Thursday, August 8, 2013

"We Are George Zimmerman"

I've been perplexed by the existence of Ebony magazine before. Somehow, I do not believe Dr. King would be too pleased that his crusade to bring equality has resulted in a magazine that is dedicated to focusing on skin color.
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Now the folks at Ebony have evidently decided race relations have not deteriorated quite enough in the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict. Maybe their editorial staff thinks we need more riots. They have come out with a series of special edition magazine covers for September to "combat gun violence" (*try to curb second amendment rights) while lionizing a juvenile delinquent, thug-wannabe who was shot and killed by a Hispanic American defending his life against a "ground and pound" style assault.
Is this REALLY the role model African American families want their children looking up to? More importantly, is this the view their community wants the rest of America to have?

Think for a moment what would happen on the flip side of the coin. What if white Americans held a "We are George Zimmerman Rally"? What if Tea Party groups across the nation got together and took group photos with their conceal carry permits and guns. We would be called Klan members! Oh, wait, we don't even have to do that. All we have to do is be angered by this bit of demagoguery.
Somehow, the conversation about race in America has shifted from "we are all equal" to "we all need to embrace what's unique about our race". Whites are told to feel bad about the "privilege" of being born with white skin and that dare not be proud of it.
That tweet drew the following reply from a young, African American woman.

Are we all equal or are we different? This is apparently a conversation we still need to have as a society if we are truly to bring an end to tensions over race in America.

As for my view, this monologue from Gettysburg/The Killer Angels perfectly sums up my feelings.

"Well, if you mean the race, I don't really know. This is not a thing to be ashamed of. The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time."
Skin color is not a privilege or obstacle. It just is part of nature. Everyone has their own reflexive biases and prejudices, I admit it freely for it is part of the human condition to fear that which is different but I never base the way I treat an individual upon their race, gender, religion, sexual preference, or social status. I start everyone with a clean slate and let them earn my respect or contempt. If Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman took that approach, both men would likely still be alive.

Cross posted at WatchDogWire

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