I am a middle-aged, privileged white guy who has been watching the court and the world respond to the killing of Trayvon Martin. I seldom diary, but had a rant in me this morning, so I typed it up and posted it on my Facebook account. I don't know whether it's good or not, but it was cathartic to write, so I figured I'd share it here.
The word, “prejudice” means to “pre-judge”. Because of that, I confess that I am prejudiced against everybody. I make an immediate, snap judgment of everyone I see or meet. I take everything into account; height, weight, clothes, hygiene, sound of their voice, and yes, the color of their skin. I believe this is a trait that we have developed as humans to identify potential mates, and potential danger. However, I don’t simply act on my prejudicial feelings, as they may well be wrong. Not only that, I do my best to be open to different cultures, and have found that openness has led to significant enrichment of my short life experience here on Earth. I have also found that when I allow my prejudice to fester into fear, that I have bruised my own soul, and been proven to be a bit of a jerk.
Racists know no empathy. They see people who are not like them, and see a crook, a thug, a gangster, a whore, white trash, a princess. The label they assign to the other is the one that stays with them. The feeling that they get is often so deep that they obsess about it. And sometimes they act on it in violent ways.
George Zimmerman is a racist. And Trayvon Martin is dead because of this racist. I don’t care what the jury said, or the judge, or the prosecution, or the defense. If you don’t see, this, then you yourself may be a racist. If George Zimmerman had not been a racist, the exchange between the two would have gone down like this: “Hi. My name is George Zimmerman, I’m a neighborhood watchman around here. I haven’t seen you around here before. Where are you headed? OK, well let me know if you need anything. Have a good evening.”
And Trayvon would still be alive.
When you feel such intense fear and hatred, to the point where you think you need to carry a gun to protect yourself, then I would prejudge you as being a racist, and a weakling. If you are offended by this comment, then your choices are to explore why you are offended, or to judge me as a liberal asshole and unfriend me. One of these options is much easier than the other. If you choose the easier option, then my prejudice will have proven correct.