I want as many POC to share their thoughts on this before I say anything. The portions in bold are my own emphasis.
The Tragedy of Trayvon MartinThoughts?
The basic facts are this. Trayvon Martin, a black high-school junior, was walking home after visiting a store on Feb. 26 in Sanford Florida, when George Zimmerman, a white 28 year old (More on that “white” part later). Zimmerman, who was the Neighborhood Watch captain, saw Martin, thought he looked suspicious and called a non-emergency dispatch number to report that Martin looked intoxicated, followed him, and then minutes later after a scuffle, shot him.
Zimmerman’s father says that George is Hispanic and grew up in a multiracial family. It needs to be said only because it shows how different this story would have gone if it had been reported that way in the first place. But the media narrative was set, and that’s that.
These kinds of shootings occur every day in this country, the reason you are hearing about this one is because black celebrities like Russell Simmons and twitter blew it up. Never one to miss an opportunity to divide us racially, Al Sharpton is leading a rally this week in a Sanford Church. Not to be outdone, the New Black Liberation Militia, is planning to go to Sanford, Fla. next week to enact a citizen’s arrest against Zimmerman. That should be interesting.
There is good reason for the outrage. George Zimmerman claimed self defense, he was never arrested, and has been charged with no crime. He was not tested for drugs or alcohol at the time either. The FBI is now looking into the incident. Martin was unarmed.
The 9-11 calls tell the progression of events. Zimmerman says to the dispatcher, “He’s checking me out,” and then says, “This guy looks like he’s on drugs, he’s definitely messed up.” He added later, ”These a**holes always get away.” The dispatcher asks Zimmerman, “Are you following him?.. Okay, we don’t need you to do that.” Obviously Zimmerman ignored that warning and minutes later 9-11 calls are made saying that the two are fighting. One caller says the two are fighting on the back of his porch and one guy is yelling for help. In another call someone screams for help and then you can hear two gun shots in the back ground.
Zimmerman’s father is saying that Zimmerman did not follow or confront Martin, and that his son is being improperly judged by the media.
There is no doubt that there is reason for the family of Martin to be upset. Their son was unarmed, and there seems to be no reason at all that Zimmerman shot him, except that he was black. So, yesterday I started the conversation with several of the black tweeters tweeting about this, and my question was quite simple. Where is the outrage for the young black males who are killed every day in this country? African Americans comprise only 13.5% of the U.S. Population, yet 43% of all murder victims in 2007 were African American. Does it matter what race they were killed by? Why don’t we care that black males are being murdered at alarming rates?? Because other black males are killing them? That makes it somehow less tragic??
My black twitter friends tell me that this case is worse because the 17 year old was killed for nothing more than being black. But is the black 17 year old killed accidently by a drive by shooting any more dead than Trayvon? Again, is that any less tragic??
It’s not that I don’t think they have a right to be outraged, they do. But I just wish we could generate this outrage over the lives of these young black boys who are killed every day. Over 90 percent of New York City’s 536 murder victims last year were black or Hispanic. 90 percent! Isn’t that enough to be outraged over?? Instead we have to rely on the likes of Al Sharpton to swoop in, but ONLY if the shooter is white (or a white policeman).
So, we will expend all this energy on this one boy, a tragedy to be sure, but the other murdered black boys this year are just as dead.
In my twitter conversations I was schooled on “wealth disparities,” and “racial disparities,” and how I was “someone operating in whiteness” that couldn’t possibly understand.
The decimation of the black family is the main cause of the social ills in the black community and you only have to be “operating in humanity” to see that. But Al Sharpton and his ilk never want to address that. They never want to address the teenage pregnancy rates, the infant mortality rates, the abortion rates, drug use, or the school drop out rate. No, it’s so much better to just pop up when a celebrity cause is raised because a kid was shot, this time, by a white guy.
In 1920, 90 percent of black families had a father in the house. The social ills were negligible then. By 2011, only 30 percent of black families have a father in the house. It doesn’t take studies or a genius to see the correlation.
It’s the one thing that Pres. Obama and I agree on. This is from his Father’s Day speech 2008:
But if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing – missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.
You and I know how true this is in the African-American community. We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled – doubled – since we were children. We know the statistics – that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.
How many times in the last year has this city lost a child at the hands of another child? How many times have our hearts stopped in the middle of the night with the sound of a gunshot or a siren? How many teenagers have we seen hanging around on street corners when they should be sitting in a classroom? How many are sitting in prison when they should be working, or at least looking for a job? How many in this generation are we willing to lose to poverty or violence or addiction? How many?
Where are the petitions for these kids? Where is the New Black Liberation Militia? Where is Jesse Jackson? Oh, I remember where Jackson was, he was on a hot mic saying how Obama was just “talking down” to black people in this speech. It seems that telling the truth is “talking down.” Hip Hop Mogul Russell Simmons can get all upset over Trayvon, but where is his outrage when the killer isn’t white?
What I want to see is this same passion for Trayvon channeled into changing the dynamic of the black family. Go into any inner city community and you go into a land of drugs, despair, and children being raised without fathers. THAT is the biggest tragedy of all, and one the celebrities and race baiters ignore.
When will we care enough about ALL black children and young men killed every day in this country? When will we care enough for THEM, when it’s not about racially charged shootings, to actively do something? KONY2012 video got all kinds of celebrites like Kim Kardashian, Justin Beiber, and many others to speak out for the children of Uganda. What about our children? When do they get their video? When do we start to realize that when we pretend that fathers don’t matter, then we lose generations of children?
On this point, Pres. Obama has always gotten it right. Yet, even he seems to be ignored.
……we also need families to raise our children. We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child – it’s the courage to raise one.
About Kathleen McKinley
I'm a conservative activist. I blog at The Houston Chronicle, RightWingNews, Newsbusters, and my own site. I co-host SmartGirlNation on FTRadio for SmartGirlPolitics, an organization of conservative women to promote issues that are important to us.