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  • Trayvon Martin

    I was going to post this in the Open Discussion area but thought maybe it should go here.
    My heart goes out to the family and friends of Trayvon Martin. No parents should ever have to suffer the loss of their son.
    I'm not sure what really happened that night.
    I'm not really sure why George Zimmerman felt that he needed to shoot this 17 year old black boy.
    It does seem that the local police in that area didn't do such a good job of investigating and communicating what happened and why it happened.
    My great hope is that now with so many different groups looking into what did happen justice will be served.
    While the media has brought race, race discrimination and civil rights into the forefront. I have felt the need to take time out and take a long hard look at how I feel about some of these topics.
    The feelings are mine, I can't help them. I might be able to change them? But they are what they are, so there is really no right or wrong.
    I like to think of myself as not being a racist.
    I hope that I don't and would never be guilty of discrimination.
    Having said that maybe it's easy for me?
    I live in an area where there really isn't any minorities. I think when my son graduated from high school there were only two black students in the class and I've never seen the families out and about in the small town where I live.
    We do have a church in town that has a congregation that seems to be entirely black.
    I've driven past on a Sunday and seen most black middle aged and older females dressed up in their Sunday best looking really smart. - I remember back to the days when my family wore their Sunday best to go to Mass.
    This congregation is there on Sunday morning and by lunch time is gone and the people are not seen till the next Sunday.
    For my part it's hard to discriminate against any group that isn't there.
    Where I work?
    That's a completely different kettle of fish.
    I don't have at hand the break down of our prison population by race. I do know that these numbers are available.
    I have not visited all the correctional facilities in the State.
    But where I work I'd guesstimate that the population of inmates is about 65% Black, with Whites, Hispanics and what-ever is left making up the other 35%.
    I'm not color blind. I know when I'm dealing with a white or a black inmate.
    My own personal goal at work is to be fair, firm and consistent.
    My employer, the State has charged me with the care, control and custody of all the inmates in the jail.
    I like to think and hope that I treat everyone regardless of race the same.
    When I'm working I don't have the time to not treat everyone the same. The truth is that doing things this way makes life easier for me.

    When I'm not working I do wonder why there is so many young black men in jail?
    I kinda know and am kinda aware of the socioeconomic factors that are in place.
    Still at the end of the day I'm left feeling that something is out of whack.

    A few years back my brother was visiting the USA and we went to Washington D.C.
    One dark night we walked from the Lincoln Memorial to the White House. On the way to the White House we seen coming toward us a small group of young black guys. They were doing nothing wrong. They were maybe a little loud laughing and joking, but they didn't seem and as far as I know they took no notice of us what so ever. Still I have to admit that I felt more than a little uneasy.
    Not so very long back I missed my turn off on the NJ Garden State Parkway. I ended up in Newark. Other than the airport I don't know much about Newark, but where I was didn't seem like a very nice place. As luck would have it there was a police car parked and I asked the policeman for directions. He was a nice guy, he was black. He informed me that I wasn't safe and needed to get out of where I was at as soon as possible. (I did!)

    If I truly am not a racist? If I truly want to live up to the idea that I don't hold any prejudices? Why then do I allow myself to be scared when I'm in a mostly black neighborhood or see a group of young black youths coming toward me?
    Is this my fault or can they take part of the blame?
    There has been in the media talk about the Black Code of Conduct.
    Do we need a White Code of Conduct for whites in back neighborhoods?
    Am I wrong in thinking that all this talk of codes of conduct just makes things worse?
    Ea.


  • #2
    I'm with you Eamonn...I am not racist or bigoted myself.

    BUT....... I am a realist. I do know that if you go into a predominantly black area, "some" of those people will give me grief and cause trouble because there are those who are the bad aples of the group.

    But I also know that it works both ways. I live in NC. While not the deep south, it's still a southern state.

    I know that if a black person walks into a predominantly white neighborhood, he will be looked upon with scourn and the chances of him being labeled , targeted and even harrassed are good.
    Not by all the white folks, but there are still a handfull of bad aples. Still some racism and bigotry that has been handed down over the years from generation to generation p[resent.

    I guess I look at it this way: In any big group of people, the ones who speak loudest are the ones you see and hear from. Those are the ones who end up defining that group.

