Racial Injustice in America...Who's Responsible For Speaking Out?

Controversial blog: Why isn't there more unity when unspeakable racial injustice arises? Read to get to the hard questions that don't get asked.

By now the news of the unfortunate injustice associated with Trayvon Martin has infiltrated the globe thanks in large part to social media. There has been an outpouring of outrage demanding justice for the 17-year-old's family. We have all seen videos, posts, statuses, recordings, photos, and even people sporting hoodies all to try to send a message.

When I first heard the story I was appalled...I figured there must be some mistake. How could this man's actions be justified? How could following this young man and holding a gun to his head while he was completely defenseless be construed as self defense?

After I listened to the 911 recordings, the girlfriend's cell phone account, and read through some of the other details of the story, I was even more shocked. I learned Trayvon was an A/B student, played football for his high school and was generally loved by all. As I read on, I couldn't help shake the feeling that something like this could really happen anywhere, even here in Summit, NJ.

The story was eating at me so I started to post links, information, sign petitions and whatever else I could do from my computer. I also was making a point to comment on other people's posts and statuses on the topic and I started noticing that most of the people who were so outraged by this story, were black.

I remember in  watching videos from various Civil Rights marches and demonstrations back in the 60's and wondering to myself why were there so few people of other races marching too?

And I wonder today, why are there so few people of other races outraged about Trayvon Martin? I've actually seen numerous comments about the incident listing every excuse from what he was wearing, to the corrupt police department, to the "stand your ground" version of the legislation in question.

But in reality...the only thing George Zimmerman knew about Trayvon, was that he was black...and with that information, he made the decision to ignore his pleas for mercy and pull the trigger.

I am outraged as a mother, an American and a Human...the fact that I'm also white never even seemed relevant when I started posting and researching other similar cases, and yes, there are other similar cases. In fact, did you know there are modern day lynchings taking place and being passed off as suicides?

We know fear plus ignorance equals hate...and we seem to be completely surrounded by uncertainties that cause fear these days, so the only way to avoid the perpetuation of more hate is through education. People, ALL PEOPLE, need to wake up and realize that these hate crimes are taking place and rarely make the mainstream media. This means there is a clear social responsibility to speak up and speak out.

But who's responsibility is it? As parents, brothers, sisters, students, teachers, and Americans, isn't it every one's? So here's the call to action. I inserted the link to the petition below...but the real call to action is awareness and it's really not just about Trayvon. 

Put down the Groupon and Google some articles. Turn off American Idol and talk to people...doing something is better than nothing...doing nothing says so much.

As the world around us changes, and I think it's clear to see that it is, we need to look at some serious issues. The unknowns politically, economically, the angst surrounding sexism, racism and other isms, and of course the global unrest. How are we as individuals dealing and coping with the fear and stress that comes with turmoil? I will dig in next post to how Summit as a community can hedge against whatever is to come. Comments and thoughts are always welcomed.


Petition - http://www.change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-killer-of-our-son-17-year-old-trayvon-martin

Girlfriend's account of events leading up to the shooting - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/20/trayvon-martin-final-moments_n_1366697.html

Modern Day Lynchings documentary - http://www.tvfirstlook.com/2012/02/review-injustice-files-at-end-of-rope.html

