As we watch the national and international reaction to the blatant killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida last month, we have become more and more outrages and disgusted by the delay in justice in this case.
Many of us have participated directly in the push for justice by traveling to the rally in Florida, donating money to the family and those who will be traveling to Florida, and signing a petition demanding the arrest of Mr. Zimmerman who shot and killed young Trayvon Martin.
Black Chicagoans have been totally involved in the demand for justice, joining their brothers and sisters across the nation. This push is the result of the long pit of frustration and emotional investment in civil rights and human rights for African Americans.
After all, we have not seen this level of outrage since 2007 when we launched demonstrations in Jena, LA when six African American young men were unjustly charged with attempted murder of a white youth who had initiated a dispute over area in the school that was considered “whites only” space and subsequently issued racial taunts and hung a noose on a tree in that space to alert Blacks that they were not welcomed in that space.
Post-Racial … Forget About It!
Thus, for those misguided and naïve Black Americans who have bought into the post racial myth, this is simply another reminder that in spite of the media spin and the desires of some well intentioned White Americans, that a post –racial America is a dangerous myth that we cannot afford to buy into.
Buying into this myth promotes the obfuscations of the major historical realities that places slavery, race, racism and its subsequent devastating impact at the center of this nation’s raison d’étre and legacy of hyper –capitalist exploitation.
There is no way that this nation can get away with obfuscating this reality; it is in the fabric of this nation’s history. It is in this nation’s DNA!
White America routinely relegates young Black males to the category of thugs, gang bangers and thieves.
Trayvon Martin, a wholesome and bright 17-year-old was placed in this category and was killed because he looked suspicious! He was wearing a hooded jacket. He was Black walking in a gated community that is principally known as a white neighborhood –even though his father and his father’s girlfriend lived in one of the townhouses.
He was unfortunately, victimized by a self-appointed vigilante while simply walking while Black in that neighborhood after leaving the store with a pack of Skittles candy and a can of iced tea.
The reality is that Trayvon could have been any young Black man in America anywhere in this nation.
African American fathers and mothers all over America have traditionally had that somber and serious talk with their children and especially their young men that warn them of the dangers of engaging in an altercation with white authority figures, especially policemen and security guards.
Regrettably, we now have to caution our children to extend that same kind of warning to policeman, security guards and all persons who can do bodily harm to them regardless of race, ethnicity, or color.
One of the major racist accomplishments of the tradition of racism and white supremacy is the fact that Black people were taught to hate and mistrust each other. This hate and mistrust of Blacks of other Blacks reinforces the foundation of white supremacy, i.e., that whiteness is righteous as a first principle and Blackness is evil.
What Is To Be Done?
First, we must fully understand the root and the origin of the problems that we face and not be betrayed by ignorance and myth.
We must take the education of our children seriously and begin exposing them to ourstory, as well as, history. This requires an intentional, intense and purposeful learning commitment.
Our children must know and understand where it is that we come from, where it is that we are at present, before they can possibly understand where it is that we want to go!
Our children must understand that Trayvon Martin is not the first and will not be the last young Black man to suffer this unwarranted end, unless and until we come together as a community to put an end to it.
After fully understanding who we are, we must abandon the myth of post-racialism, collectively confront this nation and challenge it to engage in an open and honest discussion of racism and its legacy.
We must collectively construct a realistic 21st century Black world agenda accompanied by an appropriate organizational structure and people to see that this agenda is carried out. This means that we must begin by fighting to stop police brutality of Black people and especially Black men.
For all of us in Chicago, we must begin by doing everything that we can to stop the further prosecution of Howard Morgan, who was shot 28 times by the police, tried in court and found not guilty. However, he was recently hauled back into the court by the State’s Attorney and found guilty. He is to be sentenced on April 5th.
Some activists, Black and White, (members of the Occupy Movement), intend to start a demonstration/sit-in at the courthouse on April 4th to commemorate the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and stay overnight to demonstrate at the court on April 5th.
After all, Mr. Morgan and Trayvon share a great deal in common with Dr. King. While, the police had intended to assassinate Mr. Morgan, he survived.
The White supremacist in the police and State’s Attorney’s office and the court system want Morgan put in jail so that he can be a reminder of their attempted murder.
Unfortunately, Trayvon was murdered – shot down in the same manner that Dr. King was shot more than 40 years ago.
We must direct our demonstrations towards policeman and security personnel of all races and ethnicities because Black me have been assaulted by persons in authority positions with guns of all creeds and colors.
Police and security personnel abuse of Black men must stop!
We are reminded of the fact that almost every week we read about Black men that have been shot and or killed by policemen.
Lest we forget, that the major reason that a growing number of young Black men express respect for Black leadership because they understand profound reality that Black leadership has and will not stand up to protect them from the abuse of people who abuse them.
Now is the time for all good men to stand up and stand by Howard Morgan and Trayvon Martin!