brotherpeacemaker

It's about our community and our spirituality!

Just A Coincidence

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.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black Men, Black People, Life, Racism, Thoughts

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