    Nah, it shouldn't be that way, but it is that way. So you might be in that neighbor hood of 3,000 people and 2,990 of them will pay you no mind and wish you no harm. They might even take the time to invite you in for coffee and chat.

    But the other 10 guys are the ones you have to watch for as they will go after you for whatever stupid and ,alicous rteason they can think of.

    Point being, you aren't watching out for the entire neighborhood. You are watching out for the ten.

    Problem is...which 10 are the 10 you have to watch out for?

    THis works for everybody too.

    Doesn't matter if you are black, white, Chinese, Irish, German, Mexican, etc....

    Does it make you racist? Nah, I don't think so.

    I think it makes your realistic about the world we live in.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well stated, Scoutfish. Your description of caution and awareness shouldn't be thought of as racist, but it would be to some. There are some fine extreme cases we can compare it to. Going to Mexico puts you in the presence of many fine people who appreciate your being there. It also puts you in the presence of some who will kill you for your shoes and your wallet. Arabic people in this country undergo the same fate. There are people here who hate them. Are they prejudiced? Yes. Is that hard to understand? No.
      Was Trayvon a threat? Probably not to most. Maybe. We weren't there, so we don't know. It seems obvious that he was a threat to the shooter. Why? Again, we don't know. Was a crime committed? Sure looks like it, but I don't know. I wasn't there. I'm glad I wasn't there. This is going to get real ugly, and that's sad.
      BDPT00

      Comment


      • #4
        " It seems obvious that he was a threat to the shooter."

        Have to correct this to , "It seems obvious the shooter perceived he was a threat."

        However, this is what law enforcement is for. It is not up to a private citizen to seek out and investigate and do something about a perceived threat. It also seems to me that the shooter was not "standing his ground." If anyone was standing their ground it was Trayvon. How would you respond to an individual that followed you in a car, gets out of a car with a firearm and have no place to run?

        SA

        Comment


        • #5
          There are so many issues associated with this topic...the issue of racism may be part of it. While I acknowledge that the problem of racial prejudice has diminished over these past several decades, it remains available, not so far below the surface as some of us may think.
          But there is far more to this particular event, I think.
          I am reminded of the case of Yoshihiro Hattori back in 1992. It was a different situation but merely making a mistake about the address for a Halloween party and knocking on the wrong door cost him his life.
          As long as 'fear' is all we need to justify killing another person, as long as our 'claim' of it is all that is needed to establish fact, and as long as we have convenient access to the means of taking lives, we can expect more of these killings.

          Comment


          • #6
            I do know that if you go into a predominantly black area, "some" of those people will give me grief and cause trouble because there are those who are the bad aples of the group.

            Yah, hmmm....

            Yeh know, I think this is the definition of modern racism. I know that's hard to take, but I reckon the lesson of Tayvon Martin is that we all slip into racism and racial stereotyping in ways that are genuinely unfair and harmful to others. I've traveled on foot, at night, as an old white fellow in predominantly black urban areas and nobody has ever been anything but friendly and helpful. The notion that a neighborhood will be unfriendly because of the race of the folks who live there is racist.

            And that is the lesson here, eh? Relatively upstanding citizens who start to distrust folks because of their age, gender, and skin color can lead to us not treatin' people as the Scout Law requires, and that hurts people and communities. In this case, it resulted in the death of a fine young man who was only walking to the corner store to buy a snack. But even without that sort of hideous outcome, this prejudice leads to distrust and harms the community. Black parents should not have to go out of their way to tell their sons to watch out for and behave differently around white people, because we're suspicious, discourteous jerks that may harm their kids.

            Beavah

            Comment


            • #7
              You all are prejudice by the simple definition......BP your wrong it is racist.....

              If a group of teen age black or hispanic boy were walking down fishes neighborhood, I bet the phones would be ringing in every house and everyone would be out keeping an eye on things LE would probably be called as well........Make that a group of white teens...No one would give them a second look.....

              http://www.examiner.com/unsolved-cases-in-national/george-zimmerman-s-911-call-transcribed

              George should be judged by his peers. If a single comment can make it a hate crime....it is possible it was......

              Just as folks of color get hassled in white enclaves by law enforcement. After dark if we cross the expressway into the rich folks area there is two or three LEO cruisers sitting there....those on foot are asked their business, in a ratty looking car they will pull you over and run warrants checks......

              Reading what is written here makes me sad.....



