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Trayvon is Nothing New: The Murder of Black America (1696 hits)

By now, unless you haven’t turned on your television or logged on to any social networks in awhile, you have heard about the horrific, untimely death of 17-year-old, Trayvon Martin. He has been the latest mass-circulated victim of being a young Black male in racist Amerikkka. In astonishment (well not really), George Zimmerman, his executioner, has claimed self defense and has not been arrested for the crime.

We know this whole ordeal is completely racist, even more proven by Zimmerman’s recorded phone call to the police in which he described Martin as a “coon”. For the folks who don’t know, “coon” is a racist term that was used to describe Black folk, equivalent to *****.

Let us not be fooled. This is not an isolated incident of unwarranted violence against an unarmed Black teenager. This is a direct indication that we must not forget our past and we must mobilize to determine our collective future. There have been thousands of racist hate crimes that will never see a television screen. Some were even sent on postcards and printed on flyers, but the perpetrators were rarely convicted and given substantial jail time. When you take a look back, you see that Black America have been victims of blatant White racism for decades.

In 1918, Mary Turner, a 20-year-old Black woman, decided to speak out against the murderer of her husband, Hayes Turner. In retaliation, a White lynch mob captured her, hung her by her ankles, doused her in gasoline, and burned her clothes from her body. Before her body was riddled with gun fire, her 8-month-old unborn child was cut from her womb and stomped to death.

In 1955, Emmit Till was beaten and shot to death by two White men. His mutilated body was then thrown into the Tallahatchie River. His crime was talking to and possibly whistling at a White girl.

In 1991, Rodney King was brutally beaten by Los Angeles police officers after a high-speed chase through the San Fernando Valley, leaving him with brain damage and skull fractures. In the end he was awarded over a million dollars for his damages but is that justice?

In 2006, Sean Bell was killed after a hail of 50 police bullets were fired at him outside a club in Jamaica, New York. On April 25, 2008, all three of the police officers indicted were acquitted on all counts.

To make it even more recent, in 2011, Troy Davis, was executed by lethal injection, even after the overwhelming amount of doubt and inconsistencies surrounding his case.

They say you can’t predict the future but I know that within a month’s time, we will forget our slain brother, Trayvon Martin. He will be just another distant memory that won’t get mentioned again until next year. Everybody will delete their hoodie pictures, stop posting the ads to prosecute Zimmerman, stop organizing and protesting, and once again give up on revolution.

That’s right. I said it. REVOLUTION. I didn’t say reform. I didn’t say let’s go vote for change or pray that everything somehow magically changes. We tried these things before. We have asked for something to change for centuries now, while our families have been torn apart by lynch mobs, unequal legislation, and endless other acts of racism. Instead of just complaining about the problem, I have decided to list a few possible ways we can prepare ourselves for the future.

Study Groups – All over America, there are hundreds of study groups, aimed at educating Black families about history, culture, politics, and other areas of importance. We must know what racism is and know how to spot it immediately. Racism has countless forms but knowing the basics is important. If there isn’t a study group near you, start your own with family and friends. The more you know the more you grow. Each one teach one!

Self Defense – Regardless of how many pounds you can bench-press or how many miles you can run, every Black person should know how to defend themselves against an attacker. Find a local self defense class to take. It helps if you join with some of your peers.

Organization – Join an organization as soon as possible. Research their morals, guidelines, history, and members to see if it’s a good fit for you. If you’re too busy to join one, support one with volunteer time or funds. There are plenty of organizations aimed at helping our families and communities. They need to be supported and promoted through our collective networks. As Kwame Toure would say “organize, organize, organize.”

Act – At the very core of an activist is action. We must go beyond getting upset and frustrated and move into coalitions of structured movements. I didn’t tell anybody to go grab a gun and start shooting random White people. That would be foolish and unproductive. Use the anger that you have built up in you and act on it. The time is now!
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Sunday, March 25th 2012 at 12:36AM
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