while walking to the convenience store. That is the tragedy of Travyon Martin.
More importantly, isn’t there a time for a level of basic respect? Do you think Trayvon’s family is walking around saying, “Yeah, a White man killed our son, but Black men kill each other every day, so what?”
(Sidenote: I couldn’t care less that his mother is Hispanic, he was White until he gunned down a Black child in cold-blood. Now the mainstream media wants to shift this scum-bag to the Hispanic community, which in all actuality doesn’t prevent Zimmerman from being white; people can be both white and Hispanic. As most know, Hispanic is not a race, but nice try media, now tell it to someone stupid.)