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White People, You Will Never Look Suspicious Like Trayvon Martin

Freedom 55
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Joined: Mar 14 2010

White People, You Will Never Look Suspicious Like Trayvon Martin

Quote:

I will never look suspicious to you. Even if I have a black hoodie, a pair of jeans and white sneakers on...in fact, that is what I wore yesterday...I still will never look suspicious. No matter how much the hoodie covers my face or how baggie my jeans are, I will never look out of place to you.  I will never watch a taxi cab pass me by to pick someone else up. I will never witness someone clutch their purse tightly against their body as they walk by me.  I won't have to worry about a police car following me for two miles, so they can "run my plates."  I will never have to pay before I eat. And I certainly will never get "stopped and frisked."  I will never look suspicious to you, because of one thing and one thing only.  The color of my skin.  I am white.

I was born white.  It was the card I was dealt.  No choice in the matter.  Just the card handed out by the dealer. I have lived my whole life privileged. Privileged to be born without a glass ceiling. Privileged to grow up in the richest country in the world.  Privileged to never look suspicious.  I have no guilt for the color of my skin or the privilege that I have.  Remember, it was just the next card that came out of the deck.  But, I have choices.  I got choices on how I play the hand I was dealt.  I got a lot of options.  The ball is in my court.


Comments

Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

Thanks for sharing this, F55. What a truly horrible story.

What Everyone Should Know About Trayvon Martin (1995-2012)
Quote:

1. Zimmerman called the police to report Martin’s “suspicious” behavior, which he described as “just walking around looking about.” Zimmerman was in his car when he saw Martin walking on the street. He called the police and said: “There’s a real suspicious guy. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about… These a**holes always get away” [Orlando Sentinel]

2. Zimmerman pursued Martin against the explicit instructions of the police dispatcher:

Dispatcher: “Are you following him?”
Zimmerman: “Yeah”
Dispatcher: “OK, we don’t need you to do that.”

[Orlando Sentinel]

3. Prior to the release of the 911 tapes, Zimmerman’s father released a statement claiming “[a]t no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin.” [Sun Sentinel]

4. Zimmerman was carrying a a 9 millimeter handgun. Martin was carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. [ABC News]

5. Martin weighed 140 pounds. Zimmerman weighs 250 pounds. [Orlando Sentinel; WDBO]

6. Martin’s English teacher described him as “as an A and B student who majored in cheerfulness.” [Orlando Sentinel]

7. Martin had no criminal record. [New York Times]

8. Zimmerman “was charged in July 2005 with resisting arrest with violence and battery on an officer. The charges appear to have been dropped.” [Huffington Post]

9. Zimmerman called the police 46 times since Jan. 1, 2011. [Miami Herald]

10. According to neighbors, Zimmerman was “fixated on crime and focused on young, black males.” [Miami Herald]

And so on...

(Of course, we should keep in mind that this sort of thing happens all the time in some variation or another. We've only heard about Martin because he is palatable to white middle-class mores. If he actually was a thief or a drug dealer, we'd have never heard of this story.)


Hoodeet
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Joined: Dec 8 2008

I was surprised that it was hitting the headlines so long after the horrendous incident.  At least the MSM are covering the fact that Zimmermann was never booked or jailed and that the police messed up the crime scene.   God help us. It's bad enough with the police on the loose, and people with PTSD  hallucinating they're surrounded by enemy soldiers. Now the  vigilantes are out there too.

 

 


takeitslowly
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Joined: May 31 2009

Its so sad , and i believe it is racially motivated, but to say that a white person can "never" look suspicious just undermine the argument against white privilege..


Maysie
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Joined: Apr 21 2005

Martin's grades are irrelevant. His cheerful personality is irrelevant. 

What's relevant is systemic racism kills men and women of colour, with impunity, over and over again.

A white resident could not imagine or conceive that a young Black man could be allowed to walk about in his (gated) community.

It doesn't get much clearer than this.

P.S. I read that excellent blog from the OP and posted it on my Facebook wall. It's excellent.


milo204
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Joined: Feb 3 2010

this is pretty much the same thing as the klan.  A bunch of armed, aggressive racist white guys hunting down and murdering innocent black people.  

