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March 26, 2012

I am sure by now each of you have thoroughly gotten at least a synopsis of the story of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin who was gunned down by a 28 year-old neighborhood watch man, George Zimmerman. So much has struck me with this story, and if you know me by now, I can’t sit by idly and say or do nothing. The responsibility is ours, not to just be reactive, but be proactive.

So what are the key areas of this story to me? Trayvon was unarmed. He went to the store to get a bag of Skittles candy and a can of Iced Tea. Zimmerman saw him and believed him to be suspicious. He actually started off by doing the right thing. He called the police. This was his 46th call to them in a matter of 56 days. Some would speculate that Zimmerman was a police wannabee. In the call he stated, “They always get away…” and at the disobedience of the 911 dispatcher, continued to follow Trayvon. I want to know “WHO” exactly he was referring to, that always get away? Is it teens, blacks, males…who??? He couldn’t mean robbers, murderers, rapists, drug dealers or some other type of recent perpetrator because Trayvon was not leaving the scene of a crime. So who exactly always get away?

The black community definitely steps up when issues such as these arise. But my plea is that we “stay up”, not just step up, then, step back. 30,000 people gathered to protest in Sanford, FL (where this took place) in a town of 50,000. Those are great numbers but the black population in America is over 30,000,000. This is only a tenth of a percent that were present. Though I know we all have other obligations that prevent our physical presence, we must understand that this affects us all. This boy was shot down in a gated community not in the projects. If we can’t physically be there, put funds in place (personally) to be prepared to help fight issues like this.

Let’s not forget that they left Trayvon in the morgue for 3 days, while his cell phone was ringing without contacting his family! But listen… We can protest government officials today and all day but if tomorrow so many of us have to show up to receive our vouchers, aid, rent assistance, and more, we will continue to be viewed as dependent. We can protest the “Zimmermans” but if we are on their payroll or trying to be, they will continue to view us as powerless. How bold are you willing to be? Start businesses so you can get the respect and power that establishment often receives is a start.

Here’s a short timeline of the trauma brought to the black community:
Rodney King beating-California (1991) – James Byrd-Texas (1998) – Amadou Diallo-New York (1999)
Genarlow Wilson-Georgia (2005) – Response to Hurricane Katrina (2005) – Jena 6-Louisiana (2006)
Sean Bell-New York (2006) – Oscar Grant-California (2009) – Tasha Hill (Cracker Barrel-Georgia (2010) James Anderson-Mississippi (2011) – Trayvon Martin-Florida (2012)

When will enough be enough? When will we renovate how people view our community? When will become consistently respected instead of incidentally feared? I think economic power is the first step to changing how we are viewed. Don’t listen to Geraldo Rivera and tell your kids to stop wearing hoodies! That’s not the point and it only strips us of freedom of what to wear! Is he crazy??? If you have the resources or wherewithal to open a business, do it! If you have the time to educate someone else, do it! I am actually tired of living on guard from, now not the just the police, but even security guards.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 27, 2012 2:03 am

    The discussion group I am in talks about this daily. Many upset with the whole situation. Some discussed with the handling or should I say non handling of the case by the police. Then there are those who want to go knock some heads around, call names and send negative racist remarks back to the racists that initiate the whole thing. I ask myself, Is this creating a solution? Then I ask them, what will this all accomplish? I was at the Atlanta march today at the capitol and the speakers said some good things. What I heard among some of the supporters in the crowd wasn’t so good. I like that some of the college students had good things to say. Even some of the speakers sound strong in words, but those words would had been better and more proactive had that spoke of the real solution to our problem. The huge crowd that was there, waiting for one of those that lead the march to speak of what we, as black people can do. They did not cease the opportunity to give the message that is really needed.

    We need to not fight with derogatory words that will only let the other races view us as they see us now. We need not to fight with our fist either. Instead, we need to fight with a power that will send the message of respect and at the same time rebuild the black infrastructure.

    The best way to gain respect is to stand together as a race and show other races that we can accomplish a lot together for the better good of our race without negativity, hurting each other, stop fighting each other and killing our own race. What is the best way to get them to treat of us with respect? To stop spending money on their businesses, making other non-black business owners wealthy with our pockets.

    Hit them where it hurts, their pockets. Create our own black businesses and keep it in the house. The reason why we are kept back from the first place is because the whites and other races don’t want to admit the cold reality that we, black people are the most powerful race there is. To not let this become their reality, they will keep us where they want us. Fighting each other, not agreeing, being in disarray about solving many issues as leaders and keeping the smart educated ones under the government jobs so that they will not reach their full potential and help build businesses in the black communities.

    The solution seems so simple but why do we make it so hard to carry it out. I am definitely shaking my head to this. One day. Maybe one day. Great article Devin. I guess if we keep hollering out the solution to this problem, either we will get hoarse or our people will finally get it.

    • March 27, 2012 2:10 am

      Btw, forgot to mention that the Black Panthers did not necessarily make it easier for us being viewed as violent people not willing to go by the protocol to send the signal that we are not taking this anymore. Yes, we should show others that we will not be pushed, bully or made to change the way we dress to be view with respect. Yes we need to show that because of our skin, our Justice should be no different that anyone else. I just don’t agree with the violent way they express to try to get Justice were there was none.

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