A brief thought concerning the Trayvon Martin verdict.

Can we please, for the love of all that is good, stop calling Trayvon Martin a ‘black teenager’? The appetite of racism is only fed–though hardly sated–by this qualification. As Americans, as parents, as humans, we should see only the fact that he was a human being–not a black person, not a teenager, not a guy in a hoodie….a person. That is the only thing that matters. The ‘black community’ is not more deeply affected than any other community. That so much attention has been given to this particular fact is sickening. Want to stop racism? Stop qualifying people as white, black, Hispanic, brown, etc. And as for the verdict: the justice system did its job. Yes, the system of justice of which we are so proud, which we (purportedly) fight wars to protect. Is it perfect? No. But it is done, and we can only respect the verdict, even if we disagree. And if not, what is the next step? Revenge? Vigilantism–the same kind a man was just tried for? Or more racism–the acquitted was Hispanic, so hey, we should now turn vitriol towards the Hispanic community! Or how about women? Ah, the jury was full of women, so should we engage in widespread misogyny? The desire for revenge and hatred leads down roads that can only end in disaster. The answer, as always, is simple and available to everyone: be loving, patient, forgiving, compassionate and empathetic. See people as people–and realize that this makes them the same as you.

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2 thoughts on “A brief thought concerning the Trayvon Martin verdict.

  1. You’re absolutely right. We should never use labels, especially when it is painful or inconvenient to do so. I’m just satisfied that what happened to Martin will NEVER happen to me, and if it does, the killer won’t walk.

    “be[ing] loving, patient, forgiving, compassionate and empathetic” isn’t any kind of a response. It’s nothing. It changes nothing, especially when things need changing. Let’s not forget that MLK, Ghandi, and thousands of other victims of injustice FOUGHT, just not with guns, and certainly not with empty platitudes.

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