Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Who Killed Trayvon Martin?


Trayvon Martin, February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012 




For my readers who are white--which, let’s face it, is probably most of my readership right now--this might be hard to read.  I can only attempt to mollify you with the fact that it is also hard to write. Remember, I’m white, too.  Despite this fact, I ask that you read it anyway. All the way through. I ask you to not only read, but to be vigilant when you see or feel your own defenses arise. Use your imagination and your courage to climb that defensive barrier to see what’s on the other side.  It’s painful, but it isn’t fatal, and I have to believe that such an act of bravery can offer some hope for us all. I have to believe this, or I’d sink into an abysmal depression.

I’m probably going to anger some people here. I wish I could tell you I’m sorry, but I’m not. I love you, Dear Readers, but I’m not sorry. Because I’m angry, too.

Back when I was a social work grad student at Smith (an institution that “officially” identifies itself as an “anti-racism” institution, while--at least, when I was there-- simultaneously ignoring the socioeconomic consequences of racism. Tuition was high, and the vast majority of my classmates were still white), I had a class called “sociocultural concepts” with a really great professor named Ken.  One focus of the class was an examination of the various factors that shape one’s worldview, for good or ill, and that tend to remain too often below a given individual’s awareness. That is, we often tend to assume that our worldview is shared by others--particularly if we happen to belong to the dominant race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or socioeconomic class of the place where we live.  In that instance, we have the luxury of ignoring other worldviews.  How nice for us. Also, particularly here in the good ol’ USA, we tend to think of our successes in meritocratic terms, even when our own merits are only part of the big picture.  Heck, we can even manage to see our failures in meritocratic terms, by which I mean that even when a situation isn’t so great, we tell ourselves it must be praiseworthy because, after all, it’s our situation (if you need an example here, try the US healthcare system, broken beyond belief, yet there are those fighting to preserve it in its current dismal state, insisting it’s “the best in the world”. No. For crying out loud, No, it’s not).

We can get very comfortable in our “group” at the expense of seeing or understanding others whom we don’t perceive as being part of that group. Sometimes I think this dampening of awareness and heightening of “otherness” is a willful; even purposeful compulsion we humans have, and I’ve written about it on this blog before.

As I’ve been working around the house today, I’ve been listening to the news and hearing a lot about the killing of young Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. Each time I hear a report about it, it brings tears to my eyes, then anger, then more tears.  I think of how afraid he must have been, how bewildered about what was happening.  I think of his parents and friends, the sorrow of their loss and their rage at the injustice of it, and at the fact that it is also nothing new. It’s been big and growing news for the past week--which is strange, since it happened last month. Why did it take this long?



Trayvon Martin, February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012  


Back when I took that class at Smith, we watched a film that has stayed with me. It’s called “Who Killed Vincent Chin?” We were to write a paper discussing our emotional response to it. It was to be 2 or 3 pages, but I struggled to keep it within that limitation.  The movie was a documentary about the murder of Chinese-American Vincent Chin in Detroit, who was mistaken for Japanese and beaten to death while police apparently watched for a while, by two auto assembly line workers, angered by their perception that auto workers in the dominant Japan industry had robbed them of their jobs (you know, the jobs they were entitled to as Americans, even if American cars at the time were garbage). The killers had just left a strip club, so it would seem their lack of respect wasn’t reserved for Asians alone. The film documents the outrage the case generated when both of Chin’s murderers received ridiculously lenient “sentences”, if they could even be called sentences. The men served no jail time after a plea bargain, and

were given three years probation, fined $3,000 and ordered to pay $780 in court costs. In a response letter to protests from American Citizens for Justice, Kaufman said, "These weren't the kind of men you send to jail... You don't make the punishment fit the crime; you make the punishment fit the criminal." (Wikipedia and Helen Zia (2000). Asian American Dreams. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.)

My time at Smith was 10 years ago, though I can hardly believe that as I write it. Vincent Chin’s murder was 30 years ago, in 1982. And I realize that these tears I’ve shed in the last few days while listening to the news aren’t just because of Trayvon Martin, though that would be enough. It’s because of the realization of how little has changed. Sure, we have a black man in the White House, but what’s changed so much for minorities who don’t live on Pennsylvania Avenue?

