Marion Brothers

Marion Brothers

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Mystery of Racism behind the Trayvon Martin Case

RE: “Wheels of justice moving in Trayvon Martin's case” by Bob Ray Sanders

The Trayvon Martin case boils down to this, says Star-Telegram editorialist Bob Ray Sanders.

“The wheels of justice are in motion. Let them move deliberately and fairly toward the truth. The outcome is still likely to leave the country divided over another tragic incident… As for that discussion on race? How many more do we need until we expect a different result from all the others? Maybe we leave it to the newly energized young folks to talk about it. They can do it on their social media -- without ever coming face-to-face.”

My old friend and colleague sound exasperated and burnt out over the issue of race, racism, and race relations, especially in light of the recent Trayvon Martin shooting death. This I can understand, because I am sick of talking about it too.

The mainstream media has gone to great lengths to identity George Zimmerman as Anglo-Hispanic just for the purpose of denying “racism” as a factor in the shooting case. But, as I have always said, the faulty premise of race cannot help but lead to a false conclusion on racism. And the suggestion of leaving the discussion on race relations “to the newly energized young folks”, on the basis that more discussion would be fruitless, does not remove the mystery that baffles the minds of young people. Why Trayvon Martin was shot and why George Zimmerman was not arrested?

Some good, honest, and intelligent people have weighed in on this controversy, only to go off on a tangent, with a pied piper following in tow, not to mention all the buzz and chatter of after-the-fact tales adding fuel to the firestorm. People are no closer to understanding motives other than to accuse the shooter of being a racial bigot, to which there are many counter-claims.

Even a race-hating bigot is only a bigot, whether brown, white, or black. A racist, on the other hand, has the power and backing of the state to make a judgment call that, in this instance, absolves the shooter of criminal liability for the death of a young black man. Therefore, the Sanford Police Department, in its judgment, denied Trayvon Martin the legal protection for his right to life, not by killing the teen itself, but by not fairly weighing the evidence of probable cause to his murder. That judgment, that decision, is what we are protesting as racist. The rest is all about bigotry.

The implication of the Stand Your Ground law, and no arrest for the shooting, and the proliferation of gun permits, endangers all potential “suspects” where suspicion is in the eye of the beholder alone. It gives legal consent and acquiescence to shoot and kill, anyone in shady circumstances and under murky laws, where the dead cannot testify in their own defense. The most vulnerable to be gunned down is, of course, young black men.

These are our children. And, as the editorialist writes, we “have a right to be sad -- even angry -- about what they feel has been an injustice.” But as for being heard, I don’t think so. The shooting of Trayvon Martin is only one grievance in a whole string of grievances as to what is happening to our black male youth. And, until that is rectified, Bob Ray will continue to have recurring nightmares about Emmett Till.

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