General Snobbery
« Madame Noire: Breaking Down The Jerks | Main | President Obama Enjoys Hot Dog While GOP Delegate Deathmatch Rages On »
Tuesday
Mar202012

No Apologies: On The Killing of Trayvon Martin And Being "Good"

In the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin, there's no safe place. There's no real excuse to cling to. None of the usual dismissals work or fit. It's just bad. Real bad. And sits there and stares at you with it's cruelty and unfairness and ugliness and says, "Take this."

Take this load. And pick it up.

Just take it. And accept it. And choke back the lumps in your throat. As it has happened before. And it will happen again. And again you will be told to "take this."

Take this burden and just accept it as your burden. It's just "how it is." You're all statistics. Take these statistics. And black people get shot everywhere everyday by everyone. Police. Non-police. Crazy people. Bigots. Their parents. Other kids. Just take it. It's part of your Life In America, Black People. Accept this tragedy and go through the motions of appealing to people's decency and demanding justice and having protests and press conferences and crying and asking why and demanding answers and then eventually getting that bad dead cold thing that just sits there and says, "Take this."

Here's your load. Pick it up.

Pass it along to the children, so they can carry a bit of it too. Let it weigh down on their worlds. Let it rob them of their childhood and innocence. Tell them to take it, so they grow up faster and accept the unfairness in life and just give up. Be cynical and fatalistic. Be cold when it happens to the next person. Or be cold themselves when they do it to another person. And as they rob that person of what was once robbed of themselves and that person asks them why or looks for recourse or retribution or answers, they can stare back unblinking in the shadow of our common oppressors and say, "Take this load and pick it up."

But I'm sorry. I'm not going to pick up this shit anymore. It's not mine.

A long, long time ago when I was young my parents told me I had to be the best to make it in this world. Averageness was something only the white and the male could afford and as a black woman, I was neither. You had to take pride in how you dress and how you spoke and how you behaved. You had to be "good," because good things happen to those who are good and bad things happen to those who are bad. And that's the lie your parents tell you because no one should tell the truth to you when you're that young. You really don't need to know. Otherwise you'd never bother.

Who wants to deal with someone already jaded at age six?

And so I was good. I was so very good. I didn't curse. I got good grades. I've never been in a fight in my life. The one time I got Saturday detention was because I was chronically late for a third period class in an over-crowded school where the only time you could go to your locker was during lunch to switch out books for the second half of the day and my locker was on one end of the crowded school, far from the other.

My teacher didn't believe me when I told her I couldn't leave lunch, go to my locker, then wade through the hallway crammed with kids to make it on my class on time.

She told me I was lying. She said she walked it once just to see what I was talking about and timed herself. But since she had to be in class waiting for me and other students, I highly doubted she did that at the height of the lunch rush.

It didn't matter that I loved my Spanish class and was an A student and never caused trouble and had no reputation for someone who would ever be tardy for anything as I was obsessed with being "good." She just didn't believe me. My mother had to get involved and my locker was eventually moved to a place easier for me to navigate to.

I was never late for third period Spanish again. No one apologized.

That same year, the eighth grade, my history teacher moved my seat in the front of the class to the back with a pair of boys who harassed me, teased me and made trouble with me every day. Then, because I'm near-sighted, my vision worsened and I needed new glasses. I couldn't read the blackboard. I told my teacher of both, the harassment and the inability to see.

He, oddly, agreed I was being harassed, but thought I was "weak" to complain. As for my inability to see, he told me I was lying.

Even though I wore glasses. We got a doctor's note from my optometrist that I needed new glasses and should sit up front until they were ready.

The teacher suddenly decided everyone in the class could sit where ever they wanted. 

He never apologized. 

My mother, far more blunt than I, called it what it was. I was black. My teachers were white. The school was mostly white. It was racism. Even though all my teachers, even the jerk ones, thought I was a bright and talented student who was polite and respectful. They would lose my extra credit homework on purpose rather than add it towards my grade, lest I test higher than whoever they would always hope would beat me when the boys would play the girls in History Bingo.

