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Why Travon Martin’s Murder Is a Watershed

19 Jul

Val Nickolas hits the nail on the head.Why most black men think the Zimmerman trial was a travesty.

Went through a couple of these experiences myself growing up, and later as an adult. Getting stopped in a$70,000 car, in a suit, with my then 80 year old mother 2 blocks from my house in a very nice neighborhood on the way home from taking her out to dinner… For having a loose license plate screw.

Had my Zimmerman moment as a teen, when I and two friends stopped by the local McDonalds for a meal. The driver was a couple of years older, and was known around the community as a bit of a bad ass. He later became a County Policeman and served with distinction for 30 some years. A car with four young white men first attempted to ram us in the parking lot as we drove out – missing us by a few inches. My older friend said “Forget it – they are probably a bunch of drunks”, and kept going without saying a word to the other driver. Half way home, we noticed the car full of guys was following us. We took a couple of turns through streets which basically took us around the block and back to the main, two  lane road (the area was pretty country at that time) – the car followed our every move. As the numbers were 4 to 3,we figured those guys weren’t interested in a stand up fight. They probably were armed. My friend carried a sawed-off under the seat (I said he was a bad ass) – but we didn’t want to force a confrontation on the road. I suggested we go to my house, which had a long circular driveway, shielded by a row of bushes and a wall. My Dad, who was out of town with my Mom, kept loaded guns by the doors after having the house shot at because of their involvement in the Civil Rights Movement (He never was real big on that “peaceful” stuff). When we pulled into the drive, the two non-drivers would jump out through the hedge unseen, and circle around to the house, letting ourselves in and collecting Dad’s venerable Pump and Double Barrel. IF the clowns followed us into the driveway, they would be faced with a three sided ambush, with no way out as the driveway would be blocked by our car, and the wall on one side, and the side of the garage on the other…

Which is exactly what happened.  We made them get out, and besides a case of beer, found two revolvers when we searched them and the car. We took the bullets, removed the cylinders, and tossed the revolver frames into the car – and collected 6 beers from the stash for our efforts. And with a graphic description of what was going to happen if we ever saw them in our town again…

Sent them on their way with instructions as to where to find their revolver cylinders in a few days.

Those guys were so shook up we never saw them again, and they never did pick up their revolver cylinders which we set atop a fence post at the end of a dead end farm road.

Story could have been a lot different…But those beers were damn good.

Had another friend who managed to get stopped 3 times the same day by the same cop, supposedly looking for a robber on his way to visit his girl friend in the next county. Cop as hell on aged blue Mustangs.

I could have been Trayvon Martin

The Don Imus controversy a while back brought racial discrimination into the national conversation. But for many African-Americans like me it dug up a lot of deep, suppressed memories of hateful things that have been said and done to us over the years. Things we thought we had moved past but came screaming back like a freight train into our lives again.

For me, it was the George Zimmerman trial that sparked my memory. As a vice president in a national news division, I watched the trial through an objective lens my eyes have long been trained to look through. However at the end of the trial, those long suppressed memories made an unwelcomed hello.

I grew up in a military family and we always lived in middle class neighborhoods. I was an honor studentin high school as well as a student athlete running track. I even had an after-school job to earn spending money. That said, twice as a teen, I ended up looking down the barrel of police guns for no other reason that I happened to be a black teenager. I had completely forgotten about these incidents but the Zimmerman verdict opened that door again.

The first time, I was merely waiting for a bus to go to my job. Suddenly two California Highway Patrol vehicles jumped over the concrete middle island and they came screaming to a halt on either side of me kicking up a huge cloud of dust.

My first instinct was to run away but before I could figure out how to handle this, an officer from each car jumped out with handguns pointed at me, screaming for me to put my hands up and get down on the ground.

I started to ask what was going on, but they were having none of it and forcibly pushed me down into the dirt making my work clothes a filthy mess. They then asked me if I was the name of someone they were looking for. I told them no and they demanded ID. I did not have a driver’s license yet but fortunately I did have a picture ID from work. If I had not had that ID, I would have surely ended up in jail. After they realized they had the wrong guy, they got back in their cars and drove off. No apology, no checking if I was OK, no nothing.

