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Author: Subject: Trayvon Martin Was Afraid, Too
Salehdin
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[*] posted on 3.21.2012 at 11:26 AM
Trayvon Martin Was Afraid, Too


by Michel Martin

Do you mind if I take a few minutes to tell you about my son? He has three beautiful sisters but right now I'll just tell you about him. He is 8 now and he loves anything that involves dirt, any ball, and running around. He still has deliciously long eyelashes and long musician's fingers; he is learning to play the guitar. He likes to act like he's older than he is — a couple days ago he asked me if I thought his Nerf basketball set was "old school" and if his next babysitter could be "hot"; whatever that means. (The answer to both is no, by the way.) But every so often, thankfully, my husband and I are reminded that he is still a little boy, like a few weeks ago when he was not feeling well and he came into our room at two in the morning clutching his green stuffed bunny. He came in because he was afraid, and I was reminded that, even at 2 a.m., one of the pleasures of being a parent is to be able to comfort your child when he is afraid.

Can I just tell you? That is why if you are a parent — and frankly even if you aren't — you should be able to understand why so many people are so shaken and so hurt about the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida. Shot to death (as we talked about previously on the program) while he was walking home from the store in a neighborhood outside Orlando that he was visiting. Shot because a neighbor, a self-appointed neighborhood watch guy named George Zimmerman, decided the teenager looked suspicious and took it upon himself to follow him.

Now I wasn't there but one thing I do know is that there is already a lot to digest in what we all do know. Like the fact that there had been a series of break-ins in the area, which tends to make people on edge; the fact that the police dispatcher told George Zimmerman to back off and he didn't; and the fact that witnesses have accused the local police of shaping their statements to fit the shooter's defense rather than objectively pursuing the facts.

But what I want to focus on today is something we don't ever seem to talk about : that fact that Trayvon Martin was afraid. Something we know because, according to his family's lawyer, he was on the phone and told the friend he was being followed by a strange man. That friend told him to run. And he did, toward the house where he was staying. But he never made it.

Why does it never seem to occur to anybody that young black men can be afraid? Let's face it — when we think about why crime frightens us, doesn't the person who comes to mind, the person whose victimization we most fear, is probably somebody who looks like our mother, our sister, your wife or girlfriend? But if you think about who is actually most likely to be killed, that victim is far more likely to be a man and far more likely to be a black or brown man.

In 2010, according to the FBI, some 1,800 black people under the age of 22 were murdered. That's 50 percent more than the total number of whites that age who were killed. But it's even more depressing when you consider that blacks are just 13 percent of the population. And yes it is true that the people bringing the pain are most likely to look exactly like the people they are hurting.

Case in point: over the weekend in Chicago at least 10 people were killed, at least half believed to be gang-related shootings, including a 6-year-old girl killed in a drive-by. But that is all the more reason why when the innocent suffer, attention must be paid. And also why attention must be paid when the many are forced to wear the cloak of suspicion caused by the acts of the few.

My son is so young now and so innocent, so happy that he can ride his scooter to the new playground down the street. His biggest worry is getting tally marks for forgetting to raise his hand and losing precious minutes of recess. How long will it be before my biggest fear will be having to wait with my heart in my chest every time he walks out the door?

http://www.npr.org/2012/03/21/149058865/trayvon-martin-was-afraid-too




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“...if every one of us examines his own character for causes, if when we don’t do well we look inside ourselves for the cause, and we try to do better next time, and if we think about other people first any time we do something, then the world will change for the better, morals will go back up, people’s civility will improve, and crime will go down. Maybe we won’t even need policemen. There will be no need for things like neighborhood watch, and everyone will watch over himself, and they’ll look inside their own minds to fix things. Wouldn’t you say that’d be great?”
- Mr. Li Hongzhi (in Zhuan Falun)
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Tea_Honey
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[*] posted on 3.21.2012 at 01:36 PM


I appreciate the sentiment behind the OP. I do not appreciate, however, the distortions that are ever-present whenever we talk of black children being murdered.

I do not appreciate, fiercely, that Trayvon Martin is used almost as an excuse to write this article, one handily dismissed in favor of distorting the number of black children killed in Chicago over the weekend, distorting even the RACE of the children who were murdered, i.e., not ALL the children were black (the 6-year-old she mentions killed in the drive-by, and whose picture I saw on the 6:00 News, was Hispanic.... and the "addresses" of a couple others were suspect). In other words, to give the hashed and rehashed sentiments, bordering on fatalism, of her article more gravitas (weight), she magnified the level of violence towards black children in Chicago over the weekend, and by extrapolation, violence against black children everywhere.... in effect, making Trayvon Martin just one of many, thus no big deal.

If you want to write about fearing for the life of your child via any randum murderer, do so. Do not use Trayvon Martin's death as a vehicle to do so - not when in your silly attempt at white "objectivity" - which amounts to LYING/DISTORTING/giving the benefit of the doubt in a case where there is NO doubt - you diminish the black murdered child's death, cast aspersions on the black murdered child's character, i.e., "there had been a series of break-ins in the area, which tends to make people on edge." Either this woman is unaware that out of 6-911 calls released that the murderer made to the police reporting "suspicious characters", 4 of them were black yet NONE were arrested (if they were, the cops who tried to cover up for Zimmerman at the scene of HIS crime would have said so! :okaaay: ).... OR, in her almost callous disregard for the truth of the situation, she chose to "bet on the white" and play white by "hinting" there was possibly a justifiable motive for Zimmerman to murder unarmed and walking as fast away from the murderer as he could, Treyvon Martin.

If the latter is the case, she should have entitled her article: "Armed and Historically Violent George Zimmerman was afraid...."




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Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it
Choose your hypnotist well.....
Ergo,
the blue pill (illusion), or the red pill (reality)
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Salehdin
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[*] posted on 3.21.2012 at 03:14 PM


I think most of the article was genuinely expressing the authors fear of being a parent of a black child and the things that happen to our children and cause them to be fearful of the violent society in which they are growing up.

I think the two paragraphs before the last paragraph reflect the authors fears and assumptions resulting from that fear of black communities; this is reflected clearly in the assumptions she makes about the race of the people involved in the shootings she highlighted in Chicago.

I cant disagree with the sentiment you shared above, I largely agree. I also think that because of the notions and assumptions people have as a result of racism, media bias, fear etc. we have a system where the death of a black child is quickly brushed aside as "self-defense" without any sort of investigation unless an uproar is made. The underlying issue here is simply that black lives are worth less than others and I think the authors intention was largely to point out that Trayvon Martin was just as human as any other 17 year old male and should have been treated with dignity and respect by Zimmerman, the police, the DA etc. just based on that fact alone. That Zimmerman was scared and sought to defend himself is at the heart of justifications for the handling of this case so far, but Trayvon Martin was also scared and there is evidence to this fact in the form of phone calls and witnesses.




Truth, Compassion, Forbearance
http://www.falundafa.org

“...if every one of us examines his own character for causes, if when we don’t do well we look inside ourselves for the cause, and we try to do better next time, and if we think about other people first any time we do something, then the world will change for the better, morals will go back up, people’s civility will improve, and crime will go down. Maybe we won’t even need policemen. There will be no need for things like neighborhood watch, and everyone will watch over himself, and they’ll look inside their own minds to fix things. Wouldn’t you say that’d be great?”
- Mr. Li Hongzhi (in Zhuan Falun)
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