The Conviction of Trayvon Martin and The Insignificance of Black Men in America

george zimmerman travyon martin black men in america

One winter day, when I was around 15-16 years old, my friends and I were walking home from a routine store run. We walked alongside Jamaica Avenue in broad daylight. The street was bustling with the usual weekend commotion of shopkeepers selling items, men howling at women for some love and affection, and children like us just going about their day. My friend Mike was walking with a big overcoat on while we were wearing hoodies and sweaters (the norm for a NYC winter). Mike was (and still is) huge into music, and he always carried a walkman wherever we went. He took out his walkman to put it in another pocket as we were discussing whatever frivolous topics teenage boys discuss. Suddenly, without warning or provocation, a cop car hurriedly sped up on us from the opposite side of the street. Two cops hopped out of the squad car, and immediately screamed for Mike to put his hands on the wall and “assume the position.”

They frisked Mike, and of course found nothing. They pulled him off the wall and immediately apologized, explaining that they thought Mike’s motion of switching the walkman from the left to right pocket was his way of hiding a gun. This baffled me, as he took the walkman OUT his pocket for the world to see before transferring it to his inner pocket. Did I mention that Mike is a bi-racial kid who looks more black than anything? We nodded disgustingly at the officers and went on our way. Later that day, I explained to my mother what occurred and she had three simple words for me: “Welcome to America.”

“Welcome to America.” A phrase that sounds inviting to all visitors from foreign lands, is actually an ironic anecdote to African Americans. It’s a sarcastic reminder that we unwillingly emigrated to this land, were enslaved and persecuted, were “bestowed” our freedom, and subsequently had to fight for the same inalienable rights as this country’s forefathers demanded in that famous document in 1776. Today, with racial undertones permeating through all facets of American society, the acquittal of George Zimmerman reminds us that for everything good about the U.S. of A, it’s still hard to just be a Black Man without fear of prejudice or subhuman standards.

I heard the verdict at around 10:05PM, and while I want to tell you that I was shocked, I wasn’t. I’m sure many black people felt the same way. We wanted to have hope that a jury that didn’t consist of people “like us” would see reason and do the right thing. Alas,  this would be another case of blind justice peeking through her veil to see the color of the participants before executing judgment.

Of course, all the social media contrarians came out to tell us how WE as blacks control the perception and to ask the question “what are WE doing to change things in this country.”I hate when blame and responsibility is shifted back on blacks when clear bias occurs in our faces daily. I thought to myself, “What could I do to educate brothers like me to avoid these situations?”

That’s when the tears filled my eyes and anger filled my heart. That’s when I realized that I would’ve instructed Trayvon to do exactly what he did. If you’re walking through a gated community at night, which is supposed to be safe, and an unmarked car rolls up on you, and a strange dude hops out to question you, there’s only 2 choices: “fight or flight.” This is common sense to any black kid who grows up in the hood or even in a great community. Trayvon chose to run, and got chased down by a man who wanted to be the gated community’s version of the Punisher and exude the ultimate form of vigilante-ism by “solving a perceived crime problem.” The anger continued to fill my heart, because I knew that no matter what the guidance and mentorship I could’ve gave Trayvon, in that situation he still would’ve ended up dead.

We shine because they hate us, floss cause they degrade us
We trying to buy back our 40 acres
And for that paper, look how low we a stoop
Even if you in a Benz, you still a nigga in a coupe - Kanye West

People want to put the onus on blacks to change the perception, but what the majority doesn’t realize is that we have conformed our entire LIVES. We’ve conformed as African Americans even before conception, as our surnames are a constant reminder of an era where we were blatantly referred to as “3/5ths of a man,” our families decimated, our people enslaved for 400+ years. We try to be mindful of what we are named as to not seem “too black” and have perception as our immediate enemy. My name is as common and as “White America” as you can get, and I’m sure that conformity was a factor. As kids, we are taught to be reverent to law enforcement, and always be on our P’s and Q’s; not only for respect of authority, but to ensure that we don’t give law enforcement a reason to act on their prejudice.

article-zimmerman3-0713

Working in Corporate America as a person of color is the apex of conformity training. We have to speak a certain way so that our colleagues don’t perceive us as “those black people” they see on TV. We have to dress above standard, even when we dress down. To be considered for advancement, we have to perform at a higher level than everyone just to be on the same playing field as white employees with similar qualifications, and even then we can still be overlooked. We avoid talking about certain issues, or keep shit generic with our white colleagues because they “wouldn’t understand” due to their privilege.

I remember having a discussion with my white and Indian colleagues regarding Indian marriages. The two Indian woman told us about how when they prepare for marriage, they try their best not to tan and remain light as possible. My white colleague was confused, but didn’t really see anything wrong with it, so I asked them for clarification (although I could assume why). So my Indian coworker starts explaining: “Well you know in our culture all the women who do Bollywood and are considered ‘beautiful’ are lighter, and they associate…” She suddenly turns to me and goes “Well, YOU know,” and gives me that minority telepathic look that we all give each other when we know to read between the lines. We laughed it off because I immediately understood, while my white colleagues were oblivious to the sentiment that “white is right” is a deep institutionalized issue not just in the US, but in most places.

Sometimes, I wish as a Black Man in America, I had the luxury of being naive to race issues. I wish I could be as appalled and shocked as my white coworker, who isn’t from NYC, voicing his apprehension over the city’s “Stop and Frisk” law, because he didn’t want to be randomly targeted since he wasn’t a criminal. He voiced this concern to myself and another black coworker. We informed him that he had nothing to worry about, and when he asked why, we coyly replied “Because they only stop black people,” and laughed it off once again. I’ve had to laugh off all the random police stops for driving while black, the looks of concern I get in restaurants I walk into where I’m the only person of color, or any other situation where race was held against me. All black people seem desensitized at these outrages because from the repetition and normalcy of these occurrences, being disenfranchised is encoded in our DNA.

I’m a cop a nice home to provide in

A safe environment for seeds to reside in

A fresh whip for my whole family to ride in

And if I’m still Mr. Nigga, I won’t find it suprisin – Mos Def

People will refer to the laws as the source of contention rather than racial profiling or inequality. They will scoff at anyone who brings up the Mike Vick case, where dogs lives held more value than a 17 year old boy, or Plaxico Burress who shot HIMSELF and did two years in prison. If you don’t like those examples, lets speak about the young black woman who is about to do 20 years in prison for firing warning shots at an abusive husband. A woman who used the “Stand Your Ground” defense for firing those shots, which didn’t touch the man, was found guilty, while George Zimmerman, who pursued an unarmed child and shot him, was acquitted. The point isn’t that the laws differ so you can’t use certain cases as examples of the inequality of the justice system. The fact is that no matter HOW the laws are construed, it seems that blacks will always lose the case.

