You've heard this particularly vile argument now being made by the inglorious right wing media. "If people care so much about children dying, why aren't they doing more about black-on-black violence? Why is the Zimmerman case such a big deal?" To my right wing colleagues, let me say this to you, now... STOP! This will not end well for you, not now, not ever!
You have been on the wrong side of history for far too long, and you're about to add one more page to the book that dooms you; the book that holds you accountable for every racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic statement/law/policy/group mantra you've ever made, held, or defended.
What's different in the two cases? Let me tell you!
The fight to end Black-On-Black violence should be viewed as evidence that we care when black youth die, no matter WHO pulls the trigger. Any conservative making this argument could have taken the time to wipe away the happy smug, pull both arms back down from the self-congratulatory pats on the back, and taken part in a brief Google search to find out how many anti-gang initiatives there are out there, working to end the Black-On-Black phenomenon. You could have searched to find out how many communities, and individuals, touched by violence, have fought to save their children.
The fact that you haven't conducted such a search or mentioned any of those programs highlights two issues:
1. You are STILL, even if implicitly, associating this child, Trayvon Martin, with violent gangs and other violent youth. Your pal, George Zimmerman, has killed this child (you call it self-defense). You are now continuing to malign this child's character. Those who knew him have a completely different, evidence based, view of who he was -- no surprise, so you've missed the mark altogether. Those children, in other places, who are killing one another are not Trayvon, though they deserve to be saved too. They are not the reason Zimmerman pulled that trigger, either.
2. These worthless, useless comments also highlight how little the right wing has been involved in resolving the issue (other than offering to build more prisons for offenders or continuing to financially bankrupt low income communities). I think every "journalist" who allows them to make such comments should be asking those who make them what they've personally done to resolve the issue. Conservatives should be asked what contributions they've made to bettering the lives of the children and families they so deeply care about, now.
Here is what you, America's right wing, need to keep in mind. Black-on-Black violence is NOT a pass to kill our sons and daughters and walk away clean. We will not allow it. Your day is DONE. Looking at us as less than human is DONE. We know that we are human, even if you don't see beyond your stereotypes of who we, as African-Americans, are.
-- I held my "Black" son minutes after his birth.
-- I fed him and nursed him when he was sick.
-- I held his hand on the first day of class and cried more than he did when we were separated.
-- I held him the first time: his feelings were hurt, his heart was broken, he felt lost in the world. I was there supporting him every time those things happened after the first time.
-- I stayed up the first time he went out at night, alone in the car - and was up for many nights after that first time.
-- I celebrated his graduation from college and then from graduate school.
-- I cried with joy when he became engaged and thought about the day I would one day become a grandmother and walk with my grandchild through the same steps I took with my son.
--I cry whenever I think of that new life that will one day grace this family.
Those are just a few of the experiences we probably have in common, many of them are the experiences the Martin family have in common with you as well. Sadly, some of them, thanks to Zimmerman, will be denied to the Martin family.
Where you see thugs, gangs, fear, and loathing, many of us see love, grace, hope, and understanding. I owe the Martin family. I owe my son. I owe the nieces and nephews I am now raising. I owe the grandchildren that will one day bless this family and make us even stronger.
Conservatives making this argument need to understand that their comments implicitly amount to this: If you're killing your own boys, if some of you fear them, why is it a problem if someone else does it?". You may not be culturally competent and adept enough to know what you're asking, but that is it.
Is that what you MEAN to ask?
Do you mean to use black-on-black violence to mock our pain over the death of an innocent child???
Whether or not that's your intent, here is what you need to know:
Your arguments are not going to clear Zimmerman or Dunn
We will remember your words!
We will remember every false move you make!
We are organizing!
Keep saying it out loud.
It is your right, but what your words also do is keep reminding us why you don't deserve to hold office or make laws and policies on our behalf. You don't know who we are and your policies show that.
We see you for who you are and we will remember.
I have a debt to pay, and I've started to pay it. I'm divesting from my ALEC related corporate accounts. I'm helping to register family members to vote- including my niece who turned 18, this spring. Guess what is driving her desire to vote and have a voice, along with all of her friends who've turned 18 this year?
I'm going to give more of my time to registering other voters. I'm going to give whatever money I have to give to help groups who are helping to pull back your mask, and make clear the contempt you have for our children.