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

John Lee April 03, 2012 at 06:54 PM
please explain yourself; Zimmerman sees a stranger, calls police to tell them he's hunting that person down, then kills him; I see a stranger I usually say hello or comment about the weather. I don't see the similarity.
Michele April 03, 2012 at 07:00 PM
I do not need to explain a thing but please go back and read some of your comments. They are filled with hate, as much hate as you believe zimmerman carries around.
John Lee April 03, 2012 at 07:08 PM
nope, I don't see them, I just see a lot of questions about the situation and pointing out the fact the racism is alive and well in the US; plus lots of personal attacks including some with racial inferences (like gold teeth); unless you view wearing a hoodie as hate because I know that scares white folks for some reason
John Lee April 03, 2012 at 07:14 PM
in the 911 calls Zimmerman admitted to following Martin, which sounds very close to the concept of hunting him mentioned in your comment. Not sure what a "threatening gesture" might be - given that Florida is the place in question, a middle finger jesture is probably considered threatening if done by a person of colour
John Lee April 03, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Thanks again for writing this blog. It's excellent and shows how far we have to go.
Concerned April 03, 2012 at 07:16 PM
You are absolutely correct. The officer on the scene has stated that he felt that Zimmerman should of been charged and arrested. The prosecutors felt the evidence was weak. That means they wanted an air tight case so their win record of convictions would not be hurt. Their track record was more important than justice. So now the Feds are involved and an investigation is underway. He is innocent until proven guilty. I only wish he had given the unarmed young man that chance.
John Lee April 03, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Concerned, since I have been called "hot headed" and my comments "filled with hate" by two others, can I trouble you to point out where I might have done that. Cheers!
Concerned April 03, 2012 at 07:26 PM
John Lee, I was commenting to David above. I did see the post whereby you were called full of hate. The only emotion of hate anyone with compassion has is for the heinous act of murder on an unarmed youth. To compare your post to the action of Zimmerman's murder of the young man is rhetoric that is unfounded and delusional.
Alice Jameson April 03, 2012 at 07:28 PM
John Lee: “All things come to he who waits but these days most things suck.”
John Lee April 03, 2012 at 07:53 PM
you and Lori seem to be the voices of reason here so I figured I'd ask, just in case there was some cultural reference I made of which I was not aware; never in a million years would I have thought that Americans were so afraid of hoodies! (the oldest one I have is from the 1972 Olympics in Muchen);
Lori Golden April 03, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Sorry TCG....my sense of humor on the whole thing disappeared around the 30th comment...lol. I know EXACTLY what I am up against. I grew up in Summit...went to high school here...witnessed first hand accounts of total absurdity in regards to race or anyone who wasn't per se "priviliged." I know this blog isn't going to make much impact...but it's a start and a voice. I may never make any change, but I'm standing up and speaking up, which is more than I can say for most. "Put down the martini and walk away from the flat screen" LOVE IT...yes, you get it ;)
Concerned April 04, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Michele, To compare me to Zimmerman is an ignorant rant. My rage is at a prosecutor who refused to investigate and charge Zimmerman s that judicial due process could move forward. It now appears it is so we can get to the bottom of what occurred. You better tone down you rhetoric, as your hate is very apparent.
Winston April 04, 2012 at 02:05 AM
People....people......why are you letting facts, rational behavior, fairness and the law get in the way of racists seeking to perpetuate the myth that innocent blacks are being hunted down by whites on a daily basis. Gee...how could they possibly let the facts that a Latino shot a black thug in self defense....it ruins the Jesse Jerkson and Al Sharpie Sarptons business of race baiting and shaking down whitey!
Concerned April 04, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Winston, let's make it simple for you. A person named Zimerman shot and killed a young man who by the way was unarmed. The issue is that the prosecutor did to fully investigate the killing even though the policeman on the scene recommended that further investigation should be done and that he felt Zimmerman 's story did not holdvogether based on evidence gathered at the scene. Now I left out who was of what race so we can focus on the fact that a life was taken and race is not important. Now thankfully a full investigation is being done and due process will occur. Everyone involved deserves that under our constitution.
John Lee April 04, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Given that the rant is full of personal attacks I would like to see the editors at Patch ban this "Michele" person.
Monk April 04, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Lori, I think you made my point that feelings often muddle issues extraordinarily well. Until the black population as a whole rejects the separatist, self-defeating ghetto/gangsta culture promoted by its "leaders" and "celebrities", every promising black person can expect to have to swim upstream. That form of self-inflicted racial discrimination is the real problem. No one is enslaving or holding back blacks more so than blacks.
20 year Summit Resident April 04, 2012 at 02:51 AM
John Lee invokes the last refuge of a liberal that has lost the debate. Ban the party that disagrees with him. The truth hurts, John. Do you have any comment on the murder of the hispanic man by "children of color" or is your outrage racially selective? The "children of color" can't even claim they killed him in self-defense. Michele characterizes you quite accurately.
20 year Summit Resident April 04, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Lori, I understand why you cannot directly respond to my comments to defend your blog post. You have neither the facts or the skill to defend the indefensible statements and points you make. Unbelievably many of your comments are even worse ("...protect them from our neighbors like those up here who will only ever see them as thugs"). That's a pretty broad stereotype! And even though you pat yourself on the back throughout the comments for what an enlightening force you are for racial conversation and understanding you have done nothing of the sort. You are kidding yourself. Writing a poorly researched, ill informed piece based on your feelings does nothing to advance the discussion of race. In fact it has been harmful as your media platform establishes a welcome embrace for people like John Lee and Concerned and SP who look at this tragedy as some sort of opportunity to make racial hay. As time has gone on in the last week Lori Golden you and the people you gave high 5s to in the comments have been systematically exposed as gullible fools that believed the original racist liberal media meme. Perhaps even proved to be racist yourself as you assumed the worst about George Zimmerman. More to follow in next comment....
