Makes Me Want To Holler – Again

zimmermanGeorge Zimmerman puts gun that killed Trayvon Martin up for auction

“I am honored and humbled to announce the sale of an American Firearm Icon,” Zimmerman wrote in his online description of the weapon.

Are you fucking kidding me?!

This man used that gun to take a child’s life. Clearly Zimmerman’s only remorse is the infamy the trial has awarded him because of it. And in case you miss my sarcasm, he has no remorse.

Every time I hear Zimmerman’s name I have to beg forgiveness for the thoughts that come into my mind.  The idea that someone will bid on it, will actually buy it – I cannot begin to express the rage that fills me anew right now.  I wonder what the jury that acquitted him must feel of their decision in light of this bullshit.

When people say Karma will get him, I generally nod in agreement. However, days like this, my faith in Karma and her twisted shenanigans wavers greatly and I doubt whether I will ever see that happen.  Should I be so lucky, I am not going to lie – schadenfreude will be on full force that day.

I also cannot help, but think that was Trayvon Martin a white teen, that Zimmerman would be seen as a Hispanic thug killing innocent kids in a family oriented community. Alas, a white man “defending himself” is how it goes down in the official records. Situations like this reinforce the idea of how little a black life is worth in some eyes, how Zimmerman’s auction devalues Martin’s life even further, to the point of blatant mockery.

What profit’s a man indeed.

The fact that Zimmerman is walking around a free man doing this. Yes, he’s an American. Yes, he is well within his rights to do this.

To the person who purchases it – if your intent is anything other than to destroy the gun so no one else will profit off Trayvon Martin’s life – you are par of the problem.

I wonder what the general mood would be if O.J. Simpson auctioned off the infamous glove.


It’s All Just A Little Bit Of History Repeating…

I haven wanted to write commentary on the racial unrest that happening in this country (again). I feel like I should be writing something. I just find it so hard to do without getting angry. So I ask for a little tolerance as I just spill it out as I think it.

I know there are millions of out there in this country where we never will know each other, billions who will never have a direct impact on my life. Yet there are so many who do and will impact my life in a positive way and I do not want wash all white people and cops with that oh so broad, us versus them, paint brush. Because yes, I do have friends who are officers and I know them to be the good guys we were taught to believe in as tykes watching Sesame Street and that they do exist now that I am well into my adulthood. And yes, I really do have friends who are white, who have jumped to offer succor when I was going through a rough patch in my life, as I have in theirs. I know they are not the bad guys because I have gotten to know them. They know I am not they bad guy, because they in turn have come to know me.

Regrettably, it is of little balm when at the beginning of this summer I am on the street attempting to hail a taxi and the driver slows in my direction only to blatantly pass me by to pick up the white couple maybe 30 feet further down from me. When that same couple who knew I was there before them looked at me, shrugged, opened the door to the cab and got in anyway. It is of no balm when I have to force myself to stay positive when I learn a month ago my son, who walks dogs part time, was detained by an officer because “some random citizen called the cops” while he was walking a client’s dog. Never mind that he had a key to the building to have access to the dog. Never mind that the dog clearly knew my son, he is accused of stealing said dog. Why? In the predominantly white neighborhood of his client, my son did not look like any of the tenants. Because clearly my child, yes he’s a thirty year old adult male, but as all mamas understand he will always be my child, as a black man could not possibly live in that neighborhood and own such a dog in his own right, right? Riiiight. My son is stuck explaining himself to the unbelieving officers until a neighbor of the dog’s owner happened by and vouched for him. It was something very simple that ended well, no harm perhaps, but very foul. Still as a mother, I could not help but be cognizant, yet very grateful, that this confrontation did not go in a very different direction. I am also very cognizant and very pissed that this event came to fruition solely because he was literally walking a dog while black. It is of little balm to the litany of racial acts subtle, such as the taxi and dog incidents mentioned above, or more overt as so recently demonstrated in the news, that is a constant part of my existence as a person of color in this country.

