Walking while Black…

April 2012
“On the rainy night of Sunday, Feb. 26, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin walked to a convenience store in Sanford, Fla. On his way home, with his Skittles and iced tea, the African-American teenager was shot and killed. The gunman, George Zimmerman, didn’t run. He claimed that he killed the young man in self-defense. The Sanford Police agreed and let him go. Since then, witnesses have come forward, 911 emergency calls have been released, and outrage over the killing has gone global.”

This introduction to an article co-authored by Democracy Now award winning host and author, Amy Goodman.

The above event, as we’ve experienced, has raised much concern, numerous, multi-faceted questions and continues to evolve. Among the issues which have surfaced:  economic crisis, gun control, legality of Stand your Ground law, police profiling. Yet, in this mix the core reality seems to be about the perennial, deeply rooted issue within our country’s history and current reality:  RACISM.

The explosion of media coverage – both social and print, all major news networks, newspapers and magazines attest to the significance and complexity of this confrontation. Lively and, at times, heated conversations have ensued and continue still. I find listening to the experience of people of color gives me insights. For example, one black woman commentator said no black mother is ever sure her son(s) will return home each day ~ not because they’ve done anything wrong but because they’re black. . .

As is evident, RACE is a highly charged topic! So, again, we refer you to our website on the priority of Anti-Racism   www.srcharitycinti.org/opjic/racism.htm. We offer reflection & analysis along with suggested actions and additional resources & sites that include articles and short videos.

In considering this particular incident in the broader context of Racism, observations are voiced and questions arise as we reflect on other domestic issues such as immigration or international policies in the Mideast and Africa…

An underlying reality not often spoken to but one that needs to be considered:  Whiteness is a privileged state of being. This is not accusatory but, rather, descriptive in the midst of our pluralistic society and global community.

The final outcome and judgment is yet to be decided.  What conversations are you part of? Where and how do you ‘weigh in’?

Verdict “Not Guilty”  Saturday, July 13, 2013
Currently the event has escalated since the Not Guilty verdict was handed down.  This result is raising questions about a ‘post racial’ country recently described by the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court when they deleted Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The need to reassess some of our laws and engage in constructive conversations and debate are surely challenging!  Numerous commentaries, reports, discussions, debate are indeed taking place. Finally, I offer the following videos from three of the leading African American men in the US; Eric Holder, Barack Obama, Cornel West.

July 19, 2013 – FULL SPEECH – President Barack Obama Addresses George Zimmerman Verdict …

Cornel West: Obama’s Response to Trayvon Martin Case Belies Failure to Challenge “New Jim Crow”