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Monday, July 22, 2013

I’ll talk About Race Because You're Afraid To

The heading I chose for this blog was in reference to Attorney General Eric Holder’s words, which are still true today, when he said, "essentially we are a nation of cowards" in failing to openly discuss the issue of race. ”A pundit said that the issue of race is like a horrifying event because we only bring it up after the event occurs.

Racism is “discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race.” We could say that affirmative action is a form of reverse discrimination, even though a lot of us have benefited from it. The Supreme Court punted on affirmative action this time around but it fired a warning shot indicating that its days are numbered.

Trayvon Martin’s death is a good place to start. Sit straight in your chair, lean your head back, and try to imagine a scenario where a young black boy shot and killed a white person who was following him because he was afraid of being being murdered . Don’t be like that poster who said if Trayvon would’ve walked away, he’ll be alive today. The poster never considered the possibility that the same could be said of Zimmerman. We’ll never know what went through Zimmerman’s mind when he first spotted Trayvon but could it have been the young kid’s skin color? If it would have been a white kid walking in that gated community, would it have merited a second glance by Zimmerman?

There’s no doubt that race is a difficult subject to have, as I witnessed the five African -American guests on Meet the Press having difficulty in coming to a common consensus. The guests were, Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League Former Mayor, City of New Orleans Rep. Marcia Fudge, (D-OH) Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Tavis Smiley, Host, “Tavis Smiley Show,” PBS, Charles Ogletree, Professor, Harvard Law School Founder, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, Michael Steele, MSNBC Political Analyst Former Chairman, Republican National Committee. The first subject was about the president’s speech , where Tavis Smiley said it was about time and it didn’t go far enough. Michael Steele made it a political issue and the other three thought it was a positive first step.

We can’t solve the issue by removing the hyphenated distinction and pretend that the races and nationalities don’t have distinctive differences. We certainly won’t solve anything by using the statistics Chris Wallace used a couple of times to justify the shooting of Trayvon Martin. He said that 13% of the population (African Americans) commits half the murders. First, those were from a 2005 report and was he saying that white America has a reason to be scared of young black males? Wallace also emphasized that 93% of young black men who are killed come from black on black crime. Why is that surprising? People are normally killed in their own neighborhood. Adam Lanza did not look for a black school several states away, to commit his murders. Keeping things in perspective will go a long way.

I was not surprised to hear that Sean Hannity made some stupid remarks about the president’s speech on race. It also doesn’t surprise me that the Rev. Al Sharpton is at the forefront of the peaceful demonstrations. The Rev. Al is an activist, and Sean Hannity is feeding red meat to his listeners. That’s what these people do for a living.

A predominantly black city, Detroit, has gone bankrupt but that doesn’t have to happen. We bailed out Wall Street, and the auto industry, so why not Detroit? A lot of racial strife can be avoided with good paying jobs. People will not move back to Detroit unless they hire more policemen and teachers. They need to restore public services before they tackle the difficulty of finding a way to fund their present and future public retirees. Unemployment for black males is 19% but that’s never in our economic plans.

We can’t legislate good race relations but bad legislation like voter suppression and poorly enforced “Stand Your Ground laws” can heighten the tension between the races. The constant negativity towards the poor is based on a perception that minorities do not pull their weight, and most are on the public dole, even thou they are able to work. People who pursue that line of thinking never mention the waste, fraud and abuse in other departments of the Federal government. They use exaggerated stories and filtered statistics as a means to keep their ilk on board.

Race relations are a lot better today than when I was in high school and they will continue that way because our children will see to it. We still have a long way to go because we haven’t had that discussion at the kitchen table or at the community center because a lot of us think that the status quo will do. Remember all the hoopla, when the Muslim community wanted to build a mosque at Ground Zero? The protesters left and the television cameras followed and that mosque sits there today without any fanfare. How did that happen? The Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife sat down with the 9/11 victims and inclusivity eventually won out.

We often hear people coming to this country need to assimilate but won’t say to what standard. That’s a difficult standard to meet when some people think a hoodie is a symbol of gang culture. I think the beauty of America is that you can be your own person and not worry about what others think you should be. Of course if you want to advance in the business world, you have to assimilate to those principles.

This blog may be a poor way to strike up a discussion about race relations but I won’t know that unless someone points out the areas where I am wrong and then the conservation starts.


born2Bme said...

