Colion Noir is an “urban gun enthusiast” and the latest spokesperson for the NRA. He is featured in a new television advertisement aimed primarily at the black community. The following snippet is the start of Mr. Noir’s spiel:
“No one wants to fight for their protection. They want the government to do it. The same government who at one point hosed us down with water, attacked us with dogs, and wouldn’t allow us to eat at their restaurants and told us we couldn’t own guns when bumbling fools with sheets on their heads were riding around burning crosses on our lawns and murdering us.”
Mr. Noir reminds people of the life of our ancestors and elders and their attempts to bring the nation’s attention to all of the racial inequality that black people had to deal with in the southern states prior to the civil rights era. Just imagine how the nation would have responded if instead of seeing peaceful black people being attacked by the white establishment intent on keeping black people in their place of second class citizenship, black people grabbed guns and started shooting it out with the white sheriffs, their deputies, and other law enforcement officers charged with keeping the peace with the weapons of their choice. Just imagine what life would have been like for the black community if they were to rise up en masse Nat Turner style and said enough was enough.
I would imagine that instead of the black community garnering national sympathy for their cause there would have been a swift and nearly universal condemnation of any black person who even looked like they participated in such civil unrest, which basically means any black person in the vicinity of the United States. In the vast majority of the public’s eyes, black people and guns is a volatile concoction that should never ever be allowed to mix. Any black person that raises a gun to defend his or her self from a white person is tempting fate whatever the circumstance. If anybody needs any convincing just ask the black John White who was convicted for murder the night he used a gun against the white seventeen year old and intoxicated Daniel Cicciaro, Jr. when the teenager got a drunken posse of four of his buddies to drive across town in order to teach Mr. White’s son Aaron a lesson for being accused of dishonoring a white girl as part of a joke that had gone totally and horribly wrong.
Black people with guns are a threat. Tell a white home owner that one of his neighbors is a black man and owns a gun and dude will probably make a beeline to the gun store to max out his Visa on all the weaponry that can fit in the back of his Ford pickup just so he can defend his self. In fact, the NRA’s executive vice president Wayne LaPierre has made statements warning law abiding people in the areas hit hardest by hurricane Sandy to prepare for a hellish world of overwhelmed if not totally collapsed law enforcement agencies and having to deal with roving gangs of armed minorities. In his eyes, it only makes sense that white people buy more guns to protect themselves from all the black people who are going to go out and buy guns. And if you don’t believe him just take a look at their new commercial featuring that black Mr. Noir.
However, Mr. Noir’s sales pitch is totally off base. A lot of people want to fight for their protection. A lot of people are fighting the good fight to keep guns out of the hands of people who should never have guns. Not every fight means you have to pick up a weapon with the intent of fighting to the death. Sometimes, the fight is one of politics, where people argue their point to convince the majority of what’s the right approach to a problem.
That’s the way our ancestors fought the good fight. It’s probably true that a lot of people wanted back in the civil rights movement wanted to meet violence with their own violence. But that would have done nothing but led to an escalation of violence that the black community, outnumbered and under armed, would have surely lost. Black people picking up guns in an attempt to inflict racial equality on a country chock full of white entitlement would have surely ended in disaster. Guns are not always the answer and many times they are the problem.
The answer for our ancestors and elders was actually government. More specifically it was a strong federal government that stepped into the picture to keep local and state government from trampling the rights of people in the black community. It was the federal government that told people stores and restaurants that they had to serve black people. It was the federal government that told the local sheriff that he couldn’t use fire hoses on black people. It was a strong federal government that passed the laws that protected black people’s right to attend schools previously reserved for white people. It was the threat of the federal government stepping in to enforce civil rights laws that made the local government step up to the plate for fear of having their authority revoked by a federal marshal. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the local heads of government could wind up under scrutiny of a federal investigation that could end with federal criminal charges.
Bottom line is that Mr. Noir has it all wrong. A lot of people want to fight for their protection. A lot of people want to fight to make sure that the government keeps its responsibility to its citizenry. The government that protects our rights isn’t the same government that hosed black people down. And if we aren’t careful and don’t remember that fact, the governments that did abuse black people will be back. It will be like they never left.
Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu decided to wear his racism on his sleeve after former Secretary of State Colin Powel went public with his decision to endorse Barack Obama for a second term as President of the United States instead of his Republican associate former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Way back during the GOP primaries Mr. Powell was critical about Mr. Romney. After Mr. Romney made the comment that Russia was the number one geopolitical foe of the United States Mr. Powell made the suggestion that Mr. Romney should actually think about what he’s saying if he wants to become President. Instead, Mr. Romney doubled down on inconsistent nonsense and conservative rhetoric meant to excite the Republican faithful but few others. In the end Mr. Powell made his critical endorsement.
