Posts tagged Trayvon Martin.
Disliking hip-hop doesn’t make you a racist any more than liking hip-hop makes you not a racist, and I’m sure there are plenty of Stormfront enthusiasts with Rick Ross in their iTunes. If you don’t like Jay-Z because you just don’t like the way he sounds, or you’re sick of his cloying ubiquity, or you wish he’d talk about something other than where he’s from for five seconds—hey, I’m not mad, I don’t like Bruce Springsteen for the same reasons. But if you don’t like rap music—a genre that contains multitudes—because of a self-satisfied moralism, or because you’re scared of it, or because you wish those people would stop talking about their problems and get out of your television and radio and kids’ bedrooms: well.
And I’m not just talking about the American right, I’m talking about all the well-meaning white folks who’ve told me how they want to like Lil Wayne but lo, the misogyny, the violence, the drugs. But, but, I’ll say: Bob Dylan aced misogyny; the Rolling Stones sang about violence; the Velvet Underground knew their way around some drugs. Yeeeah, but it’s different, they’ll say, elongating that “yeah” with conspiratorial inflection: you know what I mean. Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.
Rap music doesn’t get unarmed kids shot to death, “it’s different” does. “It’s different” infuses “these assholes always get away” and gives solace to people who hear that sound bite and nod their empty heads in agreement. “It’s different” is the same logic that suggests a teenager’s skin color combined with the music he listened to means he had it coming, and it’s the same logic that lets a bunch of people feign outrage over a teenager’s use of the n-word to describe himself when they’re really just outraged that he beat them to the punch.
“It’s different” makes me shake with anger because it turns music into a dog-whistle to justify the murder of a kid who doesn’t seem all that “different” from me was when I was his age, not that different at all. I liked Skittles and hoodies and weed, too. And yeah, I’m white and never worried about getting shot for any of it, which is only the most loathsome excuse for not identifying with someone that I can possibly think of.
“It’s different” is the same logic that suggests a teenager’s skin color combined with the music he listened to means he had it coming, and it’s the same logic that lets a bunch of people feign outrage over a teenager’s use of the n-word to describe himself when they’re really just outraged that he beat them to the punch.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that on Friday night, 17-year-old Jordan Russell Davis and a group of friends were sitting in an SUV in the parking lot of a Jacksonville convenience store when they were approached by another vehicle. Michael David Dunn, who was accompanied by his girlfriend, asked the teens to turn down their music.
According to Lt. Rob Schoonover of the Jacksonville Sherrif’s Office, Davis and Dunn exchanged words. Allegedly, the 45-year-old then drew a gun and fired into the SUV eight or nine times, striking the young boy twice. He then drove off, but a witness inside the store wrote down his license plate number.
The following morning, the couple learned that one of the passengers of the car had died via a news report. They then returned home to Brevard County, where Dunn was arrested later that day and charged with murder and attempted murder.
Jordan Russell Davis was a student at Samuel W. Wolfson High School, a magnet school. He worked at the local Wynn Dixie grocery store. Frankly, I would not care if he was a member of Three Six Mafia who had stopped at the convenience store to re-up on blunts and 40 ounces. If a group of people is sitting in a car listening to loud music, it is not the job of a private citizen to demand that they turn it down. Furthermore, there is nothing justifiable or excusable about Dunn drawing a gun on a group of people whom he had accosted.
Michael David Dunn, likely high off the excitement of his son’s wedding, perhaps a few too many gin and tonics at the reception and certainly the feeling one gets from being White, male and armed, felt it was his place to approach these young people aggressively over the volume of their music.
And this gun wielding person, who allegedly APPROACHED THE CAR without provocation (much like George Zimmerman hunted down Trayvon Martin without provocation), felt threatened by the presence of teenagers in a car with whom he started an argument because HE THOUGHT THEIR MUSIC WAS TOO LOUD.
White privilege is just so, so real.
It’s a term I hear often, especially in the wake of the death of Trayvon Martin. Whites implore Blacks to reflect on the crime they inflict on one another. The implication being that Trayvon’s death deserves neither sympathy nor scrutiny…it’s a Black problem. Some Blacks, as well are all too willing to shoulder responsibility for lawlessness because “we kill one another”. Are they right? Not if you study crime statistics.
