The president gave a speech today about race and the Zimmerman case. The Administration is which first made a local story into a National one, continues to so. There will be a day when we all put people who perpetuate racial stereotypes in their place, even if he is the President, but until then you can read a transcript of his comments here, needless to say that while attempting to sound conciliatory all he managed is stoke emotions, and repeat all the wrong lessons. More on that later.
I have been married for almost 23 years to a wonderful, caring and hard-working woman. We have 2 great young men, and I beautiful little princess the jewel in my eye. We have had good times, bad times, we have argued and we have loved each other, but most of all we have been partners in everything. She also happens to be Black.
When we met on a cool April day in New York, I was struck by her beauty and something that was hard for me to define at the time but I came to realize was a dignity and proud bearing that I found extremely enduring and attractive. I we got to know each other I found out that underneath that proud bearing was a tortured soul, pulled on 2 sides by what she thought her community expected of her and what her family taught her. It is a struggle that continues to this day.
The Zimmerman case brought that struggle to the forefront again, as she is caught between 2 worlds again. Her initial reaction was to condemn George Zimmerman, because he was the racist boogeyman that many in her community believes haunts them. It was like a knee jerk reaction, something instinctual that could not be explained unless you were Black, only then would you understand. To her as a mother of 2 black young man, this unnatural fear that was evoked by the Trayvon Martin, TM for here on, killing was founded on her perception of a reality that really does not exist, but at the time she would not admit to that, she couldn’t. Many still can’t.
I first became aware of the case by complete accident, and only because my sister lives in Sanford and one of my nephews is the same age as TM. My sister and I grew up apart, and unfortunately are not as close as we should be, but upon hearing a young black male teenager was shot in Sanford, I was immediately concerned. As I searched for more information I found out that the shooting was next door to where she lived, I was alarmed as was my wife, who unlike me, talks to my sister on a regular basis. Unable to reach her, I searched on the internet for any information on the case, eventually I found the Conservative Treehouse, http://theconservativetreehouse.com/ who were following the case in-depth.
I found out later that the reason I was unable to contact my sister was that she had moved the week prior to the shooting, and had changed her phone number, but by then I knew it was not my nephews that were involved, at the same time I had developed an interest in the case, because what the MSM was saying about the case was in deep conflict with what I was reading on the CTH and another site that followed the case closely Mike McDaniel’s site, https://statelymcdanielmanor.wordpress.com/. The more I read about the case the more disturbed I became as I recognized something that I had witnessed several times in life living in New York, a racial railroading of a person or group.
As I do with everything that I find interesting I discussed it with my family, I thought that this would be a perfect cautionary tale for my sons. I was not prepared for the backlash that my sons or my wife gave me. To their thinking it was all racial, my wife all she could see in her mind was a picture of a cute young TM in a Hollister shirt, at the time no other more recent pictures had been released, and though I tried to no avail point out the problems with the Narrative that was being sold, to the nation. I was shouted down, and was called insensitive by my family, they could not understand nor could I explain fully why this case was not as it was being portrayed by the Media.
My wife and I while we do not agree on everything, at least we could see each other’s point even on the most contentious of issues. This time that was not the case, and it made me more determined than ever to find out everything could about the case and the people involved. What I found out, only confirmed my suspicions and now we know that jury not knowing everything that was to know about the case agreed and exonerated George Zimmerman of the politically motivated charges of Murder in the 2nd Degree and Manslaughter.
After the verdict, the reaction by the Black community has been quick, harsh and in my opinion completely unrealistic and not reflective of the case or the evidence. Too many Black people see this as an insult and as corroboration of deep held beliefs, that White controlled society has abused them again. I do not identify as Black, White or Hispanic, I always say that I am an un-hyphenated American and that is the way I treat my kids, who by virtue of having a Black mother and features are could be considered Black.
I need to backtrack here, and provide a little background on my better half. She grew up in a middle class neighborhood bordering an Army base. As a child most of her friends were not black, and she is still in contact with most of them. She grew up in with a nice pool in the backyard, a lake to go swimming or fishing a walking distance away, she grew up in suburbia. Most of her cousins on the other hand did not, they grew in the harsh cities in Jersey City and New York or the black ghettos in the South. As a consequence, she through out her life has been called a white girl wannabe by members of her race. Blackness is not only skin color but an attitude and a way of expression. My wife never fit that mold, in that regard she and I are very similar.