But as annoying as all this was for me. For other kids in my public school experience it was far worse. Boys who defended themselves when picked on by bullying the school ignored until it got to a breaking point? Suspended. Kids who fought back or spoke up when they were being picked on, abused, harassed or marginalized? Sent to the "alternative school."

But see? In my child mind, I tried to rationalize this. They were "bad" because the talked back or actually hit their tormentors. I was "good" because I took the abuse. And my "goodness" was rewarded in that I graduated in the top 25 percent of my class, but was still judged with the same suspicion all black kids were judged by at my school.

What difference really was there between I and my peers who had dropped out or wound up in halfway houses or jail other than I picked up the load and just thought about Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King, Jr. the whole time? I picked up the load and they wouldn't. But who could ever want that load of shit? The only difference was I still believed goodness would be rewarded. If we all, as a people, were just "good" they'd have to stop accusing us of lying, assuming we were "bad" or criminals or ignorant. W.E.B. DuBois and the Talented Tenth and lead by example and all that rose colored lens malarky.

That if we're just "good" we'll be safe. If your son doesn't listen to hip hop, goes to the church camp, gets A's and Bs in school, is polite, says "sir" and "ma'am," if he's a good kid, he'll be safe. That's the bargain black parents make with their children.

If you are "good" the gangs and the violence and the racism won't get you. You will be safe. You will live to see 25. You will have a great life. Opportunity will abound for you. We will be proud of you. The community will be proud of you. You will be Barack Obama and Michelle Obama and life will be beautiful if you just want it enough.

Just be "good." Be good, Trayvon Martin. Stay in school. Listen to your parents. And you'll be safe.

But that's a lie. No one came make you safe. No one can save you for that day some sick person just decides you're the bad guy because you're black and carrying a bottle of ice tea and some Skittles and he self-appointed himself neighborhood watch and some black teenage boys aren't good, therefore ALL BLACK PEOPLE ARE NOT GOOD. And you are a black person. And you're a boy. And you had on a "hooded sweatshirt." So, you're dead now.

You lose.

Sorry. You didn't follow the rules. It wasn't good enough to be "good." Why didn't you just apologize to that man for existing as he had you on the ground, gun pointed at you? Say you were sorry for being born black and apologize for all the black people in the past who may have ever thought of robbing that neighborhood or doing whatever things George Zimmerman, 28, thought black people in Sanford, Fla. were doing in his neighborhood.

Maybe if you'd just taken it and accepted that it's Zimmerman's world and only his comfort matters and not yours, you would have got it. Maybe your parents could have been more paranoid. Kept you locked up in the house until you turned 25 (gotta keep you from being a statistic). And then ...

And then ... What? Then what?

If you have a child, what do you tell them? Especially him. What do you tell him? How do you tell him as his mother or his father or his grandmother or grandfather that you, the person he loves and trusts and believes in more than anyone in the world, that you can keep him safe? How does he believe you now? He knows you're full of shit now. He's on Facebook. He's heard and read about Trayvon. Someone who looked like him. Someone who was "good." How do you tell him that if he just stays in school and is "good" it will be OK? How do you tell him to handle something like this? Not a cop, just some guy. Some crazy self-appointed neighborhood watch guy with a gun who thought he was Batman that night? If you're a good parent you tell your kid that if some guy, some scary guy is following them, you tell him to run and if he can't run, to defend himself. Bad men in cars to terrible things to children and teens. You tell your son, if you can't run, if you can't get help, do whatever you have to do to stay alive. Fight, run, call out for help, make yourself trouble. Go down fighting, if you're going down. Don't do the thing the stranger in the car with the gun wants you to do.

But that doesn't keep you safe.

