Why White People Should Stop Telling Black People How to Feel About Trayvon Martin

 racism in america trayvon martin

Race has been a hot topic this week in the wake of George Zimmerman’s privilege. We’ve seen White people telling Black people what’s racist and how we should feel on the topic of Trayvon Martin. Business as usual, it seems.

Carly Oishi recently wrote an awesome letter to White people letting them know it’s time to stop telling us how we should feel about Trayvon Martin and racism in America:

Attempting to understand other people requires that you acknowledge that each and every one of us experiences and perceives life differently.

No one can know with certainty if race had anything to do with why George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin. But I think most of us could believe beyond a reasonable doubt, that if Trayvon had been a girl or a dad with a child or a guy in a business suit, things would have gone differently.

What it really boils down to is, I need white people to stop saying this isn’t about race. Sorry, but you are not allowed to tell minorities when something is or isn’t racist. When you are in the majority, when you have the power and are in control, you don’t tell those that are oppressed that they’re not. Do you also feel the need to defend a murderer because you know, or rather, assume you’d never kill anyone?

I don’t claim to know what it’s like to be anyone other than myself. But I do know what it’s like to be labeled “other”. I do know what it’s like to be stereotyped. I do know what it feels like when someone calls you a racial slur. I do know what it’s like to feel threatened for not fitting in. I do know how I felt when I walked into an all-white diner in the middle of nowhere Georgia with my Japanese-American family and feeling afraid.

And I would appreciate if you would stop ignoring, negating and dismissing my reality.

People have been killed for less, like walking home from the store with a bag of candy.

If you can’t see beyond your own existence, than what you’re really saying is that you don’t know how to function in a world where people aren’t exactly like you.

The problem is, that world isn’t real.

Check out the rest over at Thought Catalog and share your thoughts in the comments here at SBM.

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  • zachery

    "NOT ALLOWED" really? "WHITE" people must be the single greatest racist term ever. Is George Zimmerman WHITE? Wake up BLACK America. Look at your people in many cases….behaving poorly, fatherless homes, poorly educated and always wanting to BLAME "WHITE PEOPLE" it is over…move on and get accountable. A jury has spoken. Done. I guess looting and burning stores is a great way to cause all other people and races to understand why they should be more sensitive to concerns about racism?? UNREAL.

    • Guest

      Looks like you missed the whole point of the article. Try reading again…

    • hhh

      aww mr zachery sir…you poor unfortunate soul.

      this whole trayvon thing must upset you so, right? imagine, people who don't look like you, getting upset over something that continually happens to them, and you have to hear about it over and over and over?

      Aye De Mi…..Lo Siento. :(

      maybe…and i'll just throw this out there…if Trayvon was treated like a white teenager…this wouldn't have happened?
      *MIND BLOWN*

      maybe…itself of being on the defensive, just intake what minorities are saying? and like…apply it to your day to day if you don't already (treat others how you wanna be treated)?

      *DOUBLE MIND BLOWN*

    • Adonis

      @Zachery

      Put the meth down, and let’s dialogue.

    • Adonis

      @Zachery

      You also have molestation, a meth epidemic, and homegrown terrorists giving your community hell,

      Isn’t that not important? White (fatherless) children, being molested by white adults doesn’t gravely concern you?

      Nice to know that you care so much about our community.

    • The guy that doesn’t talk much

      @zachary

      Dude you posted on he wrong blog. We (not just black people) come here for an open dialouge about race, dating, working, and the experience of living in an urban community. We definitely don’t need you pigeon holing us by race, education, or upbringing. If we wanted that we would go plenty of other places with plenty of other people just like you buddy cause in our eyes you’re pretty generic. Must be bcaused you were raised in some backwater hick country part of America where your only experience with diversity stems from re runs of the wire and New York Undercover

    • Fun

      The jury spoke when OJ Simpson was acquitted but did many white people accept it? NOPE. They still bitch and moan about it to this day! And that's only one example. All you are is a hypocrite and you're racist and in denial about it. So what do you do? Use this case as an opportunity like many other whites, to turn the tables and call US racists because we speak about the blatant racism that still exists today against blacks. You racist whites always want to speak on behalf of the black community but all you guys do is mock us. You can't speak on behalf of our community cause you're not black, DERRRRRRR HELLO! Go get educated, you simpleton.

