Going down the street on any given day. While there is nothing unusual about you being there, however, you are stopped by a police and carded for I.D. As the officer calls in your information, as people rubberneck and watch apprehensively. You are released to go about your business and turn into a store to shop. After being shadowed by security for a while, you make your purchase and leave. It's getting dark and as nice as this neighborhood is, you worry about being caught alone on these streets at night. A black male in this place is just asking for trouble.
This could apply to most minorities these days. We live in a dystopia, told by a majority populated by Caucasian males, that everyone is treated equally. They have no reason to think otherwise as it is hard to have a collective consciousness about something as abstract as what others feel like.
When people tell me that Affirmative Action is unnecessary in this day and age, it's as if they don't see me. There is just a mirror that reflects their own world back at them. They may have never been told by a teacher to explain why black people like grape soda and rap music, or to speak a poem "Blacker". I am characterized, even by friends as being "white" for the way I am. I grew up this way. Yes, I like Aikawa Nanase and Steely Dan, but I like Stevie Wonder and India Arie as well. I like video games, cartoons, art, reading and writing. I love that my world is as diverse as the company I keep.
Unless one knows me, I'm a black woman, with all the negative stereotypes that go with it. Specifically negative. We are so driven by fear that the safest thing to do, is suspect the worse in what we cannot relate to or understand.
Then it all goes wrong. A young man visiting his father, new in the area, but not doing anything unusual, automatically suspect to a man with a 9mm who pursues and guns him down, claiming a state law allowing him to stand his ground...
Honestly, I used to be of the opinion that guns were an aberration that we should cast aside. My opinion on that has changed somewhat. However, police officers are given strict training about when to use deadly force. Soldiers are given even more training, so they can discipline themselves in a combat situation to discern between enemy combatants and civilians.
You can even talk to kids who take martial arts classes that will tell you the use of force is the absolute last resort. To use words to diffuse and deescalate.
Because once that trigger is pulled, or force is used, it is final. You can't take it back and it changes the nature of everything that follows.
I feel the "Stand Your Ground", law is flawed. It does not protect the public from someone under duress, mentally unstable, or if they simply have poor judgement. We have all made bad calls once in a while. We make mistakes all the time. Most of the time, we can laugh about them later as a big goof, but a law that allows an err in judgement to trump the justice is as much a mistake as the self-righteous shooter who ignored police and guns down a young man, moments away from safely making it home. A shooter that goes home that same day. Trayvon Martin's remains are treated as that of a crimminal. Even the police assume that he is obviously guilty of something even if his only crime is being born African-American.
One mistake after another...
One Mistake After Another - Obaba's Hut
another online journal
24 March 2012 @ 01:24 pm
One Mistake After Another