Battling racism with knowledge: The truth about racial violence
Published: Monday, September 9, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 9, 2013 16:09
If any of you watched the TV this summer then you know about the tragedy that is known as the Trayvon Martin story.
The endless barrage of media coverage left most of us no choice but to hear about the situation.
It was everywhere I turned. I decided to get on Facebook to try and escape from the military-style assault campaign upon my senses, but it was there, too.
Every person, it seemed, had to chime in with their “guilty” or “not guilty” opinion.
Just when I was about to wave the white flag to surrender, when all hope of common sense coming from anyone was fading quickly, a glimpse of hope came beckoning over the horizon in the form of a shared YouTube video on my wall.
The video featured David Carroll, a black gentleman from Mississippi at a Trayvon Martin rally. This gentleman did not show up to “rally for Trayvon” by demanding a guilty verdict, but was there to rally against those there for the rally.
In Carroll’s opinion, an unnoticed tragedy was the misguided nature and hypocrisy of the black leadership in this situation.
In his words, “those people, (the black leadership), believe a black life is only valuable when taken by a white person.”
He continued by explaining how, in his hometown of Oxburn, Miss., six young black men were killed in eight shootings over the recent holidays.
He excoriated the local leadership for not holding a rally for these young men and pointing out the real tragedy within the black community; which, in his eyes, is black-on-black violence.
I believed Tupac Shakur explained this best when he stated “they tell me its the white man I’m suppose to fear, but it’s my own kind doing all the killing here.” The question now becomes, are these men right?
Though the statistics vary slightly, the numbers average to around 85 percent of black murders being committed by other blacks. About the same proportion exists when you take the word “black” out of that equation and substitute “white” in its place.
In other words, a super-majority of murders have nothing to do with race at all.
In fact, I dare claim that a majority of the other 15 percent of murders had nothing to do with race. Race, although it can be a motivation for murder, is rarely the only reason for someone to decide to kill another person.
Not everyone, however, seems to understand this truth about American life today. Oprah Winfrey compared Trayvon Martin’s death to that of Emmett Till’s death, although the situations were entirely different.
Emmett Till’s death was a real individual tragedy. The consequences of Emmett speaking, or flirting as some claimed, with a white girl was death. The facts in the Trayvon Martin situation, besides it being a tragedy, in no way correlate.
Trayvon Martin was shot during an altercation with a man named George Zimmerman, who was acting as a neighborhood watchman. Zimmerman was found innocent of second degree murder after jurrors decided the facts supported his self-defense claim.
I, like the gentleman from Mississippi, understand that most violent acts are caused by people we know, and not from oppressive, racist, or discriminatory acts of hate.
Maybe it’s time to realize that violence is an American problem, and that problem has less to do with external violence between races and more to do with internal violence within them.