Back then theyd say he looked at a white girl, now they just say he's "looking about"....


Hoodeet
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Joined: Dec 8 2008

milo204 wrote:

this is pretty much the same thing as the klan.  A bunch of armed, aggressive racist white guys hunting down and murdering innocent black people.  

Back then theyd say he looked at a white girl, now they just say he's "looking about"....

Hoodeet (JW)

Actually, there's another take on this story.  George Zimmerman's mother is a Latina immigrant. 

When I googled his name and "latino" (since I thought he looked Latino) I was instantly directed to the Conservative Citizens Council site (neo-KKK, neo-nazi), where contributors went out of their way to express indignation that he was identified as "white" and indulged their anti-Hispanic racism.  This is interesting because in Florida there have been numerous cases of African Americans being shot or abused by Latino policemen, who enjoy relative impunity. There have even been calls for the investigation of the  mayor of Miami for his reluctance to address the issue.

  I wouldn't even venture to guess at the reason, but  anti-Black sentiment seems to be high among Latinos.  "Euro-American" racists enjoy the spectacle of minority-on-minority violence.

Anyway, Zimmerman strikes me as being a rather disfunctional person, with identity problems of his own that he takes out on African-Americans.

The story (democracynow.org, March 20) is appalling for various reasons, from the failure of the police to detain Zimmerman and their failure to use Martin's cellphone to trace his identity, leaving his body in the morgue for days while his parents filed a missing persons report, to MSM giving credence to Zimmerman's father's story of his 250-lb son being pursued by an unarmed 160-lb 17-year old.   The  FBI and the Justice Dept. are on the case, finally.  Let's see how it plays out.  I'm afraid it's a lose-lose situation, as the white racists will go out of their way to play up Zimmerman's Hispanic/immigrant background.


Maysie
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Joined: Apr 21 2005

This is not about Zimmerman.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Even in the States, the Klan types going on about Zimmerman being Hispanic is extremely marginal. Most people will never even hear it.

The story just oozes out racism. [And the denial that goes with it- but not that nutty stuff.]


Maysie
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Joined: Apr 21 2005

KenS, racism has been denied in this very thread.

 


Kara
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Joined: Oct 2 2008

On the 911 tapes, Zimmerman (known hereafter as RP (racist prick)) admitted that Trayvon was running away (most likely alarmed at being followed by a cop wannabe yahoo) and then ignoring the 911 dispatchers advice, RP chased him down.  He went out of his way to provoke a confrontation, contrary to what RP's father tried to say.

One of the 911 tapes is very chilling and horribly sad.  The female caller was reporting the struggle behind her house.  You can hear Trayvon pleading for help, crying, begging "no, no, no", followed by a gunshot and then silence.  The female caller seemingly realized what had happened and started to cry.

The witness reports indicate that the guy on top during the struggle was wearing a white shirt - not what Trayvon was wearing.  One of the witnesses claims that RP had risen to his feet when he shot Trayvon who was still laying on the ground.   RP suffered some facial lacerations, etc., because undoubtedly Trayvon knew he was fighting for his life, so one could surmise that a very pissed off RP could very well have stood up and executed Trayvon.

The story has been in the news for a while but at first there was more information coming out about Trayvon's background than anything else - i.e. make excuses for the RP.  So what if Trayvon had been suspended from school for a few weeks???  I was a straight A student and I was suspended a few times and expelled once - one time for calling a teacher a hypocrite, another for smoking pot, another for having fun in the bathroom with my beau, etc.  Being suspended does not indicate violent tendencies or anything along those lines, despite the initial spin was that the suspension may have been for a violent incident, drug use, etc.  Even if those allegations were true, that does not give RP the right to execute a young man.

One (or more) congressional representatives are trying to get the US deparment of justice involved to force the hand of local authorities to lay charges.  Supposedly the local DA is reviewing the case and will render a decision in a few weeks.  One wonders why the decision will take a few weeks.  Certainly there is more than ample information to issue an arrest warrant, or at least there would be enough information for an arrest if the shooter were a young black man.