I don’t know anyone personally who has said to me or in my presence that, because of Obama, we live in a “post-racial” society.  But I’ve heard talk of this; that is, I’ve heard people say that people say this. Do they really? Who are these people? Self-congratulatory white folks somewhere who voted for him and thought that was enough? I mean, really. . . who are they? And what kind of magic pills have they been taking?

I’ve also heard talk on the news and in commentaries that, had the situation been reversed, had a black man shot a white teenager, we wouldn’t be hearing about “stand your ground” laws. Sadly, I find this plausible, even probable. It’d make news, but a different kind of news. Now, if it was a black man shooting a black man, we wouldn’t be having the conversation at all. It wouldn’t make the national news.  It wouldn’t be considered newsworthy by those who make such determinations. In fact, this happens all the time.

I have nieces and nephews that I love, a lot.  More than I could adequately describe, really. I worry about them, worry about their health and happiness. But one thing that I, as the white aunt of these white children, have never worried about--even though the oldest of them has a few hoodies in his wardrobe and probably wouldn’t turn down an offer of Skittles and a soda--is that some paranoid maniac would hunt them down and shoot them in cold blood because they look “suspicious” (read: black). I can honestly say, one of the privileges of my white, middle-classness is that these thoughts never occurred to me. I have enough sense to know that this isn’t because my nieces and nephews are better kids, more deserving of freedom and safety. But think about it. Imagine you’re an African American parent who just turned off tonight’s news, and your honor-student son who, like most teenagers, likes to wear what all the kids are wearing--baggy pants, hoodie maybe, sneakers untied--tells you he wants to have the car tonight, to go to his white friend’s house. If you’re a parent, this might sound pretty familiar. But really--imagine you and your kid are black, if you aren’t.

How does that feel?
I tried it just now. It felt lousy, in a few different ways.
But only because I tried really hard to be honest about it.

How it must tear at them to be keenly aware of the world in which we live, to want to protect their kids from all the things that white parents fear, but more. How do you protect them from something as monumental and persistent and illogical as racism? How do you protect them from a culture and a nation built from institutions which support, and even depend upon, the perpetuation of this notion of “otherness” in its innumerable oppressive forms? How do you protect them, while simultaneously allowing them to feel good about the world? What a balancing act that must be.

Here’s the hardest part, though. I can cry for Trayvon and his family.  I can cry for minorities of all sorts, in general, as I try my best to understand what difficulties they face on a daily basis, still, in 2012. As a woman, I know some of those difficulties first-hand.  I can rail against and condemn George Zimmerman, Trayvon’s killer. And I do, unequivocally. But it would be disingenuous if that was all I was willing to do. It would not only be disingenuous--it would be useless.  Because without acknowledging those parts of Zimmerman that live inside me--albeit in a much milder form--I will only find myself railing again in a few weeks or months or years, when the next Trayvon Martin is in the headlines and the next police department under investigation, with most likely disappointing results.


No, that’s not what I mean to say--there can be no next, no other Trayvon. I’m sure his family would tell you and me that he was one of a kind; precious and irreplaceable. And of course, they’d be right.

In all likelihood, even Zimmerman didn’t become a racist overnight. Who failed to challenge his warped beliefs with other ideas? Who disagreed, but tacitly accepted them? Who made it safe for him to become what he is? What am I doing to challenge the knee-jerk, racist responses I have sometimes observed in myself?



Trayvon Martin


So, what can I do? What must I do? This is challenging, for a number of reasons. In a previous post I wrote called “The Other”, I talked about our need to “mythologize” about people, to fabricate collective identities for groups of people we perceive as different in some way, in order to reinforce our idealized self-image. Where real differences exist, we also mythologize the reasons for those differences--inferiority, deficiencies of character or intellect, etc. But what I didn’t mention in that piece was a quite sinister element to this mythologizing process, where we ferret out those who are “with us” and those who are “against us”--those who are willing to weave their own thread into the tapestry of our collective myth, and those who are suspect in their silence or dissent. The question looms: how far will we take the myth in order to belong? If I acknowledge real inequities in the world, if I acknowledge the flip-side of racism that comes in the form of unearned power and advantage, am I a traitor? Do I lose my own identity?

The short answer is “no”. You aren’t a traitor and you don’t lose your identity. You get the chance to really live up to your idealized self-image and the idealized image of your “group”. You get to shake off the myths and illusions, and really be who you are, warts and all, and to come to truly know who are these “others” you’ve heard so much about. You can stop pretending or trying to live up to a falsehood. You’re free to succeed or fail truly on your merits, as can others.

