In the blitz of angry, heartbroken writing and media responses about Trayvon Martin’s murder, we have rightfully zeroed in on racism as the critical point to decry .
Too many black people are killed with no media attention or public outrage. So here we are stopping to take notice that this is not a post-racial time in America, that this killing is not okay.
May this hideous tragedy bring us together in common sense and heart, and away from killing and hate.
May it serve to teach us the truth about where we are as a people, as a country, so that our energies can be harnessed and directed to heal what lies between us, black and white, gay or straight, whatever our differences.
Many people have questioned whether the news would tell a different story had Trayvon been a white young man killed by a black man.
We all know there is an excellent chance that, yes, had that been so, the killing would be spun differently, as would public interpretation.
Never mind that, as it happens, the security guard killer, George Zimmerman, was probably not white. Here is where race should not be an issue. The issue is killing. Period.
However, America has racism, however unexplored and hiding in the bushes, in the heavily promoted, artificially labeled, “post-racialism” of Obama’s presidency.
Therefore, it is worth mentioning that in spite of Zimmerman’s not-so-clear racial make-up, (this lack of clarity an interesting fact, since this killing is specifically discussed as a racist act), the murder stands as a black and white case in the public anyway. This is evidence of the ongoing history of hate between blacks and whites in America; so much so that it trumps other obvious racial details.
Speaking of obvious details, if Zimmerman had been equipped with mace rather than a gun, Martin would be alive today and the story a radically different, less explosive one to contemplate.
Shame on you, Florida, for allowing a “Stand Your Ground” law which permits people, including those who are emotionally unhinged or mentally unbalanced, to kill. What is the definition of feeling threatened?
How many people have potentially reacted based on personal terrors or feelings of fear, by shooting down others under this law, I wonder.
And where does this law come from; how is it justified?
Maybe Florida is a seriously dangerous place, rather than the politically challenged Florida of stand-up comedy.
Maybe we have missed the point on Florida, turned our noses and our backs on the place; designated as America’s not-so-bright family member by outsiders. Maybe the comedy of Florida has always been serious.
Yet it is far more than Florida’s sociology, politics, and outrageous self-defense law that we speak about here. Racism is everywhere.
The point is, this tragedy is marked by both racism and out-of-control gun use.
Self-defense comes in many forms. Surely homicide is not the only choice. And yes, there are people who should never be allowed to make the choice to shoot or not.
I don’t have the answer to the matter of cleaning up the alarming mess and dangers of our gun laws.
We need to figure that out.
All I know is that this particular “Bang, Bang” tragedy is a wake-up about guns and hatred for all of us in America.