Like a pit bull trained to attack, Mr. Sununu leapt to criticize Mr. Powell. During an interview with CNN’s Pierce Morgan, Mr. Sununu made the suggestion that Mr. Powell suffers from being black. Mr. Sununu said that when some black people are conditioned to support other black people in a key position or role no matter what. Mr. Powell supports Mr. Obama only because of the commonality of their skin color and not because Mr. Powell made an honest assessment and concluded that Mr. Obama as the better choice to lead the country. Mr. Sununu wants people to believe that a black man that served three conservative white skinned Presidents is now so color struck for another black man that he can’t think straight.
Later, Mr. Sununu offered an apology to his “good friend” Mr. Powell and retracted his statement. Like a lot of conservative politicians these days, he says his words filled with race baiting rancor were being taken out of context. But the message was clear to the racially bigoted voters who could be motivated to keep a couple of Negroid boys from working together to keep America out of the hands of people who are most assuredly more competent simply because we know that they aren’t black.
Yes it is true that a lot of black people have a lot of pride in the fact that Mr. Obama is our first black President. And it is also true that there are black people who will support Mr. Obama for President no matter what simply because of the color of his skin. But Mr. Powell hardly fits into such a category. Mr. Powell is one of the many black people who understand facts from their personal perspective and have decided that Mr. Obama is a better choice for the black community as well as the larger community of America as well as the world. And in the grand pantheon that comprises the black community, some black people might isolate between the two conditions of color struck and thoughtful analysis.
But just like some black people may suffer from a color struck condition that will drive their preferences, this malady is far more prevalent in the white community. Far more white people will see a black person and respond instinctively to skin tones. White people’s penchant for judging people by the color of skin is so strong that they have an entire history of enslaving people for nothing more than having the wrong skin color. And with white people’s history of blatant, disparate racism, why would a white person like Mr. Sununu feel compelled to accuse Mr. Powell of overt racism? Mr. Powell explained his position in thoughtful detail and yet Mr. Sununu felt compelled to play the race card and say that it all boils down to black people wanting to see each other do well.
So do white people ever feel compelled to see other white people do well? Or more appropriately we should ask do white people ever feel compelled to make sure black people don’t do well? All we have to do is look at America’s racially polarized history to find the answer to that question. American history proves that white people will go out of their way to keep black people from being successful or credible. For some white people, to see a black person do well is to see a target that needs to be attacked and taken down at all cost. Some white people are so driven by this instinct that they would be willing to throw the country into chaos just to keep a black man from being successful. How else would you explain why four years ago a group of white politicians got together to make sure the term of America’s first black President would be as ineffective as possible and do their best to block his every move with filibusters and legislative maneuverings meant to being government to a screeching stop.
Mr. Sununu’s assessment of Colin Powell was a twofer. He knocked the black former Secretary of State for being so racist that he would support a black President with nothing to base that decision on but the color of his skin. Both Mr. Powell and Mr. Obama have a history of working for white people and with white people that should prove their willingness to put everything else to the side for the bigger picture or the issue at hand.
The same can’t be said about Mr. Sununu. In his eye, the only reason black people support other black people is the commonality of skin color. Unfortunately, Mr. Sununu is one of those white people who cannot stand to see black people do well and is driven by an inherent need to follow his racially biased instincts at all costs.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had anything to write about George Zimmerman, the Florida watchman who appears to have shot seventeen years old Trayvon Martin for the crime of walking home from the convenience store while being a young black teenager in a hooded jersey. But the more I hear and see of this man the harder it is to remain silent as he tries to lie his way out of his predicament.
In a recent interview with Fox News commentator Sean Hannity, Mr. Zimmerman and his interviewer did their best to explain away Mr. Zimmerman’s crime of murder. Mr. Hannity asked leading softball questions as if he was talking to get a toddler going through potty training to understand why he or she had shit in its diaper. You know poo-poo is bad? Why did you poo-poo in your diaper? Did you forget to go to your poo-poo chair? You want to keep clean don’t you? And as Mr. Hannity asked his lame questions Mr. Zimmerman did little more than to say yes or no.
But at one point, George Zimmerman was asked if he had to do anything over again would he. Mr. Zimmerman replied that he would do nothing different that night. If he had to do it all over again he would stalk the young black teenager. When Trayvon tried to run George Zimmerman would get out of his car with his gun and chase him down. When he finally caught up with the teenager and initiated the confrontation, he would pull the gun out and shoot him again. And then, most infuriatingly and surprisingly, George Zimmerman said that he believed it was god’s plan for him to kill Trayvon Martin that night and it was not his place to question god’s motives.
It was speculated and admitted by his lawyers that Mr. Zimmerman did the interview with Sean Hannity in order to raise cash donations for his legal defense. When the black community brought attention to the fact that the murderer of Trayvon Martin had been released with the murder weapon by police just a few hours after he had killed Trayvon, many conservatives interpreted the outrage of black people as an attack on white conservatism and began to push back. If black people were attacking Zimmerman, white people would defend him. And many white people donated their money to help pay for the defense of George Zimmerman.
