[Beneath The Spin]
The vast majority of people in this country, Black, White, and others, are good people.
While we all have a strain of racism in us, it’s not a conscious racism, and most of us of normal intelligence are engaged a constant internal struggle to eradicate it when we recognize it in ourselves.
What makes it such a struggle is we’re constantly inundated by it in this country, and the reason we try so desperately to weed it out is, being of normal intelligence, we see it for what it is – a form of gross stupidity.
But as a Black man – one who has three mixed grandsons, including Eric Wattree III, and a daughter-in-law who is so pure in her White heritage that she makes Mitt Romney look like an Angolan immigrant – I’ve found the debate over the George Zimmerman verdict very enlightening.
I used to think that racism was a choice, but now I see that there is a group of people, of normally good conscience, in this country whose racist strain is so innate to who they are that they are completely blind to it. They don’t intend to be racist, nevertheless, their racist attitudes and assumptions seep all the way to their bone marrow. We’ve seen a clear example of that in the Zimmerman verdict.
It takes either racism or a complete lack of common sense not to clearly recognize that racism played a huge role in both George Zimmerman’s motives, and his intent.
First, the only thing that caught Zimmerman’s attention about Trayvon Martin was the fact that he was a Black male. Secondly, Zimmerman contacted 911 more than 40 times, and virtually every call involved Black males. Third, Zimmerman was instructed to remain in his car, and he ignored those instructions. Fourth, Zimmerman claimed he murdered Trayvon in self-defense, but regardless to what took place after he approached Trayvon, Zimmerman had to approach Trayvon to place himself in a position to require him to have to defend himself, even using his own reasoning.
And fifth, Zimmerman claimed that he had to resort to lethal force because Trayvon, who weighed 40 pounds less than him, was banging his head against the concrete so vigorously that it caused him to fear for his life. Yet, all he had to show for this brutal assault were a few scratches, not the huge lumps on his head that you would expect from a person whose head had been banged against concrete.
Thus, I feel safe in saying that no parent in America, Black or White, would find that anywhere close to a justifiable excuse for the murder of their child – a child who was doing nothing more criminal than going to the store to get a bag of Skittles. So I submit that it takes either gross racism or gross stupidity to accept such a story as a justification for murder.
In order for people to accept such a story they have to also accept the fact that, 1) simply because Trayvon was Black was an acceptable reason for Zimmerman to suspect him of criminal activity. 2) Again, because Trayvon was Black, he posed a serious enough threat to the community to justify Zimmerman ignoring police instructions to remain in his car. 3) Since Trayvon was Black, they should ignore the fact that Zimmerman actually approached him in the first place. And finally, 4) since Trayvon was Black, it was the height of audacity for him to think he had the right to defend himself after being confronted by a man who wasn’t a police officer, and who didn’t have any visible sign of authority.
If we accept that as the standard for justice in this country, that could cause murder-for-hire to overtake drug dealing as an easy source of disposable income. What’s to prevent some woman’s boyfriend from dragging her husband in an alley, blowing his brains out, and then calling the police and claiming self-defense? Or what’s to prevent a robber from killing his victim to cover his crime, and then calling the police and claiming he was attacked? Thus, the standard that Zimmerman was freed on was absolutely ridiculous and clearly racist in nature.
An assault is an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact. So just by following, and then walking up to Trayvon at night constituted was an assault, because you don’t have to put your hands on a person for it to constitute an assault.
Putting you hands on them is assault and battery. An assault is merely placing them in fear for their well being. So it was Trayvon who had the right to defend himself. If the exact same scenario had taken place, but it had been a Black man who killed a White kid, the Black man would undoubtedly already be on Death Row – for first degree murder.
But Black people are used to such ridiculous standards being applied to them, because many Americans, when it comes to self-serving comfort of racism, have a pronounced blind spot; and it’s historic in nature.
The blind arrogance of many Americans is absolutely astounding – and then they’ll say things like, “There you go playing the race card again!”
Of course we are; because you’re a racist!