Sun Mar 18, 2012, 06:22 PM
babylonsister (150,855 posts)
Jonathan Capehart: Under ‘suspicion’: the killing of Trayvon Martin
Under ‘suspicion’: the killing of Trayvon Martin
By Jonathan Capehart
One of the burdens of being a black male is carrying the heavy weight of other people’s suspicions. One minute you’re going about your life, the next you could be pleading for it, if you’re lucky. And far too many aren’t. That’s why the the Feb. 27 killing of Trayvon Martin has black parents around the country clutching their sons a little closer.
You’ve heard me talk about the conversation my mom had with me before my first day at a predominantly white school. Reading about Trayvon reminded me of the list of the “don’ts” I received after my sheltered existence in Hazlet, N.J., was replaced with the reality of Newark when my mother remarried in the 1980s.
“Don’t run in public.” Lest someone think you’re suspicious.
“Don’t run while carrying anything in your hands.” Lest someone think you stole something.
“Don’t talk back to the police.” Lest you give them a reason to take you to jail or worse
There was also being mindful that you are being watched in stores. Watched turned to followed as I got older. To this day, if a sales person is overly attentive to what I might be looking for I leave the store. Never to return. And then there was keeping a distance of deniability from white women when walking on the street. Lest you be accused of any number of offenses, from trying to snatch her purse to sexual assault.
In the early 1990s, I saw a T-shirt for sale on Canal Street in New York that neatly and bluntly summed up my frustration with this situation: “No white lady I don't want your purse.”
Why did Zimmerman find Trayvon suspicious? Why did he pursue the boy when the 911 operator instructed him not to? Why did he get out of the car, and why did he take his gun when he did? How is it self-defense when you are the one in pursuit? Who initiated the altercation? Who cried for help? Did Trayvon’s body show evidence of a struggle? What moved Zimmerman to use lethal force?
Lord knows when we’ll get those answers. Zimmerman is not only not in custody but, according to his father, the police advised him not to talk publicly. Trayvon, his grieving parents and shocked people everywhere deserve better than this.
6 replies, 2760 views
Jonathan Capehart: Under ‘suspicion’: the killing of Trayvon Martin (Original post)
|arely staircase||Mar 2012||#1|
Response to babylonsister (Original post)
Mon Mar 19, 2012, 06:00 PM
1StrongBlackMan (31,849 posts)
4. Wow ... Flashback to 1973 ...
When, at 12, my mother (a college professor) and father (a 15 veteran cop) sat me down for the "how to live long enough to be a Black adult" talk.
But something from the article clears up a measure on ambiguity on my part ... whether Zimmerman is an active racist with malice towards Black folk, or merely a product of a racist society that has conditioned white people (and sadly, many Black people) to be suspicious of young Black males.
The transcript has Zimmerman saying: “These , they always get away,” Zimmerman says before getting out of his car to pursue Trayvon.
Now, I suppose the expletive might have been "bastards" or "ass-holes" or plenty of other terms; but I suspect we all know what fills in that blank.
Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #4)
Mon Mar 19, 2012, 06:04 PM
babylonsister (150,855 posts)
5. If this young man had been white, I doubt if Zimmerman would have
given him a second thought. And imo THAT is the travesty. I think he's a racist POS who should be in jail.