I was initially appalled by the way opinions of this murder fell along racial lines. White people saw nothing wrong with a white man stopping whatever he was doing to stalk, follow, and eventually murder a black teenager. There is the prejudiced notion driven by our national culture dominated by white people and rooted in race based slavery that a black teenager is little more than a thug in waiting with a propensity for criminal intent imbedded in the DNA. George Zimmerman did nothing wrong because he only killed a suspicious black teenager.
But it was the generosity of white people that helped to expose Mr. Zimmerman’s propensity for criminal behavior when he went before the court and lied about his financial status. When the court asked Mr. Zimmerman if he had assets to pay his bond George Zimmerman and his wife testified that they had nothing even though their total donations was well into the six figures. When the court discovered the subterfuge, the bond was revoked, George Zimmerman had to return to jail, and his wife was arrested for giving false testimony to the court. If you were one of the many that donated money to the Zimmerman defense fund, thank you for your role in helping to expose this man as a calculating liar.
Understandably, the donations began to dry up. They would have naturally slowed down over time as people’s attention turned to other things. But the fact that Zimmerman was proven to be a liar probably sped things up a bit. In order to jump start the gravy train, Mr. Zimmerman did his interview with the conservative darling of the most conservative television news network. That is, if you consider Fox News a news network. Add a little talk about doing god’s work and you have a perfect formula for appealing to the heartstring of conservatives for more money.
Zimmerman’s statement that he believed he was only doing god’s work is disgusting. We’ve all heard that god works in mysterious ways, but why would god want George Zimmerman to kill Trayvon Martin? If god wanted Trayvon dead all he had to do was stop Trayvon’s heart or have the boy suffer a stroke. That way, nobody has to go to jail for murder. The death of Trayvon would’ve been natural with no questions asked. That’s what I would do if the objective was just to have Trayvon dead. Maybe Zimmerman’s god has a thing about black teenage boys going to the convenience store in a hooded jersey. And like a lot of people, Zimmerman has the tendency to make his god in his own image.
But even if it is true that Zimmerman believes he was murdering Trayvon on behalf of god, it doesn’t absolve him of the crime. Even if god comes down from heaven, takes the stand, and testifies that Zimmerman has operating on his behalf, all that means is that according to our laws god would be Zimmerman’s coconspirator. It doesn’t mean that Zimmerman should be shielded from prosecution.
If Zimmerman believes he was committing murder on behalf of god then he should be more than willing to go down for his crime steep in the belief that his faith in his murderous god will comfort him as he rots in his prison cell for the rest of his life. If god told used Zimmerman to kill, maybe the ultimate objective wasn’t to kill Trayvon but to lock Zimmerman away for the rest of his life. And if that’s true, who are we to question the will of god?
Maybe god’s ultimate objective was to give Zimmerman the opportunity to make a choice to do right or to do wrong by his fellow man. Maybe god was putting Zimmerman to the test to see if he has the morals and values not to use his prejudice to judge somebody different. And if that’s the case, it’s pretty obvious that he failed that test miserably and now has to pay the price for his stark lapse judgment.
But to be real, nobody has any idea of god had an active role in this mess or not. We believe that Jim Jones killed more than nine hundred people under the guise that it was god’s will. David Koresh said he was doing god’s work when he helped to construct the confrontation that led to the fire at the Branch Davidian ranch that led to the deaths of more than eighty people. We know for a fact that these people were demented and their claim to be operating under the direction of a mysterious god was just poppycock.
It looks like Zimmerman is just another poppycock sucker (pun totally intended) using god as an excuse in his crime. Hopefully, the people he’s trying to appeal to, the predominantly white group of conservatives who believe in god and watch conservative television and believe in the word of Sean Hannity, will recognize this man for the murderous charlatan he truly is and stop supporting his attempts to find a believable defense to his indefensible act of murder.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney stepped up to the podium of the NAACP and proved to the world that he didn’t have a problem with going to black people and telling them how things are going to be under his administration. He went there with the purpose of putting a hard line display to the people that most people believe will be most impacted by an administration that is focused on fiscal conservatism. Black people have a reputation of living off the teat of the middle class. And the country can only get back on its economic feet if black people stopped depending on a handout and actually got off their collective ass and earned a living on their own for a change. We all know how irresponsible black people are.
Mitt Romney went to the NAACP and threw down the gauntlet. A program that will help provide more people with better opportunities for healthcare, that models his own formula for providing the people with healthcare in Massachusetts that he implemented as Governor, will be terminated as quickly as possible when he becomes President. Denying more black people access to better healthcare coverage is what makes Mitt Romney the best qualified to be President of the black community. If black people want to see who is best to lead black people then take a good look because he’s standing right in front of you. Not even all the ringers in the audience, all the black conservatives that the Romney for President campaign brought to the convention to attend his address, there to applaud the speech when nobody else would, could be heard over some of the booing that Mr. Romney provoked.