It was the first time I came to realize that being black was not just a magnet for racist speech and actions directed at me but also could also cost me my life had I responded to a normal human being’s natural fight or flight instinct.

The second time was while I was in a convenience store, and a voice from behind me told me not to move a muscle. I glanced back and saw a shotgun pointed at the back of my head. I thought I was being robbed and I had an envelope in my coat pocket with money I had just cashed from my paycheck. I was thinking about trying to get it out and hide it in the snack display in front of me.

Had I done that, I would have died on the spot…

Another great piece on “Waking Up”  was written by Leonard Pitts for the Miami Herald –

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Zimmerman acquittal another reason to wake up

Four words of advice for African Americans in the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal:

Wake the hell up.

The Sunday after Zimmerman went free was a day of protest for many of us. From Biscayne Boulevard in Miami to Leimert Park in Los Angeles, to the Daley Center in Chicago to Times Square in New York City, African Americans — and others who believe in racial justice — carried out angry, but mostly peaceful demonstrations.

Good. This is as it should have been.

But if that’s the end, if you just get it out of your system, then move ahead with business as usual, then all you did Sunday was waste your time. You might as well have stayed home.

We are living in a perilous era for African-American freedom. The parallels to other eras have become too stark to ignore.

Every period of African-American advance has always been met by a crushing period of push back, the crafting of laws and the use of violence with the intent of eroding the new freedoms. Look it up:

The 13th Amendment ended slavery. So the white South created a convict leasing system that was actually harsher.

The 14th Amendment guaranteed citizenship. So the white South rendered that citizenship meaningless with the imposition of Jim Crow laws.

The 15th Amendment gave us the right to vote; it was taken away by the so-called “grandfather clause.” The Supreme Court struck that down, so the white South relied on literacy tests and poll taxes to snatch our ballots all over again.

Our history is a litany: two steps forward, one step back…

 

Read more here:

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Domestic terrorism

 

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8 responses to “Why Travon Martin’s Murder Is a Watershed

  1. CNu

    July 19, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    The reason it’s a watershed for some negroes with too much time on their hands and not enough real-world shit to do – is the very same reason it’s a watershed for some creepy-assed little crackers with a gun in their pockets and fear on their minds.

    In each case, neither has shit to say for themselves that’s of any consequence, and the last refuge of a little man lost in a big world in which he’s comparatively powerless is that tattered and sorrowful little fig leaf of “identity”.

    Meanwhile the world careens onward with scant little use for either camp of hyperventilating, pearl-clutching oxygen thief….,

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  2. CNu

    July 19, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    This: http://www.paulchefurka.ca/CyberneticCivilization.html has no use and no place for the dyadic clusterfuck which is black/white, butt-sniffing, killer-ape atavism.

    Frankly, it hasn’t had any principled use for any of the simple-simian antics for a VERY long time, but now that the two-legged deuterostems are swarming/teeming the earth with tectonic impact, it’s long overdue time for a generalized reduction in the population of irretrievably stupid and irredeemably surplus…,

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    • btx3

      July 19, 2013 at 11:35 PM

      That essentially will happen due to resource constraints anyway. China will be imploding shortly, and the geopolitical shrapnel generated by that one will likely spill over into the rest of the world. Most of the current world is really being held together by a band-aid and duct tape at the moment. The only real question is whether the balancing is done by a redux of the Spanish Flu epidemic/pandemic brought about by rapidly mutating viruses with consequences beggaring the toll of 1918, or by bullet and missile.

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  3. CNu

    July 19, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Ride KCATA errday, two-four times per day at a minimum. In the last several months 3 black drivers, good folks with whom I’m cordially acquainted, have been assaulted by Bro. Feed’s favorites http://www.kansascity.com/2013/07/18/4352047/video-shows-violent-assault-of.html

    It’s seriously time to begin exercising at least a little bit of quality control over the object of one’s most strenuously exercised cause celebre http://ericpetersautos.com/2013/07/17/thoughts-about-saint-trayvon/

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    • btx3

      July 19, 2013 at 11:57 PM

      Sounds like you need a “Two Gun Pete”…

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    • btx3

      July 20, 2013 at 2:30 PM

      DC’s Transit System has their own Police Department. They have some pretty high standards, and guys who can’t qualify to make the force often are hired by the municipal police departments. Rumor around town is, you do something to one of their drivers…

      You better hope it’s the municipal cops that catch you.

