Monday, July 15, 2013

Regarding Treyvon Martin

Are you still thinking about Treyvon Martin? I know I am. But boy am I not qualified to comment. My main reaction has been to say, "That is messed up." So that's about my level of sophistication.

But here are some responses to Treyvon Martin's death, the George Zimmerman trial and verdict, and race in American generally that I thought were helpful/illuminating. Mostly, I'm just listening right now.

Ta-Nehisi Coates as always has good things to say. His first response set the stage for this longer reflection:
It is painful to say this: Trayvon Martin is not a miscarriage of American justice, but American justice itself. This is not our system malfunctioning. It is our system working as intended. To expect our juries, our schools, our police to single-handedly correct for this, is to look at the final play in the final minute of the final quarter and wonder why we couldn't come back from twenty-four down.
I know I already posted this link on Friday, but it's worth posting again:
15 Things Black People Must Do In Order to End Racism
With that post in mind, this tweet struck a chord:
An interesting perspective from Stephen Kuusisto. The kicker:
Privileged space and security guards go hand in hand. And with the travesty of justice in Sanford, Florida we're told that anyone can be a security guard. And anyone can be gunned down.
The Black Youth Project posted a heartfelt response:
As we waited to hear the verdict, in the spirit of unity, we formed a circle and locked hands. When we heard “not guilty,” our hearts broke collectively. In that moment, it was clear that Black life had no value. Emotions poured out – emotions that are real, natural and normal, as we grieved for Trayvon and his stolen humanity. Black people, WE LOVE AND SEE YOU. We mourn, but there’s hope as long as love endures.
And finally, Toure posted this beautiful and poignant article on how to talk to young black boys about Treyvon Martin. It was written in 2012 and makes even more of an impact now.
There is nothing wrong with you. You’re amazing. I love you. When I look at you, I see a complex human being with awesome potential, but some others will look at you and see a thug — even if their only evidence is your skin. Their racism relates to larger anxieties and problems in America that you didn’t create. When someone is racist toward you — either because they’ve profiled you or spit some slur or whatever — they are saying they have a problem. They are not speaking about you. They’re speaking about themselves and their deficiencies.
What else should I read?

1 comment:

mom said...

I dunno. Is it stupid to say " if only George hadn't had a GUN." ?