  • Elizabeth James

    If you would have read the article to understand it instead of to criticize it you would know a black person did not write this letter. And “look at your people”? It seems to me all races have people behaving badly, fatherless homes, and uneducated. i.e. Boston Bombers, catholic priests, Ariel Castro, and of course GZ. Do you happen to know who his dad is? I didn’t think so! But the list goes on and on and covers every race, creed and color. Your comment sets the very mindset in which they speak. It is the reason the letter was written. Thanks for proving the point!

  • Adonis

    Finally, my thoughts.

    1. Zimmerman wouldn’t have pulled that trigger if that wasn’t age, race & gender was not a young, black, male.

    A dead black woman would have sent him to prison.

    White anything, any age would have gotten him the death penalty.

    2. White people know, consciously, subconsciously & understand racial politics, and know that their white skin under THIS system affords them a vast amount of privilege & protection.

    But they have to play dumb or deflect, so they can maintain power with impunity.

    This is no different how women play dumb about the nice guy vs. jerks conversation. High octane manipulation.

    So, the questions is, knowing that the deck is stacked, what is the black person’s response?

    We can’t march/protest our way out of this.

    We can’t pray our way out of this.

    We can’t bootlick our way out of this.

    Can we work together long enough to get our core needs met & get some protection.

    Remains to be seen.

    • Ladequanfawnisha Washington

      People assume there is still a race problem in America because black activists take any potentially racist story and use it as propaganda for the black community to somehow make it look like are still being treated unequally. Racially motivated shootings are clearly affected by the availability heuristic. Every time a black person is killed by someone white, the story is played all over the news, but if a white person is killed by someone black, the story gets a short amount of time on the local news. The media does not care if what they report is right or wrong, they care about eatings. Trayvon Martin was not some innocent child that the media portrayed him to be, and George Zimmerman is about as white as George Lopez. However, the media twisted the story to make Trayvon, the attacker, like a helpless, innocent victim and George Zimmerman as the big bad racist white man going out of his way to shoot him. The media knows black activists lead by the NAACP still freshly remember how successful their civil rights campaign was 50+ years ago. The media expects these activists to turn possible hate crimes into an American race conflict that every self respecting black person should support. Ha Trayon Martin been white and George Zimmerman been black, the story wouldn’t have been even close to as noteworthy as the Marley Lion shooting in South Carolina, which has only recently gained some national spotlight due to the wake of the Trayvon Martin case. I am not saying all instances including a white killer and a black victim are unrelated to race, nor am I saying that George Zimmerman is completely innocent in this case. George Zimmerman made a couple questionable mistakes but the fact of the matter was that Trayvon attacked him and Zimmerman protected himself. It is impossible to know whether he could have avoided killing Trayvon, and I’m sure the people with the best idea of what actually happened that day after Zimmerman were the six women on jury duty for the case. Half of the jury initially found him guilty on some account, and as the trial advanced the jury eventually unanimously decided Zimmerman was not guilty. George Zimmerman acted within the confines of the law to protect himself, end of story. Before you call me racist or ignorant, try to respect that black people are ignorant towards white people’s belief on this matter as well, although granted, not to the same extent.

      The difference between black and white reactions to racially motivated crimes, regardless if legitimite or not, is that white people blame the individual responsible, and black people blame the system. It is unrealistic to envision an America completely free of racism, and just because one person commits one violent, racially motivated crime, it doesn’t mean he/she is representing their entire population- an argument black activists have been trying to make for countless years. I am not a racist. Good day.

      -Swag

      • Uncle Hugh, BP

        "Ha Trayon Martin been white and George Zimmerman been black, the story wouldn't have been even close to as noteworthy as the Marley Lion shooting in South Carolina, which has only recently gained some national spotlight due to the wake of the Trayvon Martin case."

        Because the men that shot Marley Lion were charged with murder. Zimmerman was not. The police dismissed it and It took national outcry to even get an arrest. See the difference?

        Had Trayvon been white and Zimmerman black, it wouldn't have made the news because Zimmerman would be on death row by now.

        "I am not a racist. Good day."

        Uh huh. And you used the screen name "Ladequanfawnisha Washington" because…

        • SingleBlackMale

          Yeah, I\’m pretty sure this person is racist.lol. Funny how they look for black blogs and spend time writing a long comment…with a name like the one above.

