This is my first attempt at a diary here, so hopefully I'm doing it properly...
In re to:
Last stop—Fruitvale Station
"“There are millions of Americans that don’t see Trayvon’s potential. They look at him and see him as a thug who got what he deserved. You know he was a 17-year-old boy that couldn’t even vote yet, had never been arrested, never had a criminal record. My question is, why do people look at him and see that?” Coogler concluded, “We look at him and see something else. We look at him and see us.”"
The don't see Trayvon as a person, and they likely never will.
As a person of mixed heritage its been a bit of a rude shock for me to discuss this with family. Family that I thought would be more enlightened by virtue of having me and the other side of my family as their kin... The hasty speed at which they instantly jump to a defense of Zimmerman that is not even a defense of Zimmerman, but an attack on Trayvon is surprising.
It enlightens me on the motives of those who hastily jump in to defend the verdict.
It is not that "those people" identify with Zimmerman or feel he acted right, but that they cannot envision a world where the Trayvon Martins are not thugs.
In a heartbeat, I was hit with a litany of cases of black on black violence, or black on white violence. And then stone cold silence when I went through those examples and asked for which of them were there no arrests, or no trials, or no guilty verdict.
Though it is no accident that this worldview links the case to their perceptions of OJ Simpson's trial, just as my own worldview links it to Oscar Grant. And mind you, when Grant was murdered, some from that view started bringing up OJ again too...
Somehow that there is so much trouble in the ghetto, is enough to prove that Trayvon, not even a ghetto kid, was the real threat.
Trayvon hasn't just been killed, he's been convicted in the minds of countless people in this nation. Convicted for things that cannot rationally be attached to him.
The list of slanders, or of attributes listed as if they were slanders (I've heard him called a "rapper" for example, as if that were a crime, nevermind that he wasn't a rapper...)...
"They" -NEED- to convict the Trayvons of the world, or they will have to call into question so much about their world and their worldview. A certain worldview, a certain world of privilege, simply cannot justify itself unless it vilifies its victims.
They're not defending Zimmerman... lets face it, in a slightly different fact pattern they'd hang him too. He's a Latino after all. A mostly white Latino, but still a Latino.
As I walked away from the meeting with family that gave me the shock I mentioned... I was followed by a police patrol car for a block, until I turned into a path between buildings. A car that kept pace with me as I walked on the sidewalk...
That is an experience I have had all too many times in 40 years of life... As a mixed person, I am not Hispanic, but my features are similar. I could, were I of a different mentality, be a Zimmerman... When you've got that look that I share with Zimmerman, you find that sometimes you are "one of them" and sometimes you are grouped with "the others" - depending on which labels makes "them" feel more comfortable with their perception of the world. You can even hear this in the language used to describe Zimmerman - he will often flip races in mid conversation, depending on which races better backs up the perception that both Trayvon was the thug, and that this wasn't about white entitlement.
But when I see Trayvon, and know that I'm a lot more like him.
This whole thing had nothing to do with acquitting Zimmerman, and everything to do with convicting Trayvon.