Eddie Murphy gif.
Eddie Murphy gif.
Bought this for mom.
Hope she likes it because it was pretty much all I could afford now and I think it's cute, so even if she don't she better fucking fake it.
Ha! Finally found it!
This has been a very busy news week and I am having some thoughts.
First off, in what may be the equivalent of the O.J. Simpson or Rodney King trial of my lifetime, the Zimmerman murder trial is centering on the forefront of my attention. (Granted I was alive during both the O.J. and Rodney King trials, but I was a child so, they don't really count). Now, I've been following this story about 2 weeks before the shooting of Trayvon Martin became a national story. The very first time I read this story, which was before all the hype, I didn't bat an eye at the idea that an unarmed black teen could be shot and killed and the perpetrator wasn't even arrested for it. I pretty much thought "sounds about right." Not that I, in any way, shape, or form believed that is was alright, but pretty much par the course for how things in worked America. But in the year since first reading that story late one night on yahoo news more attention was shed on the story and a myriad of facts came to light; protests were had, and some of the most profound conversations and arguments made regarding what played out that February night and subsequently the media's handling of what occurred that night and in the days leading up to the trial, made me take notice.
Now, here we are, Day 3 into the trial and I find myself with more questions than answers both about what really happened that night and regarding how people are responding to what is happening in court (none of it really being all that surprising). My inherent need to consider facts and evidence, no matter how circumstantial it is, drives me away from the side I want to support. The baseless and at times downright racist arguments defending Zimmmerman anger me to the point where I want to abandon reason and just lash out due to frustration the with amount of willful ignorance people live with in order to justify their beliefs. So, what is it that I want people to focus on? What is it that I want to say about this? Well...
To tackle what may be the most talked about aspect of this case, I would like to discuss race. Why it matters, whose race matters, and why people are incapable of understanding the complex and nuanced discussion of race in America.
There was a point in the trial when defense attorney West, asked Rachel whether or not she believed this incident was racial; he even tried to imply that the reason race was introduced at all was because Trayvon himself introduced it into the conversation by referring to Zimmerman as a "creepy ass cracker." Her reply, and what can be indicated by her reply, was that no, this was not racial because Trayvon called George Zimmerman a creepy as cracker, but rather because what he assumed to be a white male, whom he did not know, was following him for no apparent reason. Ok. So perhaps all that can not be implied but I doubt I am making a huge leap in saying that is what Rachel intended had she been able to explain further when on the witness stand. Why does this matter? Because of the belief that had Trayvon Martin not been black, had he not been a male, had he not been wearing a hoodie...in the rain...none of this would have transpired. Unfortunately the fact of the matter is everyday in this country black people, men and women, young and old, are profiled, watched, followed, and viewed suspiciously for no apparent reason, other than being black. This heightened attention to the movement of African-Americans who inhabit a particular space is a common experience for many black people and it is something that can in almost all circles be a relatable story. The race and ethnicities of those who do the profiling, watching, and following varies in every tale. Whites are not the only perpetrators of this behavior. Hell, more than a few blacks can attest to viewing members of their own race suspiciously at one time or another. Who can help it? We as a nation for the most part have grown up and been socialized into holding negative and stereotypical views of blacks. Some of us grow out of it, some of us are educated out of it, some of us are raised in households that summarily reject those ideas and stereotypes and raise the youth to disbelieve in these ideas. But all too many of us, as a nation, still hold on to these prejudices and bigotry, oftentimes unconsciously, other times very consciously. Thus the race of victim and killer matter.
It matters that Trayvon Martin was black because his blackness speaks to a much larger part of our society that says how a black person navigates their environment is an event that needs to be monitored to insure the safety of property and others. It matters because his blackness is a representative of the stereotypes and prejudices inflicted on a race of people that leads people outside of that race to feel justified in being suspicious of that person, even without personally knowing that person, or seeing that person as an individual rather than a part of a whole.