              So what would happen if a family of color moved in next door to you???? how about a second???? Would you invite them over for burgers and dogs?????? or put your house up for sale?????? What about some of the crazy traditions???? roasting pigs in a box, how about the smells, traditions, noise and music???? Are you ready for it???? Many raise their own chickens and duck for food? ready for that???

              Many of the homes are multi generational with as many as 10 cars in the alley, driveway and street out front, Many of the Grandparents and even parents don't speak english..


              Your at scout camp, there is a mixed ethnicity troop sitting next table over, you scouts are making marginally acceptable comments directed toward the ethnically diverse troop.....What do you do? Before you start I am going to call you a liar because you will do nothing.........Two years in a row it has happened..... To be honest it bothers me more than the boys......



              (This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

              Comment


              • #8
                Basementdweller, I don't live in an urban area so I can't relate to some of the things you describe. This particular area is also unusual due to its college influence. But when I read, "Your at scout camp, there is a mixed ethnicity troop sitting next table over, you scouts are making marginally acceptable comments directed toward the ethnically diverse troop.....What do you do? Before you start I am going to call you a liar because you will do nothing.........Two years in a row it has happened..... To be honest it bothers me more than the boys......"
                that bothered me as well. Could you please give some more detail? This is familiar to me. But it is familiar in the sense that I observed similar things back in the 1960s of the South while I was a boy, and to hear about it today is indeed troubling.
                I'm guessing this happened to your unit.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Basement, I did say that if a black person went through a predominantly white neighborhood in my area, he would be watched, scrutinized and possibly harrased.

                  Me? Nah, I do not care . If they start snooping around houses, I will call the law. But In would also make that same call on a white person too. I'd make that call on any race of people..if they do sincearly appear to be doing something suspicious. And in my point of view, the action of being suspicious has the exact same requirements no mater what your race is.

                  Now also, you have to realize, i am in a southern-ish state.

                  As sad as it is, gang activity has reared it's ugly head hear years ago. At least once a week on the news you hear about how somebody was robbed, beat up, or killed by "several " people with the same colors as each other. At least twice a month, there is some sort of gang violence that happens.Listerning to the newsanchors talk about shootings is almost as common as the weatherman talking about the sun coming up.

                  And again, 90 percent of the people in those neighborhoods are what I'd call nice people. It's the other 10 percent who are the punks, thugs, and people who just have no moral compass.

                  THis is not restricted to one race either. We have racist white people, we have blask racist people, hispanic racist people and so on.

                  Did I mention that NASCAR, Budweiser and the rebel stars are just as common on flags as the Stars and Stripes around here?

                  I would not call a black person racist just because he did not decide to go through a neighborhood full of white folks with rebel flags in all their yards.

                  I'd call that black man realistic about the real world.

                  And again, most of the resident probably woul;d have an isue or cause trouble. But a few would.

                  Thing is, they do not wear name tags or distribute maps showing which ones would.


                  The result is, you end up avoiding the whole place because of a few people.

                  It's sad the world is this way, but that's how it is.

                  Another way to mlok at it is like this: Even though I am not prejudiced towards hispanics, I do know that some towns directly across the border are bad news for Americans right now. People getting shot, beheaded and flat out disappearing.

                  That does not make people who avoid that town racist. It's really happening. It's a fact.

                  It's avoiding trouble.

                  We know that not all of the towns folk are doing that, but the handfull of cartel men are - are justification enough to avoid the place.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We have a number of hispanic and black scouts......It was there turn to clear the table and sweep.....

                    The waiters from one of the other tables mentioned it was vocational training for them.....They needed more practice and should come and clear and sweep their area as well. It kinda spread and got loud....Lots of laughing involved....


                    The ASM supervising the other boys did or said nothing it took the CD to force an apology....Lots of glaring from that table the rest of the week.


                    the night they served watermelon was ugly too. Lots of staring and whispers followed by laughing.... Mr. B their laughing at us, I know and I am sorry.(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sorry that was experienced by you and your boys Basement.. I will probably state that little would be done by me the first incident, except for a stern stare, whack in the elbow, or something to get the boys making the worst comment attention, but not verbalize anything else where I would draw attention to myself, and make the kids who were being verbally victimized a chance to feel more self concious.

                      Now out of earshot of the boys who were harrassed, that is when I would have my heart to heart with the boys.. Hopefully enough so that day # 2, would not happen..

