As the old saying goes “everyone and their mama” was talking about the NOT GUILTY verdict, this previous Saturday, given to George Zimmerman in the death of 17-year old Trayvon Martin. The country was divided into many sectors of opinions and beliefs about the case. People (like me) felt that the State of Florida didn’t present a great case – it seemed like an episode of Perry Mason. I’ve heard many ridiculous statements about this case ranging from “This was just like the OJ trial/verdict” to “You stand up more for Trayvon Martin than you do Jesus.” The biggest opinion, however, centered around this tone: no one talks or cares about black-on-black crime. From what I’ve read and heard, this is the biggest reason as to why this case shouldn’t have been given any credence. Now, I understand where some people are coming from when they address certain individuals armchair and keyboard activism. Unsettlingly, the more and more I kept seeing people use that point as the main reason they shouldn’t care, began to make me wonder if there wasn’t more to those statements than what they let on… This constant throwing around of a lack of concern about “black-on-black crime” made me realize that the people who constantly use that point really don’t care about black life… regardless of who is doing the killing.
Those who spouted their opinion about “black-on-black crime” and their belief in the common lack of concern for violence? Well, it shows just as much about them as the people they are speaking about. It shows, at the end of the day, how much THEY don’t care, either way. For them to say that black people are only concerned about the death of Trayvon Martin because of the racial dynamic makes me realize they just want an excuse to not care about ANY Black life. The ideology that people aren’t concerned about the deaths Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, St. Louis, New Orleans, and others takes away from the many, many people in these cities who ARE on the front lines working to make some of these communities better. There are many organizations and people making a difference in the hood, such as Cure Violence . They are in over six cities in this country, and three cities internationally. So don’t say there aren’t people out there concerned about black-on-black violence. There are.
What’s interesting is that the individuals speaking out the most on this issue are more than likely the main people who don’t do anything or care about anything going on in urban neighborhoods. There. I said it.
Ice Cube’s character Doughboy in Boyz in the Hood said “Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.” Now, I am not suggesting that they should care about the hood or black-on-black violence – it is, after all, their choice to care or not. However, if you don’t care about it or you’re not trying to positively affect those suffering communities… why comment now about “black-on-black crime??”
Yes, “black-on-black crime” is an issue – we all know and accept that. But riddle me this – what does this have to do with Trayvon being profiled and losing his life?
The real deal is that some people think no one should have cared about Trayvon Martin’s life because they didn’t really want to have any empathy for the situation. It’s apathy. They feel apathy to all of it, and that is why they constantly bring it up as the as the reason the case doesn’t make sense.
This trial was indubitably about race, BUT, it was even more about the perception of race in this country. People still must believe that racism today is the Klu Klux Klan burning a cross or fire-bombing someone’s home. The reality that Trayvon’s character was on trial just as much (or even more than) Zimmerman is something we have to evaluate in this country. People went through Trayvon’s tweets, toxicology, and text messages and made him out to be a “thug”. The interesting thing is that people will say that these things made Zimmerman’s assessment and actions against him more plausible. The reality is most teens have or do smoke marijuana, say dumb-ass things on social media and overall make bad decisions. Think about all the dumb-ass things you did and said at 17 years of age? However, we didn’t have Instagram, Camera phones, and all this technology to highlight our turbulent teens. The same people who had so much angst against Trayvon and his youth expected people to give Paula Deen a pass for supposedly only being a racist 20 years ago. They want to indict that Trayvon was a “thug” for some actions in his youth but want people to give Paula Deen a break for saying racist things as a grown ass adult.
The excuse of people only being concerned about this situation when “black-on-black crime” exists every day is one of the biggest cop outs I have heard. Some people making those comments about “black-on-black crime” have very valid points. BUT, I will always question who is bringing this up and what their motives are. Are they really involved and trying to make these communities better? Or are they just an apathetic person who just doesn’t want to be concerned or care about the death (of not just this young man) but any young black man or woman. It makes it very hard to take critique from someone when they aren’t in the trenches or righteously trying to learn and understand about the violence in the inner city. It would be like telling women how they should go through their pregnancy when I am not a woman, never been pregnant, a doctor, worked in health care, or sat down and tried to understand the process of a woman’s pregnancy…Damn, people do that too don’t they *shrug*.
Think about how much you really care about a black person being killed before you go to commenting on “why this” or “why that?” If you’re generally concerned about all death in this country and making it a better place, I am all ears. However, if you really don’t care about death unless it hits your home than I need you to reevaluate your statements and consider how much you care about not one a black persons death…but human death.
Make sure you check out this week’s episode of the “Straight Outta Lo Cash” Radio Show. This week’s show “Go Head and Get you a St. Ides” with guests The Ink Podcast . You can also subscribe to the show on I-Tunes or listen on your Android, I-Phone, or I-Pad with Stitcher Radio.