Wednesday, March 28, 2012

No More Silence

A couple of weeks ago, I posted on Jesus being angry.  Earlier this week, I came across something that made me angry.  So angry, in fact, that I needed to take some time away from it before I could post about it without letting it be just an angry post.  I apologize for not posting something yesterday, but I really needed the time away before I could appropriately address this issue.

I'm sure most of you have heard about the Trayvon Martin case down in Florida.  For those of you that haven't heard about this, here's the short version of the story.  Trayvon Martin was a 17 year-old African-American who lived down in Florida.  On the way back from a convenience store to his father's girlfriend's home on February 26 of this year, he was followed by a community watch captain named George Zimmerman who said Martin looked suspicious.  Zimmerman called the police to inform them of the situation.  When Zimmerman was told that police were on their way and he no longer needed to follow Martin, he agreed.  By the time police arrived, Zimmerman had fatally shot Martin.  Zimmerman claimed that he was threatened by Martin, who was unarmed.  As of today, no charges have been pressed against Zimmerman.

While this story is upsetting, that is not why I have been so angry.  I am angry because this is just one story.  There has been a very similar case here in Dayton, OH that has gone largely unnoticed.  On March 1 of this year, Dante Price, a 25 year-old African-American, was fatally shot by security guards, who fired their weapons twenty-two times.  As with the Trayvon Martin shooting, no charges have been filed.  How many other cases like this are there across the country that we just aren't hearing about?

Another aspect of this that makes me angry comes from a statement made by Geraldo Rivera, a commentator for the Fox News Channel.  He said, "I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was...I'll bet you money, if he didn't have that hoodie on, that nutty neighborhood watch guy wouldn't have responded in that violent and aggressive way." (Quote from Geraldo Rivera on "Fox and Friends") 

I'm not angry so much at the statement itself as I am at the picture it paints of our society.  Rivera wasn't saying that the hoodie was responsible for Trayvon Martin's death.  He was saying that a hoodie on an African-American was responsible.  That someone can say something like this and believe it (offering only a half apology in response to backlash) says to me that we live in a time where people believe that someone's skin color can be threatening. 

In my post a couple weeks ago, I asked what it was that made you angry.  This is what makes me angry.  I cannot sit idly in a society that allows this to happen.  I don't know what my next moves will be, but I do know that I can no longer remain silent on this issue.  I hope that you all will join me and break your own silence over injustice.

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