Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Trayvon B. Martin 1995-2012

So around February 26th Last year, I was working for a company in Lakeland florida. I was , get this, a gutter sales man, and had to drive around Orlando and Tampa selling gutters and measuring homes for construction crews. In my driving around Orlando, I had been very familiar with Sanford. I flew out of Sanford airport to get to Amsterdam, and even drove through the very same streets trayvon was walking down after returning from 711. After hearing about the accident, the first thought in my mind was omg a child died. Then the pictures flashed on screen and it became a race riot.

Now.


I'm never the first person to call race. I was born and raised in a middle class, African American home. If anything my home is legitimately African American because my dad is literally from Africa( ghana and i've said before) and my mommy is an American woman with mixed blood( caucasian and black). I was raised very tolerant of race, and never really noticed a difference in color until I reached middle school. The majority of my childhood friends were a cornucopia of colors and at times, the colors would vary. Sometimes more white, sometimes more black or latino, sometimes all asian. I was a social butterfly and saw no reason from age 3 on to live my life differently.


Backtrack.


I moved to Florida in 2004, with my mom at age 19. But heres how close I can get




Yea I had a thug phase.





anyway...... When I moved to Florida from Philadelphia, me and my mother had the notion that living in Florida would be like the rest of the country, and its not like the south at all. Good Sweet Jesus, were we wrong. AFter 9 years of living in Florida, and seeing cases such as Trayvon Martin, Casey Anthony, and of course the infamous 2004 Presidential Election where Florida was also the center of controversy, I started to realize there was something unique about this Penis shaped state.



Now I love Florida, and I'm grateful for getting my degree, having sunny weather, and especially the wonderful life it has created for my mother. Unfortunately( and this may serve as a shock to some of you) I never once could identify, or feel 100% comfortable in this state.


After 9 years. I was so happy to leave Florida, and unfortunately, the Trayvon Martin Case for me, was a cherry on top.



No one can take away the experiences I had in Florida, or can chose to understand it. My opinions are my own and based off of my own experiences but( and I know i'm going to kick myself for this later) I have no problem welcoming responses and comments from anyone else who wants to comment on this topic, here on Monst3r blog.


I can say Florida, is at least 50 years behind the rest of the country( mostly the north east) when it comes to Civil Laws, Infastructure, and Social Progression. 



I couldn't identify or relate myself with the African Americans I came in contact with in Orlando. I also could not get many white boys to notice me when I came out of the closet. I learned immediately about the division in the Gay community between colors. Thats saved for another blog entry tho.


The entire debate is centered around Racism and for some reason, most Conservatives, or people who just " dont get it", can't see why the color divide is apparent. Maybe I can help.


When you see me on this blog, and the way I'm represented, do I sound or talking like " other black people"? Now thats a dangerous question, because the next question in your head is what does a black person sound like. Or what do most people dress like? In my thug phase, with the photo of the fitted hat, I was trying to identify and integrate myself into a new culture. I was walking out of a Walgreens Pharmacy that day, and the security alarm went out. I was wearing a hoodie, baggie pants, and the hat in this picture. The security guard failed to notice the latino teen walking in front of me dressed in a polo shirt. I just left the gym, and was tired and not really looking my best. He of course stopped me and said" What did you steal". That picture was from 2006 and I was still a fresh face in Florida. After flirting with girls( did I mention i was " straight" during this time) and more over befriending some African American's , this was my best shot at" fitting in". As time went on of course I realized I don't fit in, and prefer Diesel Jeans to baggy Jeans and just a clean shaved head, to a fitted Cap. That doesn't mean I don't get along with my fellow race, but I"m describing my own error in trying to identify a culture.



I can still be black, and speak properly, have a degree, and live in the Netherlands. Here in Europe, I feel like a normal human being. Theres no color barrier almost and its a noticeable difference. I can wear a hoodie, and baggie jeans and boots here in The Netherlands, and not be confused with a "hoodlum", because the Dutch are the most socially advanced and open minded people I've ever come in contact with. Gay marriage was legalized in 2001 while we were still trying to decide why Arab's hate us, and why they deserve to be invaded. We in America have a long way to go, and this trial is evidence of this fact.



Trayvon Martin WAS indeed profiled. I understand, many of you who also don't understand why this is a racial issue, have never bee profiled. Negative profiling is more then just a look; Its a thought, its a judgment of character based on circumstantial evidence. However ignorance to what happens when we African American's are profiled, or Arabs or profiled, or North Koreans etc etc, its unfair. Just like I am profiled, when I wear gym pants, and a hoodie, and sneakers. No one cares if I can speak Dutch and French, or that i'm " not like the other black people" which some friends have said to me in my recent years in Florida. Before you get a chance to know my mind, you know my image, and based on the image of some other African American's in florida, profiles are developed. Women clutch their purses tighter when I walk into an elevator. I was fired in Florida from a restaurant for making a mistake, that many of the other " WHITE" and "LATINO" workers were accused of, however I was the example. (The reason why i'm reporting this issue with no shame is because I enlisted the assistance of the office of the EEOC to assist me and they found my reasonings to be completely accurate and backed me in a case)

Be honest with yourselves. Its late at night and your walking in a neighborhood and you see a black guy walking towards you, with just jeans, a hoodie, and you can't really see his details. Do you think its an innocent boy walking home from the store, just trying to get home, or would you be a little bit afraid, because your gut tells you this guy could try to rob you. Maybe those that believe the latter are afraid or ashamed to admit it, as a result of the fact that its 2013. Many people KNOW that we have a half black president and that Civil Rights have been fought. But what many still fail to realize, that as long as our black men( including myself) are profiled, grouped, and stripped of our individual identities based on a faulty culture statement of * Baggy Pants, a hoodie etc and somehow a connection to crime. 

