I Have A Blog... / Musings

Looking Back, Are We Moving Forward? (Lessons from Sanford, FL)

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I, like many, watched the Zimmerman trial. And I actually had to stop.
Being the mother of 3 African American boys made this trial a little too personal for me. And while my heart goes out to Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, I can not imagine the anguish they are feeling right now. Their faith in God, I know is what is keeping them sane, for real.

So when the jury ruled Not Guilty for George Zimmerman that verdict made me really reflect on what have we really learned to still be at this point of profiling young African-American men.

From what I see, it looks as if we’ve learned nothing.

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And the verdict, while I have no choice to accept, makes me sad.

It makes me sad that in 2013, someone can still be profiled as “Up to no good” based on appearance alone.

It makes me sad that in 2013, when some folks disobey instructions, no consequences seem to follow.

It makes me sad that in 2013, while other people groups express their entitlement of certain rights, when a mother expresses the right for her child to be safe to walk as he pleases with out fear, the mother is told to calm down.

It makes me sad that in 2013, we still have to have “the rules” talk to our sons about Driving (and now Walking) while Brown.

And maybe sad is too soft. Disappointed seems like I am giving the system a pass. Angry makes it seem as if I am irrational, and that in a few days, I will calm down and move on to other things. So, I don’t want to be angry. I want to help make a difference.

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So if you think profiling is just within the African American Community, think again. Check out these shocking statistics from New York City’s Stop and Frisks initiative. NYPD Stop And Frisks: 15 Shocking Facts About A Controversial Program

People, profiling is real. It was real when I was a teenager. And looks like it is still real today. This is one thing that I did not think we would still have with us now in 2013 America.

So, what steps can we take as citizens to stop some of the loop holes that are within legislation to make profiling legal? Why are Stand Your Ground laws even on the books? Leave a comment.

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6 comments
Kesha Brown
Kesha Brown

I was JUST having this discussion with my nephew about "how to be careful riding his bike black" in 2013! Yes, there are discussions black parents have to have with their sons that other parents don't have to have and it is disappointing to say the least.

I don't think we'll see any changes in our lifetime though...smh

Val
Val

Wow Heather. My God, I can not even imaging going through that. And yes, fortunately he was released. This whole trial has again brought this issue to the forefront. Story after story. We can let our voices be heard that our young boys, who we are aspiring to raise as decent citizens and human beings, deserve to be respected. It most certainly has to end. Thanks for sharing.

Heather
Heather

Profiling won't stop until the laws stop. I remember as a teenager, I was in the car with my father and we were surrounded by the police. The arrested him for robbing a gas station for $50--although he had more than $50 in his pocket and went to the store after the alleged robbery to buy a newspaper--but hey, it was easier to profile him versus thinking he was smart enough to actually read the paper. I was distraught, scared and asked to write a statement. Fortunately, he was released, but more than a week later and right around Christmas time. The majority of black men I know have a similar story, and this has to end before your children grown up!

Janeane Davis
Janeane Davis

It was interesting to read your take on the situation. Every few years an incident like this takes place and people get upset and complain and debate, then things die down and are quiet until the next outrageous thing happens. Racism and profiling were the norm back in the old days and they are the norm today.Some things like death and taxes never seem to change.

Val
Val

Ooooh. Forgot about riding the bike, Kesha. Excellent point. And unfortunately, it's going to take a lot of mindsets to change. We can only hope that our children's children don't experience the same. Thanks for stopping by..

Val
Val

Yes, that part of the "Good Old Days", were not so good then or now.. Things definitely have to change.

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