When it was reported that there was some lag time to discuss what should be done, I became physically ill. As an Uncle, Grandparent, and teacher of young black males, I always pray that they(young black males) will make it to adulthood without being taken down by the myriad of landmines that one has to navigate in an effort to enter adulthood with somewhat of an intact mind.
Apparently, the white vigilante was beyond disturbed and seeing a young black male set off all types of adrenaline-fueled fear and that immediately led to stupidity that is downright murder and pillage.
At some point as a culture, we have to decide that not only is this unacceptable but anybody who dares to think and act otherwise will be dealt with swiftly and accordingly.
While the media does a great job of letting us know the dangers that lurk behind dark male skin, there is little attention paid to the individuals determined to not be a statistic. George Zimmerman made sure Trayvon Martin became a statistic.
Neighbors complained about Zimmerman’s violence and odd behavior and yet nothing was done.
How do we protect young black men and keep them from being objects of suspicion and targets of racist oppressive thinking and in the case of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman deadly assaulted?
Should we lock them away before they are locked away via some other force?
Should we cling to the belief that people are good at heart and mistakes get made? Do we assume that if folks were gunning down young white males or females that this would be ended without so much as a discussion? Are we to assume that racism is here to stay and that no matter what we do or how high we rise it will never be enough to counter systematic and racist assaults?
None of these questions are sufficient and not one of them will bring back this young man or ease the pain I am certain his family and those that loved him are currently feeling.
My dream is that this will set off such an outrage that racism/classism/ageism and all of their disgusting effects will finally be addressed and handled in ways that are radical, revolutionary and usher in new and consistent change. While advertisers and those that support Rush Limbaugh are now limping away from a very nasty, ridiculous and vile association, we have yet to see a national outcry leading to financial devastation to anyone remotely tied to this debacle.
Worrying about our young people and praying that if they do the right thing (stay in the house/stay out of certain neighborhoods/stay with their own kind) that they will remain safe is stupid and highly myopic.
This is an opportunity to mobilize our collective pain and guilt and create some serious change.
By demanding and getting justice, we, as a culture, will be forced to enact new laws that hopefully will lead to some serious, much overdue behavioral changes. Behavioral changes and some changes in what is sanctioned, legally or not, will and must be changed as a part of this new regime.
On FB, I read a friend’s suggestion that if you have children you should be outraged. I want to offer an addendum.
We should all be outraged.
Previously published on anthony-carter.com
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