Cord Jefferson said it best:

If you’re a black man and you don’t remain vigilant of and obsequious to white people’s panic in your presence—if you, say, punch a man who accosts you during dinner with your girlfriend and screams “Nigger!” in your face, or if you, say, punch a man who is following you without cause in the dark with a handgun at his side—then you must be prepared to be arrested, be beaten, be shot through the heart and lung and die on the way home to watch a basketball game with your family.

To stay alive and out of jail, brown and black kids learn to cope. They learn to say, “Sorry, sir,” for having sandwiches in the wrong parking lot. They learn, as LeVar Burton has, to remove their hats and sunglasses and put their hands up when police pull them over. They learn to tolerate the indignity of strange, drunken men approaching them and calling them and their loved ones a bunch of niggers. They learn that even if you’re willing to punch a harasser and face the consequences, there’s always a chance a police officer will come to arrest you, put you face down on the ground, and then shoot you execution style. Maybe the cop who shoots you will only get two years in jail, because it was all a big misunderstanding. You see, he meant to be shooting you in the back with his taser.

2013-07-14T052523Z_1_CBRE96D0F2N00_RTROPTP_2_USA-FLORIDA-SHOOTING

I swear. There could be a “no violence against blacks in hoodies” law,and if a white person goes against this law they will still find a way to be acquitted. This is why Blacks were more disappointed than shocked at yesterday’s ruling.

Both the prosecution and the defense wanted to make it abundantly clear that this case wasn’t race-related. It’s easy to look at cases like George Zimmerman’s and claim it’s not racially charged when you are the majority. How was this not racially charged when the defense tried to justify Geroge Zimmerman’s concerns by showcasing that black men had robbed houses in the neighborhood, and seeing one at night was just cause for alarm? People in that community shouldn’t be startled by the site of blacks, because BLACKS LIVE THERE TOO! How is this not racially charged when the defense tried their best to subtlety paint this 17 year old boy as a weed-smoking, rap lyric spittin’, problem child who was in the wrong place at the wrong time? You already see what Rob Zimmerman, the brother of George, thinks about Trayvon, that “Trayvon Martin was looking to procure firearms, or growing marijuana, or looking to make lean.” Seriously.

Nowadays, a 17 year old kid who’s had trouble in school, recites rap lyrics, and smokes weed could identify with white kids equally or even greater than black kids! Let’s be real, if Trayvon Martin was a white kid wearing a hoody, he would’ve made it home to see the rest of that basketball game. George Zimmerman would’ve drove by, or even asked the kid if he was ok and needed a ride home. He would’ve never jumped out the car to confront him because he assumed the kid’s guilt. I thought it was telling that defense attorney Mark O’Mara, when asked what he think would’ve happened if GZ was black replied “If George Zimmerman was black, I don’t even think this case would go to trial or be publicized.” You know why? It would’ve been black-on-black crime. It’s always status quo when niggers are killing each other, I guess.

I fear bringing a kid into this world. This verdict honestly made me reassess the possbility. How do you deal? Trayvon Martin could’ve been my brother, nephew, son, or cousin. Trayvon Martin could’ve been me. It boils my blood and saddens me that for all my education, conformity, aspiration, and diligence of ascending beyond stereotypes to be successful, I will always be a nigger to most whites. I will always get stopped in the same counties in certain states every year when driving with a bunch of black people, and given speeding tickets because the state troopers “were following us for three miles and saw us speeding” even though we never saw you in the rearview mirror “trailing our car.”

I call this the conviction of Trayvon Martin because even in death, an unarmed, unassuming black boy has to prove his innocence, and in the end was convicted of being black at the wrong time. Stories like the ones I shared can be shared by any black man 15-75 in America, as we are always united by the experiences of an oppressive culture.

No, George Zimmerman is not white. But his assumptions about Black men are rooted in the foundational assumptions of white supremacy and his treatment by the justice system have conferred upon him privileges usually reserved for white men. The malleability of white supremacy for non-Black bodies says something about the singular power and threat of the Black body in this kind of racialized system – Brittany Cooper

Amadou Diallo. Sean Bell. Oscar Grant. Emmett Till. Trayvon Martin.

Will I be next?

StreetZ

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  • Zuri

    I’m black, but I’m not a man. So, while I’m angry and dissapointed, I can’t say that I understand how you feel. I’m not gonna dismiss your feelings altogether either. I will however say that if we want them to take us seriously when the time comes then we have to start with treating eachother and ourselves the right way first.You teach people how to treat you. I don’t think there is anything wrong with speaking like an intelligent person and dressing like a clean, well-groomed person. The fact that you consider that “conforming” is in itself a problem. Black men should remember when you are rapping along to ignorant, degrading lyrics, selling drugs, abandoning you’re kids, hopping from woman to woman, sagging your pants, shooting one another that the reputation of your fellow black man will precede you. Those are things that Trayvon essentially and unfortunately paid for. I’m not saying its right, but the case proves just that.

    • http://twitter.com/RealGoesRight @RealGoesRight

      I'm reading your comment and trying to figure out how read everything Streetz was saying and still came away with what you said. Like, I'm puzzled to the point of being infuriated, but your first three sentences gave it way. You're not a black man. You don't understand what it's like. I hope one day you get to see firsthand the problems Streetz tried to explain, but at the same token, be thankful you never have to feel what he, I, or any black man has had to feel.

    • Anon

      *your
      *it's
      * a few commas here and there. But I hear you

    • DrRDB

      This is a joke, right?

      • cynicaloptmst81

        Gotta be…

        Cause she canNOT be serious…

    • Southerngyrl_

      And responses like yours are what made me even more angry after the verdict was read. Black people jumping on this "we have to do better" bandwagon. This was not what the case was about.

      • cynicaloptmst81

        AT.ALL!!!

        But, her response is pretty much Obama's statement…which is baffling and disturbing.

        • Southerngyrl_

          YES. He is on my nerves right about now.

    • MMR

      Damn girl you missed the whole point ————————————> .

    • Streetz

      You know…

      This is the problem. We always look at ourselves after we get fcukd over.

      "Trayvon chose to run, and got chased down by a dude who wanted to be the gated community’s version of the Punisher and exude the ultimate form of vigilanteism by “solving a perceived crime problem.” The anger continued to fill my heart, because I knew that no matter what the guidance and mentorship I could’ve gave Trayvon, in that situation he still would’ve ended up dead."

      Sometimes, we do everything we can to alter our perception, and we still lose.

      Also I enjoy speaking eloquently, and being smart, and dressing properly, but the way I dress and talk ashouldnt be an indictment on my character or give people carte blanche to KILL ME!