20 year Summit Resident April 04, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Continued from prior comment.... You Lori Golden, the mother of a black child who's ancestors were well aware of the lynchings of blacks, were perfectly happy to stir those same emotions in people that wanted to lynch Zimmerman...something you continue to think and do now today even though evidence piles up that refutes every one of your "feelings." We now know that ABC and NBC both selectively edited video and audio tape (in other words lied) to put Zimmerman in the worst light possible. Bought hook line and sinker by you and your ilk in this thread. These lies were passed on by others in the liberal media including the New York Times who apparently had not caught up to the fact that NBC's own internal investigation concluded that they had made an error and apologized. Much like you, Lori Golden except you cannot admit that you were wrong, you rushed to judgment and wrote something too quickly before the facts had been widely distributed and understood in full context. More to follow in next comment....
20 year Summit Resident April 04, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Continued from prior comment... I'd also like to help you with your ignorance of American history. The Irish and Chinese were treated like garbage when they first came to America. While they were not slaves they still had to work and bootstrap and fight for recognition as Americans in the post Civil War era. Somehow the Irish and the Chinese have done well enough that they don't need Sharptons and Jacksons to represent their nationality or race. It is tiresome to hear from people like you that racism is holding people back. With the election of President Obama that dog hunts no more. You kid yourself that you have added anything to the discussion. In fact you and your intolerant ilk that write inflammatory stories and that sign despicable petitions to prosecute based on your "feelings" of racial victimization are the real problem in America today.
Winston April 04, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Oh....myyyyy...... http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2012/04/03/win-newsbusters-nbc-apologizes-shoddy-editing-zimmerman-call
Michele April 04, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Concerned: My comment was not directed at you but to Mr. Lee. To me it is HIS rhetoric that needs to be toned down if for no other reason then for his health. He seems on the verge of a breakdown or a stroke. I feel concerned for him.
Michele April 04, 2012 at 03:15 PM
20 year summit resident: You hit the nail on the head. When the Irish first came here, they were loathed as were the chinese. It was said Irish children were born to die. In the major cities signs were hung in the windows of businesses "Irish Catholic Need Not Apply". Anyone who could get a job worked 6.5 days a week, 16 hours minimum a day. Prejudice against the Irish was so overwhelming that a newspaper in Chicago wrote an editorial proclaiming "if we got rid of all the Irish crime would disappear". They were dirt poor but like all the other immigrants that have come here they pulled themselves up and with ZERO help from the government.
Camilo H. Smith (Editor) April 04, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Hi, While it's great to see 145 comments in this stream, people have been pushing it with the personal attacks. Please keep the discussion to the general topic and avoid any attacks on commenters. We want this to be a free and open commenting space. Let's respect each other, please.
Badkornflake April 04, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Ok John, what facts are missing? Lets assume they are all in. Then why has the police, federal government, and special prosecutor yet to charge Zimmerman? Zimmerman was at fault over and over for following Martin (I use Martin because Mom wants to trademark Trayvon) a neighborhood watch persons job is to observe an report, not stalk and confront. But, Martin was at fault for attacking Zimmerman while Zimmerman was on his way back to his car. Why didn't Martin call the police instead of his girlfriend? From what I have truly seen both where at fault of this unnecessary tragedy
20 year Summit Resident April 05, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Shelby Steele: The Exploitation of Trayvon Martin The absurdity of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton is that they want to make a movement out of an anomaly. Black teenagers today are afraid of other black teenagers, not whites. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303302504577323691134926300.html#articleTabs%3Darticle
Monk April 05, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Meanwhile, "[c]elebrating his victory in the Democratic primary on Tuesday night, [Marion] Barry spoke up about the prominence of businesses owned by Asians in the District. We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops,” Barry said in remarks first reported by WRC-TV. “They ought to go. I’m going to say that right now. But we need African-American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too.” And in other news: "The White House’s spokesman said Thursday that the president believes that a golf club in Augusta, Ga., 551 miles from the White House, should change its membership rules and admit women as members. "... Obama is trying to bolster support with feminist groups, partly because he’s trying to maximize favorable turnout among women in the November election." I guess once a community agitator, always a community agitator. So much for the rights of individuals and private organizations and churches and ....
Michele April 05, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Tom: I can only hope that most women are not so stupid that they fall for it.
20 year Summit Resident April 05, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Concerned, I was already to respond to your post and then "poof" it vanished. Please repost without the ad hominem name calling and I'm sure it will stay posted. Word of advice too...read the article in my link because your deleted comment made it clear you hadn't. I wouldn't want you to be embarrassed again.
Concerned April 05, 2012 at 10:07 PM
I am only embarrassed by some of the post you all have made. I am done. Happy Easter to all.


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