If I hear one more word about George Zimmerman, the current poster boy for racism, I am going to cancel any future donations to the NAACP. (Not that I was planning on making anyway, but that isn't the point here.)
Given Zimmerman's background and propensity for violence, shooting 17 year-old Trayvon Martin may have been racially motivated or not. Only time will tell, but the whole incident would barely have been a blip across the computer screen had Zimmerman been black and Treyvon white.
A few years back six black teenagers in Louisania known of as the Jena Six, nearly beat Justin Baker, a white teen, to death. Like the ringing of Pavlov's bell, uber-racists Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and much of the oppressed black community rallied around the Jena six and turned Baker's injuries into a side issue in the whole case.
Ernest T. Bass, a character on the on the Andy Griffith Show, may never have met them, but he had the prototype down pat when he told a group of school kids how to get a possum out of a hole. "You either smoke it out, or you take a sharp stick and jab it out," said Ernest T. in Miss Krump's fifth grade class.
Any thing related to a black person, be it good or bad, is the sharp stick needed to lure Jackson and Sharpton out of their holes and organize a protest.
But where is the outcry when a child playing in her house becomes a victim of one of their drive-by shootings? And where is their outrage at their own for squandering opportunities given to them, like a free public education?
The stats speak for themselves. Between 2008 and 2010, 80% of all Asians graduated from high school, 78% of all whites, 56% of all Hispanics, 54% of all blacks and 51% of all Native Americans. Where is their outrage over that and over missed opportunities? Regardless of what condition their textbooks are in, so long as they have words on them and aren't covered with tagging, they can still be used. And regardless of where their school is located, it is the kids and their parents who make the school and not the other way around as people like Jackson and Sharpton like to claim.
For a while I thought I wanted to intern at the "Chicago Reporter." Then I took a gander at their website and saw a story about a black mother bemoaning the fact that they were getting evicted from a housing project because her teenage son broke the rules and had used drugs. Rather than clobbering her son, which is something my mother would have done, she said that he needed to do drugs in order to fit in. Hopefully, they didn't settle in a Crips or Bloods area. It'd bring down the block.
I recently saw "the Help" and began to understand how much harder it is to get ahead with a black skin, but that doesn't mean it's okay to shoot people, loaf, get high, and father a passel of children then leave because it's inconvenient to take care of them.
My father was an immigrant to this country, and never once did he ever hang out around a street corner, loaf, or feel sorry for himself. If anything, he worked hard to put food on the table and clothes on our backs. He never uttered a word about the conditions in a Displaced Person's Camp in Germany or what went on, and I'm only sorry that I didn't ask him the name of the housekeeper who hid him during the Holocaust, so I could thank her family. But now that he is gone, I will never know.
I know it is easier to hide and blend in with a white skin, but I also know the value of hard work, of having dignity and respect, and of showing them in the end.