      I wasnt going to respond to you, because I had nothing nice to say. Im glad I could compose myself.

      Reading Comprehension is two words that you have to act on to get someones point. Maybe you did read…. you def didn't comprehend

    • Man on Fire

      Comments like this illustrate the real problem with the perception of Black men in this country–even by our own women as evidenced by this comment being authored by a woman who purports to be Black. 1. The writer assumes that if a Black man has had any issues with Whites, then that must mean he raps along to ignorant lyrics, shoots people, sags his pants and doesn’t take care of his children. 2. As Black men, anything negative that happens to us is our own fault and we just shouldn’t have let it happen. 3. The writer buys into the bs the mainstream sells Black men, which is that in order for “them” to take “us” seriously, then we have do something more/extra/conformist just to receive basic, human respect (when all we, or anyone, should have to do is be respectful and respectable).

      I, and many of the Black men with whom I socialize, have never shot anyone, sagged my pants, neglected a child or even been arrested. Yet, I have swapped countless stories with Black men regarding every level of shady, discriminatory, unfair, fear-based treatment at the hands of Whites. So, the discourse that makes it Treyvon Martin’s fault that he was victimized and makes it collectively Black men’s fault that we are victimized criminally, socially, and professionally is a falsehood and a way to keep everyone pointing the finger at Black men.

    • Uncle Hugh, BP

      Seriously? After reading through that post, this was the first comment out the gate?

      "Black men should remember when you are rapping along to ignorant, degrading lyrics, selling drugs, abandoning you're kids, hopping from woman to woman, sagging your pants, shooting one another that the reputation of your fellow black man will precede you."

      Clearly, you suffer from the "malleability of white supremacy for non-Black bodies." Perhaps I should provide a list of stereotypes of black women, ascribe them all to you, then judge you based on those stereotypes, so you'll understand.

    • Just Peachy!

      You will understand it when the day comes that you, wearing your chinos and nice button up shirt, or suit doing nothing wrong, talking eloquently and someone still accuses you of something or treats you as if you don't belong where you are at or if you cant afford to shop in the store you are visiting. Its not always about the image that you portray because no matter what some racist people will still see you as a black man up to no good. Why do you think black women instill "keeping up appearances" because we know it may not erase the stereotyping altogether but it may lessen it when we look and act accordingly.

      They don't care if you never been arrested, or carry yourself like an upstanding citizen because you are still beneath them, inferior to their race. They always come up with an excuse as to why they have to question or second guess or rush to judge you. Do see the shock looked on their faces when they realize that yes, we have values, home training and the like, we are not all thugs. Just as they are not all without faults either. Simply put you are not the right color in their eyes so you are of no significance. Lets not forget about the subtle things that they do to try to keep us down as well. those things are not always done in your presence but are working against you still so that you may not readily pinpoint who or where it exactly came from

    • Mary Ann

      God bless you; I respect you.

  • SMilez_920

    The problem is the first thing you though about when Streetz talked about “conforming” is the most extreme stereotypes of blk men. When white men act poorly, they get the privilege of being seen as an individual and not a representative of the whole group. Plenty of White teens steal, smoke weed, love rap (there make up almost half the consumers that buy rap), say silly thing on social networks, yet we still see them as children and value their lives when lost. When white kids speak slang, dress eccentric, smoke weed, its considered a phase, we black kids do it their public enemy number 1.

    “will however say that if we want them to take us seriously when the time comes then we have to start with treating eachother and ourselves the right way first.”- So basically is this a nice way of saying “ Blk ppl should worry about blk on blk crime and stop crying about Zimmerman”. Contrary to popular belief black folks are just as worried, hurt and focused on blk on blk as they are on racist crimes. The media highlights based on what will get them ratings. Heck they only stared highlighting all the murders in Chicago because Obama is from there. Blk on blk doesn’t receive real sympathy from the non black community, sympathy = ratings. Just because the news is’nt constantly covering something doesn’t mean it’s not happening. We can focus on both racist crime (especially systematic racist ish) and black on blk.

    • SMilez_920

      The comment above was for Zuri

  • msjenkins

    All of this.

    The struggle is real. I cried for my brothers and people of color living in America when the verdict was read (especially after the rulings SCOTUS unleashing in the last month). Like you, I was not surprised. If you watched the trial, you knew that the law, the charges, the facts as presented to the jury, would lead to this. And still, I hoped for something different.

    During the trial, there was much chatter about what would happen if the races of Zimmerman and Trayvon were switched or varied in some way, or if this happened up North. The facts (and law) vary some, but something very similar happened in 2006 in NY. A black man killed a 17 year old white kid – "Mr. White was convicted of shooting Daniel Cicciaro, 17, point-blank in the face on Aug. 9, 2006. Daniel and several friends had left a party and showed up Mr. White’s house just after 11 p.m. to challenge his son Aaron, then 19, to a fight, and had used threats, profanities and racial epithets. Mr. White awoke and grabbed a loaded Beretta pistol he kept in the garage of his house in Miller Place, a predominantly white hamlet on Long Island." http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/23/nyregion/23tria

    In 2010 his sentence was commuted, but still. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/24/nyregion/24comm

    Then, like now, people try to act like race plays no role how (in)justice is carried out in America. The Civil Rights Era that our parents and grandparents knew is over, but things are being shaken up in old and new ways. I love my generation, but our attention span on issues like these must change. We have not arrived just yet.

  • msjenkins

    *unleashed

  • Grace

    I am not a black person, i am not an American and i'm reading this from a distant country. I am angry, disappointed, and hurt at the verdict of this case. I appreciate what Streetz has shared and my heart aches and cries to see Black America treated like second class citizens, to be hounded and questioned at every turn. I question the rights of your country and I question your laws. Why is it in the century of a black President do African Americans still have to wonder if they belong, still have to fight for equality under your laws? Why is there a law for the white man and a separate law for the black? I was following the Zimmerman case and like so many broke down nd cried when the verdict was read.
    I have only two things to say: young and old black men~ stand tall, stand proud, be seen, live loud, be that only black in that sea of white, never ever surrender your right and give your place just because someone thinks so. And dear America, sort yourself out.

    • Streetz

      Dope. Thank you. What country?

    • anon

      treated like 2nd class citizens? blacks in america are set up for success more than whites… are you fucking joking yourself.

  • WIM

    Good piece.

    Probably like most (older) black men (and women) around the country, when I heard about the verdict I was not shocked or surprised. I was not indifferent either, but subconsciously, I assume I had already mentally prepared myself for the disappointment of the verdict as I have seen far too many cases end the same way over the years. I say “subconsciously” because had I felt anger or rage – instead of disappointment – it would likely have meant that the reality did not align with my expectations. I was actually shocked by how not surprised I was by the final verdict.