        • Adonis

          @Uncle Hugh

          Yeah, he is playing all kinds on dumb here.

          George Zimmerman is a WHITE Hispanic, but it funny, becauseany other time, a Hispanic person would be under the bus for stealing jobs & hopping over the border.

          But he kills an innocent black boy, and a strong segment of white people are ready to take care of him for life.

          One more thing, that Zimmerman coward would have never gotten out of the car, if he left his toast at home. And he identified him in his late teens over the 911 phone.

          That is why white people fight so hard to keep their guns. Talk about insecure & an inferiority complex.

        • JarickaShawn TaylorGang

          No he said he’s not a racist.

        • Southerngryl_

          As someone who lives near the area of Charleston where Marley was killed, let me agree fully with this statement. They had a gd manhunt going on down here. Also, no one was allowed to come up with any theories that painted this kid in a negative light. Basically, Marley was never on trial here. A lot of people down here are trying to compare the two, and there is no comparison at all.

  • Hebrew Princess

    Ok so I get it now…Caucasians (since I was informed by the first poster that saying "White People" is racist lol) are upset that people of color would DARE be upset that Black people (I'm guessing is ok to so "Black People"?!) have now been shown that our lives are WORTHLESS in this country. You win! Who am I kidding you've always won…but I WILL say this: I have a license to carry a concealed weapon and I will Stand the F*ck Outta My Ground! That means if I'm driving through my upscale neighborhood in GA & I see a middle aged white male that I perceive as a threat (he's probably there to rape me or he is most likely a serial killer *wink*) I will get out of my vehicle, confront him & blast his a** right out of his trousers! I mean it makes sense right?! I'm sure an all Black male jury will be selected and I'll be found Not Guilty because it was self defense :)

    • InsomniaPoet

      LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEE THIS COMMENT!

    • Consuela

      Oh for the love of God. This is the same false narrative that has been trotted about since well before the verdict. You attempt to make a point, but you *conveniently* leave out one crucial, pivotal detail; the assault of George Zimmerman by Mr Martin. You wrote, "I will get out of my vehicle, confront him and blast his a** out of his trousers!" While I believe that is something you'd love to do, it does not honestly reflect the events of that fateful night in Sanford. Didn't happen that way ma'am. The testimony and evidence suggests that it was Mr Martin who confronted Mr Zimmerman because he resented being followed. I would resent it too. But that is not grounds, among the civilized, to go thug on him. Mr Zimmerman then had his nose busted and his scalp split open — fact. I think everyone on this forum would shoot to protect themselves from a ruthless pummeling. The fact that so many bloviated blowhards must misrepresent the facts in order to make their cases, PROVES the weakness in their position.

      Yes, Mr Zimmerman should have stayed in his car. Yes, Mr Martin had a right to be annoyed that he was being followed. But once he decided to start assaulting Mr Zimmerman, he gave up his right to sympathy. At that moment, he became the thug. He was the assailant. George became the victim. Please don't leave out important facts in formulating your opinions. The result is propagation of these fictions and false indignations.

      • Hebrew Princess

        I Didn’t conveniently Leave Out Anything Consuela. There Are Only 2 People That Know What Happened That Night, One Of Them Is Dead…Murdered. So I Will Stand By What I Wrote. Don’t Tell Me What I Would “Love” To Do Because You Do Not Know Me. The Name-Calling Is Not Necessary & No One Here Is “Making A Case” We Are Stating Our Beliefs Just As You Have Done. Thank You For That Diatribe Tho! Lol

      • Adonis

        @Consuela

        You are being a bigot.

        George Zimmerman was acquitted. Doesn’t mean he was innocent.

        There is no clear evidence that Trayvon hit first or confronted Zimmerman.

        Just because Zimmerman said so, and he has injuries does not mean much.

        Those injuries could have been self-inflicted to cover up a crime.

        There are cases where people have gone so far to shoot themselves, to cover up.

        But the point is we don’t know what really happened that night from start to finish with great certainty.

        But we do know, George got out of his car to confront Trayvon. That we do know.

  • shemmie Jegz

    9ce post

  • White Man

    You stupid niggers need to go back to Africa! America is a WHITE MAN's country! Get the fuck out, niggers!