What gets me are all of the comments as to what happened on that night. Only 2 people know what happened and one of them cannot tell his story. We will never know who did what, and when.
Zimmerman was cleared of all of the charges, ONLY because nothing could be proven. It wasn't because he proved he did nothing wrong that night.

Mike said...

Exactly, it was a trial of …he said /she said….. It’s like Sean Hannity saying that Trayvon Martin smoked marijuana that night. The coroner said he found a small trace of marijuana, not knowing how long it takes the drug to stay in the bloodstream, who can tell when he smoked marijuana?

I heard three people say the George Zimmerman was on the bottom others said that he was on top. I heard Trayvon’s mom say that it was her son’s screaming for help on the 9/11 tape and I also heard Zimmerman’s mom say it was her son doing the screaming. Voice expert testimony was not allowed.

We all know that George Zimmerman did not use the Stand Your Ground defense but we also know that juror B37 told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that Stand Your ground instructions were the basis for their decision: “Jurors discussed Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground self-defense law before rendering their not-guilty verdict in George Zimmerman’s trial, one of the jurors told Anderson Cooper

It all came down to “reasonable doubt.”

Mike said...

I watched about 5 minutes of the O'Reilly Factor and went back to the Yankee -Ranger game because he certainly doesn't have a clue...I busted a gut laughing when Karl Rowe told Bill O'Reilly that his talking points at the start of his show was better than President Obama's ...I guarantee you won't hear any serious people discussing O'Reilly's
take on race.....Those guys are a legend in their own mind.

born2Bme said...

birds of a feather...... ; )

Mike said...

The Goliad Massacre story is a perfect example of stroking the fires of racism with revisionist history or a demand to use a derogatory term instead of one that is not contraversial.

Mexico was not the evading army at the Fannin massacre,they were the ruling army.

An immigrant is a person who migrates to another country, usually for permanent residence,so that term can certainly apply but right now they are the deceased.

Don't like the story or the contents ,turn the page and keep turning until you find one you like.

This story and the incident that happened in Victoria County will continue to draw the same responses,year after year.

Mike said...

This is the first poll that I have seen on the Zimmerman verdict.

"Findings released Monday by Pew Research Center showed a massive divide in the public's reaction to the acquittal of George Zimmerman along racial and partisan lines.

The survey found a split to the verdict overall: 39 percent said they were satisfied that the jury found Zimmerman not guilty on all counts in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, while 42 percent said they were dissatisfied.

The divide can be seen even more starkly when the responses are broken down by race. For example, a whopping 86 percent of blacks said they were dissatisfied with the verdict while nearly half of whites — 49 percent — said they were satisfied. Democrats and Republicans were divided on the question, as well. Sixty-one percent of Republicans said they were satisfied with the verdict, compared with 68 percent of Democrats who said they were dissatisfied.

A slight majority of Americans, including 60 percent of whites and 68 percent of Republicans, said that race drew more coverage in the Zimmerman case than it deserved. Blacks and Democrats, not surprisingly, saw it differently. Seventy-eight of blacks and 62 percent of Democrats said the case raised important issues about race that need to be discussed.

It seems about right.

Mike said...

David Mundy’s troll like post typifies what some will do to keep the fires of hatred going.
Mundy didn’t mention George Zimmerman’s police record nor did he insinuate that GZ was going to continue his criminal past…. I don’t think the background of either Trayvon Martin or. George Zimmerman had anything to do with the tragic event…. David Newman said that Trayvon Martin was acting in a suspicious manner… How does he know that?

David Mundy said that Trayvon would’ve likely been killed by his drug dealer or some other lowlifes. Doe that mean that pot smoking students who attend Texas A&M, Texas, Baylor, Incarnate Word, Harvard or Yale are likely to get killed by their drug dealer? There’s a lot of drug consuming at our colleges.

Four jurors wrote a letter stating that they did NOT necessarily agree with the viewpoints of juror 37, so it’s still a he said/she said trial, yet people are making statements as thou they were a stated fact.

I do like the continuing fight between Joe Scarborough and Sean Hannity because it’s entertaining and really about the pot calling the kettle black. When Sean Hannity gets called out where he is left without an answer, he pulls out the ratings card. Sean’s ratings have dropped, but they are still better than Joe Scarboroughs because the old coots keep it on Fox for the mud-slinging.

Mike said...

@DemocratMike: Be sure to watch Obama's speech today at won't be disappointed.