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is the title of this Charles M. Blow column for tomorrow's New York Times.  I just finished listening to Blow (among others including Jeffrey Toobin, Mark Geragos, Anna Deavere Smith, Geoffrey Canada, etc) at at Town Hall on Anderson Cooper.  His words - and those of others - were moving.

Blow's written words are just as moving.

Consider just this opening paragraph:

On Friday President Obama picked at America’s racial wound, and it bled a bit.
It is still bleeding, as some are screaming "how dare he" at the President.

There is not much one can add to Blow's words, nor should one try.

Consider the words he offers after quoting the President's remarks that Trayvon could have been him 35 years ago:

With that statement, an exalted black man found kinship with a buried black boy, the two inextricably linked by inescapable biases, one expressing the pains and peril of living behind the veil of his brown skin while the other no longer could.

With his statements, the president dispensed with the pedantic and made the tragedy personal.

Or consider what Blow says after recounting the President's remarks of his own experience of the fear of whites towards him because of his black skin:  
It is in these subtleties that black folks are forever forced to box with shadows, forever forced to recognize their otherness and their inability to simply blend.
There is more.  There is so much more.  There are words of Dubois.  There is analysis of what the data says Blacks think about bias and other things.

But most of all there is the keen understanding and the ability to express what we should all understand, at what the President's words pointed.

Blow hits the mark with his final paragraph, which like his opening, is short and to the point, expressing it from the point of being Black and male in America:

We could all have been Trayvon.
Go read it.  Now.  

You will be glad you did.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 08:13:12 PM PDT

  •  If you do read the Blow column (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elcymoo, Ditch Mitch KY, ramara, a2nite

    perhaps you can share your reactions in the comments, to encourage others to read it?


    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 08:40:18 PM PDT

  •  Thanks Ken (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, wintergreen8694, Patate

    A deeply felt article. His other one after the verdict was too.

    But I can't help feeling that for the part of the country that applauded the verdict, there never was any difference between Trayvon Martin and Barack Obama. Neither ever was or will be an individual person to them, and it could just as easily have been Obama as Trayvon who was so dangerous that killing could be justified.

    To the well-meaning, the personal revelations of a universal experience of black men between Trayvon and the president could be startling and this teachable moment well used. Let's hope that is the more common response among those of us less easily profiled.

    Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

    by ramara on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 12:46:14 AM PDT

  •  Thanks nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 03:31:19 AM PDT

  •  I was tempted to leave a comment that, if (0+ / 0-)

    being discriminated on the basis of superficial optics makes African American males more conscious and self-aware, they're lucky. Because the discriminators are obviously self-centered, instinct-driven people, who rely on their gut reactions to determine what they are about.
    That's probably not a message Blow wants to read. Nevertheless, a raised consciousness is good and, to the extent the instinct-driven are motivated by jealousy, they've got reason. The gut, especially when augmented by a gun, is an unreliable guide, as Zimmerman should, but probably doesn't, now know. That he was outfitted with not one, but two potentially lethal weapons (a truck and a gun) and that he's not being taken out of circulation is a societal flaw.

    Zimmerman was a disaster waiting to happen. Not a happenstance. Given that there are over 38,000 deaths associated with automotive vehicles a year and 13.8% of those are pedestrians, it seems reasonable to conclude that a whole lot of unconscious people are operating lethal cages on wheels, with disasterous results for themselves and innocents. But, we write them all off as accidents. Why? Because human beings are fungible under the law.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 05:20:24 AM PDT

  •  I love you teacherken. You get me to read amazing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    articles every time. Thank you.

    "Aux ames bien nees, la valeur n'attend point le nombre des annees" Pierre Corneille.

    by Patate on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:32:50 AM PDT

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