After the speech, Mr. Romney goes to a fund raiser and talks about his experience addressing the venerated black organization. He tells his white fund raiser audience that he was booed when he told the black people the way its going to be. He tells the white people that they can tell the black people that if they want handouts they can vote for the other guy. He left out the part that black people can do that or they can go to Massachusetts where he gave free handouts to everybody there. Nothing is free in government and black people need to realize that. One wonders why Mitt Romney is telling the white people to go and do that when he was already there and could have said it himself. Then again, nobody ever said Mitt Romney was a bastion of courage.
Black people have always been the whipping boy for our dysfunctional social arrangement. If we get tough on black people, use them to represent the weakness of a people unable to take responsibility for their own plight and step to the plate with responsible behavior that would change their pathetic situation around, we can prove our disdain for failure and our proclivity for hard work and self reliance, traits that are supposed to run deep in the character that defines America. White people work to get ahead while black people wait on handouts.
But was what Mitt Romney did much different the Barack Obama going in front of black people and saying that black people need to be more responsible and quit looking for a handout? Back in 2008, campaigning heavily and stiff arming the black community by avoiding any appearance to address black people in order to circumvent even the most remote any appearance of having a connection to black people, Mr. Obama finally relented and spoke to a black audience on Father’s Day. Mr. Obama used the speech to tell black people that the solution to the problems in the black community is for black fathers to stop acting like irresponsible fools and start acting responsibly. Black people need to take responsibility for what happens in the black community.
As an ideological message, how is what Barack Obama said to the black community four years ago any different than what Mitt Romney said last week? Whether or not our President is black or white our cultural philosophy is that we see black people as undeserving participants in the American society. What was the difference between the two messages? One significant difference is that Barack Obama was applauded for his tough love rhetoric while Mitt Romney’s hard line was immediately recognized as offensive. But they both essentially said the same thing. They both said black people need to quit being a drag on everyone else.
Another difference between the two candidates is that Mitt Romney showed up while Barack Obama had other commitments. Again he’s stiff arming black people. The time and place of the annual NAACP convention is announced a year in advance. Are we really supposed to believe that Mr. Obama had difficulty working this into his schedule? We all know that when it comes time to flying our friendly skies Air Force One is given top priority whether its flight is scheduled in advance or a last minute change. Mr. Obama could have been there if he wanted to. Obviously Mr. Obama feels that the association with other black people is an unnecessary risk right now. He knows black people will vote for him regardless of what he says or what Mr. Romney says.
It was the worst of times…
We don’t know why two white men decided to go to the black side of Tulsa, Oklahoma this past Friday on a shooting spree to randomly kill black people. Nineteen year old Jake England and thirty two year old Alvin Watts climbed into their pickup truck, took a quick drive to the north side of town, and shot five unarmed black men. Three of the five men were fatally wounded. The two men have been charged and are expected to face three counts of first degree murder and two cases of shooting with the intent to kill. The two men were arrested at their home on Sunday following an anonymous tip.
The three dead black men have been identified as forty nine year old Dannaer Fields, fifty four year old Bobby Clark, and thirty one year old William Allen. None of the victims are believed to have known each other or the assailants. All of the victims were simply out walking, minding their own business, when the two white men drove up and shot them. Although the reason for the shooting has yet to be determined for sure, Tulsa police have said that based on Jake England’s Facebook postings he may have been seeking revenge for his father’s death two years ago. On Thursday, Jake England posted an update that blamed the death of his father, Carl England, on a black man. Jake also used a derogatory racial slur to reference black people. Alvin Watts was Jake’s roommate.
Because some people might think that black people will use any excuse to protest, it should be noted that nobody from the black community is marching in the streets looking for national attention to help shame the authorities into doing their job to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice. It looks like the police are already doing their job and need no prompting from anyone. Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan promised that his officers would do whatever it took to apprehend those responsible for these vicious and cowardly attacks. The police have their suspects in custody and the investigation is continuing without any signs of abating three days later.
Now compare that to the investigation of the Trayvon Martin killing that happened more than six weeks ago in Sanford, Florida. On Sunday, February 26th, the Sanford police arrived at the site of nineteen year old Trayvon’s murder with his killer George Zimmerman still on the scene with a nine millimeter pistol in hand. Less than eight hours after Trayvon’s death, George Zimmerman was told that he was free to go home and he could take his murder weapon home. The authorities in Sanford, Florida made public statements that the investigation was concluded because there was insufficient evidence to contradict Mr. Zimmerman’s claim that he had to defend himself when the young black teenager lost his mind and used a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea to attack the man holding a pistol. The police wrapped their investigation up in a record seven hours and some change.
In response to the authorities’ rush to acquittal, the family of Trayvon Martin started asking questions, and the answers that were given simply didn’t add up. It wasn’t until the recordings from Mr. Zimmerman’s calls to the emergency operators were made public weeks later did we become fully aware of the travesty of this injustice. And the authorities in Florida continued to drag their feet and dismiss any call to reopen the investigation or to bring charges against Mr. Zimmerman. Recognizing a possible case of racial disparity, protests led primarily by the black community erupted in Sanford, in Florida, throughout the country, and around the world.
