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Friday, March 23, 2012

Racism- Not Just For White People Anymore

  The entire nation has been following the case of 17-year old Trayvon Martin. Martin was apparently gunned down for no reason by self-proclaimed Neighborhood Watch Volunteer George Zimmerman. By all accounts, Trayvon was a good kid, never had been in trouble, just walking down the street with a bag of candy talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone. Can't get much more normal than that.
 Zimmerman, again by all accounts, was a frequent caller to 911. He had, in the past, accused a girlfriend of domestic violence, and probably should not have been allowed to have a gun.
 This story is a tragedy from beginning to end. The investigation is not completed all of the facts are not in yet, but it may end up being a case of someone simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is no doubt that, so far, George Zimmerman appeared to be a loose cannon, just waiting for a reason to shoot anybody. We will never know what an amazing life that Trayvon Martin might have lived. Would he have gone on to graduate from college, get married, and have children of his own? Would he have become one of the top people in his chosen field? We would all like to believe that he would have.
  But there is another story. A story that has not gotten nearly the attention that this one has. Granted, the 13-year old white boy is still alive to tell his story, but is it any less horrific? No names were reported, but this boy was followed home, in Kansas City, from school by two black teen-agers, tackled on his own front porch, doused with gasoline, and set on fire. As this was going on the black kids yelled,"you get what you deserve white boy!"
  So my question is, when were the marches, where was the "outrage", and the candlelight vigils? Did I miss them? Surely they happened. No. They did not. Of course Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton were so appalled that they were in Kansas City by noon the next day? No. They were not. Did Eric Holder and his Department Of Justice thugs swoop right in to investigate? No. They did not.
 My other question, which truly is the 800lb gorilla in the room, what if, in this awful case, all the players are different? White kid walking in a predominantly black neighborhood is shot by crazy black neighborhood watch volunteer because "he doesn't look right"? My first guess is, crickets. From the media, from Jessie and Al, and possibly from the neighborhood. The media's excuse, in so many words, just not newsworthy enough, doesn't fan the flames enough. Jessie and Al? I'm going to be polite on that one and assume they just couldn't pencil it into their busy schedules.
  But what about the rest of us? ALL of us? Racism, in all of it's forms, is unfortunately a condition of human nature. We can do our best to slap it back when it rears it's ugly head, but we will never be completely rid of it. Should we all take a good look in the mirror, and dig deep down to make sure we would all be just as outraged if the victim were White, Hispanic, Asian, or fill in the blank with any other ethnicity?
  Our hearts and prayers are with Trayvon's family and friends. No parent should have to lose a child in such a hideous way. But what does it say about us as Americans if we decide that one brand of racism is worse than another? Or that racism against one group is O.K., but not another?
  It's time to talk about the 800lb gorilla.

From The Campaign Trail...

 The Official Campaign Kick-Off for Martin Baker's run for Missouri's 1st Congressional District on Tuesday, March 27, has been postponed. A new date will be announced very soon. Stay tuned!

Don't forget about the Trivia Night Fundraiser for The Martin Baker Campaign on Tuesday, April 3 at Bobby's Place 143 N. Main St. in St. Charles. Doors open at 6:00pm and the party gets going at 6:30 til 9:00pm! Don't miss a great night of fun and prizes!! Admission is $15 per person (includes 2 drinks)

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