    Similar to Streetz, what I struggle with is I’m not sure how I would have advised Trayvon or any other black male – including myself – to act differently in this situation. Sadly, Zimmerman is the only one left alive to give his account of the interaction (even though I personally believe it makes no sense, but that’s aside the point). Also similarly to Jeff, I’ve been harassed, stopped, frisked, and generally made to feel lesser than or like a criminal for committing no crime greater than – as far as I can tell – living while black. In my experience, no amount of schooling, assimilation, non-threatening demeanor, proper talking, education, or whatever else one might deem to make me seem more “safe” has stopped someone who chooses to do so from drawing preconceived conclusions based on the color of my skin. I’m not being flippant here, but I honestly don’t know what I’m supposed to do as a black man to not appear threatening to some people who see all black men as threatening, possibly threatening, or inevitably capable of violence and thus warrant a constant paranoia and need to “protect” oneself from them and/or us.

    Whatever your personal beliefs, in this instance, this particular sets of beliefs about black men lead to the death of a 17 year old and the killer of that 17 year old walks free today, and a number of people, black and white, see nothing wrong with that. I guess I’m not one of those people, yet I’m still struggling to identify what that means for me.

    • Streetz

      PREACH!

    • h.h.h.

      "I'm not being flippant here, but I honestly don't know what I'm supposed to do as a black man to not appear threatening to some people who see all black men as threatening, possibly threatening, or inevitably capable of violence and thus warrant a constant paranoia and need to "protect" oneself from them and/or us. "

      that's what i'm trying to figure out, myself. i don't know either.

      • joy

        Not to change the subject, but from what I know about how black men feel about being profiled, its similar to an extremely abusive relationship.for example, white American institutional and overt racism being the perp of course. So there really is nothing the victim can do, no matter what others’ feedback may be. The aggresive abuser (racist system and society) will continue to abuse because they CAN. And it will continue until THEY, the Abusive system decides they want to change.

  • DrRDB

    Privilege vs. oppression is just as alive yoday as it was during the Fight for Civil Rights. The problem now is it's so much more insidious because we live in a "post-racial" society. Those of us are aren't higher educated, middle-class or better, heterosexual, and White [males] don't get the privilege of having society provide for us. Even if you meet all of the criteria except for one your life will be different, but none seems to be worse than being all of those and Black at the same time. And if you ever try to shed light on why you're mistreated you're "race-baiting", "playing the race card", or "always being the victim."

    I'm happy you wrote this, Streetz, because I'm sure like every other person who reads here regularly we all felt the same level of disappointment when the verdict was read. We all felt the same level of anger, and we all had to ask "Then what the hell are we supposed to do?" Unfortunately we've also seen a murderer's brother get free reign on national TV to talk about how his brother did nothing wrong, and a defense team seemingly appear inconvenienced by having to even defend heir client in the risk place. Not to mention the so-called experts, TV talking heads, and even those on Twitter discussing what we should and shouldn't be doing in order to make life better for ourselves.

    Don't tell me how to fix my problems if you don't understand them to begin with. Don't tell me what Trayvon should have done if you can't feasibly for one second see the same situation ever happening to you. And beyond all else don't tell me this case had nothing to do with race. If you've never had someone cross the street to not walk near you or someone lock their car doors, you don't get it. If you've never seen women clutch their purses tighter or just walk off an elevator altogether as you walk on, you don't get it. If you've never been harassed by salespeople who conveniently point out how much something costs because they assum you can't afford it, or had someone exclaim in surprise how "well-spoken" you are you don't get it, because you have a privilege that will never be afforded to me or other non-celebrity Black males. We all live I the same society, but unfortunately we live in very different realities. So my advice to anyone who reads this man's post today and is dying to point out why he's wrong, you should stop and listen first, and realize just because you can't validate his [or any of our] experiences with your own doesn't mean it isn't valid.

  • cynicaloptmst81

    Well said, Streetz…

    Now, if someone could just print this and hand deliver it to our precious President, I'd be very grateful. His statement should have looked more like this one!!!!! You don't have another 4 yrs to gun for so you can stop playing stuff so dang safe as if relates to black issues now, Mr. President!!!!! UGH!!!!!!

    -_-

    • Streetz

      I feel you but that's a slippery slope as a President to tread. From an American POV, the justice system went its course. He cant shit on it entirely. Maybe he could speak to the plight of a black man more but idk.

      Thank you too!

      • cynicaloptmst81

        It's not unAmerican for it's leader to admit when part of the system is broken…or to expose holes in it that need to be closed. That's the whole premise of reforming laws and such…like health and tax reform. So, why can't he do the same as it relates to how the law deals or doesn't deal with race issues???

        You don't have to answer those, lol. Honestly, I would've preferred no statement at all…or just a statement that said the DOJ was looking into it. That non-statement did nothing but make him look weak to me (as much as I hate to admit that) and it helped to solidify that "if you blacks would just act right they wouldn't think like that" mindset.

        • Streetz

          I got you love. That makes sense!

        • InsomniaPoet

          @CynicalOptmst Just curious…what laws were at play (or played out in this case) do you think need to be reformed?

        • cynicaloptmst81

          It's more so that there is a major hole in the law. I'm no lawyer…although I used to want to be one and one of my fav movies is A Few Good Men, lol…but the fact that the prosecution couldn't try the case by focusing on Zimmerman's reasons for following and chasing him in the first place is just not ok!!! Black guys robbed folks in your hood. So, you see one walking as if he knows where he's going and although he isn't snooping in any windows, is talking on the phone, and has done nothing remotely criminal from what you've seen, you deem him suspicious why? The fact that you can't drive that home in the court of law is very wrong. Based on that alone, Zimmerman is the instigator and Trayvon should have been the one defending his civil right to walk home and stop the strange guy from following and chasing him. How it actually played out beyond Zimmerman pursuing him shouldn't have mattered (who hit who first, who was on top, etc.) because at that point, the law SHOULD have protected Trayvon…the one whose civil rights were being violated.

          Now, go on and clear that up since you have the law degree, LOL!

        • InsomniaPoet

          LOL – def not trying to be SBM's resident legal analyst….I just wanted to hear your opinion. My legal response to your comment is that it isn't illegal to follow someone REGARDLESS of your reason for doing so.

        • cynicaloptmst81

          HA! I wish, LOL!

          …and that's what makes it a hole in the law that needs to be plugged. Following and chasing folks when they've done no criminal or incriminating act SHOULD be illegal for everyone with the exception of cops (if the person is already a suspect in an open case) and legal private investigators (even they should be regulated)…who shouldn't be allowed to approach the person. This would also help with stalking cases!