You get to stop being afraid.
We get to stop being afraid of each other.

In the title of this post, I wanted to extend the question posed in the movie about Vincent Chin, and include other victims of hate and ignorance and unconsciousness and cowardice: 


Who killed James Byrd?
I did.
Who killed Matthew Shepard?
You did.
Who killed Laci Peterson?
We did.
Who killed Tyler Clementi?
All of us.

In all of these, we might know who shot the gun or swung the bat, or tied the ropes, but if we look closely and honestly, we’ll see an ever-widening circle of culpability. We see our habitual silence in the face of injustices such as these. We see police or prosecutors who do nothing, and who protect their own, or protect the privileged. We pay to see comedians who tell derogatory jokes about gays and women. We look the other way when men go to strip clubs that exploit and objectify women, because "boys will be boys". We see news organizations that are only willing to focus on African Americans when they commit a crime, but seldom when they are the victims, and we say nothing about this. We see pictures and videos on TV of missing beautiful blonde daughters, while beautiful black daughters and sons disappear without mention every day, while Mexican sons and daughters are slaughtered by drug cartels. We say nothing when the co-worker disparages the race or sexuality of another co-worker. We allow paranoid remarks about our Muslim neighbors to go unchecked. We stay silent when some idiot speaks of being “Jew-ed down” on a deal. We allow real human beings to be reduced to epithets like “illegals” or “retards”. We allow women to be raped or abused, then accuse them of lying about it. We refuse to look inside and confront the enemy within.

In short, we allow a climate of suspicion, ignorance and fear to grow and to thrive because we can. Because we feel safe ignoring what we perceive as “other people’s” misfortune, forgetting our inescapable interconnectedness. As long as we’re not the targets, all is well. We are, apparently, quite content in our cowardice--all of us, at one time or another. Be honest--ask yourself where you’ve failed in this regard, failed to do what’s right, or at least speak up. See it, and make a vow to do better and create the kind of “global climate change” that we actually need. Even suspecting that I’ll sometimes fail, I’m making this vow, here and now. Will you?

So, who killed Trayvon Martin?
Perhaps the more apt question is, “Who didn’t?”







[3/25/12: as an update since the initial posting of this essay, I'd like to sadly add one more to the list of questions above: Who killed Shaima Alawadi ? ]





Related, and worth reading:


White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, by Peggy McIntosh


The Trayvon Martin Story is Too Perfect, by Tommy Christopher


A Mother's Reflections on the Death of Trayvon Martin, by Frances Cudjoe Waters


How to Talk to Young Black Boys About Trayvon Martin, by Toure'


Florida Teen's Killing a Parent's Greatest Fear, by Corey Dade


Trayvon Martin was Afraid, Too, by Michel Martin


Trayvon, Emmmett and Dangerous Black Bodies, by the Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, Ph.D.



16 comments:

  1. You are a very insightful person with a strong social consciousness and you raise a very important point. I, however, have to disagree. Yes society is partially responsible because of its silence and it is wrong to ignore hateful acts like these but neither you nor I are responsible for George Zimmerman's racism. Zimmerman (by that I mean Zimmerman, the homophobes who killed Shepherd and all the others) is responsible for his own prejudice. He chose to listen to the influences that pushed in that direction rather than the other way. I am sure he did not grow up in a White Supremacist compound. My friends and I grew up playing with bullet casings and other war games but did not become murderers. So in my opinion if we focus on society's responsibilities alone because that would absolve monsters like those people of their own responsibility.

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  2. Thanks for reading and offering your perspective, Pinky. If in my post I've given the impression that Zimmerman isn't the one responsible for what he did, or that we should only focus on society's role, then I've communicated myself poorly. That isn't what I'm trying to say at all.