In response to the protest, supporters of Mr. Zimmerman accused the black community of its own special brand of racism. Black people were only using the death of Trayvon Martin as an excuse to inject racism into a case that has nothing to do with race. But it is hard to accept that preposterous contention given America’s history of racism in matters of law. When was the last time a black man was allowed to go home with his murder weapon after he told police that he had just killed someone? Long before Mr. Zimmerman picked up his cell phone to report a black suspicious character walking down the street this case oozed with racism.
Six weeks after George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, the police in Tulsa, Oklahoma nabbed two white men suspected of killing five black men. This appears to be another obvious case of white on black crime. Except that this white on black crime isn’t being augmented by the criminal collaboration of the authorities trying to aid the perpetrator by claiming there isn’t enough evidence to charge anybody with anything.
The people in Tulsa obviously recognize a crime when they see one. And people in the black community recognize justice being done and when it is not. Even though some really sick and hateful white people went on a rampage to kill black people, the black community is more than willing to let justice do its thing. We may not like the result, but that’s part of the risk of our legal system and justice system. Even though it clearly favors white people with its heavy hand against black people, we have no choice but to go along for this racially disparate ride. We accept that.
But when people who are trusted to uphold the law, when our authorities actively do their best to keep the wheels of justice from working, when people in the black community see a return to the days when people who are charged to protect us would look the other way while black people are being murdered right before our eyes, everyone with a reasonable sense of fairness, law, and order should be concerned and demand that justice be given a fair shot to set things right. It’s not a black and white thing. It’s a right and wrong thing.
Scott didn’t say why he felt the need to reply with the name of O.J. Simpson. I can only make an assumption. So I’m assuming that Scott wants to say that because Mr. Simpson was charged for the death of his wife and his wife’s associate just five days after their murders were discovered, when he went to jail and stayed there until his murder trial was over, faced a jury of his peers, and was eventually found not guilty, the injustice in Sanford, Florida with George Zimmerman being allowed to go home with his murder weapon in hand after police showed up at the scene of Trayvon Martin’s death and declared the case closed after less than eight hours of investigation is somehow justified. The racial context is self evident. White people felt that a black man got away with murder so it’s only fair that black people now feel that a white man is getting away with murder. White people felt robbed of fairness eighteen years ago. It’s only fair that black people get robbed today. It’s only an assumption, but I do believe it is an appropriate one.
Six weeks and counting, George Zimmerman is walking around free as a bird and is amassing a group of supporters to counter the protest for his arrest that’s being led primarily by the black community. Because so many black people are outraged over the fact that Trayvon’s murder was dismissed so quickly by the authorities as they tried to sweep everything under the proverbial rug, a number of white people have taken up the defense of Mr. Zimmerman. Black people are accused of trying to inject racism into the picture. But people conveniently forget that the picture in question is already painted on the landscaped canvas of America already covered thick with brush strokes of racism from industrial grade sized rollers.
Mr. Simpson wasn’t a man who lived as a member of the black community. He spent his life amongst the people who loved him most, the white community. These were the people who made Mr. Simpson a football star, who then decided to put him into their movies, and bought all of his high priced football paraphernalia that made O.J. a member of the well to do. When his wife was murdered, the people who supported him for so long attacked him for his otherness. He was a black man privileged to live well in the upper crust whites and the white community felt betrayed by him. A black man isn’t allowed to kill a white woman no matter what may have happened. Mr. Simpson could’ve pleaded all day long that he was just trying to defend himself, but that defense would’ve held up like wet tissue paper on the ass of somebody suffering from dysentery. Mr. Simpson was charged, tried, and not convicted.
Let’s say for the sake of argument that Mr. Simpson did get away with a crime he committed. Even if that may have been the case, what does that have to do with Trayvon? As far as we know the young black teenager didn’t even know O.J. Simpson. So why would so many people who were outraged at the injustice of Mr. Simpson getting away with murder be pushing for the world to accept the injustice of George Zimmerman getting away with murder? At least O.J. Simpson was charged. We are still waiting for George Zimmerman to face his day in court. Some people want to argue that the murder of Trayvon was justified despite the fact that the teenager was walking home unarmed when Zimmerman decided to get out of his car with his nine millimeter, chase Trayvon down even though he was told not to, and pulled the trigger shooting Trayvon to death under very suspicious circumstances. But even if that is the case and the murder of Trayvon was justified according to law, let Mr. Zimmerman be judged by a jury of his peers in a courtroom like O.J. Simpson was.