          …I may have missed my calling! LOL…j/k…

      • InsomniaPoet

        Last question. Did you think it should be illegal to follow someone before this case?

        • cynicaloptmst81

          Based on issues with stalking and women (especially) being murdered because the police couldn't do anything about the stalker, I absolutely felt that there needed to be some kind of legal reform in this area. Now, I never correlated it to race or profiling before the case, no. But, for stalking cases, absolutely!!!

  • jdoubleu

    A well-written and needed post Streetz.

    Aside from the Not Guilty verdict, the most disturbing aspect of this entire case is Z. does not feel bad. No remorse and he's not going to lose any sleep over this. I get that the defense's job is to keep their client out of jail, but the ways those a*holes were laughing it up at the presser – they weren't even trying to hide behind the veil of racism. That's how comfortable America these days with their disdain for us. Z. lack of remorse and acknowledgement of making the wrong choice in following Tray to begin with leads me to believe that he's likely a sociopath and will not hesitate to do this exact same thing again. The fact that his brother got on natl tv and said 'he needs his gun now more than ever." Really? -_-

    As a black man from FL with tons of young black male relatives back home in FL, that thought process is terrifying

    My recent post #30in30 Day 16: 5 Things I Wish I Knew At 25

    • Hairbear_FLL

      Everything surrounding the trial after the verdict made me physcially ill. It is really hurtful to acutely know that SO many people in America felt the way they did concerning our black youth, and as an extension us. And living in South Florida that SO many hispanics were in agreement. I've had to break it down to one of my conservative friends, that if I, a young black woman who frequently walks her dogs at night (with a hoodie or jacket on when it gets cold), am stalked by a car. And that person gets out and starts following me, I'm going to run like Trayvon and hide. Hopefully, I'll have my phone on. And I would immediately start looking for something to grab to protect myself with. And if this attacker were to find me, then yes I would fight for me life, which is likely what Trayvon did.

      Only after that elaborate explanation, did they seem to get it.

      The lack of apathy for black kids is just appalling. I definitely feel the struggle of what everyone else has said. The code-switching at work and in public, for what? We are still judged by the color of our skin, and then by the clothes we wear and how we talk to be deemed "safe".

      • Hairbear_FLL

        "To be black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage." – James Baldwin

        I thought it was easy to largely overlook issues of color down here since its so culturally diverse. And because I did what was expected of me from my parents; got educated, nice job, and live in a nice neighborhood downtown, but this weekend was a smack in the face. All I'll ever be to some people is just Black. Less than. Inferior.

        Well, I'm not that. And neither are any of you. We shouldn't live our lives concerned with the bigoted and hatred of others. Start with the youth. Continue to volunteer. Stand for something, or prepare to fall for anything. And most importantly VOTE. Hopefully, this will stir our community to start acting. We have been retroactive for far too long. We need to start being proactive. Stand up

      • bumstead

        No, what you would do if being stalked is grab your cell and dial 9-1-1 and possibly scream for "help."

        Trayvon had a cell. Jeantel had a cell.

        • jdoubleu

          It's still up for debate who was screaming for help. But regardless, people heard the screams while they called for 911. Yet nobody wanted to be a good Samaritan to go out there and see what was going on. So this case (and many cases that involve violence), screams don't invoke action in terms of assistance.

          And yes both of them had phones and could've called for 911. But hindsight is always 20/20. I wouldn't give any teenager that much credit to be able to think "ok let me get off the phone with my friend and call the police." It may sound sexist, but a woman sees a man following her, she's going to call 911. A man sees a man following him, fight or flight kicks in like Streetz said.
          My recent post #30in30 Day 22: Sometimes Prayer Isn’t The Solution

        • bumstead

          @jdoubleu: All that you say may be true. The jury did what it did. That doesn't change the fact that neither Trayvon Martin nor Rachel Jeantel is a role model for anything.

        • Hairbear_FLL

          You didn't read. I said "hopefully have my cellphone on" And besides, do you know the average response rate of police? A top-priority 911 call is on average 10- 14 minutes in the U.S.

          I'm pretty sure someone could attack, rape, or kill someone in that time.

          Obviously, that's what happened to Trayvon. Even though he didn't call 911, the neighbors in the house lurking did, and by the time the police got there, he was dead.

        • bumstead

          The tardy response time of police is precisely why some neighborhoods have a neighborhood watch in the first place–because law enforcement resources are overstretched.

  • TimeForChange

    Sometimes we black people would just pull up our pants, not act foolish and just try to be decent human beings I think a great change would occur. We cannot allow ourselves to be fooled into thinking the white man is prohibiting us from achieving our dreams but we should know that we are to blame for the decline in black society. We portray ourselves in a manner related to stereotypes that are connected to rappers and gangsters and we wonder why we are profiled. The same can be said for white people with rebel flags being labeled as racist rednecks. As a culture we need to rise above the pressures of our own peers and better our own situation lest we fall victim to oppression of ourselves. It is easy to take the low road and blame our hardships on the color of our skin but if we were to take the high road and forgive people for a past beyond their control we may move forward as a nation. It may not be easy but the right thing to do may not always be the easiest task to undertake. I challenge any of you to say you have never used a derogatory remark when speaking about or to someone else in your daily life. We condemn the very acts we commit in day to day life. We are not a do as I say not as I do country, we need to lead by example and set the bar as high as we can. If we expect a change we should start with ourselves and the rest will follow.

    • SMilez_920

      No offense but this is complete bs.

      1)Not all black ppl fall into those stereotypes you mentioned. And even if some do, so what is that an excuse to treat every blk person you walk by like said stereotype. And let’s be clear the black people who are “living above this” still get profiled and harassed so cut the crap.
      2)Stop with trying to use black on black crime as an away to deflect from another larger issue. We’ll deal with blk on blk but America needs to deal with their own issues on race. And trust even if blk on blk crime was at 1% that wouldn’t stop the discrimination and justification for the killing of black men by police and ppl like George Zimmerman.
      “It is easy to take the low road and blame our hardships on the color of our skin but if we were to take the high road and forgive people for a past beyond their control we may move forward as a nation.” – are you serious. You can’t move forward until you correct the issues of the past. The past is more than slavery. It’s Jim Crow, segregation, things that only took place 50 years ago. We are trying to move forward believe that but in order to do that we have to disable the system of privileged that has been put in place.

  • MM

    I have a 17 year old nephew. Latino who will be entering college in the fall. He has been stopped and frisked 3 times in his life already. His opinion on this case: “Aunty, I just want to make it out of college and hope that I don’t get chased down by a racist cop and get shot at.. could you imagine” no nephew I don’t want to!