Contrary to the chatter, the problem isn’t that George Zimmerman is a race other than Black, the problem is that those empowered with the duty to see that justice is carried out, failed to do their job. The problem is that they treated the victim with absolute disregard. They made no effort to confirm the shooter’s story or seek witnesses, they simply took Zimmerman’s statements as fact and then dumped Trayvon’s body in the morgue without making a single effort to identify him. If you’re the parent waiting for your son to return from a convenience store, have you no right to expect at least that much? As a matter of race, do you think that would have been their response if Trayvon had been a young white boy? If the perpetrator had been Black, do you think he would have simply gone home? Those are the issues.
I don’t dispute that Blacks kill other Blacks, particularly as a result of gang activity. But so do Latinos, yet there is no “Latino-on-Latino” crime. Whites certainly commit their share of crime as well. In fact, the vast majority of serial murders are committed by white men, who prey on other whites. The shooting at Columbine, the gunman in Norway was a white man who killed 92 white people. From the “Wild West” to vigilante lynching, to the act of war; indeed Hitler was white and the vast majority of his 11 million victims were white; Jack the Ripper, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy…all white men who murdered white people, yet these misdeeds are not relegated to be “white-on-white” crime.That Blacks are simply unredemptive criminals is a stereotype that has been perpetuated by the media, law enforcement and revisionist history. I lived most of my life in Chicago, a city with high gang and crime activity, but I’ve never personally known a crime victim, let alone anyone who was murdered. I’m not certain I can distinguish a gunshot from a firecracker. I raised my two girls there…all of their friends are alive and well. But I do vividly recall that the police department was once cited for exposing the identity of African Americans who had been arrested to television cameras and print media while they guarded the identity of white individuals, even if it meant putting a police jacket over their faces. Sadly, many of our leaders also help to perpetuate misconceptions and stereotypes about Blacks.
Presidential candidate Ron Paul wrote in one of hisinfamous newsletters:
“If you live in a major city, you’ve probably heard about the newest threat to your life and limb, and your family: carjacking.”
“It’s the hip-hop thing to do among the urban youth who play unsuspecting whites like pianos. The youth simply walk up to a car they like, pull a gun, tell the family to get out, steal their jewelry and wallets, and take the car to wreck. Such actions have ballooned in recent months.”
The FBI does not keep separate statistics for carjacking. I’m not certain if such a crime would be considered robbery, larceny-theft or motor vehicle theft, so let’s look at all three. Ron Paul specifically mentions that “they pull a gun”, so let’s look at arrests due to Weapons charges too.
According to 2010 FBI statistics:
Clearly, the numbers simply do not support Ron Paul’s statements or what the vast majority of Americans believe. Ron Paul suggests that these numbers are out of proportion to the Black population. It can also be said that the prison population is out of proportion to the racial breakdown of arrests. It is common knowledge that the majority of those imprisoned are there for non-violent drug charges…. and they are Black. But even that statistic betrays what the public has been led to believe.
In 2010 there were 485,043 Drug arrests; 361,520 or 74.5% were white, while 117,693 or 24.3% were of Blacks. For those who make the asinine argument that the crime statistics are disproportionate because Blacks are only 15% of the population, it is important to note that Whites are not 70% of the population either. The real question ought to be why color-coded statistics are recorded in the first place.
How do we explain the disparity in how society views the acts of one race versus another? Are there degrees of death? Do you ever read about such extreme police activity waged against whites? Look again at the statistics. Why doesn’t the prison population reflect the arrests? Why are so many Black men killed at the hands of law enforcement because an officer “thinks” he sees a handgun? Whites own the vast majority of handguns, yet we seldom hear of these violent encounters with the police.
From “Birth of a Nation” to cartoons like “Heckle and Jeckle” and news print, the media plays a major role in how we perceive things. Case in point, the media was quick to point out that George Zimmerman is not a white man, but according to his parents is Hispanic. But it was the media who had said he was white in the first place.