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003
Kara
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Joined: Oct 2 2008
http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/20/justice/florida-teen-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_t1 "The Seminole County Grand Jury will convene April 10, State Attorney Norm Wolfinger said in a statement." Finally a step in the right direction. Also interesting is that Trayvon was on the phone with a young woman at the time RP confronted him. She might have some really critical information to offer.

Hoodeet
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Joined: Dec 8 2008

That conversation was played on democracynow.org today. The whole program was devoted to the case.


Hoodeet
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Joined: Dec 8 2008

Maysie wrote:

This is not about Zimmerman.

Hoodeet (JW)

I agree with you, Maysie... up to a point.

The racist fringe wants to make it about him, and I hope they don't manage to.  Some Blacks might pick up on the fact that he is one more Latino who had it out for them, like the Mayor of Miami and the police (I'm talking perception here, in the context of a string of Latino on Black attacks over the past several years).  And it might well become about Zimmerman once it gets to court and the psychiatrists start duking it out about his insecurity and his own identity problems... I'd bet that the defense will try to come up with an argument along those lines... But you're absolutely right:  this is not the time to speculate about what will be made of Zimmerman, but to mourn for his victim and to condemn the heinous crime and the heinous conduct of the Sanford police.


MegB
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Joined: Nov 28 2001

25 years ago, when I was living in the US south, an unarmed child (aged 12) was shot to death in a pinball arcade by a police officer with a record of racist brutality.  The cop got off.  This sparked a riot in the poorest of Black communities in the city -- Overtown, a stone's throw away from the very chic Coconut Grove in Miami, Florida.

It's been so long, but just thinking about it still pisses me off.


Mr.Tea
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Joined: Jul 9 2011

How did this yahoo get a license for a semi automatic handgun in the first place?


MegB
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Joined: Nov 28 2001

Remember, this is a state that has drive-through liquor stores and a gun shop on every corner.  It's beyond fucked up.


Mr.Tea
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Joined: Jul 9 2011

Here's another interesting article on this case from John McWhorter about "What the Trayvon Martin Case Tells us About Being Black in America"The very nature of being black in the United States is now marked insidiously and essentially by the perceived reality of constantly being forced to deal with malevolent police forces. Indeed, a representative example of the black condition is what black journalist Deborah Mathis, in her syndicated column in 1997, called "Blackmotheritis": "a nervous disorder afflicting millions of black women with adolescent or teenaged children, particularly the mothers of boys." Mathis explains how she told her son:

Keep your hands out of your pockets. Don't reach under your shirt. If there's an itch, just live with it. In winter, keep your jacket open.
Mathis wasn't kidding:

The other day, on a brief shopping foray, Joseph popped his hand beneath his shirt to rub a mosquito bite. "Joseph!" I shouted. My son's name fell hard from my mouth as if it were a pain to say it. "Get your hand ..." "Okay, Ma," he said impatiently, then muttered something that seemed, at once, mad and sad. "I just don't want ..." I began, ruefully. "I know, Ma, I know. I'm sorry."

http://www.tnr.com/article/101840/trayvon-martin-race-injustice?google_e...

 


Freedom 55
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Joined: Mar 14 2010

Trayvon Martin: The Lingering Memory Of Dead Boys

 

Quote:

When I was young, girls were not mere bystanders as we watched our mothers groom our brothers to live in a world that feared them. Boys were taught not to look police, security guards, or anyone with authority directly in the eye. They should say only "yes sir" or "no sir." We, too, were in training, learning to protect the men we loved. We became our mothers' surrogates, reminding the guys to "keep cool," to "keep quiet." We knew they wanted to impress us, but we begged them not to talk back, as boys always do. 

Today, at 41 years old, my girlhood is behind me, but the memories of dead boys linger. Most childhood fears are terrors that you grow out of. As you age, you realize that there is no monster under the bed.

But the worry that someone will look at a black man and deem him to be "suspicious," and feel justified in killing him, is a threat that only deepens as he grows older. If he is lucky enough to get older.


