Sunday, July 14, 2013

Trayvon Won't Be The Last of #RacialProfiling

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Last night, we witnessed yet another tragedy in the court room. We witnessed a man being absolved from a situation in which he clearly instigated. Last night, George Zimmerman was found not guilty of anything in regards to the death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin.

Now, I don't feel the pure anger that some do and that's not to say that I don't care. What's sad is that I don't feel the outrage because I've seen this before. I've seen minorities suffer atrocities at the hands of non-minorities without convictions being made. And I stress the word "minority," because this doesn't just apply to blacks. It applies to anyone who looks black from Haitian to Dominican.

I've also seen inconsistencies on how convictions are made. A black woman named Marissa Alexander, who we have discussed on my radio show before, got 20 years for firing warning shots at her abusive husband. Warning shots! This also happened in Florida. Where is the consistency in the law?

There is no consistency when it comes to minority victims getting justice. However, there is consistency when it comes to the outcome of cases involving minorities: Amadou Diallo, was followed by cops because he looked like a rape suspect, shot at 41 times, hit 19 times, for pulling out his wallet to show his ID to plain clothes cops. Someone yelled "gun" and they start shooting.

Sean Bell was killed as he and his friends were shot at 50 times by plain clothes cops the morning before his wedding. He, too, was followed to his car because someone thought he mentioned that he was "going to get a gun" to settle an argument.

Patrick Dorismond was approached by a plain clothed cop who asked him for drugs. When he got offended at the notion that being dark skinned and standing outside of the club made him a drug dealer, there was an altercation. The undercover officer said that Patrick swung at him, but even if that were the case, the cop had failed to ID himself at that point. A second cop arrived and stated that he heard Patrick yell to his friend, "get his gun." The scuffle resulted in Patrick being shot in the chest and killed.

Now, there are more details to each of those stories, but the constant is that all of the victims had dark skin. All of the victims were being followed or approached for looking suspicious. All of the victims were accused of having a gun or being some sort of immediate threat. All of them are dead.

None of the shooters who followed had dark skin. None of the shooters were correct in their assessment of the victim's intent or presence. None of the victims saw the suspect with an actual gun. None of the shooters who profiled them were convicted of any wrong doing.

He didn't have a gun, "Oops, sorry." 
He wasn't a rapist? "Dag, my bad." 
He didn't sell drugs? "Whoops. My fault." 

So, excuse me if I'm not jumping off the walls in reaction to this verdict because I've seen this mess before! This is a recurring living nightmare that we as minorities have each day of our lives when we leave our homes. It's the reason why my father taught me how to talk to a cop before I was even old enough to get my drivers license. It's the reason why my mom taught me about being respectful in public because of how I may unknowingly intimidate people around me resulting in police presence. I thought those lesson were about respect, but little did I know as a pre-teen that my parents were teaching me survival skills!

What's so sad in all of this is that Trayvon Martin will never get to tell his side of the story. Neither will the next victim...

The media has perpetuated the problem with divisiveness instead of offering solutions.

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