And the cops are so worried about how Zimmerman feels and thinks -- and their precious "Kill Your Neighbors" laws, but not how a 17-year-old would react to a stranger following him in his car at night. Not how anyone in Trayvon's situation would react.

I know how I, as a 5-foot-3-inch woman, would react to some strange man following me in a car.

The cops say maybe Trayvon would have done something "differently" if he could do it over again.

Do what? Not be born black in America where black men are viewed with suspicion no matter their age?

People, and by people I mostly mean our society as a whole, tells us that if we just do the right things and follow the rules we will be safe and our kids will be safe. But these things are lies. The onus is not on the victim to wear a longer skirt when she goes out on night. It's on the guy who thinks it's OK to rape her.

The impetus is not on the kid walking home from the 7-11. But on the self-proclaimed, gun-wielding, one-man-neighborhood watch, calling the Sanford Police more than 40 times in the last year. It is not Trayvon's job, or your job or my job to make bigots feel more comfortable with us because there is no way to get their comfort. It is a lie.

No amount of goodness will fix it.

You could get rid of every thing that has ever made you feel embarrassed, every black person you ever felt fulfilled a stereotype. It doesn't matter. Because racism is illogical. Bigotry does not need a reason to fear and act on that fear with violence. There is no different clothing you could wear. There is no different accent you could take on. There is no grades you could get that could change them. Because it doesn't matter.

We can't Jackie Robinson our way out of this. Some people just want to hate you. And they don't want to change. But they really enjoy you going through the gymnastics trying -- because it takes the weight off them.

Don't apologize -- Because it doesn't matter.

In St. Louis, my hometown, folks in the county would say, it wasn't that they didn't like black people it was the "quality" of the black people. Why? If it were Cosby-esque doctors and lawyers moving in next door in the suburbs they'd feel just fine.

Then, when my family and tons of other black professional families moved to the 'burbs, they fled to O'Fallon and St. Charles anyway

But you said doctors and lawyers were "OK?" I guess bigots lie. It wasn't really about the "right" kind of black people. Ha ha. You were "good" too, weren't you? Cute. Didn't mean anything. Didn't mean a damn thing.

My favorite book, Invisible Man, tells of Anonymous and there is a letter in that story that haunts me as it haunted the unnamed narrator that says "keep this nigger boy running."

And that's what they do to us. They keep us running. They keep telling us it is us. That if we just made ourselves a little different, it would all go away. If we're just good. 

And then, in our goodly and true lives, they give back to us the corpse of a 17-year-old boy and say --

Take this.

Pick it up.

Before Trayvon's murder. Before now. Before I was even 25. I realized it didn't matter what I did. It didn't matter what any of us did. And so I decided, I was just going to live my life, however I saw fit. And that was my protest to an unfair world. That I didn't care about their "rules" anymore, whomever "they" may be, because their rules were lies. I would be good to those who were good to me. I'd do what was right for myself and those I loved. I wasn't going to be ashamed of who I am because it might check a stereotypical box.

Still, though. I wondered. 

A woman, much older than I, who I've known most of my life, used to say "I feel like my purpose in life is to make white people mad." I used to think that what she said sounded really silly. She was born under Jim Crow (hence her tendency to talk of white people as if they're monolithic) and was a long-time housewife. All she'd ever done was marry a nice guy and have lovely children. She'd lived a quiet, sweet sort of life, isolated from most of the drama anyone -- white or black -- ever has to deal with. I thought the statement was awkward and short-sighted and weird. I would smirk and brush it off. What the hell was that supposed to mean? You're not Angela Davis, I'd think. No one is shaking in their boots at night, worried about the fur coat wearing black housewives of Florissant, Mo.

Then, in a conversation with a friend of mine, Dr. Jason Johnson, I told him of what she said and he actually argued my pampered housewife had a point.

To paraphrase: "When you really think about it," he said. "What she did ... falling in love, getting married, staying at home and raising her children ... that's not what she and her ancestors were brought to this country to do. We weren't brought here to go to college, fall in love, get married and live our lives. We were brought here to work and live the lives others wanted us to have."

