The Michael Dunn trial has all but proven that it’s legal in red “Stand Your Ground, Shoot First” states for a white man to kill a black man simply because he’s afraid of black people.
And just a few months ago, the Supreme Court said that there’s no longer any significant racial discrimination or animosity in America in its ruling on the Voting Rights Act.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at how things really are in America today when it comes to racial equality.
In response to the Jordan Davis case and the Trayvon Martin case, the folks over at ColorOfChange.org have launched a new campaign titled “Black Lives Matter.”
They’re calling on Americans to, “Take action to help prevent the loss of another Trayvon or Jordan.” They say, “Join us to bring an end to ‘Stand Your Ground’ and other ‘Shoot First’ laws that undermine public safety, senselessly put people at risk, and enable the kind of tragedy we’ve witnessed in the case of Jordan Davis.”
One main goal of the campaign is to convince white Americans that black lives are just as valuable as white lives, and that most black people are not only NOT scary, but they’re just like you and me.
Right now across the web, black Americans are tweeting and posting pictures of black kids doing things that all kids do regardless of their race, using the hashtag “#DangerousBlackKids,” started by Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) and Jamie Nesbitt Golden (@thewayoftheid) of HoodFeminism.com.
Nancy LeTourneau has compiled some of the tweets over at her Horizons blog.
Twitter user @RiceVal tweeted out a picture of a black child playing baseball, with the caption, “#DangerousBlackKids getting ready to steal.”
Meanwhile, Twitter user @nealcarter tweeted out a picture of group of high school students, many of whom are black, with the caption, “The Gaithersburg high chapter of B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S. Inc is dangerous because they feed the homeless #dangerousblackkids.”
Finally, Twitter user @bugsact tweeted out a picture of her two sons, with the caption, “My sons looking super scary! One serves his country other serves student athletes with disabilities #dangerousblackkids.”
What these tweets and photos are trying to do is wake Americans up to the fact that we’re all just humans here, regardless of skin color.
You’d think this would be obvious, but centuries, generations, and even recent decades and years of largely-white-owned-and-programmed media in America have repeatedly portrayed blacks in a variety of negative stereotypes.
From the early days of Al Jolson in blackface on the screen to Aunt Jemima in the marketplace on TV, blacks were often characterized as subservient or dumb.
In popular culture today, blacks are repeatedly characterized as criminals, pimps, drug dealers, and gang-bangers. This “scary” image has been promoted from movies to music to television.
Even the President of the United States isn’t immune – when he used the word “damn” in a TV interview a few years ago, Drudge and others on the right screamed “Obama Goes Street!” “Street,” of course, being code for “Angry Black Man.”
The result of media and popular culture portraying blacks as more likely to be criminals is that they’re far more likely to be treated as criminals, even when they aren’t.
Jason Roberts, a white man and a host on the YouTube channel Simple Misfits, decided to make a video to show the double-standard that exists between white males and black males.
First, Roberts tried to break into his own car. While he set of the alarm numerous times, very few people stopped to see what was going on, or to ask Roberts if it was even his car.
And at one point, a police officer drove right by Roberts, despite the car alarm going off and Roberts visibly trying to break into the car.
Then, actor Quentin Brunson, a black man, tried to break into Roberts’ car. Within moments of setting off the car’s alarm, Los Angeles police officers were on the scene, directing profanities at Brunson and stopping just short of arresting him.
They also asked him repeatedly if he’d ever been arrested before, and acted surprised when he said “no.”
Because our largely white society and culture is biased to think that black people are scary and white people aren’t, Robert’s video is a great example of what goes on all across America every day.
It’s time to go beyond these racist stereotypes. It’s time to strip the stigma that’s been associated with dark skin since the early days of slavery in America.
It’s time for white Americans to wake the hell up, and realize that we’re all humans here. Black, white, Latino, Asian, it doesn’t matter. We’re all just humans, and we’re all just trying to get through life as best we can.
We need to start doing some serious work to clean up the mess that 400 years of slavery and discrimination has left in our country, and end both poverty and racism in America.
It’s time for white Americans to wake up and help heal this country of 400 years of self-inflicted wounds.