It does not matter that George Zimmerman is not white

March 25, 2012

George Zimmerman

It does not matter that George Zimmerman is not white.

Hypothetical Story based on the Trayvon Martin Case: A 17 year old black teen was murdered while walking home from a convenience store with ice tea and a bag of Skittles. The suspect, a 28 year old male, was arrested and is in police custody awaiting trial.

Stories similar to the one above happen frequently and tragically in cities across America. Yet few have garnered as much national and international attention as the Trayvon Martin case. Why? Is it because an innocent black teen was murdered by a racist? No. What if Trayvon had been murdered by a thief, or a gang member, or a serial killer? The story would still be tragic. Trayvon would still be dead, murdered senselessly on his return from the store. But the world would not be in such an uproar and racial tensions would not be as high.

Some Americans have made it their mission to inform all of us that reports of a white male killing Trayvon are inaccurate. These Americans state it is a smear against white people, to inflame racial tensions and produce a narrative that does not exist. To their credit, it is important to get the facts straight. “George Zimmerman” does not sound much like a Hispanic name, however photos of the man certainly resemble a person with Hispanic features. Add to that the family of George Zimmerman emerging to inform us that George is not white, and these Americans are right in their correction.

So facts matter. Getting the truth right matters. But whether George is white or not has little to do with the uproar from the black community and the accusations of racism and injustice. In the example I initially provided, the unarmed teen victim was killed and the murder suspect was arrested. But that is not what happened in the Trayvon Martin case. Trayvon the unarmed teen was killed, but the suspect, George Zimmerman, walks free with his gun in hand.

National and international uproar, the shouts of injustice, the Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton appearances, the Obama remarks, the Miami Heat tributes, the intense anger particularly in the black community are not merely due to a racist murdering a black teen, but that racist walking free after the murder. George was not found “not guilty” by a jury and set free, he was set free by the police who took his word at the crime scene and let him go home with his gun.

So where does race play in this? Where does the black and white tension come from if Zimmerman wasn’t even white? The tension is found in the double standard, the signs of second class citizenry that appear blatantly obvious to the black community. It is a double standard that values the lives of white Americans more than black Americans and it has existed since this nation’s founding.

No one believes that a big black George Zimmerman would walk free without arrest. No one believes his testimony would be trusted by the police, especially when he pursued the teen after a 911 dispatcher told him not to. No one believes that a small white Trayvon Martin would be drug tested before the suspect, or assumed to be the aggressor by the police. No one believes the family of a white Trayvon Martin would be lied to about the history of the murder suspect by the police, or that a white family would face trust issues concerning the quality of investigation by the police.

No one believes a black George Zimmerman with a history of assault on a police officer, domestic violence, and resisting arrest would have any advocates in law enforcement supporting his claims of self defense. This is a nation that recently executed Troy Davis. This is a nation that sentenced John White on second degree manslaughter charges. John was arrested for accidentally shooting a white teenager who came with a group of his friends as a “lynch mob” to White’s property at midnight to threaten him and his family with violence and racial slurs. John White went to jail, Zimmerman has not been arrested. Police arrested Professor Henry Louis Gates for “breaking into his own property” when he forgot his key.

No need to list the history of injustices suffered by black Americans at the hands of the police. A simple google search will yield around 30 million results.

This is a tragic reality that appears unique and persistent to black Americans. The beating of Kelly Thomas by Fullerton police was so rare that for some white Americans it was a light bulb moment that they too might be vulnerable. Pepper spray on Occupy protestors or the arrest of the “Don’t Taze me Bro” pale in comparison to the shooting deaths of Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Ramarley Graham, the Rodney King beating, and many other black tragedies. Couple those tragedies with the fears of driving while black, fitting the description, excessive force and police brutality, having drugs planted on you, Katrina murders by police, etc. and the Trayvon Martin case is another stab to an open wound.

So these fears have plagued the black community for years, decades, and generations. But the Trayvon Martin case is not a case of a abuse where Trayvon was a suspect. The Trayvon Martin case is a case of abuse where Trayvon was the victim. The UNARMED VICTIM received injustice. The VICTIM cries from his grave while his killer goes about his life freely without arrest. And even this has sad historical precedents; Emmett Till, Shirley Sherrod’s father, etc.

So if this is mainly a case of outrage over police injustice with the black community, where does the white-black tension lie? Please note, when I mention “white-black tension” I am not saying the Trayvon Martin case has sparked a hatred against white Americans by black Americans. I am saying that it intensifies the contrast in justice, freedom, safety and security, the contrast of protection under the law between the experiences of white Americans and black Americans once again. That is where the racial tension lies. It lies in the constant reminder that black Americans who built this nation are once again denied the rights, securities, and privileges guaranteed to all Americans and enjoyed by white Americans.

Yes Zimmerman appears to be a racist, and that’s awful. But if the police and justice system in Florida did not also appear to have racial biases, this national uproar would not have happened. It is naive of us to think that the election of Barack Obama has or can fix everything. The Trayvon Martin case is like re-injuring an old wound once again that never seems to heal. And Zimmerman’s ethnic make up does little to distract or comfort from the perceived and blatant double standard of justice for Trayvon and black Americans.

RIP Trayvon.