Jason said our lives as free people is a protest to this society that criminalizes a boy just for being black.

Our love for each other. Our community. Our friendships. Our bonds are a form of protest.

Because we aren't doing what we were brought here to do.

To this end, I say, if you ever thought about not doing, loving, saying, being something that you wanted to be because you were worried about what "society" would think, stop thinking that way. There is nothing you can actually do. All you can do is live your life in the most honest way possible. Be good to those who are good to you. Love whole-heartedly. Care for your friends and family. Follow your dreams. You can't waste any bit of your short, precious time on this Earth worrying about what some unknown bigot thinks.

Or what anyone thinks.

Because it is beyond your control.

And there is no path that promises your child will be safe. And this is the world that we live in. But you don't have to accept anything.

Not. One. Damn. Thing.

And you don't have to take that load and just accept the racism and injustice and crime and rape and murder in our world. Nobody owns you. They can't make you accept that tragedy as just "part of your life."

When the murderer pulls out the gun and takes a life and puts it back on you. You say no, you murderer. That's your load. Pick it up.

You did it. Deal with the consequences. Whatever those may be.

Us and our children are not picking it up anymore.

No apologies.

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (140)

Heaven forbid, but I can't help but imagine the expression that will cloud over Jim's countenance when he finally realises that this Steppin' Fetchitt routine will be summarily forgotten should some lout decide to make him a scapegoat and his law-abidng brethren cut that limb off the 'family tree' before there's even time to bellow 'Bagger Vance!'

Readers, what's whinier: relating childhood experiences of racism on one's own blog while discussing the fallout over a racially-motivated crime committed against a child not a month ago to voice dissatisfaction with the way that the gears continue to grind in a nation that has been declared 'cured' of racism by those least likely to recognise it in its full scope, or hijacking a thread to not only negate her experience, but go on to argue that racism is ' just so yesterday' that he'll fly into a rage because the writer didn't get his pre-approval to talk about her own life? How dare you talk about things that happened to you with your sympathetic readership without getting his permission and final draft approval first? When did they start letting them do THAT? Of course he has to voice his disagreement which curdles into displeasure in the most bilious and unedifying way possible, how else will she learn? The 'We' was not amused. And how to prove that there is no merit in her claims? By telling the exact same story and rather than commiserate on some of the more universal truths about life (children feeling powerless against a more authoritative aggressor who will almost certainly win the round before the game is even announced), you strip it of all context, create some false equivalencies to bolster your ratings in the 'I Can Only Assume That My Difficulties Matter More Because I Didn't Have A 'Community' To Feed My Victim Complex--Just The Whole Of Human History And The Danged Planet, But That Doesn't Mean Anything, Weakling' Games, and speak against bullying by taking up its mantle and devices and passing them on to someone else with shocking alacrity. Gold star, Cicero.

To those who say this isn't about race and twitch about topics that make them uncomfortable--you're not exactly alone. There's no victory in this for minorities, we're not throwing some kind of 'Proved You Wrong, Whitey!' bullshit cocktail party celebration. Everyone has their share of troubles in life, but as far as comforts go, being a straight, white male in the developed world with means and a certain age makes the world (comparatively speaking), your La-Z-Boy. To immediately and vociferously deny racial aspects of crimes sounds like someone castigating his ottoman because it was just too darn slow to keep up with his shifting foot, so we'd better reign in the discontent, not for mutual benefit, but so that no man's foot should ever have to touch the hardwood. I'm sure we could see a headline of, 'Woman Charged With Manslaughter As Would-Be Sexual Assaulter Chokes On Her Rape Whilstle After Ripping It Off Her Neck' at this pace. Well, she was jiggling and thrashing like she was in heat when she was defending herself from physical attack, and you know what men are like. You get me? Are we having fun, yet?