IT shouldn't happen to our white brothers and sisters, latino, asian, native american and especially our black brothers and sisters. This case gets so much attention, because African Americans are no longer wanting to have our statistic be the national CRIME statistic. African Americans are the highest population in jail, blacks kill other blacks. That doesn't make it ok! and that doesn't mean All African American people are ok with it. At least not this one.

Take a moment and examine your heart. If you would be afraid of just some random person walking down the street, you are profiling him, and you are having the same cataclysmic thoughts that propelled George Zimmerman to get out of his car, and follow after some " asshole who always gets away". George Zimmerman has never met Trayvon, and the media had a wonderful time assassinating his character. Playing into the retrograde conservative baloney, that causes Abortion to be illegal, and to think that Hurricane Katrina was caused by sin and God's Anger. 


To the Media, to many of you reading this blog. Trayvon was responsible for his own death, not because we KNOW( with 100% certainty) who threw the first punch( it could have been George Zimmerman, and Trayvon literally could have been defending himself at first, and overpowered George), not because Trayvon had a gun on him, or followed after George Zimmerman from his car, but because He was a black kid, walking in the street, looking" suspicious" because of his choice of clothes. He deserved to die, for looking *scary* and fitting a common profile. When really, he was probably just trying to fit in. He deserved to die because he was a truant, and wasn't the best at school, and *gasp* had marijuana in his system. Those black people and their weed. Right?

But continue failing to admit to yourself that its possible, JUST POSSIBLE, that you could be somewhat prejudice. Or that denying anyone the right to love, life, walk in a street, etc as a result of their skin color is INDEED a racist issue. Until people wake up and realize, that the civil rights abuses are not over in our country, and that we are not 100% the land of the free and the home of the brave, these cases will continue happening. Our young black men will continue to kill each other, and our image will continue perpetuating the same crime like mentality that George Zimmerman and other non-sympathizers see in this trial. Please as a calling to both sides. 

My brothers and sisters of the same color. Lets Be Peaceful, Dignified and Build our country. We have no more excuses. Its time to DEFEAT this negative stereotype that can now leads to death and acquittal. 



My brothers and sisters, of every other color. Judge based on " the content of our character" instead of " the color of our skin".




thats my Trayvon Martin Rant. I Hope he finds rest wherever he is, and The United States, finally wakes up, to how the rest of the world is running hand in hand with Peace and Social Acceptance. 











RIP Trayvon.







Monst3r

4 comments:

  1. Hi abuelita! You know the first words that came out of my mouth when I first met you! Sounded racist as hell, but wasn't ment ro be racist at all. Funny thing is the first time I ever experienced racism in FL was from a black lady. She called me a stupid racist puertorrican b $&& that thought I was better than her all because I wouldn't give her a discount or rather my white boss wouldn't allow me to. She said shebwas going to jump over the counter to kick my ass, mind you I was 7 months pregnant at the time. I grew up I'm PR so my image of african americans was what I saw in shows like sister sister or moesha and shorty from Scary movie. When I moved to FL I was very suprised to learn the truth. Now am I profiling for that last comment? I'd say no cause I've also met some awesome african american people since I've been here, but that experience opened my eyes to a sad reality. This whole Trayvon thing in my opinion was blown way out of proportion. But I probably would have walked the other way that night if I saw tray walking towards me in a hoodie. I got mugged in PR by two guys in hoddies lol

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Jill!! Thanks for commenting! I understand. And yes you are profiling, but I would be guilty of doing the same thing with a whole slew of people. I agree, it gets pulled out of proportion, but the moral of the story is. Not every black person wearing a hoodie is evil or about to rob you. Just like me, I would never and yet people still assume I'm capable just because of the way I look. Once you explore the outside world, you see that this actually *ISNT* as common as we think, and therefore its not ok.


    Love you and congrats on your 3rd baby I can't wait to meet the little girl!!!

    and please come to Amsterdam asap xoxox



    Erik

    ReplyDelete
  3. I blame the media!! They both made terrible errors of judgement that day, but having watched the whole trial from start to finish, I honestly believe Trayvon ran over and confronted him and beat the crap out of him (maybe he even deserved it!). But even if he did, guns should not have been a part of the equation. The gun turned a beating into a death. And that's America's fault.
    Here are my thoughts on how the media set Trayvon up for failure by being less then honest from the very beginning about what probably happened here...

    http://stoptheworldiwannagetoff.com/2013/07/16/the-zimmerman-martin-trial/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for comment Marcus!! xoxo
    Monst3r


    ReplyDelete

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