We write for change. We march for change. We speak for change and it seems that CHANGE only comes in spurts, while thunderstorms of injustice continues to reign supreme. On Saturday Night, I was dumbfounded and angry upon hearing the news that George Zimmerman had been found ‘Not guilty” in the trial brought against him for the murder of young Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old black youth who truthfully is no different from any other teenager-feeling themselves at that age and yet, the defense set out to taint the reputation of tis murdered teenager. Boy, did they succeed!
This defense team were so good at TWISTING THE TRUTH, they led the jurors to forget the facts; Zimmerman set out to apprehend this black kid walking in an upscale white neighbor…Forget that his father lived there, Zimmerman, his gun in his pocket, went looking for this teenager HE perceived as trouble. Zimmerman,the aggressor set out to follow an unarmed kid who was simply walking home from the store, his hoodie covering him against the rain… Walking, not robbing, disturbing or trying to accost anyone else. Didn’t this child have the right to walk at night? Did he deserve to die for it?
What did people think would happen during this altercation? That Trayvon Martin wouldn’t fight back? And so the younger Trayvon was getting the best of the older Zimmerman in a fight. Did Zimmerman have to kill him? I can see for myself with certainty and clarity, the travesty & mockery done to Trayvon Martin and his family. Would the outcome have been different if Trayvon had been white and Zimmerman, black? Sadly, with a heavy heart-”Yes!”
As we continue to live in a world where people of color are continually being denied their humane rights; the first to be accused, the last to be hired and the first to be fired …I think about how it’s all been said and done before. Growing up during the times of Jim Crow taught me how racism works. It’s sometimes subtle, oftentimes explained away and all the time, mired in reflections of disbelief.
Still, people of color remain hopeful. I remember a famous talk show host, speaking on the topic of “race” some years ago, as she agreed with her guest that racism had “gotten so much better than it used to be.” I was holding my child in my arms and thinking, “Lady, you’re a damned fool.” Then as now,nobody liked to address the elephant in the whole United States Of America- this great Racial Divide!
Perhaps, if we lived in a perfect world, of perfect people; where all races are willing to share honest dialogue, instead of ignorant behaviors, insensitive stereotypes and self proclaimed entitlement issues; we could all make it a better world.
I live in a small suburban town in Illinois. The town is known for its racial profiling. Everyone is aware of the history of this small town. People of color have a sixth sense when it comes to the unlawful acts of white police officers. The consensus is that these people are hired to serve and protect; Not all of them protect. Sometimes they intimidate.
My daughter and I were heading out from grocery shopping recently ( pet peeve of mine, by the way) when suddenly a cop car pulled behind her and tailed her for nearly 10 minutes. Imagine driving black, within the speed limit, everything in order; license, sticker, plates, insurance and the cop continues to tail-gate you? Unnerving and a blatant disrespect for human rights.
I’ve been an advocate for justice for many years. I’ve written to newspapers, schools and judges at the downtown Chicago courts all for the sake of awareness and change. I’ve spoken to women seeking advice about workplace abuse, signed and created petitions against the unfairness of laws enacted to take monies from unemployed and the poor. I’ve even held email conversations with filmmakers fighting against domestic abuse and had conversations with Carrie Clark, state coordinator for WBI (Workplace Bullying Institute) to help pass healthy workplace legislation in Illinois. Shining a light on injustice has become the most disheartening. Those of us who continue to work to help make the world a better place, will not give up the struggle for justice, equality and rights of others. It’s what we do and who we are that drives us to inform and bring awareness.
Being a product of the South,I know the face of racism. I’ve also learned tolerance; not docility or apathy, but, tolerance. I still hope that it someday leads to understanding and healing of wounds that have lain dormant for too many generations. If I could change the world? It would be to bring awareness to the inner workings of us. Only when we, as people can shine a light on our own shortcomings, prejudices, egos and quest for power, can we survive and thrive in this land of freedom and democracy. If you are a participant in discord and hate, examine your humanity. If your are simply a bystander step up and stand for change!
My heart is heavy in regards to so much injustice in our world. I’m tying up loose ends this week as I prepare for an extended vacation. I’m taking several weeks. I hope to see you all back here before September where we’ll work, talk, learn, inspire and support each other in our truths. I will also work on meaningful projects that truly matters to me and hopefully, to the world at large.
Peace & blessings,