The “elephant in the room” idiom is truly summoned when you attempt to ignore the overwhelming outcry of opinions, feelings, thoughts, etc that are EVERYWHERE. Literally, everywhere.
No matter how much you keep your reflections to yourself, there is a sense of urgency to vocalize which “side” you are on. And the general expectation seems to be predetermined according to race… and more subtly, according to generation.
To state my opinion, I believe a consequence was in order. I believe an innocent child died because one man, took it upon himself to NOT follow instructions…to NOT follow standard protocol. It’s just like how army movies always emphasize the seriousness of following orders/commands because people’s lives are at stake when you don’t.
At the end of the day, racial profiling or not… an innocent child is dead because of another man’s wrong choice.
– – – – – – But let’s look at the issue of race. – – – – – –
I have read a couple of blogs where a white male pleads for some level of empathy for the black community in this country. They proceed to talk about white privilege and how black people being affected by the outcome of the trial, is understandable… especially given that blacks are at a disadvantage (racial-profiling, post-slavery effects, etc).
Some of the responses to these blogs were, and are pretty intense.
One called it “disturbing” that they would make it about race … another basically said people should get over it; they did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt etc…While others are deeply touched by the acknowledgement of “their” pain as a race… and other non-blacks are passionate about being people who are mourning with the Martin’s and choosing to be sensitive to the racism issue… expressing a willingness to learn more about the struggles black people face in america.
However, the real explosion of division has come through our favourite social medium… FACEBOOK.
Going along with the paper trail… or at least based on the six degrees of separation theory, I have observed that the majority of the white people I am directly and/or indirectly connected to, have remained silent on this issue… or outwardly expressed how jurors were doing the right thing, or felt they could relate to wanting to protect your environment and family, etc… and the minority of which, would call the outcome of the trial an injustice.
On the other side of the fence, in this case being the representative of the African-Americans, I have seen the dynamic extremes in response to this trial…. some are completely absurd and shockingly malicious statements; to the point of supporting the alleged bounty for Zimmerman’s capture and hopeful arrest by the black panthers… (Scooby Doo sound effects and look, are unavoidable here). Some are emotional outcries for “equality” in the “land of the free”… like this case was the the last straw that broke the camels back. Others are of a triggered fear for their own children and the world they are to face. Some are disturbed and hurt that other white people deliberately choose to remain silent and not comment on facebook about this “atrocity”.
With this one case, it seems more uproar and division was generated and the question is.. what now? where do we go from here?
There is no doubt that racial discrimination still exists in america, i would need to write a separate blog on some of the experiences I have encountered in other countries prior to living here and the occurrences since I moved here.
But that discrimination, whether we want to admit or not, goes in multiple directions…if we were to judge the heart. Let’s push aside all the elements of power…social status…corruption… white privilege…etc. We, black people, even discriminate against ourselves…
I had a friend recently comment, as we saw an indian guy about to cross the street close to the vehicle we were in, say something about locking the door… and the response of another friend was basically that if it had been a black guy, she would have locked the door. Would this not be considered racial profiling? or would we rather call it stereotyping? or is she just responding based on her life experiences?
And to the fairer skinned community, guess what… prejudice exists unfortunately, even with the people who are meant to uphold the law we all live by. There is NO denying that. It does not mean everyone is guilty and unjust… but people are.
Even if you look at Martin Luther King Jr‘s day, he was thrown into jail multiple times for absolutely nothing… can we pretend some level of discrimination does not occur today… no, we can’t. I can’t tell you how many of my friends have been pulled over and had their cars searched for “drugs”… decent people…I can’t express even the experience I had as a juror in a case here where armed robbery occured… even the lawyers admitted their reasons for selecting specific people to serve. Why? Because BIAS exists. You hand pick and eliminate people based on whether they would be beneficial or detrimental to your case. Else, they would let anyone randomly serve…some level of categorizing people occurs.
At the end of the day, Trayvon Martin is still dead… and Zimmerman is acquitted.
So at this point, healing and moving forward does not give anyone the right to make their pain more substantial than what his mother and close family/friends are experiencing. It does not give anyone the right to make threats to Zimmerman’s life. It does not give anyone the right to further push the racial divide by expressing anger and hatred towards any race.
If we truly desire to create that “better place”… where we can be equal… and “free”… propagating more racial.. whatever you want to call it.. in the midst of emotionalism, will NOT move us in the right direction.
There is free speech, but let it be used wisely.
And if you believe in “justice”.. does that also mean you have HOPE? Does that mean you believe change is possible?
If that is the case, then focus your energy and actions in leading generations by your hope…or even faith (should you believe).
Martin Luther King Jr was found blameless because he remained, even in the face of injustice.
Can you say the same?