We already know that the judicial system is unfair. We have lived with the racial disparity of our courtrooms for years. It’s one of the reasons that so many black people felt vindicated when Mr. Simpson was declared not guilty by his peers. It may not have been right. But after so many generations of black people being unfairly convicted in court in so many different reenactments of To Kill a Mockingbird, it was a surprise to see a black man emerge from a courtroom a free man when so many white people wanted his conviction. The white community gave O.J. Simpson all the tools he needed to obtain some semblance of justice. The white community made O.J. Simpson a very wealthy man with notoriety that he used to his advantage. It may not have ended the way all of us may have liked. But the man had his day in court and was found not guilty.
It is intolerable for people to think that it is okay for Zimmerman’s crime to go without prosecution because of what happened with O.J. Simpson almost two decades ago. The only thing Trayvon Martin and O.J. Simpson have in common is the color of their skin. In fact, O.J. Simpson has more in common with George Zimmerman. But of these men were suspected of committing crimes. And both of them need to go to court, explain themselves, and face the judge and jury. Mr. Simpson faced that music eighteen years ago just five days after the murder he was suspected of committing. It has been six weeks and George Zimmerman is still a free man. Even if people didn’t think justice was properly dispensed eighteen years ago, it is not an excuse to circumvent justice today.
And lastly, if we are going to say that a black teenager’s murder is payback for O.J. Simpson eighteen years ago, then people from the white community should never complain about the injustice of holding America liable for the enslavement of black people and the denial of justice that has led to the unfairness of America today with respect to the black community. If you can argue that Trayvon’s murder is payback because of the unfairness of O.J., if Trayvon must pay the price because of what somebody else has done back in the day, then it should be acceptable for America to pay the price of what America did back in the day to the black community that has led to the racial disparity that allows some of us to actually support the murder of our young black people. And we all know that’s never going to happen.
A few months ago when conservative presidential hopeful and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was enjoying a resurgence in popularity and was looking forward to a real chance to win the Republican nomination, Mr. Gingrich made the comment that he would be happy to go to the NAACP convention to tell black people why they should want a paycheck instead of food stamps. Many people in the black community took exception to his statement and it briefly became a hot topic in media circles. A high profile white conservative was asked her opinion on the matter. She dismissed the issue as nothing important. In her opinion, people were always trying to inject irrelevant issues into politics. There were more important things to discuss than black people’s feelings.
The racial divide in America is wider now than it has been in many years. Too often people in the black community are given the impression that their concerns aren’t worth examination by the larger national community. An insinuation is made that black people need to change their focus from getting government welfare and instead focus their invention on developing a decent work ethic. From a black perspective Mr. Gingrich’s suggestion is a clear indication of a potential racial prejudice. What is he saying about black people? But to many people, there is nothing to see here. It’s not like Mr. Gingrich said all black people needed to develop a work ethic. His statement about black people was only aimed at black people who want to be career welfare recipients. Nobody said that all black people are lazy and are waiting for a handout. The resemblance to a nationally recognized negative racial stereotype of black people is supposed to be purely coincidental.
But it is worth noting how many times conservatives appear insensitive to issues pertaining to the black community. Out of the final four conservative presidential contenders, three have made blatant racially prejudiced statements against black people. We’ve already talked about Newt. When he was in Iowa, Rick Santorum stood before a predominantly white audience and said that he didn’t want to make black people’s lives better by taxing hardworking people. And Ron Paul published a newsletter that regularly trashed black people with comments like black people will only stop rioting when it is time for them to pick up their welfare checks. Too many white people and others who are insensitive to issues pertaining to black people won’t give a second thought to such racism. In fact, they’re more likely to support such racially charged assertions through tolerance or outright agreement. These are the types of people that will accuse people in the black community of trying to inject race into things that don’t even remotely look racist.
The latest example of such racial insensitivity comes with the murder of the unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin by self appointed neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman and the potentially bungled investigation by the authorities in Sanford, Florida. Citing Florida’s stand your ground law, the police allowed Mr. Zimmerman to go home without being charged or held in custody because a lack of evidence to counter his claim that the dead black teenager had attacked him and Mr. Zimmerman shot the young man carrying Skittles out of fear for his life. The Sanford police had wrapped up their investigation and nothing was going to change their conclusion. But a lot of evidence has come to light that supports charging Mr. Zimmerman with a crime and having him face a jury of his peers. Yet, almost six weeks later, Mr. Zimmerman remains a free man. The local police have proven themselves worthless in determining exactly what happened the night that Trayvon was shot.
Many people in America are outraged over the lack of justice for Trayvon Martin. In fact, many people around the world are horrified over the injustice in Sanford, Florida. And yet, too many conservatives not only defend Mr. Zimmerman and the inaction of the Sanford police, but blame the people in the black community for trying to make the killing of Trayvon Martin a racial issue despite the fact that from the very first call Mr. Zimmerman made to emergency operators the moment he saw Trayvon the night he was walking home and wound up dead, George Zimmerman admitted that he had no reason to suspect Trayvon of anything other than the fact that he was black.