A major news outlet conducted a poll in an effort to determine whether Latinos or Whites had a lower opinion of Blacks. Not only does such a poll incite resentment, but displays mindless and institutional racism. The results would cause the professional anchor to ask his cohost, “Aren’t you surprised to find that Hispanics think less of Blacks than Whites?” This is responsible journalism? To inquire about racial profiling or the relationship with law enforcement might have been appropriate, but why poll at all? What everyone is missing is the fact that the race of George Zimmerman is not the issue…Trayvon Martin’s race is.
The anger is about Amadou Diallo, Oscar Grant, Ramarley Graham, 14 year-old Derek Lopez, Sean Bell, 7 year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones and countless other unarmed Blacks and Latinos who are gunned down by law enforcement. The anger is about arbitrary laws like New York’s “Stop and Frisk” program that targeted 685,724 New Yorkers in 2011. 88% of those stopped were people of color; 9% were white. The anger is about the “racial” difference and indifference shown by law enforcement and legislators.
During a recent gathering of friends we talked about the role of television…the media had reported a story about a wealthy couple receiving food stamps. They lived in a swanky oceanfront home and took exotic trips around the world. Everyone knew the story, but no one knew what they looked like because the media had not shown a picture of the wealthy White couple. Yet, even though Ronald Reagan’s Welfare Queen was a myth, everyone was able to describe her in graphic detail.
George Zimmerman’s race is not the issue…Trayvon Martin’s race is. The anger is about the “racial” difference and indifference shown by law enforcement and legislators.
I recently read an article on a very well-known site. I never read comments, but this one was hard to miss because it was first:
“LMAO testy testy there “BOY” …go cry to someone who gives a fuck nigger!! If you don’t like it you can take your black ass back to Africa any time you please. You ain’t taking over shit big mouth, whites are tired of supporting you lazy fucking niggers. You’re fucking four yearsï»¿ of the welfare state are up come Nov. Only time you social climbing monkeys dare put on your works boots is when your welfare check falls in them.”
Blacks are equally responsible for spouting such garbage. But over 6,000 readers had visited the site before me, yet not one person saw fit to flag such nastiness…and we wonder why it persists.
Americans have long claimed to have a special moral and religious exception. Indeed, these proclamations undergird the American ideal that speaks to the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Trayvon Martin was killed by a nation that fails to live up to those ideals; by long-standing doctrines that prescribe discrimination against Americans based on sociodemographic characteristics and other traits. Trayvon Martin was killed by politicians who fail to set policies based on a boundless respect for human life and our leaders who have an obligation to lead society away from the disrespect of so many lives. Trayvon Martin was killed by all who stand silent in the face of intolerance.
As catastrophic as Trayvon’s death is, for those who can bear to do some honest soul-searching, it can become the catalyst toward healing Blacks and educating whites to a social inequity that has never darkened their doorstep, but is forever present for Blacks.
WTF is wrong with people?! Someone is selling Trayvon-inspired shooting targets online. Seller says, “My main motivation was to make money off the controversy.” He sold out in two days.
He sold out in two days.
He sold out in TWO days.
HE SOLD OUT IN TWO DAYS.
Excuse me while I go puke. Fuck.
When Trayvon Martin became national news earlier this month, many Americans were shocked that anyone could think such a sweet-looking kid was a menace, much less shoot him to death as he walked home with a bag of Skittles. But some media outlets want readers to see him differently. As the controversy has stayed in the news, some conservatives got the idea that liberals were somehow benefitting from it, and launched a campaign to show that Martin wasn’t so adorable after all. Several right-wing bloggers, like the Drudge Report, Dan Riehl, and Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy, have made this case — sometimes using photos of the wrong teenager. But as The New York Times‘ Robert Mackey points out, The Daily Caller has been a leader in portraying Martin as a thug, using photos and slang-packed tweets to show him as a menace. The Daily Caller’s stories about the Martin don’t include him smiling at his birthday cake or proudly decked out for prom. Rather, the site seems to prefer photos of Martin flicking off the camera or showing gold teeth.
“I don’t apologize for my blackness and your fear!” - Sign at a Trayvon Martin rally