Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Why I Won't Sign Your Trayvon Martin Petition

So, this blog has been relatively silent in the last couple of weeks. I have seen some things go down in the media and have chosen to keep my opinion to myself so far... until today. I thought about writing this entry a couple of days ago, but wanted to sleep on the idea, because I am sure that it will not be well received. Eh, sometimes you have to do what you have to do. The following is my opinion on the Trayvon Martin (TM) situation taking place in Florida. For all that don't know, TM was an unarmed, Black 17 year old boy that was walking home in Florida and was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch member, George Zimmerman. The killing took place on February 26.

Let me just start by saying this: Do I believe that George Zimmerman should be arrested? YES. Do I think that he killed TM, in cold blood, for no reason other than his own demented issues? YES. Do I think that Zimmerman was racially motivated? YES. Do I think that the Sanford, Florida police fucked up the investigation, topped off by the fact that they did not arrest Zimmerman the vigilante? DOUBLE YES. Do I feel sympathy towards TM's family? Absolutely YES. Will I sign your petition to get "justice" for TM? No. No, I won't and I want you to STOP asking me. Listen, I am not going to feel bad about it either. I will not be bullied on social media to sign some shit, just so some of you assholes can feel good about your regular non-action, and I don't care. How about that?

People are all up in arms because Zimmerman is a non-Black man that shot a young Black man down in the streets. According to all accounts, TM was minding his own business, walking home from a convenience store and did not deserve being shot. People have said this is an onslaught, by the enemy, on the Black community. I disagree. The fact is this: this is not the beginning of the battle- the war has been ongoing and it STARTS and ENDS in our own community. I guess that the thing that pisses me off is that while the situation is ridiculous and should have never happened, the outcry would not be as loud if Zimmerman were a Black man. You may ask why I think that... um, because innocent Black children, in Black neighborhoods are killed every day, by Black people and there are no petitions on facebook, there are no vigils on college campuses, there is no national news coverage. There is just another Black child dead-- usually a young man. George Zimmerman is not the beginning of the American public showing their ultimate disgust with the Black community; he is not the start of the epidemic; not the start of the systematic destruction of the Black community. You know why? Because we do it ourselves-- EVERY day. To me, Zimmerman is just a cog in a machine... a machine that is run by Black folks.

Where was the outrage for Aliyah Shell last weekend in Chicago? What about the other 9 people slain this past weekend? Or the 49 injured in random shootings in the city? Where was the community concern for them? Do they not count because they were (most likely) shot by someone who looks like them? Are the stories of the families any less sad than that of TM's family? Did they deserve it? If not, then where are their petitions? Where is their national news coverage? Where are the YouTube videos seeking justice for them? They. Are. Nonexistent. And that, above all else, is the unfortunate part. Is racism alive and well in the United States of America? Land of the free... Home of the brave? ABSOLUTELY. That cannot/should not be denied. Being a Black woman, I see it. Life as a minority is hard; a lot harder than people think. It is hard to keep your head held high every day. It is difficult to take the high road. It is not easy to be me... and I don't have it bad, by any stretch of the imagination. But hard doesn't mean impossible and it certainly doesn't mean that we can call for someone to be held accountable for THEIR actions, while our actions go unchecked. We aren't holding each other accountable every day in the ghetto and suburbs. Every day, in Chicago and other major cities in America, Black men and women are killed and maimed by other Black men and women... to no fanfare. We let that go. Shit, I let it go. I pass that off as ghetto life-- I am telling you, I'm guilty. So are some of my friends. So are some of the people that are so up in arms about TM.

I'm not saying that there shouldn't be protests, petitions, marches, national attention. There should be. There should be for TM... AND Aliyah-- a six year old who was shot while sitting on her porch. There should be for the unnamed child that will die tonight, tomorrow, next week and during the hottest months this summer. The strongest community takes criticism and fixes its weakest link. The weakest link in the Black community is that there is NO community... not until someone like George Zimmerman enters the picture. Then everyone wants to come together; show some unity against "the man." What about the gangbangers who sell drugs IN our community? They are killing Black people. What about the babies that are beat/shook/molested to death by people in our own community? They are killing our future and our spirit. What about the people in our community who see crime happen and don't tell the police? They are facilitating the death of our community. What about those who commit crimes? They are killing us by feeding the stereotype of what Black people do. What about the young Black man that will pick up a gun tonight and shoot a young Black man walking down the street? That will happen in Chicago, the city where I live, probably in the next 24-48 hours.  The shooter should be held just as responsible as George Zimmerman, and the young man shot should be mourned just as much as TM.

The way that others treat us is a direct reflection on how we treat each other. We cannot expect to see a change in any other group, until we are open and willing to change ourselves... so, how do YOU treat people in OUR community? What are you willing to do to change?


Jon Daniels said...

I agree. Even though I signed the TM petition, the hypocrisy of the black community's response isn't lost on me. If the perpetrator would've been black, we probably would've heard something along the lines of "snitches get stitches" or some other lame excuse to sidestep justice.
Oh - and I'm going to post a link to this particular blog article to my facebook.

Miss Mox said...

Hey honey!! Thanks for your comment. As you can see on the blog's facebook page, not everyone liked what I had to say, but... that doesn't mean it is not the truth. We have GOT to figure out how to come together as a community and stop ALL destructive behavior, WHENEVER it happens.
I appreciate you, your thoughts and comments, and the fact that you reposted this!

Anilia said...

you are definitely not alone. I chose to remain silent on my own Facebook page because I feel like I rant alot (lol). Honestly I don't have much hope that people will 'get it' and that things will change in the black community anytime soon... I'm probably being pessimistic but that's how I feel TODAY. We love jumping on racial bandwagons but won't stand up for each other any other time. I feel exactly what you've written here.