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJo 'Mama' Besser

What a power piece--you nailed it. Well done, thank you.

March 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSR

All I can say about this article is, THANK YOU. You have so eloquently touched on so many issues that I am sensitive to (as a white woman in a wonderful multicolored neighborhood), that I have desperately tried to explain to the best of my ability to many of my white brothers and sisters.

I am saddened by how African children go viral overnight on privileged white kids' pages but barely any of them has spoken out about this horrendous crime taking place in our own backyard. No, not just saddened -- infuriated. It makes me physically sick. Any human being with a conscience, whatever their color, should be speaking out against this horrific and senseless murder of an innocent teenager.

So this is one white girl who's not going to accept my "role" in this society. Brothers and sisters of color, I love you. I will NEVER look down on you. I will listen to you when you recount your struggles, and I will not expect you to sugarcoat them. And if I ever say something stupid or ignorant, I hope you'll call me out on it. I will stand up for you in any way I can when this world tells you "you're not good enough," "you're a threat," "we don't trust you." I will speak the truth to the best of my ability, even if it makes some of my fellow white people "uncomfortable," because hey, the truth hurts sometimes. And I will raise my future children to do the same. I have had it with this system. I have never had to deal with any of these things you've described, and I don't think anyone should. It's well past time to kick this stupid, senseless, evil, arbitrary, vomitous racism thing to the curb. Peace, and please stay safe everyone.

March 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Thank you for this. Thank you so much for this. My parents told me the same, and it wasn't until I got to college and started studying more about our society's fucked up notions on race and worthiness that I saw truth. You are me, and I am you, and we are all Trayvon Martin.

This speaks to me so much more on this particular day, then it may have on any other day. My grandmother is quickly succumbing to a cancer that has spread throughout her body and to her brain. My grandfather passed many years ago. But both of them grew up in Clairborne County, Mississippi and knew and experienced very deeply the atrocities of racism. They were good friends of Medgar Evers. I can't imagine the psychological damage that must've inflicted, but I have a semblance of an idea. Because they taught it to my mother, and my mother taught it to me. And everyone did it to keep everyone safe.

And even after discovering the truth and moving into the realm of doing organizing, i learned to hide, because I picked up that bold, black people die. Good black people die. And good, bold, black leaders are prime targets. So I never tried to be as big as I could be in my leadership. Quite simply, I didn't want to die.

This case has affected me and I'm looking forward to doing more to help bring about justice, somehow, and in some way. This post reminded me why it's necessary.

Again, thanks.

March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDre

Made me cry. This is exactly what it is.....the facts are evident if anyone wants to see.Problem is, we see as we are, not as things are and this time, we see clearly, the hate and psychiatric nature of this needless killing. Healing will only begin (in this instance at least) when George tells the truth and deals with the consequences of his actions instead of hiding ( as always) behind his father's knowledge of the law. When is it ok to shoot a young boy just becos you can and begin to make a theatrical production of it just becos you can? We will overcome this but every actor in this play will yet have to face the consequences of this crime whether they want to or not. Sleep well Trayvon, it wasnt your time but it IS TIME!!!

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterN

It seems to me you have already tried and convicted Mr. Zimmerman. How noble of you... Why should we even have a justice system when we have bloggers who can judge for free?

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal

We know he killed an unarmed child. He has admitted to that. We know that despite claiming to have been in the "fight of his life" he is seen walking into a police station unscathed, no broken noise, no blood on his clothing, no grass stains on the back of his shirt. We know he called 911 on one occasion to report a "suspicious" eight year old black child playing in the street and we know that his aggressive behavior made one black resident so uncomfortable he ceased walking in his own community. We know he was told not to pursue Martin and chose to anyway. We know he was arrested for domestic violence, assault on an officer, and mandated to attend anger management counseling. We know his narrative has changed multiple times since the story broke.

There is no question as to his guilt, just a question as to whether or not he will be made to account for it in a court of law. This is evident to most thinking people.