Almost six weeks after he murdered Trayvon Martin and the police closed their investigation with a conclusion of a justified homicide, the black community is seriously pushing hard for justice. A young black man was murdered and a known murderer walks amongst us. And it is hard to ignore the fact that if Trayvon was as white as Opie Taylor and George Zimmerman was as black as O.J. Simpson, somebody would have been in jail a very long time ago despite some law that says it’s okay to kill people if there is even a remote perception of danger. But that’s just another attempt to inject race into a matter where race is not relevant. It’s just a coincidence that a white man goes untried for the murder of a young black man.
For way too many people, the problem isn’t that a man who admitted killing someone is walking free and has yet to fact their day in a court of law. The real problem is that black people want to convict Mr. Zimmerman in the court of public opinion. But these people forget that if the Sanford authorities had done their job the way they should have, the subject would be moot because there would be no anger over a man who was given a free pass for his crime. These same people who will say the wheels of justice turn slowly and people need to just be patient. But in this case, it looks like the wheels of justice have rusted and lay on the ground busted after falling off their axle. It’s just a coincidence that those wheels fell off the very moment black people came to America in chains as white people’s property.
Just like some people can see issues of race and figure it’s just a coincidence, maybe it’s just a coincidence when black people look at the identical situation and see injustice. It must be only a coincidence that black people come to the defense and/or aid of other black people whose rights have been and are being trampled by white people. Because if truth is to be told, here in the United States it just might be coincidence that so many people have such a negative view of black people. And when that happens it would be fair to say that it is only a coincidence that other black people have to step up to the plate to make sure those broken wheels of justice get repaired and start turning again.
Ever since the murder of seventeen year old Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman managed to capture the attention of the nation, and possibly the world, the majority of the people in the black community have expressed concern and apprehension. We have yet another case of a senseless shooting death of a young, unarmed, black teenager minding his own business and the white murderer is allowed to go home without spending a single night in a jail cell, and he’s even allowed to take his murder weapon with him. While George Zimmerman was home chilling with his trusty nine millimeter, Trayvon’s body sat in the morgue for three days before his family is notified. Trayvon’s body was subjected to blood test and analysis while Mr. Zimmerman was never asked to submit to anything.
It is only natural that people would worry about this lack of justice with this incident that has yet to be determined a crime. Since the victim is a young black male and considering how America’s supposedly racially generic culture that is predominantly controlled by white people has developed a seriously awful history of tolerating the slaughter of unarmed black people by white people, it is only natural that the black community leads the charge for an investigation into the circumstances that would lead a white man to shoot a black teenager who was doing nothing more than walking home from the convenience store.
There is plenty of evidence to support the contention that the white man’s behavior was criminal. There is the recording from Mr. Zimmerman’s call to emergency operators to report a suspicious black man walking down the street. We hear Mr. Zimmerman describe his actions as well as the actions of Trayvon as he stalked the teenager from his vehicle. We hear Mr. Zimmerman give chase as he described Trayvon trying to run away from the man following him. We hear other 911 recordings from people calling the police to report somebody in trouble and crying for help and the single gunshot from Mr. Zimmerman’s gun. We have heard people tell the story of what they heard the night Trayvon was murdered. There are videos of the people in the neighborhood who called 911 that night saying that the police never contacted them to get their accounting of what happened the night Trayvon was killed. We have seen the video of Mr. Zimmerman arriving in handcuffs at the police station with no hint of a scuffle between him and Trayvon as he claimed.
There is nothing to support Mr. Zimmerman’s claim that he was struggling for his very life when he was attacked from behind by Trayvon as while walking back to his car. But somehow, the police were helpless to hold Mr. Zimmerman in custody because Florida has a law that allows people to kill other people when they feel threatened despite the circumstances that led to the killing. An unarmed black teenager is murdered and even though we all know who the killer is and all the evidence that support the fact that a crime has been committed, George Zimmerman walks free more than a month after he killed someone in cold blood.
Mr. Zimmerman’s supporters mock black people saying that with all the black on black crime that winds up with somebody dead, why are black people so upset over this crime? Black people kill each other every day and you never hear a peep. Why get bent out of shape over this one incident? The contention is that if Mr. Zimmerman was black this wouldn’t be an issue. And I could not agree more.
If George Zimmerman was black Sanford’s finest would probably have shot him on site. A black man standing over a dead body is an open invitation for one of those contagious police shootings that has taken down so many black men. Perverted justice served and case closed. If the black Mr. Zimmerman’s body wound up with forty bullet holes after he had shot somebody else who wouldn’t think that justice was served?
But for the sake of argument, let’s say that the police who showed up managed to hold back their natural urge to shoot our fictitious black Mr. Zimmerman. Does anybody think a black man would be taken into custody only to be released for shooting another black man? When was the last time that happened? Does anybody think the police would make press statements defending the black Mr. Zimmerman by telling the world that a black man was defending himself and therefore was never taken into custody? It would never happen. If there is even the remote possibility that a black person committed a crime it would have to be sorted out after dude was safely behind bars. It’s standard procedure.
