By Arturo R. García
The tensions surrounding the death of Trayvon Martin continued to fester, with even United Nations officers getting involved.
“As High Commissioner for Human Rights, I call for an immediate investigation,” the U.N’s Navanethem Pillay said at a press conference Friday. “Justice must be done for the victim. It’s not just this individual case. It calls into question the delivery of justice in all situations like this.”
As hip-hop journalist Davey D reports, “situations like this” show no signs of stopping: 29 African-Americans have been killed by police or security officers this year–16 since Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman little more than a month ago.
In Sanford, Flo., where Martin died, a group of 40 college students completed a three-day march from Daytona Beach Sunday, then held a rally demanding justice:
Phillip Agnew, a Florida A&M University alumnus who took part in the march, angrily asked: “Why hasn’t there been an arrest?”
He then encouraged the students to continue speaking out about the Trayvon shooting long after Sunday’s event.
“We will soak our feet and then we will march again,” he said.
In addition to the march and rally, more than two dozen cities reportedly participated in motorcycle rides in memory of Martin.
The students weren’t the only new arrivals to Sanford, however, as seen in this report from WOFL-TV in Orlando (via Little Green Footballs):
LGF’s Charles Johnson also reported that, besides not challenging the National Socialist Movement’s claim to being “a civil rights group” on the air, the station also parroted it online:
Eventually, WOFL settled upon a correct description of the group.
Nazi imagery also surfaced in Ohio late last week, as Columbus residents reported seeing swastikas and “Nazi-inspired phrases” around the same time somebody spray-painted “LONG LIVE ZIMMERMAN” on the Black Cultural Center on the campus of Ohio State University.
Meanwhile, members of the black community in Tulsa, Okla. felt targeted Friday after five black residents were shot –killing three –by two men on Friday. Following the arrest of two suspects, 19-year-old Jake England and his 32-year-old roommate Alvin Watts, on Sunday, authorities said it was “way too early” to call the shootings a hate crime. But the Tulsa World reported that England’s Facebook page showed race was on England’s mind before it being taken down:
The man arrested in Carl England’s death, Pernell Demond Jefferson, was charged with pointing a firearm and is serving a prison sentence through October 2014, according to Department of Corrections records.
Jefferson is black.
Jake England makes several references to the two-year anniversary of his father’s death on his Facebook page, including a post 3:04 p.m. Thursday that says, “Today is two years that my dad has been gone shot by a f—— n—– it’s hard not to go off between that and sheran I’m gone in the head.”
England’s Facebook page indicates that his girlfriend, Sheran Hart Wilde, recently died. Her death notice was published Jan. 12 in the Tulsa World.
Against this backdrop, it gets increasingly difficult to take John Derbyshire’s column “The Talk: Nonblack Version” for Taki’s Magazine with anything other than disgust, because when only 33 percent of white respondents to a survey say Zimmerman would have been arrested by now if he had shot a white teenager, it’s disturbingly plausible that at least some of them would follow nuggets of Derbyshire’s “advice” like this:
In that pool of forty million, there are nonetheless many intelligent and well-socialized blacks. (I’ll use IWSB as an ad hoc abbreviation.) You should consciously seek opportunities to make friends with IWSBs. In addition to the ordinary pleasures of friendship, you will gain an amulet against potentially career-destroying accusations of prejudice.
Instead of the advice of Tyler S. Bugg:
It should be about the woman who clutches her purse when passing a person of color on a street sidewalk. It should be an ongoing discussion about normalized racism, and not only in response to the tragedies news outlets choose to sensationalize and blast across the media. (I’m equally as concerned for Shaima Alawadi and for all the other unheard-about minority-identifying people who were murdered by the violence of racism this week and did not have the same media attention to spread their narratives.) It should be about the too-legitimized institutions that perpetuate entrenched racism. It should be about removing the filters that silence the experiences of people of color. It should be about (deconstructing) the white savior industrial complex. It should be about reaching beyond the illusion that white people can forefront movements to “liberate” people of color.
I am not Trayvon Martin, but I am an ally of Travyon Martin and of every other person whose unique narrative is smothered by systems of privilege and power. I’m calling for activism that isn’t compromised by the hierarchy of power that continually fails to address it. I’m learning and listening and contributing my voice in the way I (constructively) know how, and I’m striving every day to do so out of the positive privilege of kindness and compassion. And that privilege, we all benefit from it.
Update: EgoTrip posted this picture of a road sign in Detroit hacked to deliver a slur against Martin.
About This BlogRacialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable
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