    Trayvon Martin was just a criminal nigger who was trying to steal from people's houses and Zimmerman did the right thing by shooting that nigger dead.

    -Signed, a white man

    • Lol

      They should've never gave y'all Internet in them trailers. The avatar is fitting for you though. Must be what you look like from outside the trailer at night when the generator is off,

      • Black people are ignorant

        Lol how can a hood rat make fun of someone else’s living situation

    • mj

      us “niggers” need to go back to Africa but your ancestors kidnapped us from our country & stripped us from our culture, speech, religion, families. you have got to be kidding me! if we’re stupid niggers it’s because of your ancestors.

      • tv

        I don’t agree with all the racial slurs being thrown around but it is inappropriate to blame slavery on the white man only. A large percentage of enslaved people were sold into slavery by other West African tribes for financial profit.

    • bubbleyumgirl

      Please just remove this comment…I can't today.

  • Jessica

    I wish that racism didn't exist. I wish everyone could get along and see beyond the color of skin, which is entirely irrelevant as we all are the same just a few layers down. I wish that George Zimmerman and countless others did not get off without any charges for crimes against a minority. I wish that the world could understand that all people ARE equal. It shouldn't just have to be a pipe dream, and it shouldn't ever be that some people are simply MORE deserving of 'equality' than others.

    All that being said, I am not ashamed of being WHITE. I didn't choose to be born white any more than anyone chose to be any color. Would I choose differently? Probably not, I only know how to live my life the way I am. Hopefully someday every one from every race will be able to stop hating others just because they are a different color. Racism is not just a white thing; it is a part of all races. Racism, though, is not a part of every PERSON. Judge by the content of character, not the color of skin…and the world will become a beautiful place.

  • Erik

    I want you “educated” black folk to listen up a bit.
    Here are some facts.

    1) Zimmerman in no way shape or form would ever be refered to as white if it wasn’t for this case. Period.
    2) it was marketed as a white on black crime(as if there isn’t TONS of black on white crime btw. I suggest you google the school bus beating in Florida where three black teens stomped a whiteboy for not wanting to buy drugs. Truth. Try viciously stomped him. The black bus driver did nothing. Race was NEVER mentioned by CNN. How interesting. That shit happens all the time btw) but I digress… The neighborhood wasnt even “white” Zimmerman had black neighbors. Who defended him btw.

    3) the media used pics of Trayvon Martin from when he was 14. Not 17. Why?!

    4) TM had a twitter account entitled NO LIMIT NIGGA which was quickly deleted after his death which was fraught with references to drug dealing violence and theft. He also had a MySpace account with pics of him holding handguns. Also deleted. A simple google
    Search proves these facts btw.

    5) he has been suspended from school four times. The most recent time, for 10
    Days. TEN days?! That wasn’t for tardiness I can tell u that. No he was caught with a bag of stolen women’s jewelry.

    6) his own friends said he was an angry BAd tempered kid.

    7) his father nor his mother were good parents. He don’t even live with them.

    Now considering all that. Don’t you think as much as you want to point the finger at whitey, that this case was poorly covered by an ultra liberal
    Media? I do.

    Now lets consider this. Anti racism is really anti white. White people I have news for you… For the most part are raised to feel guilty for the past. Why?! I wasn’t alive back then. I shouldn’t owe you a thing. Blacks from Egypt enslaved all races. You don’t see the Jews with their fingers pointing do you?

    White people make up 7 percent of the global population. SEVEN. We are getting wiped out by white countries being forced into accepting an influx of non whites. Sweden Norway Poland GB decimated. Crime rates skyrocketing. I can go on.

    I have no problem with black people but wake the fuck up. You people are more racist than any white person I know! I don’t feel guilty for shit btw to te person above. Why should I?!

  • Courtney

    White folks are still pissed about the OJ Simpson trial to them it’s sweet revenge that this child is dead.As if we ever celebrate the death of a innocent white person killed.Some whites are pissed b/c Obama won again.White folks think they can fuck with our heads by telling us what’s racist and what’s not racist they only do this b/c they we are stupid and also to keep racism alive yes even in this day and age .To say GZ had a right kill TM is like justifying the all lynchings that done towards innocent black ppl..

  • Courtney

    Think