Sunday, July 14, 2013

Post Trial Reflections of Racism

As I sit here tonight, the George Zimmerman verdict has just been recently announced in the death of Trayvon Martin.  Just in case you’re living in a hole in the ground, Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges.  I’m not going to comment directly on that verdict, as to whether he should or should not have been convicted.  The jury has spoken and my opinion regarding the outcome is moot.  What is bothering me is all of the racial animosity and hatred that is being generated.

I am a white dude.  I can’t change that…it is what it is.  As such, I cannot fully comprehend the experiences that my friends that are black have lived through.  There are some folks in this country today that seem to think that racism is a thing of the past.  I have no illusions in that regard.  Racism against black folks does still exist and as a white dude, I cannot really understand the impact that it has on those of my friends who are black.  I just can’t.

On the other hand, I can understand it a little in the sense that it seems that this event has sparked feelings of animosity against the white community regardless of who they are…regardless of their innocence or guilt with regard to racism…regardless of their opinion on the case.  I saw a post on Facebook earlier today where there was a push to get all black folks to call in sick out of protest and boycott all across the country…unless the employer happened to be a company that was owned by a black person.  I’ve seen other posts that were much more angry and militant against white folks in general...not white folks connected to the case...just folks that happened to be white.

So, tell me, why would the owner of a flower shop in Laramie, Wyoming for instance need to be boycotted because of a trial verdict in Sanford, Florida?  What possible connection is there?  It is only the color of his/her skin.

This animosity has made me feel indirectly hated simply because I am white.  My sense of fairness, which runs pretty deep in me, cried out inside me when I saw the above mentioned post that this was WRONG!  This is the same sense of fairness that has always told me things like excluding black kids from certain schools was WRONG, or excluding black families from certain neighborhoods was WRONG! 

Folks, racism...regardless of who the racist is…is WRONG!

As for the tragic death of Trayvon, let’s consider a couple of questions:

Assuming we reverse the races of the two key players…let’s make Trayvon a teenage white kid….let’s make George Zimmerman a black man who is the neighborhood watch captain.  Let’s say the same event occurred just as it was described.  Ask yourself, would this change your view of the situation?  Try to be honest with yourself.

1.       If you are a white person, would you have suddenly been calling for the full conviction?

2.       If you are a black person, would you have jumped to the defense’s side?

Hmmm.  Are you being honest with yourself?  I think if people were willing to be honest, there would be people jumping ship on both sides.  White folks would be up in arms because an innocent white kid was killed just walking home from a market!  Some black folks would be crying foul because a black man was "unfairly" arrested for defending himself when he was just doing something to help the neighborhood.  Regardless of how right or wrong those positions may or may not be, there would be people jumping to those spots simply because of skin color. 

Racism itself is not racist.  Racism is an evil that itself doesn’t show a preference for race…it will inject itself equally and without bias into the heart of any willing party.  It clouds the mind, hardens the heart, and pays no attention to the outward appearance of the person in whom it inhabits.

I’ve got my opinions on the case…just like everyone else.  However, I will keep them to myself.  Please do not assume to know where I stand on this. 

I do want to say that I cherish my friendships with ALL of my friends regardless of their skin color, I am absolutely appalled at racism in ALL FORMS, and I’m just sitting here hoping that suddenly some of my friends are not going to be hating on me because I happen to be white.

I Peter 4:8  Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Love to all.


1 comment:

  1. "This animosity has made me feel indirectly hated simply because I am white." Maybe that's what we need - to feel what racial, ethnic, religious and gender minorities have felt since this country founded on "liberty and justice for all" was born.
    Laws - and attitudes - that allow someone to deliberately create a confrontation, kill someone and suffer no legal consequences, are wrong.