The Racism Issue

There have been some eye-catching stories in the news lately that I have been very frustrated over. And I know this is not the type of thing that I typically write about…but I have got to get this out.

In Florida, there was a 17-year-old who was shot and killed by another man on February 26. There has been a large outcry across the nation over this young man’s death. Not because a young man lost his life (which is a devastating event under any circumstances) but because a black person was killed by a man of a different skin color.

Really folks? Are we still living in the 1960’s? I thought this kind of stuff was behind us?

I know that in the area we live in, there was a vigil that was held within the past week for the young man who lost his life. Supposedly, they all wore hoodie sweatshirts, “just like” the one the deceased wore the night he was killed. How that has anything to do with it, I don’t know. But, as I understand it, multiple rallies have people wearing these hooded sweatshirts. Do they somehow think that this got the kid shot?

Anyway, from the things that I have seen in the news stories, the reports seem to indicate that the gentleman who shot the 17-year-old was acting out of self defense. The reports say that the gentleman, a 28-year-old who was the captain of the neighborhood watch, spotted the kid walking around the neighborhood (apparently from a store) on a rainy night with the hood of his sweatshirt pulled up. The neighborhood watch captain lost sight of the teenager and, while walking back to his car, was approached from behind by the teenager. They exchanged words and the report states that the teenager punched the gentleman and then jumped on top of him and began banging his head into the sidewalk. According to the news stories, the Sanford police have said the newspaper’s story is “consistent” with evidence turned over to prosecutors.

Listening to that, who does it sound like is the victim here?

The claim of the neighborhood watch captain is that he shot and killed the teenager in self defense in line with Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Now, obviously, I wasn’t there and cannot attest to the events that happened. But it seems obvious to me from the stories, and what the Sanford police have said in that the stories are consistent with evidence, that  this was not a racially motivated killing as is the implication by many in the black community.

I have seen the NAACP coming out with their comments that the killing was racially motivated and that the gentleman did it just because the teenager was black. I’m sorry, but I have difficulty believing that. I have run into some of these neighborhood watch folks in my line of work and, let me tell you, some of them are pretty…enthusiastic about this and take it seriously. The folks I have run across have approached every person the same, regardless of skin color.

And let’s not get started about a group calling themselves The New Black Panthers. They have set out a $10,000 bounty on this gentleman’s head. Because he shot the teenager out of self-proclaimed self defense.

At what point did we stop letting the police do their job and say that the public could take what they perceived as “justice” into their own hands? I never recall anything being set forward to allow that.

So, as a result of the case in Florida, there are people taking to the streets, holding vigils for the teenager who lost his life and putting bounties out on the “killer”. All because a white man killed a black teenager. But what about this…

In Kansas City, Missouri, two teenage boys lit another teenage boy on fire after dousing him in gasoline.

What’s the difference?

The boy who was lit on fire was white and the two who did the dousing and lighting were black.

Here, the story (one, single — I’ve only been able to locate a single story and nothing at the national level) state that the victim was walking the two blocks home from school when the two older teenagers followed him, rushed him onto the porch of his home, doused him in gasoline, flicked a lighter and said, “This is what you deserve. You get what you deserve, white boy.”

Now, anyone out there, I don’t care what you look like, try to tell me that isn’t racially charged.

But if whites were to take to the streets in protest and demand a bounty on the heads of the two who lit this 13-year-old on fire, there would be complete uproar! There would be cries that “these white folks who are protesting are racist!”

I’m sorry. But that’s a double standard. And that is infuriating.

And where’s the NAACP? Isn’t that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People? If you want to get into semantics, black is actually the absence of color and white it all colors present. So, shouldn’t they be representing white people? Regardless, black and white are both considered “colors” and they should be reacting about both of these stories. Not just about the black teenager being shot, especially when it has been clearly stated in the news stories that the crime against the 13-year-old in Missouri was racially charged. That’s disappointing.

It feels to me like the black community is perpetuating the racism issue more than the white community is. They perpetuate the stereotypes that surround their community. They put themselves in these bad situations, all on their own. Racism is taught. And they’re teaching it to themselves.

One of my favorite things that I’ve read about is the “black male code” that blacks must operate under. The thing that caught my eye was that a father, after this incident in Florida, decided to tell his son about the code. One of the things in this “code” that he told him was that if he is stopped by a police officer, make sure his hands are on the wheel and not anywhere else so that he doesn’t get shot. Ya know, that should be the practice for anyone. Why? These guys have dangerous jobs…and it doesn’t matter what race or ethnicity person they stop. Let’s get that clear. You sit at your desk all day, knowing you’ll go home after working from the comforts of a nice chair and in an air conditioned building with the ability to take a break when you want and no fear of danger. These men and women hope to go home after driving around all day, keeping you safe, working in the elements, holding their bladder past capacity, eating lunch on the way to their next emergency, all the while looking over their shoulder to make sure they are safe and can go home to their family. Doesn’t matter what color you are — as a whole, they treat everyone with the same amount of suspicion…unless you are doing something stupid and then their suspicion goes even higher. (Of course their are racist cops, and people in general. But they come in all shapes, sizes and colors. And they are not the majority.)

By the way, the color of our skin is only skin deep. Literally. We all look the same on the inside. And, if you want to get down to it, we’re all originally of Middle Eastern decent. So who cares?? Let’s stop this black vs. white issue and start caring about people because it’s the right thing to do. Treat them right. Do the right thing. The 1960’s aren’t coming back…unless the NAACP brings it back.

Here are the news stories that I located on each of these tragedies:

Trayvon Martin as Aggressor — WRAL & FoxNews

Hundreds Rally — WRAL

The Black Male Code — WRAL

US Could Bring Hate Charge — WRAL

Pair Set 13-year-old Boy on Fire — KMBC

  • aletafordbaker

    hi there, Suze, good post – things have changed a tad – what with the guy and his girlfriend lying about the money and speaking ‘in code’ – but what you have said is still true – racism is racism – irrational hate for a group of people for whatever reason – actually I found your newer post on etiquette for Pinterest, that’s why I am here LOL – that post is very good too 🙂 happy Pinning! – aleta

    • Suze

      Hi Aleta,

      I’ll be honest, I haven’t been following this story recently. A lot of that is due to the decrease in media attention directed toward it. I don’t know that Zimmerman is innocent — but we still should proceed on the assumption that he is innocent until proven guilty (and though he may not have been terribly honest in all aspects, I still haven’t seen evidence that he is guilty).

      And like you said, racism is racism. It’s still alive and well, and, unfortunately, perpetuated in a lot of cases by minorities (though, I certainly won’t deny there are racist Caucasians out there — I know there are). And that’s one of the saddest things to me.

      Thanks for your thoughts! We hope you’ll come back and visit.

      -Suze