Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Trayvon's Killing Wasn't Racism

It was murder inspired by racism. What's the freakin' difference, you might ask. Well, racism has never killed people. Let's be clear on this, because I think it matters. Just as guns don't kill people, racism merely provides motive. Trayvon Martin most likely wouldn't be dead if he were white, but I have no absolute proof of that. It's also a damaging argument to make. Was George Zimmerman racist? Of course! But nobody would have cared about some racist failure to thrive case if he hadn't shot someone. I don't think it comes as a surprise to anyone that there are racists in this country. I also don't think it would come as a surprise to people that I think racism is declining in the United States. Unfortunately I can't find and polls to back me up here. I'm just saying that every day thousands of old racists die and thousands of more liberal, open minded children are born. We've obviously tipped the balance to where it's no longer acceptable for racists to be open about their hate. So things get a little better very slowly.

What I find really scary about Trayvon Martin's murder is the implicit racism of the Sanford police and of the Florida Republicans who authored the "Stand Your Ground" law. They take "conservative" to a whole new level and want to bring us back to an ungoverned wild west anarchy where disputes are settled by the gun. Don't wait for the government (police) to come help you - carry a gun and fix it yourself. Isn't this how the Hatfields and McCoys got started? Out in the Appalachian backwoods, there's no justice system to sort things out when someone hurts someone else. The only justice in that situation is revenge.

If George Zimmerman is immune for murdering a child walking in his own neighborhood, then our society is dead. Did you haters read that? A child was walking in his own neighborhood and was murdered because a sick man with a gun felt threatened and entitled. Did you walk around your neighborhood as a child? Do your children? Are any of your neighbors crazy paranoid freakbags like Zimmerman? Will you only find out when your son is murdered?

Georgia has one of those stupid "stand your ground" laws too. If my sons ever get in a fight (although of course I'm sure that will never happen since boys never fight), will someone pull out a gun and kill them, knowing the police won't even investigate? Will the police say that my boys deserved to be killed because one time a year prior they were suspended for school for (smoking/cheating/being tardy)? Will they say that it was OK because when they were attacked they fought back? I don't want my kids growing up in the Wild West. Actually, I'm pretty sure in the actual wild west murdering children was frowned on. Welcome to the Tea Party Wild West. Strike 1 if you live there. Strike 2 if you happen to be of controversial heritage - that is, if you're Black or Jewish or Mexican or even some uppity woman.

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