But let’s step back even further. If George Zimmerman was black, chances are he would have never made a call to emergency operators to report a black man walking down the street and looking suspicious. If George Zimmerman was black odds are pretty good that he wouldn’t be following anybody walking down the street out of fear that somebody would call the police on him for the crime of stalking. If Mr. Zimmerman was black he would mind his own business because the odds are just too high that he’d be the one getting questioned. And then let’s not forget that he had a loaded pistol with him. A black Mr. Zimmerman would think twice and conclude it best to leave well enough alone.
If George Zimmerman was black, there are plenty of real life scenarios to play that would assure he would be charged for any crime he would have committed. People who want to point a damning finger at the black community for their desire for justice in the murder of Trayvon Martin have their criticism misplaced. But then again, if George Zimmerman was black, these people wouldn’t give a damn about Trayvon or Zimmerman. It would be little more than another case of black on black crime. The people who criticize black people for all the attention being brought to this case would go back to doing whatever it is they do. If these people really cared about black on black crime, why wait until we have a case of white on black crime to bring it up? It really looks like somebody is trying to play the race card in a situation that has race written all over it.
The Hunger Games is a story centered around sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in a future world after an undisclosed apocalyptic event. She lives in the country of Panem in what used to be North America. Panem is a technologically advanced society. The Capitol is the seat of Panem’s brutal totalitarian government and is located in the northwestern Rocky Mountains. The Capital has absolute control of the twelve outlying districts. Panem holds an annual event called the Hunger Games where one boy and one girl, aged twelve to eighteen years old, from each of the districts are selected by a lottery system to compete in a publicly broadcasted battle in which only one participant can survive.
The author, Suzanne Collins, says that her inspiration for the story came from channel surfing on television. On one channel she observed people competing on a reality show and on another she saw the news with footage of the invasion of Iraq. Ms. Collins says that the two events began to blur in her conscience in a very unsettling way and the genesis for the story, the first in the Underland Chronicles, was formed.
The perpetual starvation and the constant need for resources that the people of Panem suffer create a sense of social dependence that the characters participating in the competition have to suppress in their fight for survival against each other. Katniss, the main character, has a proficiency with the bow and arrow that developed from her need to hunt in order to help provide food for her family. This results in a skill that gives her a competitive advantage in the life threatening competition. With a combination of skill and a sense of independence that gives her the courage to challenge the rules of the game when they are arbitrarily changed during the competition, Katniss survives the competition and is treated to a hero’s welcome. But she is warned by one of her mentors that she has now become a political target after defying Panem leaders so publicly.
In interviews, Ms. Collins said that the Underland Chronicles touch on issues such as poverty, starvation, oppression, and disparity. The story focuses on the struggle for self preservation that an entire society of people faces in their existence in the districts and the Hunger Games in which they are forced to participate. Ms. Collins also cites the Greek myth of Theseus, in which the city of Athens was forced to send young men and women into a labyrinth in Crete to face the Minotaur. As a child, Ms. Collins said she was impacted by the ruthless of a people who would force children into such a situation. She understood that Crete was sending a very clear message that if the people defy their government the government would do something worse than kill the people, they will kill the people’s children, and the people will be powerless to stop it.
The people of mythological Crete may have been cruel, their ruthlessness pales in comparison to a society of people who would subject a race of people to a perpetual existence of poverty, oppression, and social disparity. We might watch the Hunger Games and react with some sense of outrage at the cruelty of the authoritarian rule of the fictional Panem’s government and how it subjugates the people. But then we come away from this work of fiction to see the reality of our society that was founded under the deception that black people are inferior to white people and how it subjugates black people. It was written into the very document that established our national government that black people were not fully human and were deemed white people’s property. And when black people finally and openly defied the white people who were oppressing them, there was a clear signal from the dominant culture that black people have incurred the wrath of the white oppressors and black people will be targeted. Imagine the wrath of a society that was founded under the idea that they have the right to deem black people not human and deny them the right to pursue happiness. What kind of games would such a society design for its retribution?
Today, black people are forced to compete in our own games of employment, business, education, healthcare, justice, government representation, and everything else that we require as a people to live as a collective. All too often black people have to prepare for these games with inferior equipment and inferior facilities. Our future depends on overcoming these hurdles for our very survival. And if that’s not enough, we have our law enforcers and our judicial system ready to come down hard on black people when there might be a case of a black person defying the unwritten rules that require black people to submit no matter what.
And if that’s still not proof of the cruelty of a society that was developed with racial disparity written into its founding documents, a society that has a history of targeting black people for their defiance and for fighting back against racial oppression, this is a society that constantly reminds us all with the clear message that it will do far worse than kill black people, this is a society that will allow black children to be hunted and killed in cold blood, and will expect the black community to be powerless to stop it. Is it any wonder that George Zimmerman remains free even though we know he murdered Trayvon Martin?