Picture of Trayvon Martin
Starting with a personal experience I had with this issue. I phoned up the most popular radio station here in London, England, to express my point of view on the killer of Trayvon Martin being freed. I was put on hold for 20 mins and was made to listen to the most crypto – racist view’s on this issue you can imagine. The host met these views with such reverence that I actually began to feel embarrassed to be a citizen of a so called grown up nation. Then it was my turn to speak and I was only given 2 mins whereas others got at least 7-8 minutes to speak and on top of that I was treated like I was crazy.
This experience reminded me that we don’t live in a world where racism has been decreased to a degree that it is contained and where it has no influence on everyday life. Yet it does; it does much more than we think. The central argument I heard on the radio was that ‘Trayvon looked threatening with his hood and acted aggressively” yeah it was absolutely wrong for him to be angry about a crazy person coming at him with a gun for no reason. sarcasm*. I replied to this by saying that, if one was to follow this logic it would be much more justifiable for Trayvon to kill George Zimmerman as he was the one waving the gun about. Well thats when I was cut off and the host just moved directly to the next caller forgetting that I was even talking to him.
The next caller was interesting, he introduced himself as a black man and made this remark “I am black too and we have a lot of black gangs here in the town of Hackney, London, I honestly would of done the something if a hooded suspicious teenager was in my gated community”. Okay your thinking even in the days of slavery there were these black guys who were as racist to their own race as white racists right ? wrong ! This is a symptom of a far deeper “phenomena”. Think about it ! We are busy with our lives trying to make sure we live it, we worked hard, come home tired; pick up the newspaper or turn the channel, what do we see/hear ? “the hooded kid just stabbed another person” or “the bad black kid who was selling drugs on the street corner”. This is what we are pumped with everyday.
Then you have your self a enemy, and that enemy is the same enemy everyone else talks about when the conversation turns up. In the case of the United States of America that enemy comes in various forms, but if you were identify the enemy in one person it probably be a hooded Gay Black Mexican Liberal with muslim and jewish friends. At least thats the image Fox news gives us.
These images of the “enemy” is created wether counsciously or sub consciously for a reason. We have seen declining living standards, war, crime and terrorism. We are angry at all these things, but cannot make sense of them. so It doesn’t help to hearing people like Rush Limbaugh and others blaming minorities or poor people for all ills in the society. The history of American racism is deep rooted from it’s discovery, but it’s most recent history can be traced back to the policies of Richard Nixon who fired up the racist impulse as a reaction to the civil rights movement.
March on Washington for jobs and freedom
The timing of growing racism is very dangerous and somewhat suspicious. I am not trying to make it seem as if the era is identical but all of this is starting to remind of late Wiemahr Germany (just before the Nazis). People had grievances and the answers they were on the bases of race or groups, primarily Jews and Leftists. Doesn’t it remind you of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. I know it seems farfetched but lets not be so optimistic, Germany was one of the most civilised nations in history at the time, but half a decade later it was the pits of human history, where probably the most horrifying crimes in history were committed.
The chance of something like Nazi Germany is unlikely to happen, but there is a danger of something less extreme but principally the same reoccurring. If we do not stop the causes of racism before it is late, then we maybe going towards some form of “neo facism”. We need to beat this by not just holding up placards that say “say no to racism” or attend assemblies talking about racism. Communities need to start forming community relations need to get strong again. This can create a platform outside the nonsense of the mainstream media. We have to start giving some more of our time to discussing each others history, facts about issues and current affairs. Without this we will continue to be told to be afraid of a particular “group of people”, and the results of this has never been pretty !
RIP Trayvon Martin