Thursday, March 29, 2012

More On Trayvon Martin's Killing

The more the murder of Trayvon Martin unravels, the sicker, more heartsick and more disgusted I become. 

I loath the racism of so many of my fellow whites who've weighed in.  It's as nasty and twisted as anything I remember seeing and fearing when I was a kid.  I've seen the smears that have been laid down about this kid and they're as predictably cynical, contrived and stereotypical as can be - people leaking school records in an attempt to paint the kid as a dyed in the wool hard core thug when his trangressions are mild and innocuous for a kid his age and certainly no where near violent.   Academically he's an achiever, reportedly As & Bs.  So he not a fool.  Fake photos have been circulated that are clearly NOT the same person and some even appear to have been photoshopped.  

Ersatz friends in the shape of Joe Oliver are trotted around the talk circuit until finally Lawrence O'Donnell, Charles Blow and Jon Capehart bust him.  People who genuinely fill the roles of work friend, a mentor, or adult family friend --what we called in my family --a "Dutch Uncle" (or Aunt as the case may be), know us way beyond the basic, most banal of superficialities.  They have a handle on what we like, what we aspire to, what motivates us and they know the downsides to our characters as well as the good.   Even if we don't ordinarily think of it as such, these kinds of relationships are intimate relationships.  But Joe Oliver couldn't explain a single thing about what George Zimmerman had ever done or said that made him worthy of defending as a friend, not even for a split second. 

Well, lemme tell ya about a work friend.  I remember a young man I once worked with that I got to know pretty well.  His nickname was Taz.  I'd seen him around for about a year.  Good looking, scowled, wore his hair in intricate braids and cornrows.  Latino.  Tall.  In a way, his mien was a bit intimidating.  Then one day, I saw him smile over something.   Lit up his eyes.   That made him less intimidating.  Hard folks, evil folks smiles don't hit their eyes.  Things go apace and eventually we find ourselves on the same team at work.  We had a lot of onsite training for our jobs... at the time it was ongoing.  One day we had a team building exercise in which I learned this young man was 1.) a widower 2.) a father with 2 daughters under the age of 6 who he adored and doted on; 3.) he was a legal emigre` from Mexico.  4.) he practiced Capoiera  5. he had a crush on Halle Berry and lastly, he "looked tough on the outside, but on the inside was "Ferdinand the bull".   I was very fond of Ferdinand the bull as a child.  And learning that little tidbit about him won me over.  I never felt intimidated around him again.  He'd tease me and call me "Mami" which I hardly was, but hey it was cute and he wasn't being insulting.  We mostly talked about his girls, their school, their test grades, how proud he was of them, occassionally his eyes would shutter when their mother came up.  We often talked lightly about his training for his Capoiera, the tournaments he was competing in and how well he did.  We commiserated over quality scores and ever changing call metrics, meeting handle times that progressively got shorter and shorter.  Oh, and always nattering about the latest Halle pics on his computer and cube wall while shooting the breeze between tech calls.  I haven't seen this young man in several years as we no longer work there.  We've moved on, but even after almost 8 years I can speak to how I knew my work friend and would be able to say, "I think he is a man of good character and this is why I think it!".

So yeah, I'm glad Mssrs. O'Donnell, Blow and Capehart blew the lid off the sham of Joe Oliver's show.   IF Joe Oliver had really been Zimmerman's friends, he could have been able to discuss similar kinds of intimate tidbits.  Joe Oliver would have been able to speak with a certain amount of confidence, pride and the tone of regard or affection would have been clear in his voice and it was not there!  Not for a nano-second.

When I see pictures from ABC news showing Zimmerman in the police station's unloading bay and see his closely shaven head and face and I don't see blood, I don't see abrasions or cuts on the head, I don't see a taped broken nose with rolls of gauze in the nostrils, I  really doubt the claim of self defence.  When I see a handcuffed man walk adroitly, it becomes easy to doubt that he was uninjured entirely.  When I learn his father is a retired judge, I think, "Well connected."  When police reports don't jibe, when a mortician says they saw no wounds on the hands of the deceased, I think "Where are the forensic photos?  Don't they take pictures for the body, top to bottom, fore and aft?"  I think, "What the fuck are they hiding?"  And when I learn that groups like ALEC provided the Florida legislation's boiler plate text, used for the "Stand your ground law" in several states, I think there's a lot fishy going on.  On the one hand, we have a murder and on the other a state legislature that is practically fomenting murder and that murder is the expected outcome and minorities, especially young black men are the expected targets.

This is a race crime.  Let there be no doubt among us. 

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