On Whiteness and Trayvon Martin's murder...

I was overseas when Trayvon Martin was gruesomely murdered by a racist gunman who was a self appointed neighborhood watchman. Coincidentally, I was in Israel, a place of turmoil and pain in the world. Also, a sea of hope and beauty, but I digress.

I returned from overseas more patriotic but after catching up with the horrible details of this high school teen's murder and the lack of mass outrage by my fellow non Black Americans, I realize how imperfect our democracy continues to be. How much work we have before us.

My outrage:

-An innocent teen is dead and his killer George Zimmerman is still free.
-The cops in this Florida town are protecting the killer.
-The way Trayvon's family was treated by law enforcement officials is simply outrageous.  

But what is also disconcerting to me is that as I look at the photos of the protesters it is mostly Black America that is hitting the streets and the Internet to demand justice. Where is white America on this issue? Jewish America? Asian Americans? Where are Latinos?

I visited a Holocaust Museum in Israel Yad Vashem and met a Holocaust survivor. Ud was his name, and B495195 his number. It was a moving experience to hear his remarkable story of survival. But it was something about what he said that caught my heart: millions of Jews were killed not by one man but by millions of good people who did nothing. He reminded me of the quote: All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men (and women) do nothing.

Living while male and black and brown in this country continues to be a dangerous. Where is the collective outrage by good White Americans?

I was following an interesting thread on Gawker where this issue was brought up. A heated exchange with the occasional stupid comment, but one insightful commentator caught my eye.

The post is from a self described white commenter:

...You know, at first I was going to be all "Waaaahhh, I'm a white person and I do care," and then I thought that yes, you're 100% right. We care, but we really don't. Ten thousands black kids would have to die all at once in America (=1MM overseas) for us white folks to care enough to do something about it. ....I sat here thinking about this case and thinking that this kid was murdered in cold blood and then went back to doing some work. I didn't sign a petition, I didn't post it to Facebook, I didn't even talk to my husband about it. When black kids were being murdered at an astonishing pace in Chicago, all I could muster was "damn, that's sad." And I donated thousands to Vick dog rescue. I realize that you're not referring to every specific person, but to our whiteness in general and that you will be right for a long time....

The Justice Department, after much pressure, is finally stepping in to investigate the murder. Hopefully justice will prevail. But I am interested in the exploration of our individual hearts as it pertains to racism and bias.  Whom do you consider suspicious? Are you willing to really go there and be honest with yourself? 

As long as the voices of everyone not just Black America say enough is enough there will be more Trayvons. 


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