On February 26th 2011, a young white boy was walking to his father’s house after coming from the store. He was wearing a hoodie and carrying a bag of skittles and ice tea, he was minding his own business.
Out of nowhere a grown Black man drove by and assessed that this white teenager was up to no good so he started following him. The teenager recognized that he was being followed so he ran, not knowing why this grown man was following him, he just knew that a creepy dude in a car was following him for no reason. Is it a crime for a white kid to go to the store to get some snacks? I think not! He was within his rights to be where he was and was doing nothing wrong, yet because he was he was immediately vilified by the Black guy in the car. This is evident in the fact that he decided to follow the kid because “he looked like he was up to no good”.
The black guy then proceeds to call 911 to report this “suspicious looking” white kid that was wearing a hoodie. He then told the 911 operator that he was following the suspect, and the operator immediately told him to stand down, do not follow him, the police are on their way. This grown Black dude then proceeds to get out of his car and follow the white teenager anyway, even though he was told not to. As he is following the teenager he can be heard mumbling about how they always get away with stuff. The call ends and he continues to pursue the white teenager.
By this time the white teenager has called his friend and is telling her that a creepy looking nigger is following him. He looks up and there he is, the Black man is standing there, and before he hangs up the phone with his friend, he is overheard saying “why are you following me”?
What happens next more than likely went like this!
The white teenager tried to leave the scene and the Black man decided that he wasn’t going to let him leave, so he tried to detain him until the police got there. A scuffle ensued and the white teenager got the ups on the grown man who then pulled his gun out and shot the white teenager in the chest, killing him. The police arrive and the Black man says he was acting in self defense because the teenager that he had been following and tried to detain knew how to fight, so he feared for his life.
Now ask yourself white America, if this incident occurred the way I just wrote it out and the tables were turned, and it was a grown Black man that murdered a white teenager, how would you feel about the verdict?
There is no way on this planet that you would not think that the grown Black man that was told to stand down and not follow the white teenager wasn’t the aggressor in this situation. The white teenager would be the one who was considered to be standing his ground. The thing is, Black Americans would have felt the same way. We would have wanted the Black man to go to jail because he was pursuing the white kid and then killed him.
If Zimmerman had done what the 911 operator told him to do, Trayvon would still be alive and this wouldn’t even be an issue. But an overzealous, prejudiced police wannabe decided to take the law into his own hands that night and the end result was a 17 year old Black kid losing his life. Gunned down in the streets like a worthless piece of crap.
We all know that Zimmerman killed him; we all know that he was the aggressor because he was the one pursuing Trayvon. He was the one that was carrying a gun! He was the one that was told to stay in his car and let the police handle the situation, but he didn’t care about what he was told. He was hell bent on not letting this one get away, like all the other ones. The question is get away with what? With being Black in a gated community, with not respecting the perceived authority of “neighborhood watch” captain, wannabe officer Zimmerman. What exactly was Trayvon getting away with, white America?
This is why Black Americans say the things that we do about white racism, white prejudice, white privilege, white justice, etc. These things are ingrained into the fabric of our society to the point that a white man can chase us down and if we resist, if we Stand Our Ground, it’s within the law that he can kill us in cold blood.
Where does this leave us? All we ever wanted from this country is to be treated fairly by the white inhabitants here. We started as slaves, you hated us, we fought for our freedom, you hated us, we asked to be treated equally, and you hated us! Back in the early 1900’s we tried to build our own communities and become self sufficient and you hated us for that. So you destroyed our businesses and homes simply because we were black and had more than the whites that lived around us. We’ve fought in wars to uphold American freedom and come home to hate! All we want is the basic freedoms provided to every other person by the constitution and you hate us for that! You hate the fact that we don’t hate you, so you keep reminding us that you hate us.
The acquittal of George Zimmerman on 07/13/13 is another reminder to us, that you hate us! Your justice system fails us at every turn; police kill one of us every 28 hours, white men kill us whenever they feel like it and everyone gets away with it. We’ve seen countless Black kids murdered by white men for whistling at white women, walking home, talking back and any other trivial reason.
So where do we turn, what do we do?
Is a Black life worth less than a white life?
Why do you hate us so much?
These are all questions that Black people wrestle with everyday while we try to navigate through this society that has imprisoned millions of us and killed 10’s of thousands of us just for being Black. So white America, can you please let us know why you hate us so much!
A Black American