    The young lady who commented reminds me of a quote from the Narrative of the life of Fredrick Douglas – “I would at times feel that learning how to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy.” You read the real ness in Streetz posts and didn’t now how to respond because we don’t have a solution. We as people of color, have tried to conform with hopes that that’s the solution and hasn’t been. So now what? No answers.

    • bumstead

      Zimmerman was a Hispanic. Trayvon called him a "creepy ass cracker." Doesn't it bother you that Trayvon used racially-discriminatory language against a Hispanic?

      • anon

        how is this down voted? how can this be overlooked? whoever down voted is an obvious dipshit

  • InsomniaPoet

    I am so on the fence about this case… I think it's because I've always been cynical about the state of Blacks in America AND because I am an attorney. I was a Public Defender for years. At the outset this looked like a set of facts I'd LOVE for my Defendant to have because there was clearly a winable legal argument & very little hard evidence.

    Since the verdict – I've been struggling to place my feelings. On the one hand I agree with the legal outcome but on the other hand I am TERRIFIED for my nephews. GENUINELY TERRIFIED. It's like GZ (and his legal team) basically manipulated the laws I wholeheartedly believe in. I've said to many who want me to be up in arms…NONE of us were there that night – so there is no way to PROVE what happened. Based on that I totally agree that GZ should have gotten off…BUT I don't need proof to BELIEVE in my heart that Trayvon is dead b/c GZ was a racist. I truly can't figure out how to reconcile those feelings.

    Just sucks that this country we live in is so hard to navigate because it can be both the best and worst place in the world at the same damn time.

    • bumstead

      It's easy to reconcile your feelings.

      You admit there is no way to PROVE what happened. [Not quite accurate since there was a lot of evidence at the trial that Trayvon was the aggressor, but whatever. If the can't PROVE what happened one way or the other it's still a reasonable doubt = acquittal.]

      Nevertheless even though you are a lawyer and well-trained you also stated "BUT I don't need proof to BELIEVE in my heart…blah…blah…GZ was a racist."

      Well people who "believe" things for which there is no "PROOF" are…delusional. That's what a delusion is. It's a belief that a person holds in spite of there being no objective proof for it.

      Your legal training however tells you that it IS delusional to hold a belief for which there is no evidence (no proof).

      Your community to a great degree if this blog is a standard example holds delusional beliefs. You feel a sense of cognitive dissonance because you want to be one with your community yet intellectually you realize it is held hostage to a delusional belief system.

      The choice is yours: Solidarity with your community, and delusion…..or truth, and alienation from a delusional community.

      Your choice.

      • h.h.h.

        you're right in one sense, bumstead.

        based on previous case loads it is delusional and illogical for black males to expect any sort of 'justice' in these "United States of America".

        "The choice is yours: Solidarity with your community, and delusion…..or truth, and alienation from a delusional community."

        i think there is a third choice. working on making laws fair to all. too bad you didn't include that option, perhaps you didn't see that in your pov. it's ok. change is inevitable.

        • bumstead

          You can be critical of injustice in the U.S. without feeling it necessary to beatify Trayvon Martin.

          Can't you?

        • anon

          laws are already fair to all, if we started making "dont touch black people ever" laws shit would get worse because thats segregation in itself, how can you not see this…

  • Peter Parker

    Good post Streetz. Growing up in the south, I definitely was not surprised with the verdict. The one thing I can respect about the whites in the south, they will constantly remind you how they think about and what you represent to them. Knowing this, we as black men have to teach the younger ones how we have to be on our "p's andq's" even more. It's even more important for us as older black men to educate the youth about our history, where we come from, and how we can make those little changes to bring about awareness. It's more than one way to skin a cat in my view point.

    I say the above to say this. The world spins 360 degrees and karma is something real out here. At the end of the day, Zimmerman will have to answer to higher power that always gets things right.

  • Shatoria L.

    As a black woman, I will never understand what black men go through, but I commend and respect you all, regardless of how you're perceived in America and the world, for having the courage to walk out the door everyday with your heads held high.

    I'm from Georgia and I have six brothers; all have gone through unnecessary profiling multiple times and I finally understand why when I ask them whats wrong or if they want to talk about it, they simply hug me and tell me I wouldn't understand.

    • bumstead

      If the profiling was illegal they can get a civil rights lawyer such as Mr. Crump and sue for damages. Is it possible your brothers were lying to you and didn't want to give you the details of their activities–"you wouldn't understand"?

      Just curious.

  • bumstead

    Hi. This is my first post on your blog. I found it by googling the following phrase: "Are there any blacks in favor of Zimmeran's acquittal?" LOL oh well I guess close only counts in horseshoes etc…

    Listen, please be honest. Yes there is still racism but pretending Trayvon Martin to be what he is clearly not….an innocent law-abiding well-socialized young black male….is denial of reality. What was his twitter handle? "NO LIMIT NI**A". Right? Why is it that the law-abiding in the black community feel constrained to defend the non-law abiding subset? And do you really think Jeantel was an excellent exemplar of young black womanhood? Is she the par excellence? No of course not.

    The title of your post is "The Insignificance of Black Men in America." When you have black leadership such as Sharpton et al. spinning out a media fantasy, pretending something is which is not; or something isn't, which is–then don't expect to be taken seriously as a whole.

    Even your picture of Trayvon is inherently dishonest. You show a picture of him in the convenience store with his skittles and tea. However, why not show him sitting on Mr. Guy's foam dummy doing a "ground and pound" on Zimmerman's head? Trayvon wasn't shot in a convenience store was he?

    The bottom line is law-abiding people call the police when they sense trouble afoot as Zimmerman did. Trayvon had a cell and so did Jeantel yet neither of them called the police. Jeantel didn't even call the police after Trayvon's communication broke off, even after there was no word for days, even after it came out he was dead.

    By defending Trayvon on your blog you too participate in making the mature law abiding black man irrelevant.

    "NO LIMIT NI**A". That's Trayvon's name for himself.

    Is that what you are proud of?

    Is that what the parameters of black manhood consists of?

    You start becoming "relevant" when you start honestly facing up to the problems in your own community and taking ownership of them rather than pretending they don't exist and/or blaming "whitey" for them.

    The white man didn't raise Trayvon.

    • cynicaloptmst81

      Maybe a white man such as yourself can explain this to you…since we're just saying this cause we're black and blaming the white man, smh. Not all white people are as clueless as you seem to be…
      http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/The_End_Of_

      http://www.timwise.org/2013/07/no-innocence-left-

      • bumstead

        Wow the esquire article you linked to was such a disorganized upchucking of angry emotions that I really didn't understand what the point of it was supposed to be.

        I'm not sure what's so difficult about the notion that it's possible to disagree with the jury verdict and yet not feel it necessary to hold up Trayvon Martin as a role model. If the jury verdict was wrong, it surely wasn't because Trayvon Martin was an "innocent child" and somehow they missed that. Obviously that's how the prosecution wanted to portray him, I get that, but they failed because it's simply not true.