    I think we need to focus on both--you're right that we shouldn't absolve people like Zimmerman by focusing solely on society. But I think the reverse is also true--by ignoring macro-factors, we absolve ourselves as a society of responsibility for the structures we've created that permit and even reinforce oppression and violence toward specific groups. There's no accounting for the forces that helped you and your friends not to grow up to be murderers, despite growing up in a war zone. But you can be sure such influences were there--parents, other relatives, teachers or friends, access to education, perhaps. The strongest influence was for good, clearly, and you're fortunate for that, but this is not always the case. While Zimmerman was responsible for his choice to be suspicious of difference and to follow that suspicion up with violence, I doubt Zimmerman's issues started with his 9-1-1 call, or even with the break-ins in his neighborhood. Barring mental illness or drug use as influences (which is possible), something in the social environment failed to offer adequate checks on his behavior, and on his belief system in general. He wouldn't have to live in a supremacist camp for such checks to be absent or in too-short supply, I'm afraid. Somehow, the social environment (at home or in the larger community) helped such attitudes to grow and to thrive with disastrous results. Something allowed him to think his actions were righteous or a good idea, something made him feel safe doing what he did. Something made him feel *entitled* to do what he did; to curtail the freedom of another and to impose his will upon them to the point of killing them.
    I'm trying in my humble way to get us to look at white privilege, which allows us to ignore the forces that shape people like Zimmerman, and that shape the fates of people like Trayvon. I'm also trying to get us to look at other forms of privilege--male privilege, straight privilege, and in this country, even Christian privilege, which confer unearned benefits and unearned power upon members of those groups, and allow them the luxury of looking the other way when "others" face injustices, large and small. I know white people who are conscious and who do what they can to make a more equal world. I know men who try to do their part on behalf of women. I know Christians who speak out for minority religions and for the rights of the gay community. I would say that you and I are among them. But for myself, even with my "strong social conscience", I have to work hard at recognizing my own prejudices and "-isms" and privilege, and I struggle to dismantle them--not always successfully. I struggle sometimes to speak up in the face of people who are not socially conscious and who do and say despicable things. Hell, even writing this blog post was anxiety-provoking, even though I firmly believe what I've written here.
    But it isn't enough for you and I to engage in this exploration and self-appraisal. Clearly, it isn't enough. The world needs many, many more people in privileged positions to wake up to the humanity of "the other" and the reality of an "us", and actively pursue greater justice and equity; to be allies of those who are not similarly privileged. What we give up is nothing compared to what we stand to gain, all of us.
    Thank you, again, for reading and taking the time to share your viewpoint here. I'm grateful for such willingness and courage.

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  3. I love your passion and your moral outrage, but I reject your premise of universal guilt. Yes, most of us are guilty at one time or another of not standing up against bad behavior, but people who act badly do so because they feel compelled to or they just plain want to. If you are happy being a trigger-happy racist, there are plenty of other trigger-happy racists to hang-out with and to applaud your warped thinking. Our disgust will only deepen their solidarity.

    For this murder, there is plenty of blame to go around. Bad laws and bad enforcers of the law are pretty obvious culprits. They should be (and I think) will be appropriately dealt with. Though it is sometimes difficult to see it, we are a society that continues to evolve. We are better than we were in the 1980s, 1960s, and 1940s. It's just that sometimes we need to be reminded of that.

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    1. HI Bruce. Nice to see you here--it's been a while. I appreciate your willingness to offer a dissenting opinion, as I think that whether we agree or not, it's a conversation that needs to take place if we're to ever deepen our understanding and come to grips with our shared role as agents of change.

      I'm not sure that our disgust will deepen anyone's solidarity. I suppose that's a possibility, but in my lifetime, until this case, I haven't seen among whites what I'd consider a significant showing of disgust. Yes, we see some. But not enough, and not a sustained commitment to change. We are part of the dominant group, the beneficiaries of systemic inequities that we often fail to recognize or acknowledge--systemic inequities that allow, for example, a police force to develop a culture that profiles certain individuals or applies the law differently depending on who is impacted. The bad laws and bad enforcers do not arise in a vacuum. They are products of something deeper and wider. True, some will behave badly and do horrible things because of compulsion or because, as you say, they "just plain want to", but I think it might not be that simple in extreme cases like this one. I confess here to occasional moments where I would just plain want to do some pretty awful things to someone (indulge me here by imagining what it's like to live every day with NY and NJ drivers. It shouldn't be hard in the greater Boston area to empathize with this), but something keeps me from this--and the self-control and moral development I possess that prevents me from making headlines didn't occur by accident. It is supported by a great unseen network of influences on the personal and societal level, I think, going back to my own beginnings or perhaps even further. But I do take your point--there are definitely some people out there who are warped beyond reasoning.