      I have no idea whether those guys whip some miscreant hardhead behind out back of the power station or not – but knowing those guys often ride the buses and trains in plain clothes in the trouble areas does tend to limit the extracurricular activities of the riff-raff. They have been reported to have frog-marched morons off the vehicles and facilities on occasion.

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      • CNu

        July 20, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        Is what I’m talkin’bout. The “commons” is sacrosanct. To the extent that folks can get that through their thick, narcissistic, simian skulls, to exactly that extent – do my children have any prospects for civilized survival.

        Folks like to imagine that I’m a medieval, muscularly heteronormative Malthusian bigot. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, I’m about as meritocratically democratic as they come. However, like yourself, I am the product of old-school home-training and I expect a baseline of decorum, respect and consideration in every single of my transactional involvements with these humans in/on our commons.

        Failure of home-training is no excuse.

        I always and unhesitatingly personally correct transgressions of the commons baseline.

        When I witness, and heaven-forbid, experience niggerishness in these contexts, a very bleak red mist waves before my eyes and the next thing you know…,

        Without exception, bus drivers on the KCATA love me…., what I have to work on and what I struggle with daily is my instinctive revulsion for riders who smell like the bottom of trash dumpsters who haven’t bathed for 7 weeks at a time. This is my primary “spiritual” struggle in life, as many of these folk are mentally ill.

        Chairs on the deck of the titanic are scarce, and something in me forcefully rebels against the thought of allocating one to somebody who can’t even make use of the public library bathrooms to wash they’re stinking monkey-ass…..,

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      • btx3

        July 20, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        As a card carrier,I have the responsibility to ensure safety. Most times that means having a discussion with ignorant mothers letting their little 2 year old offspring run down the aisles of a train speeding at 60+ miles per hour ignorant of the fact that if the operator makes a hard stop – much less has to make an emergency stop, their get is going to leave large red blotches on each of the corners of the 30 seats down the aisle…

        Or the Physics disabled, whose ignorance extends to believing that 200+ ton train won’t hurt them when it hits them… Who hang their knapsacks and shopping bags over the edge of the platform while blubbering with their friends or being engrossed in some game on their cell phone… (then there is the 1-2 folks a month who walk off the platform edge 4′ drop while being engrossed in mumbleypegs for idiots on their phone)

        Or in one case, pulling a guys arm out of his knapsack strap caught with the knapsack outside the train after he rushed the door into a crowded car… With him and the strap inside…

        Because the door won’t open once the train moves… And the clearance between the tunnel walls and the train are smaller than the width of the knapsack. (He was quite surprised at the force with which the strap disappeared between the crack in the door when the knapsack hit a underground column with the train chugging along at maybe 40. And no – they don’t shut down the trains to recover that shit.

        And then there is the “Drunk Train”, when the bars downtown close at 2 AM Friday and Saturday night. Had a crew out installing some wireless equipment in the inbound tunnel of one of the main stations which we shut down a few weeks ago (all the bars are downtown, so the traffic is outbound). Had to set up a couple of watchmen to make sure the drunks didn’t try and walk across the tracks to the other platform. 700 Volts DC, 6000 Amps don’t leave much if you touch the wrong rail.

        Met a cute gal one day on the elevator, who was a busdriver. She was maybe 5’1″ and 115 lbs. What started the conversation (besides the fact she was cute) was when I noticed she was wearing one of the Belt Buckles they award at the “Bus Rodeo” for the best drivers, and I congratulated her on winning. Got off the elevator and talked for about 20 minutes as she filled me in on how the bus system worked. A few weeks later a miscreant attacked her on her bus. I remembered her name. They have an emergency button which gets the cops there usually in 1-2 minutes. She was close enough to the station that the Transit Police showed up first.

        Looking at the booking pics of the thug, the little bus driver must have had a quadruple black belt in Kung Fu…

        Hopefully I will see her again soon and wish her well.

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