                      I am just going by how I reacted when my son at a very young age would say inapproriate things... Not that it was ever about a hispanic or black scouts, but it might as well be, it was at the stage where kids noted differences and stated them honestly and loudly.. Me, I just would cringe, want to crawl under the table, and try to silently get him to shut-up..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Basement, what you describe is not only racist, but flat our arrogant and ignorant.

                        Yeah, I'd have laid into my boys if they had said that.

                        I'd probably bore them, but give them a lesson on American History and explain about who came from where too.

                        But now, if those boys in your group were going to have to travel through the neighborhood that those jerks lived in - for whatever reason - late at night, would you call them racist for being scared or imagining what could happen to them by the others?

                        Nah, I'd call that being realistic.

                        Again, it's a shame it happens, but it is a reality.

                        Now, assuming that all people of a certain race or culture would do something to you just because they are different - AND not because of any previous experience that encroaches on or flat out dives into racism - well, that would be different. Then that would be racist too.

                        Saying your scouts needed vocational training is racist and stereotypical.

                        Saying a black kid should avoid a neighborhood full of rebel flag waving, NASCAr watching, Obama bashing white people in 4X4 trucks at 1 am in the morning is just common sense.

                        And I say thi sas a NASCAR fan who has deleted more than my fair share of fomer NASCAR friends from my friends list on facebook because of their bigoted, racist, and chauvanistic views.

                        If somebvody hates Obama for his policies and such..I'm cool with that. If they hate him because he is black..that saddens me.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Trayvon Martin was apparently the victim of a crime.
                          Zimmerman should be charged and prosecuted for that crime.

                          If we are to analyze crime on a race of perp vs. race of victim basis... and if we choose to assume that crime by perps of race A against victims of race B are evidence of racial animus... well, prevalence of racism against blacks from other races is not likely to be what that analysis shows us.(This message has been edited by Callooh! Callay!)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            At least once a week on the news you hear about how somebody was robbed, beat up, or killed by "several " people with the same colors as each other.

                            Yah, I think this is the principle source of our national neuroses, eh? Most people think that because something is prevalent on the news that it's prevalent in real life.

                            I remember many years ago, when I broke down laughin' at a news report that had gone and found out a bush plane somewhere in East Africa had crash landed. I guess they couldn't find any other plane crash that week, so they had to fill the "plane crash" segment of the evening newstertainment from somewhere. But if yeh just watched the news uncritically, yeh would believe that planes are dangerous because they're crashing every week.

                            Same with school shootings and school violence, eh? People are terrified about it now. "Lockdowns" have become part of school culture for kids. Fact is though, there is less school violence and fewer school shootings than 30 years ago. The difference is that now when one happens it gets carried on the news nationwide. And if there hasn't been a good racially or religiously-tinged shootin' this week in da U.S., we'll go find one in France.

                            So yep, it is prejudiced to believe that white NASCAR lovers would harass someone. I know lots of those folks, and they'd be more likely to step up and defend a fellow. And I don't worry about being in "black" neighborhoods. They aren't suspicious, they aren't gang-lovers, they're just fellow Americans.

                            But I'm not naive, eh? I grew up at a time when discrimination was more common, and I recognize the occasional latent racism in myself. It happens sometimes for all of us who are my age. Maybe a group of young black men, maybe gravitatin' toward older white folk at a party or function. The key is not to accept it as justified but to fight it in ourselves and others. When I catch myself, I go out of my way to change my behavior and just go meet and talk to the person. Like all personal ethics, yeh have to work at it, and yeh have to step up and help other people to work on it too. That way maybe, just maybe, it will be a sad legacy that dies with us and isn't passed along to our kids and grandkids.

                            One of the ways we do that is by not excusing the actions of George Zimmerman. A fellow who pursues, corners, harasses, and ultimately shoots an unarmed youngster has no excuse. That could have been any of our children, any one of our scouts, out walking while wearing "suspicious" clothing. If we cannot defend each other's innocent, unarmed children with one voice in this country, then it's time God did away with the lot of us, leavin' a mighty pillar of salt as a warning to humanity of the wicked folk who betrayed the promise of this great land.

                            Beavah

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                            • #15
                              Does my feeling un-easy or me feeling fearful make me a racist?
                              Ea.

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