March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

I read through your write-up with an objective mind and wanted to share a few thoughts. I am a white, 38yr old male.... When I was a kid, I was occasionally bullied and even beat up a couple of times by other white kids. In 9th grade, I sat in a history class right in between 2 black girls who ruthlessly picked on me almost daily. I asked to move and was told no on more than one occasion. When I look back on it, I can't help but laugh at some of the things they made fun of me about but at the time, it was no picnic and made me hate going to that class. I don't remember ever focusing on the fact that the girls where black...I just thought they were crappy people, just like the white kids who treated me as I described above. I guess my point there is that you could easily inject racism into just about every scenario that occurs today and to an extent, be at least partially correct every time.

I have a neighbor named Jamal(who is black)l that lives with his wife and 2 kids 5 or 6 houses down from me in an upper middle class neighborhood and when I see him, I feel this urge to really get to know him, invite his family over to our home, have our kids hang out and if I am 100% honest, it's just as much because I want to personify the exact opposite of the racist mentality as it is that I think he's a cool guy and would have a good time with him and his family. Does that make me a man of questionable thought because that was going through my head? I did view him differently because he was black, no better, no worse, just differently. I've come to feel that to an extent, it is ingrained in human nature to either actively or passively label someone based on physical appearance and that is also applicable to overweight people, women, sexual preference, etc, etc.

Where the true issue begins is how one chooses to manifest that perception of difference in daily life. I believe that 99% of the population is racist to some degree and that includes both black AND white people. I also believe that we have an amazingly large population of incredibly ignorant, clueless and downright crappy people in this country, both black AND white. I also live in the ST Louis metro area and news stories about black citizens killing other black citizens in East St Louis and the North side are nearly a nightly occurrence. I also see stories of white people killing white people. These kinds of stories FAR, FAR out number those such as that depicted by the case at hand so what that tells me is that we are dealing with a society full of nutcases of all races!

The real downfall to this case is that a lot of people jumped to a lot of false conclusions without waiting on all the facts. There were reports made and details spread that were false, such as earlier comments about the 911 call where he supposedly said there's a "black guy running around my neighborhood" and that the 911 dispatcher never asked about race when in reality, that is completely false. There could also very well be details made public from Zimmerman's camp that will prove to be completely false as well! The bottom line is, WE DON'T HAVE ALL THE FACTS and are in no position to judge and crucify anyone until the real truth is known. The media is notorious for wreaking absolute havoc on "the truth" so nobody should be acting on any information acquired through the media. I'll be the first one to say that if the ALL evidence involved shows that Zimmerman shot and killed him in cold blood, fry the guy and rid the world of another crappy person! If, with ALL the evidence, a lot of which we the public are not privileged to yet, reveals that it was an act of self defense, then we have to accept and move on. It is flat out wrong to try and convict and sentence ANYONE, black or white in the court of public opinion with knowing ALL the facts. There's absolutely no getting around that. Spike Lee giving out what turned out to be a wrong address to retaliate and putting out $10,000 bounties on him within a couple of days of the incident without knowing anything about the situation other than the fact that a Hispanic/white male shot and killed a black teen but wasn't arrested is incomprehensible.

See all of this makes me want to boycott the media all together and simply sit back and enjoy the relationships i have with those around me, regardless of color. This whole thing saddens and gives me little hope for this country as long as it is saturated with so many stupid people of all races!

April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKent

Thank you for opening my eyes to your experience. I am so sad and sickened that this is the reality of so many people in this country today. I am glad that I can read perspectives like yours so I can learn and act out of less ignorance. We need to do so much healing still to allow everyone to be themselves and not having to pick up after others. Blessings.

April 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKirsten

Thank you for this. A very articulate and thoughtful article. You have given me a whole new perspective to ponder. Again, I thank you.

