Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dear George,


I know you think you won last night. When the verdict was read, I'm sure you exhaled for the first time since that fateful night last year when you stood on a patch of grass on a street in Sanford, Florida, and murdered a seventeen-year-old boy named Trayvon Martin. I'm sure you think you dodged a bullet yourself last night. But you didn't. And I'm writing this so you and everybody else will remember that there's no free lunch.

In the grand scheme of things, George, we get away with nothing. No matter how it looks. No matter how much suave and bravado and quasi-sincerity we put out there for the public, deep in our souls, we always know that what we plant grows -- for good or ill. You plant beans, you get beans. And my dear mis-guided fellow human, you have most definitely planted some pretty horrific beans. They're not magic, but they will grow into a vine that will choke you every day for the rest of your woebegotten life.



Trayvon Martin is still dead, of course. And you are not. In the simplest sense, that alone appears to make you the winner, right? But no matter how many photos show up online of adolescent posturing to prove his so-called manhood, Martin was just a boy. And a boy with a future, at that. A boy with college scholarships on the horizon. A boy who drank soda rather than beer. A boy who had skittles in his pocket, unlike you, who carried a big gun instead, telling yourself it was "necessary."

You didn't win last night. You were just given a get-out-of-jail-free card. Like Judas got from Jesus. It wasn't an exoneration. Everybody in the world knows you murdered Trayvon Martin. How does that feel knowing that you can never, ever be disconnected from this heinous act, from this innocent boy's body, from this moment in your own life history when everything else you will ever think, do, or be became inconsequential next to this one ugly fact? If it doesn't weigh heavy this morning, believe me, it will come to weigh heavy soon, and then, you will understand Judas' agonizingly lonely pain.

I get that you were just the triggerman. You aren't the Godfather or the Consigliere. Hell, you aren't even one of the regular made enforcers. You're the crazy brother. The one that embarrasses even those who don't really have a problem with your craziness other than the inconvenience it causes when it draws attention to what omerta is supposed to hide.

What made you crazy? The White Supremacist system this nation is rooted in, that's what. The White Supremacist umbrella we are all -- Black, White, and Latino -- raised up under. The White Supremacy that taints our laws, our policies, our history, our social institutions, and our culture. There's no escaping it. There's no denying it. And there's no erasing it. We're stuck. We either push up our sleeves, break out the shovels, and dig up those White Supremacist roots, laying them out in the sunshine to be dried up like the raisins of five hundred years of denied justice or they will destroy us as surely as they killed Trayvon Martin and destroyed you.

"But I'm free!" I hear you chortle. "I'm not destroyed. I'm home with my family having a beer and a big breakfast." Maybe. But the virus of White Supremacy with which you were infected even while you were being spoon-fed baby cereal, which spread and strengthened and made you crazy, still courses through your veins stronger than ever this morning. Like a lethal cancer with no known cure, it's killing your humanity every second you think you're alive, even while it makes you feel invincible and entitled and superior to African-Americans.

Like drug addiction and diabetes and sexually-transmitted diseases, this entire nation is riddled with the death-dealing epidemic of White Supremacy. You're just one little carrier, George. One predator in a nation where it's always hunting season on Black boys like Trayvon Martin. You didn't win last night. You lost on the day you were born.

Sincerely,

Changeseeker

8 comments:

Ashish said...

Beautiful !

Dreamz said...

So true!!

Joycelyn Hall said...

No one can put things into better words than you !!! Love love love...

Brotha Wolf said...

Great words.

carl smsgt ret usaf said...

VERY WELL SAID..........if I were still teaching I would certainly use this in the classeroom........carryon

Changeseeker said...

I don't usually pump a post the way I did this one. I pushed it out there everywhere and every way I could think of. I hoped that it would wind up being read out loud here and there. Because I was terrified that if I went to a demonstration and an authority figure even looked at me, I'd lose my mind and wind up in jail (not cool, considering my age and my diabetes). I started out broken-hearted and became livid, trying to hide it from myself because I have no patience any more. And I don't know what to do. After forty years of fighting White Supremacy, I'm running out of ideas that won't get me fired or arrested or punched in the face. :^/ Thanks for the positive comments. It'll keep me going...

Mistah Coles said...

I too have dealt with white supremacy for over 40 years. I too am stymied as to how to change things. i think we need to try other routes also. Like speaking honestly and openly with your white friends. Convey to them the pain---the honest to God pain of having to always think about the color of your skin. As if that color changes the color of your blood, as if the color of your skin makes you breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. As if a smile, as if the music of a baby's cooing is different because of the color of your skin. Ask questions. Ask them if they really think they can understand how it feels to be black. Ask them to speak candidly amongst their white friends and family. Take that extra step, be that extra nice and be that extra patient with a race of people, who lived in pain for over 500 years---5 centuries. And this was less than 5 centuries ago. You could ask your white friend why they think racism still exists. Ask them if they are honestly doing anything about it. We must educate ourselves, educate our children---in a positive way----educate the world. That one white person you talk to may not seem like it will change the world---but imagine if people were talking all across the country. Never stop the dialog. Don't let Trayvon's death be something we take up until the next tragedy comes along. Let his death be the beginning of the honest to God REAL ending of ignorance and racism.

Changeseeker said...

What you said, Mistah Coles.