A commenter at redlands.patch.com stated that anybody who tried to turn the Trayvon tragedy into “a race case” was a loser. This was in response to a blog post at the site which identified President Obama as the second biggest loser as a result of the jury’s verdict. The blogger’s first loser? The media.
As I suggested in a comment … seems to me that the first loser is Trayvon. The second loser is the judicial system. I don’t know what, if anything, Zimmerman is guilty of. But the idea that the President is somehow a loser in all of this is just ridiculous. Close-minded. Stupid. The idea that this isn’t “a race case” is very possibly even dumber. Race is entwined in everything that happens in this country. To suggest that a security guard shooting a black teenager isn’t a race case is idiotic. Even the most tolerant of people sees things and reacts. As much as I would like to claim that it doesn’t impact me, there is a certain demographic that I pay more attention to.
First, it is young males. That certain age where they seem to be more than willing to act stupidly and without intent to comply with society’s norms. Okay. Call them what they are. Teenagers. Other people add more elements to the dynamic. Race. Tattoos. Dress. Who knows what exactly, but there are elements we all look to in our efforts to assess our safety. As we perceive it.
The suggestion seems to be that somehow Obama overstepped the bounds when he said that Trayvon could be his son. This completely ignores the reality of race in America. Now that the verdict has issued, President Obama apparently decided in an unscripted moment to say more. What did he say? “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
I have no doubt he will be criticized and attacked for this statement. There will be plenty of individuals on the far right who will likely say that if he was a thug like Trayvon he should have been shot just like Trayvon. Hey … maybe that’s the preferable outcome … we wouldn’t have Obamacare.
What I will never understand is how white people seem to think that black people … or yellow people …. or brown people … should just get over it. Race isn’t the issue unless they make it an issue. Except that statistics continue to show that race actually does matter. Black on white crime — more likely to result in a conviction and a stiffer sentence than white on black crime or even black on black crime.
There is simply no rational basis for us white folks … yes, I’m a white folk, look at my picture … to claim that race no longer matters. It is still here. Still lurking in the hearts of man (and woman). I wish it weren’t. But it is. Those who wish to deny it. Who wish to suggest that turning Trayvon into a race case are losers. They are the ones who don’t get it. Or, of more concern. They are the ones who have reason to try to get us to stop focusing on race. Their reasons are not for the good of the rest of us.
I’ll say it again. I live for the day when labels don’t matter. Race. Religion. Beliefs. Nationality. Creed. Gender. Orientation. None. Of. It. Matters. The only thing that matters is that we are human beings. We all bleed the same color of blood. We are all hurt by the same thing. But, more important than anything else. More important than the hurt and the color of our blood is this simple, fundamental reality. We are human beings and we are capable of love. And deserving of it as well.