A few years ago I was once told by an erstwhile friend that I see race in nearly everything and that’s just not the way it is. I in turn accused him of blatantly choosing to see race in nothing and that’s just not the way it is. How does the saying go? Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it. Names like Eleanor Bumpurs, Michael Stewart, Yusef Hawkins, Anthony Baez, Rodney King, Patrick Dorismond, Abner Louima, Amadou Diallo and James Byrd Jr., come far too easily to my mind’s history. Yet each new flare-up – Sean Bell, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride, Marlene Pinnock, Eric Garner and now Michael Brown, proves even knowing the history does little stop it from repeating. It is as though there has become this unspoken understanding that murdering blacks and calling it self-defense, or justifiable/in the line of duty is supposed to somehow dissolve the racial hierarchy in this country. So who has the right of it?

Is any of this anything new in history, the realities of living black specifically? Honestly, no. As a culture, the majority of us have lived with this as a sub routine of sorts in our consciousness on the daily for a couple of centuries now. When it was one person’s word versus another, most of such news was quickly buried under the burden of no real proof. Until it was something so bad, that it made national headlines. Can you say Emmitt Till? The advent of so many with smart phones now, able to immediately capture and then upload images/videos has helped. And social media, for all its foibles makes each occurrence captured readily available to the general public and national headlines sooner. Yet for all that we hear about, we all know that there are so many others whose names will never be listed.

I hope that this is that stage in history repeating itself, that this is the worst that it will get, and things are soonish going change for the better. I want to have hope, I really do. Because not to hope means that more names will be added to that ever growing list. So even as I hope, please understand as I pray in the interim that the names of my loved ones and I are not to be among them.

Rachel Jeantel On Trial

Rachel Jeantel, the 19 year old young woman questioned as a key prosecution witness in the Trayvon Martin trial, was/is put through a trial of her own in the court of public opinion.  Social media overall, but especially Twitter have newly pages, status updates, posts and hashtags which mock nearly everything about her.  One would almost think that Rachel Jeantel was the one on trial Wednesday and Thursday instead of George Zimmerman.

I’m not going to lie; I cringed as I watched/heard some of the proceedings.   I knew how she would appear to some people. She was virtually a walking stereotype: a poorly educated, fat, angry black teenage female with an attitude.  However, I also saw a young woman thrown into a situation none of us would ever want to be in, trying hard to keep her head up and do the best she can.

Her demeanor, especially on that first day was most described as “antagonistic and defensive”.  No shit Sherlock.  Is this truly a surprise?  She’s a 19 year old witness at a murder trial facing the lawyer for the defendant.  The person she knows whose job it is to discredit her and anything she may say in hopes of making her look bad and his client look good to the jury.  Nah, you’re not going to be on your guard and defensive about that at all.

The next day, she was calmer; there was noticeably less antagonism between her and the lawyer during questioning.  Enough so that it West himself commented on it, to which a good night’s sleep was Jeantel’s reply.    Was the discerning public happy?  Not quite, for now the was commentary over her multiple uses of “sir” to Don West in a subtle implication of “Uncle Toming“.  Classic damned if one does/damned if one does not.

Nearly every other tweet regarding her either induced facepalming or had me outright cringing in its vitriol. Posters questioned her education, mocked her looks and retweeted her less than inspiring tweets. Because we all know, that at nineteen years of age, every phrase that spouts from ones thoughts in 160 characters or less is going to be jaw-dropping brilliant.  Still I what simply cannot grasp is why so many blacks in particular on Twitter felt the need to mock and insult a teenaged girl clearly still grieving over the loss of a friend.

The way these detractors have posted “in jest” is so heartless it makes me sick. And almost none of it has anything to do with the trail itself, but exists solely to humiliate a young woman at what must be the most vulnerable time in her life thus far.  It begs to wonder how any of those finding such humorous sport in this would fare on a courtroom stand, under a tremendous amount of pressure, while being watched by the nation, all at 19 years of age.

Makes me wanna holler throw up both my hands.