        Evidently the theory was simply by happenstance he had skittles & ice tea = innocent victim. I guess there is an association of skittles with an innocent child but that's probably more attributable to skittles successful advertising campaigns then any reality. I mean if someone (for example) is accused of robbing a bank and is found with skittles in his pocket does that have any bearing on whether he did/didn't rob the bank? No it just means he likes that kind of candy.

        • cynicaloptmst81

          I'll just direct you to Uncle Hugh's comment below. He's already addressed this so there is no need for me to reinvent the wheel here.

          There was nothing disorganized about the article. You are certainly free to continue on in your willful ignorance, if you so choose. Sad, but it is your choice. We'll have to agree to disagree.

        • cynicaloptmst81

          No one said that Trayvon was perfect. Please, point us to the human that is. He's a teenager for goodness sake (that should require no further explanation)! But, his imperfection is not a crime and should not have been on trial.

          The point…and what most who disagree with the verdict are arguing…is that on that fateful night, he was innocent in that he was doing no wrong at that time. Therefore, there was no reason (based on what he was doing…walking home) to suspect him of anything, no reason to follow him, and certainly no reason for him to die.

        • anon

          if he was innocent why did he run… he could of just sat there and been like why the fuck are u following me like any normal person would…

        • cynicaloptmst81

          1. Arguing his innocence is silly. The boy…a teenager…was walking home. Innocent.

          2. What kind of normal people/teenagers/kids do you know that don't get scared and run to safety when a stranger is following them for seemingly no reason…trying to AVOID confrontation or being hurt? Trayvon was not a grown man, Anon…don't expect him to react like one. And, I venture to say that even some grown men would've run too…

    • Geo17

      No one is defending malignant behavior, but the essence of this blog entry is the fact that as a black man, it doesn't matter how you portray yourself. What would you have done if you were Trayvon Martin, and would the end result be different? Black men are all lumped together in the same old tired categories and get judged the same way. People with "privilege" don't always understand this.

      • bumstead

        Gee that's pretty nihilistic. Nothing will do any good, nothing matters, so why bother even trying? "As a black man, it doesn't matter how you portray yourself." Sorry I disagree, it does matter how a person (not just a black man) portrays themselves.

    • h.h.h.

      "Why is it that the law-abiding in the black community feel constrained to defend the non-law abiding subset?"

      When George Zimmerman came upon Travyon Martin on that early Sunday evening, how would known what his twitter handle was? what his past was about?

      When you see someone as you walk to and fro, do you see there twitter handle? do you know what their life is about just by the clothes on their back?

      if you do, then tell me how many times a week i smoke weed? how much i'm paying in child support?

      That sir…is the profiling, that led to someone being put into the ground, at 17.

      • bumstead

        No but you judge a person by their actions and the defense's theory of what happened that night is entirely consistent with how Trayvon Martin intentionally portrayed himself in his life leading up to that event. At least enough to create reasonable doubt.

        You completely reversed the point. I have no question that TM assaulted Zimmerman not because of what Zimmerman said but because of how Trayvon Martin wished himself to be perceived. We are not talking about what did or didn't happen in the courtroom now since you disagree with that outcome. We are talking about the reality of the situation. Had the jury known of the outside of the courtroom stuff, the character evidence, the acquittal would have been much quicker.

        George Zimmerman claimed he thought TM was acting like a suspicous character. You don't want to believe George, OK don't. Ignore what George said (i.e. ignore the trial evidence.) Look at how Trayvon acted in his life and wished himself to be portrayed OUTSIDE the courtroom.

        • Uncle Hugh, BP

          "George Zimmerman claimed he thought TM was acting like a suspicous character. You don't want to believe George, OK don't. Ignore what George said (i.e. ignore the trial evidence.) Look at how Trayvon acted in his life and wished himself to be portrayed OUTSIDE the courtroom."

          Fair enough. But why wasn't Zimmerman prejudged based on his past record?

    • Uncle Hugh, BP

      bumstead: "Listen, please be honest."

      By all means, let's do so.

      "What was his twitter handle? "NO LIMIT NI**A"…Why is it that the law-abiding in the black community feel constrained to defend the non-law abiding subset?"

      Define the crime committed with that twitter handle, and how that somehow justifies dying for it.

      "And do you really think Jeantel was an excellent exemplar of young black womanhood? Is she the par excellence? No of course not."

      Is Honey Boo Boo an excellent exemplar of young white womanhood? Amanda Bynes? Jeantel is in college attempting to earn a degree and become a productive member of society, why didn't you point that out? And how does any of this justify taking Trayvon's life?

      (1/4)

      • Uncle Hugh, BP

        (2/4)
        bumstead: "The title of your post is "The Insignificance of Black Men in America." When you have black leadership such as Sharpton et al. spinning out a media fantasy, pretending something is which is not; or something isn't, which is–then don't expect to be taken seriously as a whole."

        Open-ended and irrelevant tangent. Pretending what is and is not?

        "You show a picture of him in the convenience store with his skittles and tea. However, why not show him sitting on Mr. Guy's foam dummy doing a "ground and pound" on Zimmerman's head?"

        Nor is there a picture of Zimmerman pulling out a gun and shooting him. I'm still trying to figure out how a 160 pound, 16-year old kid, beat a grown man that practices mixed martial arts with (I'm guessing) a 40-pound weight advantage within an inch of his life, had him supposedly screaming like a p0rn star, to the point he had to use lethal self defense.

      • Uncle Hugh, BP

        (3/4)
        bumstead: "The bottom line is law-abiding people call the police when they sense trouble afoot as Zimmerman did."

        Law-abiding people also don't act as armed security for the entire neighborhood.

        "NO LIMIT NI**A". That's Trayvon's name for himself. Is that what you are proud of?"

        Are you proud of white kids dressing in goth or deforming themselves with gauges in their ears and hundreds of piercings? 16 and Pregnant? Girls Gone Wild? Lindsey Lohan? The American Pie franchise and similar movies? Tucker Max? Even George W. Bush was raised in affluent surroundings, and was a drunkard and pot smoker. Where's your soapbox proselytizing on those issues? Or, just maybe, is it more of a youth issue than a race issue? Or is it only when black kids don't act perfectly that raises your ire?

      • Uncle Hugh, BP

        (4/4)
        bumstead: "You start becoming "relevant" when you start honestly facing up to the problems in your own community and taking ownership of them rather than pretending they don't exist and/or blaming "whitey" for them."

        The fact that you believe no one is "facing up to the problems in your own community" shows that you are clueless about the matter, when there are a litany of books published, articles written, sermons preached, and organizations formed doing just that.

