It’s Time to Change the Conversation
It seems like every time I turn on the television, radio, or even open up my home page on the internet, it’s all about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman these days. Even more specifically, I’m finding that a lot of people are taking this tragedy and turning it into a conversation about race relations in America. What would have happened if Trayvon Martin was the one with the gun and Zimmerman was killed while unarmed? Would the verdict have been different? While all of this is great to debate, we keep getting away from the real issue at hand. This case was not about race. This case was about profiling. George Zimmerman profiled a boy dressed like what he thought was a “thug” and took the issue into his own hands.
…the media conveniently made up a new race called
“white-Hispanic” in order for the racial spin to work…
I live in Florida and have followed this case since inception. From the beginning, even though George Zimmerman is a Hispanic man, the media conveniently made up a new race called “white-Hispanic” in order for the racial spin to work. As an African-American woman, mother, and sister, it pains me to see a young black boy gunned down in what was supposed to be a snack run. But not because of who killed him, but why he was killed. As our President said when it happened, if he had a son, he would have been Trayvon Martin. Translation – his “thug” attire is something worn by many young men in America today, especially young black men. I believe that on that dark, rainy night, if that hoodie wearing, Skittles toting boy was a post N’Sync Justin Timberlake, the scenario would have still ended the same. Boy gets followed and confronted by man, boy feels the need to prove that he ain’t no bitch, argument ensues, man realizes boy has a mean scrap game, man takes easy way out.
The African-American community has erupted in outrage at the verdict, no doubt fueled by the fact that it was passed down by an all white jury (with the exception of the one they couldn’t figure out so they called her “black OR hispanic”). But the conversation behind the verdict needs to be consistent. This man did not decide that black boys were trouble. This man decided that the boy in the hoodie was trouble. The jury decided that the boy in the hoodie was trouble as well. Why the prosecutors didn’t take the time to show any different is baffling to me, but that’s another conversation as well.
What we need to do is discuss why black victims don’t get adequate council unless they are able to pay $500 or more an hour in attorney fees. What we need to do is discuss with our children that profiling exists and if you act like a duck, sound like a duck, walk like a duck, more than likely, they are going to consider you a duck. Give them reasons to feel like something other than flippin’ birds on the corner is cool. Give them better role models. Give them a glimpse of what life can be like outside their hood.
At the end of the day, there are no winners in this situation. We will never know who “started” the fight. But the fact of the matter is, had Trayvon Martin not been profiled, Zimmerman probably would have stayed in the car and waited for the police to come and tell him he’s overreacting.See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.