April 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKirsten in Canada

All I heard coming up was how I had to be twice as good as white kids, and how I couldn't do what they did and get away with it. the second part was right, but the first part was wrong. I was 10x better than the white kids, and it still didn't matter. I could fill a book with my own humiliating school experiences, but I don't wish to go over them long enough to even write this response. And I'm not some Jim Crow kid, either - I graduated in 2000.

What a terrible burden to put upon the shoulders of children of color - this ridiculous belief that white people would look at my adorable, brilliant black ass and suddenly think differently of black people. In fact, the opposite was true! I was told by teachers that I wasn't like "other black kids" so much that I didn't recognize it as an insult until about the 8th grade. I was constantly asked what country my family was from. As we all know, only IMMIGRANT blacks are intelligent and law-abiding! The minute I started speaking up a little...protesting a little...suggesting that "To Kill a Mockingbird" is not the greatest book of all time...life went way, WAY downhill after that.

So why bother? To my unborn son, I say "do you." Do you because they're going to shoot you ANYWAY. They're going to hate you, and they're definitely going to hate your mother, so wear what you want to wear, listen to what you want to listen to, and try to have a happy life for as long as you can before you're vilified just for being born. And that irresponsible, flippant message is why I won't have children.

April 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

That was amazing. Just. Utterly. Amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRosalind

As a member of the majority race in my country, I hardly need to think about what it's like on the other side of the fence. You have shown me a whole other vivid world. Thank you.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCwee

Finally, something that does not try to make sense of an abomination. The jaded at 6 metaphor was so on point. I rejected the mantra of work twice as hard and always put your best foot forward based on my race and gender as a very very young child. I was already doing my best and doing well and I sensed that the warning was fea Sr based and I wasn't going to listen to anything that was bound to turn me into a victim. So, jaded at 5 - yes, I decided I'm doing it my way. Kill me now or step off! Has this perhaps 'snobbish' sashay through the hells of North America made me the popular chick? No. Has it made me the best loved Negress, colored girl, girl in the hood, first lady of the church, light of the temple, star on the job, etc.? No. Has it made me the black queen of the universe? No. have I had some close calls? Have I ever! But it has made me fearless about offending others with my right to the tree of life, it has made me able to move with a kind of freedom and joy in the world that does not depend on the good wishes of others , and it has helped me to be a better freind to my people who are a tad more timid for whatever reason. Best of all I did not burden my children with the mythical powers of the whites. I have a strange sense that this boy knew he was going to die that day. Before that encounter with Zimmerman deteriorated, he left us himself gazing out at the world defenseless but with every right to be here now! Complete innocence gazes out from that gray hoodie. Cringing our way through the moral void that is North America will not save us or guarantee success. Boldness. Courage demands boldness as simple as walking out to get some skittles sometimes That is where we were when Emmet Till was killed for looking and that is where we are today. Deal with it. I love the solidarity that has been expressed for this child and his family. I love the way that his family represents themselves. I can only imagine what that costs them every single day because my son is still alive stepping firmly and boldly. The Martins are champion parents and I want to say to them, thank you for teaching your child to walk free. Where were the neighbors, why did no one come forward to help - there is always someone home midday in these subdivisions; why did the police not respond immediately when Zimmerman insisted on following against procedure? The victim cannot speak and his existence needs no justification. There is a story about Satan, the enemy of men and women, who told God, 'I will get your believers on the straight path." and God replied:" That maybe, but you will not get them all." To all the Zimmermans in the world, you cannot get us all, we the black and brown people of the planet are coming to a subdivision near you and we are bringing our whole family with us next time. Walk free is all I can say. Walk freely.

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaima

After Zimmerman has been found NOT guilty of profiling, following, stalking, confronting, and putting a bullet into the beating heart of an innocent Trayvon Martin by an all white female jury, I NEED to repost your article to remind myself that despite the injustices faced, I must keep living without apology to anyone.

July 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMedusausi
Editor Permission Required
You must have editing permission for this entry in order to post comments.