Slumberjack
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Joined: Aug 8 2005

Rebecca West wrote:
Remember, this is a state that has drive-through liquor stores....It's beyond fucked up.

Surely not because of that.

 


Hoodeet
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Joined: Dec 8 2008

Slumberjack wrote:

Rebecca West wrote:
Remember, this is a state that has drive-through liquor stores....It's beyond fucked up.

Surely not because of that.

 /quote] Hoodeet (JW)

I would think it's not because of that but THAT is symptomatic of how fucked up a state it is... but on second thoughts it probably contributes to making it even more fucked up.

Remember what happened to that poor Canadian snowbird couple sitting quietly in their trailer getting dinner when a crazed man drove his car up to their door, jumped out of the car and ran into the trailer armed with a gun?  The old man was killed and the wife taken hostage while threatening to kill his own wife and children, who were outside... the crazed man then shot himself, as I recall (or was he killed by the cops?).  That poor woman.

Who the hell would want to vacation there any more?

Florida does have a very special --and not exactly sunny-- place in the collective memory of  Black folk.  The comedian Moms Mabley used to say:  "I call it "they-ami" 'cause it sure ain't "my-ami".  You go down on the Greyhound and they chase you out with the bloodhounds."


NDPP
Online
Joined: Dec 28 2008

Assassinations At Home and Abroad - by Jenina Pierre

http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/assassinations-home-and-abroad

"The rule of law is everywhere in retreat. Racist vigilante justice trumps Black's right to life in Florida and a growing number of 'shoot first' states, while the US president claims the right to kill at will, internationally. 'The Florida laws are the local articulation of a US foreign policy that deploys murder and mayhem at any sign of a threat.' Eric Holder, the nation's top lawman, can order assassination without trial, yet is now tasked to investigate Trayvon Martin's murder.."


Slumberjack
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Joined: Aug 8 2005

Hoodeet wrote:
I would think it's not because of that but THAT is symptomatic of how fucked up a state it is... but on second thoughts it probably contributes to making it even more fucked up.

If I actually I took that sort of logic to heart, I suppose it could go some way towards explaining much; as I do indeed patronize a drive-thru liquor window.  Obviously when you're getting wine such a convenience caters well enough to the undiscerning palate.


M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

[White]Homeowner won’t be charged for killing [Black] 20-year-old hiding from police

Quote:
No charges will be filed against a homeowner in Slinger, Wisconsin, who shot and killed a 20-year-old man who ran into an enclosed porch to hide from the police.

Washington County District Attorney Mark Bensen said the unidentified homeowner acted in self-defense under Wisconsin’s new “castle doctrine” law. It assumes that homeowners are justified when using deadly force against intruders.

Bo Morrison of West Bend was among those scampering from a nearby underage drinking party the police raided on March 3.

Washington County prosecutors said Morrison tucked himself between a dresser and refrigerator in the homeowner’s porch. When the resident asked him what he was doing there, Morrison reportedly stood up, raised a hand and took a step toward the homeowner. That’s when the owner shot him in the chest and told his wife to call 9-1-1.

Authorities said the homeowner was the one who called police about the drinking party. He had confronted a couple people in car with loud music, according to authorities.


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

Super video from men of Howard University

Quote:
The Howard University men that are part of the Howard Students For Justice group created the video above that asks viewers to check their biases about black men.

“Contrary to what America has led many to believe all young black males are not suspicious, we don’t deserve to be harassed, murdered, prosecuted or denied the protections of the justice system all because America thinks we are suspicious,” say one Howard alumni as images of other black male students scroll through the screen.

For more information visit the Howard University Students for Justice Facebook page.

 


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

You got a problem? Well, now you do.

Quote:
Trayvon Martin had it coming, or so we will soon be led to believe. The surely unattractive details of his short life as a black man in America will tumble forward—his troubles in school, the weed baggie that got him suspended, the altercation in which police and George Zimmerman claim he was the aggressor. He was a maladjusted, Negro man-child, so ferocious he could kill an armed man with his bare hands. He had to die.

