I don’t know if it’s because it’s so late at night, but I just got very emotional reading this article. I think growing up in California, I was rather sheltered compared to the rest of the USA. Sure, I had my share of racial slurs, but they didn’t bother me too much. In California, I felt people were so overly PC that I used to get really annoyed. But for some reason, this year, I’m seeing the full effect of ignorance when taken to its logical ends.
It makes me sad. To quote Charles M. Blow’s tweet, “Even if you remove the racial element from the Trayvon case, it’s just as outrageous: a grown man killed an unarmed kid holding candy.”
Amen. With that said, I want to include an excerpt from an article that I read today (Facebook rec from a friend).
“Nineteen years ago, on a frigid December night in Waco, Texas, what was intended to be a quick stop at the convenience store turned into a two-hour lesson on the racial history of America. A teenager, I was wearing a large jacket with a hood. As I readied myself to exit the car, my grandfather, with whom we were visiting for the holidays, proclaimed, “Take that hood off your head before you go in that store or they will blow your brains out!” Such sudden outbursts were uncharacteristic for my rather mild-mannered grandfather. I found his proclamation of the possibility of my abrupt and violent demise rather upsetting. And it was difficult for me to comprehend. I was simply going to buy some sodas, a rather non-hostile action in my opinion.
For what felt more like an eternity than two hours, my grandfather, grandmother, mother, and uncle awakened me to some troubling realities: 1) That my dark skin, then embracing a 5-foot-10-inch, 13-year-old frame, was a considerable threat for some people, and 2) that some people would not be patient enough to judge me based on the content of my character but rather would be fixated on the color of my skin, and that the color of my skin, viewed through the lens of their own prejudices, meant that I was the physical embodiment of their greatest fear (a big, Black man), fears reinforced daily by mass media. Ever since that fateful December night, I have lived life in full view of these realities.”
You can read the whole article from the Huffington Post here.