Saturday, May 12, 2012

Trayvon Martin: The Story Continues

Sigh. Big HUGE sigh. The racial ignorance that plagues America's non-visibly Black people, at times, knows no boundaries. I just read an article about a company selling shooting range targets with the now ubiquitously known Trayvon adornments of a hoodie, Skittles, and a can of ice tea because the sellers "support Zimmerman and believe he is innocent and that he shot a thug". Innocent? The man has confessed to shooting Trayvon Martin. A thug? The kid was just 17. Now, could Trayvon have been on the road to thug-dom? Sure. But that night, he wasn't doing thuggish things. That night, he was just walking through the neighborhood, minding his own business, unlike the thuggish behavior of George Zimmerman.

Selling those targets was tasteless and a poor showing of humanity. Labeling the boy as just a thug takes away the fact that he was still a human being. It's what people do, this labeling, so that they feel better about what transpires. History is filled with labeled people, the "they" versus "us", ones stripped of their humanity. It happened to the Jews, the Africans, women, Japanese, Cubans, girls, Protestants, Catholics, and many, many other people. This type of labeling is just simply wrong.

So, within the space of a few minutes, I land on another article which talks about some Cornell students pelting other students, Black students, with bottles as the Black students walked by. The assailants even told one of the students, "Come up here, Trayvon", referring to the young man who was killed in February. This incident reminded me of my stay in Santander, Espana just 11 years ago. While there, I was pelted by bread, shot at with water guns, and called many names in Spanish by a few of the inhabitants there. Apparently, Black people don't live in that part of the country.

It is so unfortunate that Black people have to be repeatedly discriminated against. I want to yell that this is 2012 and all of our knowledge proves there's very little difference between a Black person and the Others and that most people, including those who don't look it, possess "Black" blood. But, as I'm finding, the world is not an intelligent place. This country, for instance, boasts an 80% illiteracy rate. Can I really expect a person who can not really read to understand something that isn't explicitly and verbally taught? Some people still think Black people are 3/5 of a person, that a Black person can not lead a country (at least, Betty White doesn't feel that way), that laziness and a fondness for chicken are only reserved for melanin-endowed.

Big big BIG sigh.

Positive note: Trayvon's mother's colleagues have donated sick time to her, accumulating over 8 months worth of sick time, time she's definitely going to need to see this case through. It's good to know there's some good out here in this world.


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