Yesterday, local law enforcement offered a preview of this old, familiar narrative when someone leaked Zimmerman’s account of the night to the Orlando Sentinel. According to the Sentinel, Zimmerman had given up his hunt of Martin and was returning to his SUV when the 17-year-old caught him by surprise. Do you have a problem, Martin is said to have asked, before answering for himself, “Well, you do now.” He reportedly began pummelling Zimmerman, leading the armed man to shoot and kill.

Sadly, it’s necessary to point out that there isn’t an imaginable scenario in which an armed man can shoot an unarmed child to death and it be okay. But set that obvious fact to the side. Trayvon Martin did in fact have it coming. He was born black and male in the United States and was thus marked for death. The cruelness of our economy and of our criminal justice system isn’t reserved for men or for black people. But there is a particularly gendered and particularly racist way in which black men are set upon in this country, most acutely those who don’t have the resources to push back. And it has a very long, still relevant history.

Quote:
Like I said, Trayvon Martin was marked for death already, statistically at least. As a black infant, he was more than twice as likely to die as his white peers. In his teens, he was at least one and a half times as likely to meet an early death as his white peers. Homicide is the leading cause of death for black men his age, and comes at a rate many times every other racial or ethnic group. If he had reached his 20s, he had a 1 in 8 chance of going to prison, because that empty bag of marijuana he had at school would have meant something very different for him than it does for the middle class white kids who use drugs at higher rates. He’d have gone on to live in a country in which nearly 4 in 10 black children live in poverty, in which 1 in 4 black households lack food security.

The fact is the U.S. often seems like it’s built to kill black people. This is not to say racism is equally lethal today as it was even a single generation ago. But it is to say that the same set of deeply ingrained ideas about what black people have coming to us justified the brutality of yesterday and today alike. And one particular manifestation of those ideas routinely leads to the early death of men like Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell and Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin.

Read the whole thing.


RevolutionPlease
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Joined: Oct 15 2007
Thanks for the link Cf.

Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

 

Hoodies, Hijabs and Homicides

Quote:
Just one month after 17 year-old Trayvon Martin was murdered on the public streets by a vigilante in Sanford, Florida, a 32 year-old Iraqi woman named Shaima Alawadi was beaten to death with a tire iron in her home in San Diego. Alawadi was a Muslim woman who wore the hijab. A note by her body read, “Go back to your own country you terrorist.” Inferior minds, poisoned with racism, have attributed Martin’s death to the hoodie which he was wearing. But attacks on Blacks which focus on their attire extend from the hoodie to how low they hang their pants off their butts, how they wear their baseball caps, & whether or not their garb signifies gang membership--because clothing has become the symbol of racist hatred. The imputation against Muslim women is that they are coerced (since women can’t have religious commitments or ideas of their own) by men & religion to wear the veil. While the dominant culture encourages women to “flaunt it if you’ve got it”, more modest women are vilified as victims &/or terrorists & freedom of religion is reduced to confetti. While the perpetrators of these murders bear full responsibility for their crimes, the media has played a central role in creating hostility & hatred against Blacks & Muslims & in whipping up hysteria against their attire. Every time we see another report or article with such imputations, we should take out our poison pens & make our voices heard & we should protest, as hundreds of thousands are doing now in support of justice for Trayvon Martin.


NDPP
Online
Joined: Dec 28 2008

Trayvon Martin, Troy Davis and the 20112 Election - by Bruce Dixon

http://blackagendareport.com/content/trayvon-martin-troy-davis-and-2012-...

"When Obama likened Trayvon Martin to his imaginary son, and that there ought to be a national debate about something or other, what did that mean? It might mean that he wants the votes of those outraged by the murder, but Obama isn't prepared to do much of anything to deserve them beyond claiming to feel our pain...

On the other hand, in the interests of making some whites feel better about themselves, the hacks at CNN sought out the tiny and deceptively named 'New Black Panther Party' which seems to exist purely to be called upon by the likes of Sean Hannity and Anderson Cooper when they need a comic black racist bogeyman.."


Kara
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Joined: Oct 2 2008

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/03/29/trayvon-martin-george-zimmerman-police-video.html

Self defence my ass. No sign of a broken nose, no sign of injuries to the back of his head - no sign of anything.


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