Let’s get it out of the way. I agree with the outcome in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman fiasco. So to those who felt entitled to a “guilty” verdict, I am insensitive, heartless, and, most important, racist and bigoted.
Spitballs off a battleship.
The tragedy in all this is the true victim: race relations, as our goal of a color-blind society stands at its lowest point in modern history.
Never mind that the jury did the only rational thing, following that ever-eroding thing called the law.
Indisputably, had this been black-on-black or white-on-white, there wouldn’t have been a trial. Equally true, a national media starved for ratings, and advocacy groups desperately trying to affirm a relevance they never had, created this entire debacle on a false “racial” premise.
Because some Trayvon supporters thought they were entitled to a guilty verdict, regardless of facts or legal statute, anything less was a “travesty” of justice, racist, and a tacit endorsement for rioting and death threats against Zimmerman.
Welcome to an America that revels in its path of racial regression.
There is no better illustration of how badly we botch race relations than the differences in the Paula Deen and Trayvon Martin cases.
We demonize Deen for words she admitted using years ago, mainly in the context of jokes. It’s bad enough Americans have lost their sense of humor because we get offended by absolutely everything, but honestly, who (of all colors) hasn’t laughed at “racial” words in jokes (including black comedians using the “N” word)? Does that make one a bigot? Of course not.
Is Paula racist? No. While some of what she said isn’t defensible, the piling-on of talking heads and gutless companies who know nothing of loyalty and forgiveness was disgraceful.
Yet there is a simple reason we took her down: it was easy. That’s it. No hard work was required to put her on a dartboard and destroy her. Those who did so chalked up a “win” in their personal agenda column, lying that it was done in the name of improving race relations. In reality, it set the whole debate backwards.
And yet, we barely mention that virtually every big city mayor and police chief felt it necessary to urge calm, pleading with Trayvon supporters not to riot and incite bloodshed in the event of a “not guilty” verdict. All for a case where most didn’t have the foggiest idea of Florida law and how it, and nothing else, dictated the outcome.
The inconsistencies are mindboggling, but not surprising.
Race relations have been rocky in this country, but it was a right-versus-wrong struggle, where the oppressed eventually triumphed. Through their perseverance, and the support of millions of fair-minded whites, blacks ultimately achieved legal equality, a monumental feat realized more quickly than even the most optimistic could have hoped.
And yet now, by our own choosing, we are separate once more, a nation divided after it had come such a long way to heal wounds of the past.
Unconscionably, too many on all sides accept and embrace that.
In all the coverage, was there any mention of the thousands of blacks killed each year, primarily by other blacks? Or of the staggeringly high percentage that die, go to prison, or are on parole or probation? Any conversation about reversing that trend?
Was there any debate about how murder, drugs, homelessness, poverty, crushing taxes, and horrendous education in American cities kill hope and create a bitter divide? And about how, despite feel-good reforms and billions in aid, things are worse? Were the roots of these problems discussed? Solutions offered?
Was there any leader, unafraid to incur the wrath of the loudmouthed, name-calling brigades, pointing out that Black Caucuses and Black Parents’ Weekends at colleges do not celebrate diversity and culture, but drive a sharp wedge between people — people who should view themselves as “Americans” with no hyphens?
But as long as we rally around “race cases” that don’t advance race relations, that’s apparently all that matters.
Too many of all colors look the other way regarding race, fearful of being labeled, resulting in blowhards getting airtime and the status quo remaining intact.
That’s not a solution. That’s a tragedy.
Things won’t change until our leaders, the media, and most of all, ourselves, demand it. But so long as America chooses to look through the black and white prism while ignoring the one that eliminates color, race relations and tension among fellow countrymen will continue to erode, erasing so much of what courageous leaders of the past, both black and white, achieved.
The only colors Martin Luther King, Jr. saw were red, white, and blue. It’s truly pathetic that nearly half a century later, we now have made race relations brown. And that doesn’t refer to skin color.
An accredited member of the media, Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.
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