The most used phrase from the black community in the last couple of days is: “What the black community needs to do is…”
At what point is enough, enough? We have surpassed enough being “enough”, decades ago. Yet still, here we are. In the United States of America there exists a two tiered Justice System: one for Blacks and one for whites (oh and people with money).
I was shocked at those who were shocked at the outcome of the George Zimmerman verdict. From the all-white jury’s perspective, Zimmerman was defending himself and had a right to kill Trayvon. As a non-black man with a white father, Zimmerman had a right to stalk and follow Trayvon because “they” always get away (as he stated to the 911 operator ) even when no crime had been committed. In the mind of the jury, Zimmerman had the god given right, privilege and entitlement to go where ever he pleased, without curious or judgmental glances. The crime here is the audacity of a black boy having the nerve to walk down a sidewalk in a neighborhood…just who does he think he is? To the jury, Trayvon (whose instincts and actions were swaying between fight and flight due to a stranger following him) did not have a right to defend himself from a would be attacker. Zimmerman: not guilty…and for me the introspection begins.
Stating the obvious, there are cultural differences that exist between white and black people. The black and brown cultural differences, concerning the way we speak, the texture of our hair, our names, down to the way we walk and the foods we eat can be oddities for many whites. Your know, like televangelist Pat Robinson being perplexed that black people eat macaroni and cheese on Thanksgiving and not green bean casserole.
Blacks have always been under the microscope by the larger white society. These cultural differences and lack of understanding, leads to prejudgments based off of prejudices. These prejudices lead to many inequalities. From employment and hiring practices, to institutions like our Justice System where it has been repeatedly documented that blacks receive harsher punishments than whites who commit the same or similar crimes. No one is more aware and endures the harshness from these unwritten guiding principles more than black males in America. In our society, our Justice System begins in the public and on our streets, where black men are guilty until proven innocent. No court, no lawyers, or jury is needed because everyone is already an appointed judge.
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