I am probably one of few bloggers that haven’t spoken about the Trayvon Martin case. I have kept up on the case from the beginning but I’ve kept silent while i’ve watched the case progress. I believe I share the opinion of many people when I say that Trayvon Martin’s death was unfortunate and senseless. It’s hurtful and frustrating to see that in this day and age it would take so long for his killer to be charged with his crime. It was obvious that Trayvon’s death could of been prevented but George Zimmerman pursued Trayvon despite the directions he was given. My hope is that Trayvon will get the justice that he deserves but honestly I can’t say that I am sure that he will. It’s sad to say but this case has proven to me that racism is still very much alive.
When I was younger I lived in an urban area but i’ve always lived amongst many different races. Being surrounded by so many different races made me oblivious to racism. I never judged people by their skin color because at that time I didnt feel as if I was getting judged by my skin color. Even in high school I never felt that I had to hang around the “Black clique” because once again my environment was so mixed. But as I get older things have changed. I have taken notice to racism in so many different forms some of it being obvious and some not so much. Honestly, the Trayvon Martin case has made me so much more aware of racism and way more sensitive to the way other races treat me.
I have never encountered obvious racism. When I say obvious racism I mean that I have never been called a nigger or any other racial slur to my face. To my knowledge I have never been excluded from anything because of my race. I have never felt like someone clearly stated that my race was an issue BUT I have dealt with indirect racism. Unfortunately I have seen many cases on TV and heard of many situations where race was an issue but i’ve never dealt with it myself. The problem with indirect racism is that it frustrates me but I don’t know if people are oblivious to their words or actions or if they are purposely being racist. Indirect racism is an action or words that you feel is based on your race. For example, at my job I work with a high population of White older people which has never been a problem for me because I truly like helping all people. As I get to know my patients through conversation they tend to ask questions which is also fine but sometimes I have a problem with how the question is asked. I have been asked “How many children do you have?” instead of “Do you have children?” and when I tell them I don’t have any children it seems like they are amazed by it. When I tell them I am fully independent the level of amazement is multiplied by a million which doesn’t sound bad intially. The bad part is that when my coworkers that aren’t Black say the same things the reaction is different. The patient gives them a reaction as if my nonBlack coworkers are living at their potential but me doing the same thing is just AMAZING as if Black people don’t reach these goals on a regular basis.
Sometimes I give people the benefit of the doubt and believe that maybe they aren’t aware of their words or actions. I truly believe that some people will never understand the struggle of Black people in this country. I believe that some people believe that racism is a thing of the past because Black people now have “equality”. Now i’m not oblivious to fact that we are no longer slaves and no longer do we have to ride in the back of the bus but I don’t believe complete equality has been reached and that is CLEAR with the Trayvon Martin case. There is also other things that prove equality hasn’t been reached. For example when you look at the CEOs of large companies in this country how many of them are Black? How many Black positive role models are their plastered on TV? Not too many. Yes we have a Black president but he is only the beginning of the potential of Black people. There is still many walls and barriers to be broken down in order to reach complete equality in this country.
The protest for Trayvon Martin all around the country has definitely shown what change we can make if we all come together as one. It was amazing to see so much action being taken and our message being presented in a strong but peaceful way. I know that the unity in our community will continue as we support Trayvon and his family. My hope is that this unity continues beyond Trayvon for all the issues we face in the Black community. Change can be made and it WILL be made if we stick together. We have to realize as a community that in order for anyone to take us seriously we have to take our causes and our actions seriously. We have to be organized informed and relentless to produce change.
Lastly I would like to leave you with a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King about producing change. Most importantly thought i’d like to just say a couple things. I can’t say that I am totally convinced that George Zimmerman will get the sentence that he deserves. I can say one thing Trayvon Martin will forever impact the Black community. Trayvon Martin could of been anyone. Your cousin, brother, son, etc. He did not deserve to die at such an early age in such a tragic way but he did not die in vain. He has brought the Black community back together and he’s personally given me hope in our community and our country. RIP Trayvon.
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. “-Dr. Martin Luther King