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Jim Renacci, Republican nominee for House of Representatives, rant against civil rights

September 9, 2010

Link to video

racist Jim Renacci

Watch the video above. A concerned citizen asks Ohio Republican nominee for the House of Representatives, Jim Renacci, about the lack of diversity in his campaign and what he plans to do in terms of civil rights and diversity. In response, Ranacci launches into a rant about “freedom” and how the federal government should get out of civil rights, which he believes should be handled locally.
The voter then points out civil rights came about largely because of the federal government, as certain cities and states were adamant about enforcing racism. For Jim Renacci to suggest that the federal government should get out of civil rights and “these issues be handled locally” is to suggest that he is against civil rights entirely. And he never answered the voters initial question concerning the lack of diversity in his campaign, or why minority communities should support his campaign.

He is clearly unqualified for the office, and it is sad that such subtle racist attitudes still exist in 2010.


White woman “abducted by 2 black men” lied. She was found at Disney World safe with her daughter

May 28, 2009

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/30978215#30978215

Here is the story

A 38 year old white mother, Bonnie Sweeten, lied to police that she and her daughter had been rear ended and abducted by two black men, then stuffed in the back of their Cadillac. The truth is the woman had withdrawn $12000 from various bank accounts, used false identification (her friend’s license) to purchase tickets to Florida and took her daughter to Disney World. The woman has been placed under arrest and is charged with with false reports and identity theft, both misdemeanors. Hopefully no black men were arrested or harassed because of the woman’s false story.

Police believe domestic issues between the woman and her husband might have been a motivator in this issue.

UPDATE:


GOP’s racist attacks against Sotomayor

May 27, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1zGYZrxlws

Sotomayor graduated from Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx. She earned her A.B. from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude in 1976. Sotomayor obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Sotomayor then served as an Assistant District Attorney under prominent New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, prosecuting robberies, assaults, murders, police brutality, and child pornography cases. In 1984, she entered private practice, making partner at the commercial litigation firm of Pavia & Harcourt, where she specialized in intellectual property litigation.


“Kids dying weekly in Chicago” How CNN should have covered youth deaths story

May 8, 2009

cnn_teendeath_coverage

When reporting upon the tragic and brutal death of a 15 year old kid in Chicago (the latest in a trend of great violence against youth in that city), CNN did something that America must change if we are to perfect our union. They classified the death as “minority” and from the “streets”. Who cares that the kid was a minority? Does that make his tragic death any less tragic? There should be no special classification of deaths based on race, ethnicity, gender or social economic status. A 15 year old kid is a 15 year old kid, and he/she matters!

The second thing CNN did is added the word “streets”, which implies some kind of gangster/drug trafficking connection. But upon reading about the story, we learn that this youth had no criminal background, showed no sign of being affiliated with gangs, and actually was a quiet, shy, nice kid who was just leaving his girlfriends house. What is “street” about that? Regardless of whether or not the murderers were “street”, when CNN uses that word and places it beneath the image of the victim, it implies that he too had some “street” (criminal) affiliation.

CNN’s story would read much stronger if it was titled “Kids dying weekly in Chicago“. That makes the story universally accessible. Every adult has been a kid, and many adults have kids. By saying “kids”, you make the connection that that could have been your son or your brother or your cousin or you!
CNN should have also just said “Chicago” not “Chicago’s streets”, as if implying some special ghetto gangster subcategory of Chicago that can be easily stereotyped and dismissed. No this is Chicago:
Oprah’s Chicago
President Obama’s Chicago
The White Sox’s and Cubs Chicago
Michael Jordan’s Chicago
The Chicago Frank Sinatra was singing about
The Chicago that is hoping to host the Olympic Games Chicago

Yes, in this Chicago, kids are dying weekly. How can any city who hopes to host the Olympic Games, tolerate such unimaginable youth violence? At least 1 kid a week has been killed since the beginning of this year, some as young as 10.

One good thing that CNN did report was how this story would be covered if that many children had died due to the swine flu. We have to wake up America. The lives of our kids matter greatly, and this violence they face should not be tolerated! It should be exposed for the true tragedy that it is, something that should cause grief to all Americans.


Return of the “peasant” class

April 16, 2009

The Peasant class returns

It is hard to say it any better than the video above says it. People at the tea bag parties around the country are full of misdirected anger and hatred. Their behavior is completely irrational, ignorant and ironic. They will be receiving one of the largest tax cuts in recent years, and they are in a fury about taxes? They are calling the President a fascist, and they do not even know what the word means. Rachel Maddow also uncovered alot of not-so-hidden racism within this bunch, including posters of President Obama as a shoe shine boy.

They make a small, yet convenient army for the rich in this nation, whom taxes will affect the most after the Bush tax cuts expire. Their anger and demonstrations will not improve their lives. Nor will their hatred towards our President, who is actually trying to pass policies that will help them.

Sad.


Republican Mayor resigns after sending racist email about the President

February 28, 2009

deanwendykody-058a1


Video link of the story

Republican Mayor Dean Grose of Los Alamitos California is set to resign from office after sending a racist email about the President. The email read “No Easter egg hunt this year,” beneath a photo of the White House with a huge watermelon patch right in front of it.

To the FORMER Mayor and his supporters, it’s important to remember that this is 2009, not 1939. We should be over racist ignorance like this.