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Monday, July 13, 2015


"Several years ago, as I was leaving for a dawn run (still dark outside), I was followed by a young man.  
I walked, he walked; I ran, he ran; I ran faster, he ran faster. 
When there was no doubt he was chasing me, I stopped and asked him what he wanted. He simply beckoned to me, saying, "Come here, come here." 
I responded, "YOU need to get away from me," as I assumed my fighting stance: feet apart, keys between fingers.
He stood there for a few moments and then began slowly backing away; he finally turned and ran back in the direction from which he'd come. 
Had he continued toward me and got within striking distance, this was my plan: stab him in the eyes with the keys and immediately kick him in his "man parts," and if that worked, beat his head into the concrete until he was unconscious or someone pulled me off of him. 
Yes, I would have struck first as a total stranger was pursuing me in the dark for apparently no good reason."
~ Gloria’s Story
Seems like Gloria had a logical reaction to me. Even if there had been no dialogue between her and her stalker, and Gloria had wound up having to turn around and kick him in his assets, it STILL seems like a logical reaction. And I think it might seem like that way to 95% of the population, if they read her story too...for so long as race remained out of the picture. 

Now this might not be right, but it is mostly certainly true that the image George Zimmerman presented on the night he killed Trayvon Martin looks very similar to the image presented on television and in movies, over and over again, as the thief, the rapist, and the murderer. On THAT night George Zimmerman looked very much like 1,001+ actors who have landed the role of Hispanic Thug on shows presented on FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, HBO, FOX AGAIN and a motion picture near you. 
If this same man, as pictured above, had been the one going home after getting skittles and tea, and then someone who could be cast as Mike Brady had done the killing, the very same people who support Zimmerman NOW would be JUST as unable to see past his Hispanic stereotype and acknowledge him as a victim.  That's just as galling as it is ironic.

Don’t you wonder what kind of book Zimmerman's father would have written then? 

In either case, Zimmerman as real chaser or as fictional chase-ee, I'm trying to imagine the conditions in which a logical person could perceive the chaser as the one whose fright counts most in a confrontational “misunderstanding” where someone ends up dead ... without some bone-marrow deep racism being involved. 

There’s no doubt, racially speaking, that things have improved in this country. We have a black president and at least 1/3 of the white population voted for him. This was unthinkable just 20 years ago, and maybe even 8 years ago. And despite the wishful thinking of covert and overt racists all over the United States, the Trayvon Martin case is NOT even close to being divided straight down racial lines. Things are not exactly like they were during the Rodney King trials.

Thank God. 

Even so, George Zimmerman's personal store of racism is a drop in the bucket as compared to the amount of racism it took to support a murderer's right to kill Trayvon Martin this year.
The people that water, shine light on, and fertilize the Zimmermans of this country do more than enable racism. They have turned all these Zimmermans, these cowardly weasels with guns, into the unstable weapons of mass destruction that they are, taken all together. And the passing of these “Stand Your Ground” type laws was the enabler's way of pushing THE BUTTON. But without seeing day-to-day hate in their own mirrors and racial epithets foaming out of their own mouths, the superiority remains.

And that superiority sans much hate remains invisible to them…but not to the rest of us. 

More importantly, in this condition they will never recognize themselves as Zimmerman's accomplices. And those that tsk-tsk this first group of enablers/accomplices for some stray “politically incorrect word ” or two, will be perfectly comfortable in calling these people “friends." And they won’t recognize their own roles as secondary accomplices either.

“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”
— George Burns
The election of President Barack Obama is two steps forward. But more than half(?) the country being unable to recognize Trayvon Martin, a man-child of 17, as a human-being frightened of a stranger following him in the dark, frightened enough to stand HIS GROUND and fight back just like Gloria would have - in Klan Country no less - is likely three steps back.*
If Mamie Till were still alive to see all this, I wonder if we would be able to stand hearing her tell us why the accomplices said her son deserved to die. I wonder if she would be able to tell us how to make these accomplices take responsibility for what they’ve created --- and how she lived with it when many of the accomplices of her time never took responsibility for a thing. I wonder if she would be able to tell us all how to move forward again anyway.

Originally written the day after the verdict.

#BlackLivesMatter Was Conceived By Alicia Garza,  Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi as a result of what happened to Trayvon Martin. And #BlackLivesMatter has turned a national spotlight on a number of cases, including Freddie Gray's.