      It's true that our society is evolving, and like Dr King said, I do believe "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." But I can not escape the fact that you and I have the luxury of patience with that process, as we are not nearly as harshly or directly impacted by the failings of this "moral universe", at least where the subject at hand--racism--is concerned. I try to empathize with the black community more deeply by thinking about the rage I sometimes feel as a woman, faced with almost daily insults, large and small, to my personhood. Virginia Slims might think we've come a long way, but I don't see it that way at all. I know a lot of my male friends would disagree. It's easy for them to be satisfied with baby-steps for me and 'my kind'.

      While the killing of Trayvon Martin was the catalyst for this post, there are larger issues that relate to this incident that I think are worthy of discussion, and healthy dialog. White privilege is one of them.

      I've seen some new emails and faces from this post, new visitors to this site, and I'm glad. I'm hoping that more of my readers who are white will follow the link in this post to a wonderful paper by Peggy McIntosh, called "White Privilege: unpacking the invisible knapsack". It's found here: http://www.nymbp.org/reference/WhitePrivilege.pdf

      Thanks again for taking the time to read and to comment, Bruce. I hope to see more on your blog soon, too. I always enjoy your writing, and recommend to anyone else reading this that they check it out.

      Peace,
      "Blanche"

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  4. As I sat hear and read your article I felt saddened, angered and guilty of much of what you where saying. I am saddened by the loss of another young life and angered that it was again, racially motivated. As you know I have any nieces and nephews myself. My son wears his hoodies, gauged earring and looks at times"suspicios" to those that do not know him. I am constantly telling him people judge you by how you look...he insists That I am wrong (of course I am I am the mom) then he watched the news with us listened as they told the honorifics details of a child's death, of Trayvons' death. And he realized that the only differencebetweenhim and this other young man was the color of their skin....after a few choice words, his disgust and then sad realization that mom was right came over him. He stood up and with what appeared to be tears in his eyes walked outside. I followed, and there my tough young man sat visibly shaken that this young life was snubbed out because he looked suspicious....or as he said " just like me, but black". Thanks for putting into words what so many of us our feeling. Once again, you hit the nail on the head...love you cuz...jacqui

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    1. Thanks for reading and adding to the conversation, Jaq. While I wish it could happen in other ways, without the need of tragedy, I'm glad to hear of such epiphanies occurring. I'm sure your son's is not the only one this week. These conversations are so important, so thank you for having one in your house. I hope it continues.
      It's tempting to say that if some grand awakening might occur from this, then Trayvon didn't die in vain. Tempting, but I won't go that far. No kid says, "When I grow up, I want to be a symbol of so much that's wrong in my nation". I hardly think his parents would have chosen for their son to become a symbol, a martyr. They just wanted their son, alive, and the chance to watch him become a man.

      This family was robbed, like so many others. We can't ever make it right.

      But I hope we'll try anyway.

      XO. Love you, too.

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    2. Most young men Trayvon Slimm Martin's age post a lot of pictures of themselves on various social websites.
      But every picture I see of him is seriously out-of-date.
      Why no recent pictures do you suppose?
      Was he "camera shy" or something?

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    3. I'm not sure how you'd know if they're out of date--are you a friend or family member? I haven't seen any photos with date-stamps on them, so I can't claim to know how up to date they are. I also can't claim to know how that would be even remotely relevant.

      In the ones I've seen, he looks young--perhaps because he was. He looks to me about the age of two of my nephews, aged 16 and 17. If he's younger than that in the photos, perhaps when providing images of him, his family and friends chose the ones they liked the best, the ones that represent the way they remember him. For his parents, perhaps that's as "their little boy".

      But assuming your peculiar assessment is correct and the photos aren't very recent, perhaps that's for the same reason that I don't show off a lot of recent photos of myself, either--never quite happy with how they look.

      The next time one of my family members is planning on being murdered, I'll be sure to suggest they head to the Sears portrait studio beforehand. I hope that might make conspiracy theorists and the like feel better and more secure.

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    4. Mr. Martin has been described by the media as being 6'2" - 6'3". Every picture of him which I have seen depicts a shorter and younger individual.

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    5. I've been reading about this story pretty much non-stop for about a week now. I haven't seen any reports of Martin's height except one that described him as "tall and lanky--about 140 pounds". If he was 6' 2" to 6' 3" that would be beyond "lanky".

      Nevertheless, I fail to see its relevance, as I said before. I have yet to see a full-length shot of him. If the photos are not up to date, all of the reasons I've stated above could easily account for that.

      My 17 year old nephew is 6' 7". If you saw a head and shoulder shot of him, you would probably never guess from it how tall he is, or from his baby face, how old he is.

