In Till's day, a black person's "place" was in the field or in the back of the bus. If a black man was found "out of his place," he could be jailed or lynched. In Martin's day -- in our day -- a black person's "place" is in the ghetto. If he is found "out of his place," he may be treated with suspicion, frisked, arrested -- or worse.
Saturday, June 22, 2013
The Negro Dilemma
In many places throughout America there is the belief that "black male teens" are inherently more likely to be criminals. What is dangerous about this thinking is that it’s ingrained in our society and actually applies to all people of color; whereas, the facts and statistic don’t prove this true. The result is that people of African descent are over represented in the prison system. Then there are the millions trapped in the cycle of probation and other legal aspects of the justice system that makes it look like “Just Us”.
It has been seeped into our institutions from the beginning. This means it is still with us today in the form of racial profiling, stop and frisk, and all too often unfair judgment by those who are supposed to protect us. There have been thousands of cases that have involved African Americans whether rightly or wrongly administered by the system. This brings me to the most significant case of our time – the George Zimmerman second degree murder case. This is a pivotal moment because the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about is RACE.
Let me quote something Elijah Anderson, Professor of Sociology at Yale University, said:
We know the facts should state the obvious. Either Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin in cold blood or he didn't. For all the unethical, in my view, tactics it was no accident that Zimmerman's defense attorneys did not want this highly charged, racially tinged cases to leave “Mayberry”. I say this because there were no black people in the town of Mayberry, which I compare to the few in Sanford or in that conservative area.
They did not want to ask for a change of venue because they wanted a biased jury – all white. They got what they wanted! Jose Baez, a Florida defense attorney who was lead defense counsel in the Casey Anthony trial said, “The jury chosen is a "slam dunk" for the defense… I think the defense clearly won the day on this one. Any way you slice and dice it, this is a defense jury." Baez is the attorney for the Florida mother who was acquitted in 2011 of killing Caylee her young daughter.
The question then becomes will the result be the same as it was 60 years ago when little Emmitt Till’s killers faced a jury. The world is watching America. We have seen this before – again and again! I only need remind you of the case not too long ago in Simi Valley, California and that is the Negro Dilemma! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…