There's beauty all around our paths, if but our watchful eyes can trace it 'midst familiar things, and through their lowly guise.
- Felicia Hemans, English Poet (1794-1835)
There was a Russell Simmons tweet I felt compelled to respond to today . . .
@unclerush No happy birthdays for the 8,000 yearly victims of black on black murder. Sad it only matters if the shooter was white/hispanic.
— Mike Cornelison (@mcjazzbass) February 5, 2013
All this brings to mind the Stalin quote: “The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.”
It’s one of the most infamous quotes in history for two reasons, one, because it’s very hard for the human brain to grasp the scope of a tragedy that involves the slaughter of thousands or millions, and two, because it gives us a direct look into the the mind of a Joseph Stalin who slaughtered millions, and we’re talking literally here, millions of his own people.
Which then brings to mind this statistic: Bureau of Justice Statistics data show that from 1976 to 2005, black victims were killed by blacks 94% of the time.
Let that sink in for a bit and then ask yourself, how is it that so many people saw Trayvon’s killing as the one story of 2012 worthy of taking to the streets and protesting over? How did so many allow themselves to be riled up and agitated by the race-baiting media to the point where they could imagine Trayvon’s killing as being the great story to voice their outrage over in year that saw over 8,000 blacks murdered by blacks?
We know we can’t count on the media to bring in any perspective in trumpeting Trayvon’s tragedy. Instead, the race hucksters in the media resorted to editing tapes of Zimmerman to make it sound like he was fixated on Trayvon’s skin color, as if he was unprompted in blurting out that Trayvon was black in the 911 recording when in reality, Zimmerman only provided that information when asked by the 911 operator.
Let’s face it, the media has become nothing more than a sleaze-peddling machine which takes delight in its ability to use a story like this to incite the masses. If you have any doubt of that, ask yourself this – why would the media insist on calling Zimmerman white at every opportunity when his father describes his son as a “Hispanic” who “grew up in a multiracial family”? And ask yourself this, if Zimmerman had a name more reflective of his Hispanic side, say his name was George Martinez, do you doubt for a second that this story would never have been pushed so eagerly by the media into being a national story?
So we can’t count on any perspective from the media, but where were the black leaders to point out the fact that for every Trayvon tragedy, there are more than fifteen tragedies involving black on black murders?
Where was our president, who was supposed to usher in an era of post-racial America in all this? Instead of trying to heal the racial divide by stating the fact that Zimmerman deserves his day in court and that non-black on black crime is the aberration in this country, President Obama chose to inflame the story and widen the divide by telling us if he had a son, he’d probably look like Trayvon. In what could have been a “teachable moment”, instead of choosing to identify the larger problem, the president chose to identify with Trayvon’s race. Gee, thanks for nothing, Mr. Post-Racial President!
I may not have a platform as big as the president’s, but I can tell you this, when it’s gotten to the point that a spree killing hits the news and you already know the killer’s probably going to end up being a white guy, I have no problem calling out white people and telling them not to shame our race. These spree killings are a horror and a shame to humanity first and foremost, but to borrow a phrase from Obama, even if it resulted “in only saving one life”, if I could, I would talk to every white person in America and tell them not to shame our race like that.
One can only imagine how many lives could be saved if President Obama had the courage to speak some honest truth to the black community about how the tragedy of Trayvon pales in comparison to the number of blacks killing blacks every day in the inner cities. For a black community that takes so much pride in America having its first black president, how powerful would it be to hear some harsh words from the president in telling the black community that they should be ashamed at how many blacks are killing blacks every day. I know for a fact that would change some attitudes, but the president remains silent.
Where are the voices from within the black community calling for an end to the insanity of 8,000 black on black murders every year? If there were protests for justice for Trayvon, shouldn’t the protests for black unity and an end to black on black crime be fifteen times as large?
Even searching the Internet, you have to dig far and wide to find even a couple scattered voices of perspective and outrage from the black community. My words to the black community certainly can’t carry as much weight as the words from a person inside the black community, so when I finally do hear someone speaking up, I want to hug that guy, or at the very least shake his hand.
From USATODAY Columnist DeWayne Wickham:
I want justice for Trayvon Martin. But even more than that, I want an end to the slaughter of the many blacks for whom there were no mass protest demonstrations or rabid news media coverage.
Justice demands that George Zimmerman, Martin’s killer, get his day in court. But it also cries out for an even greater showing of outrage for the thousands of black men and women whose murders have rarely gotten more than fleeting notice in a local newspaper. And that’s a crying shame.
While blacks are just 12.6% of the nation’s population, they’re roughly half of people murdered in this country each year. The vast majority of these killings are at the hands of other blacks.
If that doesn’t shock you, maybe this will: More blacks were murdered in the USA in 2009 alone than all the U.S. troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to date.
Now that really makes me want to holler. But this painful truth hasn’t produced the kind of sustained national outrage that Martin’s death at the hands of a white Hispanic has generated. Why such a parsing of contempt? Maybe the people who’ve taken to the streets to protest Martin’s killing don’t care as much about the loss of other black lives because those killings don’t register on the racial conflict meter. Or maybe they’ve been numbed by the persistence of black-on-black carnage.
read more: USA Today
However the jury decides the fate of George Zimmerman, without a doubt, Trayvon’s story is indeed a tragedy, but nothing compared to the tragedy of seeing the race hucksters turning all the focus on Trayvon while the other 94% is treated as just a statistic.