      But let's say Trayvon was 6' 3". And let's say the pictures aren't up to date. Totally irrelevant. I hardly think the absence of current pictures means he had something to hide or that he had no right to be walking in his father's neighborhood, even in the rain, even slowly and looking at houses there.

      And if this was a white kid that was murdered, would you be posing questions about his pictures?

      Why didn't Natalie Holloway's parents show a less flattering photo of their beautiful blonde daughter when she was first missing? What were they trying to hide? How were they trying to manipulate us all (even though they hardly needed to for the story to get attention. She was white, after all)?

      See what a ridiculous question it is?

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  5. I hope it's ok to chime in here as I am probably not the audience this post was meant for. I am one of the parents that worries every single moment. One who feels some days I am caring for endangered species instead of two boys, young men now. My oldest son is 20 and has autism. He is a big guy not overweight but solid and has a tendency to jump up and flap when he is excited. He may yell out if he's overstimulated and it can make for some very uncomfortable moments when we are out in the mall or a store. My 15 year old is a freshman in high school and from what I have read around the same size as Trayvon. I can say that over the past few years my 15 year old has changed so much it would be hard to recognize him if I weren't constantly taking photos. I have vacation pictures from 2009 where I was taller than him and he still had his baby face. A year later he was 2 inches taller than me with a mustache. Maybe there isn't some nefarious conspiracy to the pictures the media has used. Maybe it's just that Trayvon changed a lot over the past few years, lately he was more apt for photos his friends have taken and his parents didn't have immediate access to, and his parents didn't really think it was that big of a deal. I know personally when I look at my 15 year old I still see the 11 year old who couldn't take a photo without the peace sign and walked around with yugioh cards in his pocket.Considering the enormity of the past month is it reasonable to expect the parents to think about something like when the photo was taken?

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  6. Thanks for your comment, and thanks for reading, Cat. All audiences are welcome here for this post, or any other.

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  7. @Blanche DuBois

    Thank you for writing this thoughtful and thought-provoking essay, which promotes understanding and inspire hope.

    I thought you might be interested to see that there are other writers who, like you, have been drawing a comparison between Trayvon Martin and Vincent Chin.

    An Asian American’s Thoughts On The Killing Of Trayvon Martin
    http://www.8asians.com/2012/03/28/an-asian-americans-thoughts-on-the-killing-of-trayvon-martin/

    Myth of a Post-Racialized America: Trayvon Martin, Vincent Chin
    http://bamboooffshoot.com/2012/03/27/myth-of-a-post-racialized-america-revisited-trayvon-martin-vincent-chin/

    FROM VINCENT CHIN TO TRAYVON MARTIN
    http://rafu.com/news/2012/03/from-vincent-chin-to-trayvon-martin/

    The recollections of the killing of Vincent Chin (and the sufferings of his mother, Lily Chin), and the wider issues of race, white privilege, justice and inequality brought to the surface by the killing of Trayvon Martin illustrates William Faulkner's saying, "The past is never dead. it's not even past."

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    1. Thank you for reading and for your comment, and providing these links to further the discussion. If we are ever to escape Faulkner's assertion and bring forth a day when there are fewer cases like Trayvon Martin's and Vincent Chin's, it will take just such discussions, and a lot of honest reflection on the part of dominant groups. It will also take compassion on all sides---as I read and hear in the media voices of fear and frustration coming from my own race, I see how hard such honest reflection can be, how terrifying it is for some to accept another viewpoint from the one to which they've grown accustomed and which informs their whole self-image. I hope that enough people will have the courage to engage in such reflection anyway, and come to see the healing power of honesty. . .and hopefully, one day, forgiveness.
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. Blanche I loved the way you handled that comment about the currentness of Trayvon's pictures. Someone did the same thing to me when I was speaking of him on the on another blog; and I was so incensed I couldn't come up with the clear, yet sensibly remarkable answer you did. I recognized, as you did you, that this was a defensive maneuver to "cloudy the picture," just as telling us how many Black children Zimmerman mentored is; but was so "thrown off" I couldn't respond. Thank you for this wonderful blog. I often read it but have never responded. You have such a good spirit and "heart."

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    1. Thanks for reading this and others, Anonymous. I appreciate this supportive comment, especially when so much else that I've been reading of people's reactions to the case has been so disheartening and discouraging to me. Keep stopping by--nice to have you here.

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