        No one is blaming whitey, that's just a term that people like you use when anyone points out inequities in society. Again, Jeantel was in college and Martin was headed there, despite "whitey." We're addressing the stereotypes that made Zimmerman do what he did. But since you're talking about blaming whitey instead of responding to the context of this post, we know where you stand. The mere fact that you didn't find this blog until you decided to troll websites speaking on the issue to preach your message shows you are part of the problem.

      • bumstead

        The twitter handle as well as the other outside the courtroom evidence shows his character. Not an innocent child.

        Why are bringing up honey booboo? Who's defending honey booboo as something to aspire to? They're trailer trash with a reality show. I don't see leaders of the white community pretending that honey booboo is anything except a huge joke.

        Jeantel's a liar and a perjurer, no question about that. She lied again in her interviews after the trial was over. She's illiterate. If she's in college and doesn't know how to write her own correspondence the tuition is a complete waste of money.

        It's not clear to me what the point of this hagiography for the black underclass might be.

        • bumstead

          Also it's not possible that bumstead is "part of the problem." I had nothing to do with raising Jeantel, Trayvon, Zimmerman or Honey Boo Boo.

        • Uncle Hugh, BP

          "Also it's not possible that bumstead is "part of the problem." I had nothing to do with raising Jeantel, Trayvon, Zimmerman or Honey Boo Boo."

          You just don't realize it because you don't know what the problem is.

        • Uncle Hugh, BP

          Jeantel's a liar and a perjurer, no question about that. She lied again in her interviews after the trial was over. She's illiterate. If she's in college and doesn't know how to write her own correspondence the tuition is a complete waste of money.

          Don't get me started on the waste of money that is college education. But to the point, she's doing something to become a better herself and provide for her family (all many company cares about is the college diploma). So was Trayvon. But because he did some extremely petty things in his past, you magnify them like he commited grand theft auto, and seem to think he deserved to die.

          And as far as his Twitter handle, what about suburban and rural white kids posing with guns? Should we make assumptions about them? That's the point. No Limit N!gga is a dumb handle, but doesn't mean anything other than he likes hip-hop culture.

        • Uncle Hugh, BP

          "The twitter handle as well as the other outside the courtroom evidence shows his character. Not an innocent child."

          1. A Twitter nickname makes him "non-law abiding"
          2. How did Zimmerman know that by simply looking at him?

          "Why are bringing up honey booboo? Who's defending honey booboo as something to aspire to?"

          Because you asked Martin and Jeantel are "par excellence", which is odd because no one said they were in any forum that I've heard. I've only heard people say they were average kids that they could relate to. Let's play devil's advocate and assume they were the bottom of the barrel of black society (which I'm only doing for the sake of argument). Since you assumed they are the bottom of the barrel of society and condemned all black people for supporting them, I replied in kind. That's why I brought up Honey Boo Boo. Should I make assumptions about the white community based on her?

        • Streetz

          Yall honestly gave that troll more burn than he deserved

        • anon

          i love you race hustling blacks… "its a troll because what he says is so crazy in my (oppressed) mind no way it can possibly be fact!!! Grrr this worlds out to get me"………… thats all i see and hear when i see denial on such high level. stop seeing yourself as a black man but rather a MAN. lace up u fucks… your ancestors would be ashamed

        • cynicaloptmst81

          Funny…you would never say this…just like this…to a black person's face.

          Coward. LOL…smh…

          …gotta love the balls people grow while sitting at their safe computers…

        • anon

          ive had this conversation multiple times with black people i work with, the thing is we can talk about subjects that most people wouldnt even touch. even the black guys agree… just like jesse jackson there are race hustling blacks, its not racist to say at all and they would agree, its a realization. i love my black friends. if only people could see the conversations we have and how well we understand eachother and laugh about our differences while having deep conversation at the same time… you ma'am… couldnt be more far from what i am as a person and the respect i have for black people

  • J.Crawford

    This is what I wrote on Facebook:
    Here's what I find Funny as Fuck:

    People, especially the GOP, Condemned the Supreme Court when the found the Affordable Care Act Constitutional;

    Catholics and other Evangelicals Condemned them AGAIN when they stricken down DOMA and the Proposition 8 ban on Same-Sex Marriage in California;

    BUT THOSE OF US WHO CONDEMNED THE GUTTING OF THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT AND THE ZIMMERMAN VERDICT ARE "sore losers" AND NEED TO ACCEPT THE RULING……….

    Fuck.You.

    Fuck All of You who are on this Hypocritical Bullshit. Race may be a Sial Construct, but it's been a FOUNDATION of the Founding of this country and the Colonies before it for Centuries; BLACKS, LATINOS, ASIANS, and NATIVE AMERICANS have had to live with the Bullshit.

    I Dare ANYONE to go tell some Jews that the Holocaust was over 60 Years Ago and they need to Get Over It……. Tell Them they aren't the Only Group of People that were pushed to near-Genocide and Extinction……… You Won't so How Dare You come off at the Mouth to say this to Us, to Latinos, and Native Americans

  • MaggK

    Very well written Streetz!

    It's sad because it's not right… This poor child… After the verdict i wasn't shocked… But it's very hard to accept it… I have brothers, nephews, students… I don't know what to tell them… That really is a problem… How do we explain this to the next generation?

    I just wanna say that a lot of black men all around the world can relate to what black men in America live on a daily basis… Yall aren't alone… Believe me this is not only an american issue. It's just that America is like the model. I remember growing up in France we always used to compare ourselves to African-American "they have this, they can do this…" America always seemed better for black people… Cases like this prove that there is still a long way to go… But we will get there :) !

  • Hairbear_FLL

    That was for @bumstead

  • Sandra

    I love this post so much, I had to share it ;)

    When I heard the stupid verdict about GZ, I cried because these jurors told the world that a black man's life doesn't mean anything. And black people are a threat to anyone.

    No matter what progress we make as a people, a lot of people will always look down on us.

    Nevertheless, I really hope that the department of Justice will really step in but again I don't want to be disappointed so i won't set my expectations too high for that case.

  • langwichartz

    Whew the comment section is like a minefield…lol!

    • anonymous

      I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. Why is everyone so quick to pull the race card. Zimmerman was Hispanic not white… Not that it even matters. This IS NOT a race issue it’s a self defense issue. Everyone is going off on these civil rights, black men in America tangents like its some sort of self righteous battle. We are all one race. Yes it was horrible and tragic for a boy to be killed, notice how I said boy and not black boy, or African American boy? When something like this happens everyone divides and the media has a field day keeping people glued to their seats debating issues that shouldn’t even be discussed in the first place. its horrible and I’m sick of it all. -concerned American