I on the other hand grew up in the ghetto in Harlem, until her death my great-grandmother was my caretaker, and while I did spend about 5 years in Puerto Rico as a kid, the rest of the time I was in New York. I was very poor growing up, though I came from a family that was well off in Puerto Rico. I remember visiting my aunts and uncles in Puerto Rico and coming back to our humble home with hundreds of dollars worth of clothes and cash, I guess some in the family felt guilty because my abuela due circumstances was cut off from them, and this was a way of atonement for them. Abuela was very proud and she would not ever go with me on those trips to see the rest of my family, I did not realize it then but my enthusiasm and joy that I showed when I came back with my booty must have been extremely hard on her pride, as she would wish that she was the one providing me with those material things. The two most important things that she taught me were to be a hard worker, though over 70 at the time she would work hard to provide for us. She raised pigs so that during Christmas she could slaughter one and sell the meat which she used to get me Christmas gifts, she had sheep for milk and chickens for eggs, she would cook for others in the neighborhood and they would eat with us and bring things for her to cook and we all shared, though very poor we were never hungry. The other thing she taught me was to never judge a person based on color, creed or appearance but on their actions. Those two lessons have served me well in life, and when I met my wife though we were of different races and backgrounds, we could both overlook those differences and found a lasting connection.
This case was causing a minor rift between us, and while she eventually saw the truth about the case it served for us to have an honest conversation on race in America and for me to conclude we are a nation in fear and we are cowards when the subject is race, because any honest conversation about race will mean exposing some ugly truths about us all.
No honest conversation on race can be had until we accept the past, and at the same time accept the present. Our nation is not the same nation of the early part of the 20th century, trying to say otherwise is dishonest, and it helps to end the conversation before it even starts. So any honest conversation about race will mean that we need to stop fearing the truth, not just of the past but accepting some things about us today, it would also mean we need to stop trying to blame each other, and most of all we need to remove politics from the discussion.
White people will have to accept that the legacy from slavery, Jim Crow, separate and unequal, etc will not go away anytime soon if ever. Whether they agreed or not they were and for the most part are still the Establishment as such you will have to accept that you will be blamed, not necessarily your are responsible but you will be blamed, accept it. Trying to fight it only prolongs the time for solutions. Scolding Blacks as children or coddling them will not help, it just reinforces their feelings of being bullied and a victim. It does not mean we ignore problems but we that we work together towards solutions. Angry or consolidating rhetoric is just more carbon dioxide in air. We have to learn to live not in fear of the black men, and not be cowards when speaking about race.
Blacks need to accept that we are not living under same conditions as 50 years ago. It does not mean we forget, but the opposite we remember and most importantly realize how far we have come, and where we need to go. Blaming all their ills on the past just assures that we don’t move forward. It is not a white man who forces kids to do drugs, steal or skip school. Blacks like to talk about how bad education is in their community but how many kids are labeled as trying to be white because they study hard? When they talk with proper english and diction how many are bullied by others? Why is it that black immigrants do better than those native-born? Why are we teaching our kids to be hard, take no shit from anyone ? Rather that being conciliatory and solve problems with discussions instead of violence? Sports are NOT, not the only gateway out the ghetto, in fact it is rare occurrence. Education and hard work has uplifted more than all sports combined. The violence in our neighborhoods is rampant and we need to stop it, it is not White on Black genocide but Black on Black and anyone that says otherwise is lying to you and does not care for the community. We must let go of the fear of the establishment and not be a coward and speak out when we are being misled with BS.
As an American, a White hispanic, father of two young Black man, I made sure that they are respectful, mindful of the laws and most of all good people who don’t judge others based on their actions not their color or ethnicities. Let us get together and get rid of those charlatans that say anything to keep us divided, at the end of the day we are just one race that is the human race until we all remember that we are doomed to petty fights with no end in sight. That does not help anyone, except those that perpetuate those myths aimed at keeping us divided and them in power.
The Zimmerman case demonstrated again how easily it is to divide a country, not with truth but with willful lies and a little emotion. The tragedy that happened in Sanford will continue to happen in other parts of the country unless we accept responsibility for our actions, and start thinking with our heads instead of allowing us to be manipulated by emotion, that clouds our reason. Until face our fears of each other and stop being cowards and speak the truth to each other race relations will always be strained, no long-lasting relationship can last without honest dialog between each other, my wife and I can attest to this, the honest truth can hurt but it is needed for healing.