Saturday, March 24, 2012

Trigger Happy People Kill People Too!

Today, the Trayvon Martin case has prompted me to dust off my blog.  Actually I felt like sounding off before now, but I decided to wait for a few more facts to emerge. I tried not to run on pure emotion as hard as it is.  So I sat back, watched, announced my disbelief  like so many others, retweeted a couple of support for justice messages, and posted the 911 call links on Facebook.  I stopped just shy of changing my profile picture. As I sit here now though, I keep hearing "Enough is enough" ringing in my ears. Try as I might, it's not going away but increasing in volume and intensity.  So I have about 3 or 4 thoughts racing and decided to share a couple.

First, you may wonder, "So what enough is she referring to?" or "enough for who exactly?"  Could I be referring to the countless news segments dedicated  to running a hooded Trayvon Martin's photo in the corner of my screen since the story gained national attention? Or am I talking about the number of Black males, especially ages 18 to early 20's, who have to justify themselves for walking down the street while black, holding their waistband, and nodding to the playlist on their iPod?  Or maybe I've grown tired of African Americans who refuse to register to vote but want to organize a civil rights march at the slightest hint of a racially motivated attack on someone or on  "our" character as a people.  Hmm, maybe I'm just pissed because the incidents that occur in my own community due to the hand or lack thereof by my race has been confronted with only passive aversion?  I could keep going, arguing each one of these points with vigor and provide valid examples.  However, none matters more than the other, when opinions and perceptions become involved.  The attention is given to the largest number who relates to the same experience and jumps on the bandwagon of any one of these points.  Right now, the racially motivated angle allowed the networks to become involved and subsequently the nation is on alert. Now the petitions are circulating and middle class parents with a teenager whose current style includes various colored hoodies are signing them.  Parents of Hip-hop lovers, skateboarders, or both.  Although many spoke out, I believe if Sean Bell's family had this combination, it may not have taken 6 years today for NYPD to fire the officers involved. With that said, let me take a step back.

Earlier, while writing this, I mentioned that I stopped short of changing my profile picture and want to return to that thought for just a moment. As senseless as the death of this young man is to me and the events surrounding it, I'm not shocked. It does not shock me that George Zimmerman shot him, said it was self defense, and was allowed to walk away.  It does frighten and alarm me that we can have more cases like this pending and occurring in the future.  We live in a nation that continues to use the argument that  "Guns don't kill people, people kill people!"  Our state governments are constantly revisiting laws applying to concealed weapons.  In Georgia, we are allowed to carry a firearm into places such as bars and onto our college campuses.  You do know you have a right to protect yourself right? Most of the time you just have to ask.  I'm sure for the person who has been a victim of a violent crime understands this, but since I haven't my views may be entirely different.  What I perceive as a reality is the majority of those standing their ground and exercising their right to do so, do not have the training or rationale to determine if they are making true life or death decision.  I believe the number of deaths and injuries due to overlycharged emotions will outweigh those that are justifiable.  In the case of George Zimmerman, I tend to lean more toward the idea that he is a blooming idiot.  One that was allowed to carry a gun, badly wanted to be a person with authority, and watched way too many episodes of "Cops".  I can see him as having an issue with young black men based on his observation of  Martin looking like "he's on drugs or something'  and his "these assholes always get away" comment.  Right now, I can only wait to see what else develops to figure out which it will come down to, but the new development that he mumbled the words "f**king coons" during the 911 call will definitely seal the deal if proven.  What I do know is he should be in jail facing a trial for murder, nit in hiding.  A jury of his peers (white, hispanic, and black) can decide his fate once ALL of the facts have been presented, not a lynch mob. In the meantime, I probably should change my avatar to a shaky hand holding a gun with an through it.  The caption would read something like "Trigger happy people kill people too!"

Now for those that are tired of the constant images of Trayvon Martin on your favorite 24 hour news station (they have to fill those slots with something) or in your Facebook stream, I can only provide a couple of suggestions.  You may want to try another channel or become addicted to Texas Hold 'Em for a little while.  At the moment, the number of people directly impacted by or that can relate to the fight for racial justice, need for local accountability, or battling black on black crime divided does not compare to the commonality of those seeking some form of justice for Trayvon Martin and his family.  Some see color, while others don't, but many of them are parents and want to avoid this hitting close to home.  But it already has, because these are parents who can not imagine their child lying in a morgue for three days without being notified. Parents who have made it a ritual to say a prayer every time their teen leaves the house with his friends. Parents that don't want to know the feeling of burying their child, whether he be 17 or 37.  These parents are joined by those who know the face of the person who interrupted their world due to gun violence, drunk driving, etc., and laws that do not consider them a murderer.  The number of families that resembles the Martin's grows exponentially when you remove race and just focus on family.  What parent, grandparent, etc., isn't stirred with an plethora of emotions after hearing this young man crying for help, next a gunshot, and then silence.  While the networks are successful in polling every expert on racial profiling, and allowing their black employees share their personal experience with racism, because it helps ratings now,  I don't let that influence me.  I think about Trayvon Martin's mother. I imagine she would rather not see her son's face on every network to hear everyone volley opinions.  I imagine she just wants justice.  I pray she receives solace that not only is her son's death no longer in the archives, but that it will now receive the attention it is due to make an honest assessment of what transpired that night.  Although, the possibility of never knowing every detail is always looming, I think enough is surfacing to provide an avenue for justice and closure.  I also pray that since Trayvon Martin has silently become the spokesperson for racial injustice that everyone take another look and make his memory the catalyst for change in your own community.  Don't allow this to be just about race or the laws of the land, but allow us to take a second look at how we interact with one another and the commitment we make to the overall future of our neighbors right next door.  

You can watch things happen, let things happen, or make things happen but don't get caught wondering 'What happened?'  

Luv, Peace, and an Abundance of Blessings - E

1 comment:

Kish said...

Thank you for sharing such insightful words.