Miss Mox said...

Thank you, Anilia! I do hold out hope that ONE day we will get it together... that day just may not come in my lifetime. *sigh* so I keep pressing on and trying to make the corners that I touch better!!

Anonymous said...

First i'd like to say that i agree with alot of the points that you make, however what you failed to mention is that many people are upset not just because a black boy was murdered in cold blood, but because the person that profiled him, chased after him and murdered him in cold blood was not charged with that murder, he was not arrested nor taken to be interrogated. Instead, the legal system turned an innocent boy into a suspicious attacker and the murderer into the victim. Many tragic deaths occur daily and each should be given due respect but sometimes it only takes the recognition of one to set the ball in motion for change in the future. In 1955 Emmett Till became a symbol for the civil rights movement,not becuase he was the only black boy being lynched at the time but because his mother refused to let what happened to her son go unnoticed.(Two men were arrested and tried in that murder although later released, more than what Travyon's murderer got almost 60 years later). In my personal opinion, Trayvon's race aside, Zimmerman should never have had a gun to begin with, neighborhood watch should be just that, WATCHING!!! And so the next petition i would like to see is for better gun control in this country and that is something we should all get behind and support. Also, i am a firm believer in the right to defend yourself within reason. However, everyones perception of a threat is different and as such a law that allows for the use of a deadly weapon should not be as broad as "Stand your Ground" which paves the way for murder to be termed self defense.

Miss Mox said...

Anonymous: Are we all in agreement that this specific case will be a catalyst for change in the future? I am not sure that is the case. I certainly do not believe that to be true. Let me say this: in 2009 when Derrion Albert was walking home from school and was beaten to death in the streets of Chicago, there were marches. There were outraged people. Then what happened? Several other black children were killed in that same neighborhood, on the same street, by other black children. I know, first hand, because that is my former neighborhood. I think that my point is that there has been other instances when people were just as outraged and nothing came of it, except more of the same.
I have not reviewed the legality of "Stand Your Ground" but today Jeb Bush, who signed it into law, says that he doesn't believe that it applies to Zimmerman. I am honestly wondering how this will turn out? Also, seeing as how I live in Chicago, who has very restrictive gun laws, I am not for more regulation in that area. I have to say, I think that Zimmerman would have done bodily harm, no matter what weapon he had... because he's a douchebag!
THanks for your response!! :)

Anonymous said...

I agree totally with what you had to say... My hope in all this is that while it's obvious this was a racially motivated case, that we as black people finally say enough is enough to ALL innocent murders! That we will look our neighbors in the eye and say we are no longer afraid... That we won't idly sit by and watch you kill our future! That we see that Zimmerman was indeed no different than any other black person that chose to hate and took an innocent young black man away from his family. Help will only come if we stand up to our own kind and if we PARENT our children instead of letting the streets do it for us!

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Thank you! The hypocrisy of selective outrage cannot stand unchallenged. It's not an either/or situation. As someone who addresses justice across the board, I expect reciprocity from those outraged. Thus far when it comes to protecting black women and girls most of those complaining fail - intentionally. As far as I'm concerned they're self-serving.

Miss Mox said...

Anonymous: ABSOLUTELY!! Your hopes mirror my dreams. I think that often people who are supposed to be parents, freely give the responsibility of raising their children to someone/something else. Whether it be the church, the schools, or the tv. We have all got to band together and do a better job of making sure that the Black community is productive and thriving.

Faith: Agree, agree, agree!!! I could not have said it better myself.

Thank you both for your comments.

Valerie Smith said...

Miss Mox, all I can say is Wow!I am from the UK, in the biggest year of the shopping calender, the sales began, last year Boxing Day 2011, 26th December 2011, a young black man was stabbed over trainners, he too was concentrating on buying his trainers. I think he was getting a bargain, and arguement started and he was stabbed, whenever you heard stabbings or shootings by young men, the majority are black.

One of the saddest stories were a black family who owned a pub. Father and two sons were working, the father was in his sixties, the youngest was in his late 20s and the oldest was 35. A young black man came in and he was abusive, he was ordered out of the pub. He was furious and hours later, he returned and shot the father, and the two sons, the oldest son died, he was newly engaged and the father and the other son were seriously wounded, the reason why they survived, because his gun jammed.

One man wanted to wipe out an entire family because he wanted to do what he liked and cause disorder. He was jailed for 30 years and he will have spent 30 years in prison. These men were educated, decent black men, not gang members, another black man, he was married, took his daughter to see his wife and her mother and their new baby, waiting at the bus stop, got involved with an arguement and was murdered.

Another black men doing overtime to pay for his children's schoolling black man, decent was killed, when another black man took his car and ran on him, on Saturday morning, he was a council worker, in the Housing Department, but he was working for his children's schooling.

Another manager of the Next, black man closing up, was shot dead.
Black man working in the laundry, going to university, shot dead and all the old ladies cried at his funeral and cried, when he was shot. Not one match,or petition for them. One black man was shot in a night club, he and his brother had a business in the market, people saw, and the killer is walking free, no-one called an ambulance, while he was bleeding, he bled to death and he was robbed, only when he was dead, then an ambulance was called, no petition for him, either and the other black girls who have dreams and hopes who are taken from this earth.

But when Mark Duggan was shot, big match, pettion, riots and that led to the summer of riots in 2011, where are the matches and petitions for other black people, it seems that when black men are killed by non-black people, it is racist, terrible, when black men are killed by men who look like them nothing and as for the women God help us.

Miss Mox, you are right, although I signed the petition.

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