Why We Still Hurt

blackpainPresident Obama’s recent unexpected comments about the Trayvon Martin tragedy were quite revealing in the personal manner in which he described his own experiences with being profiled as an African American man.     Obama talked about being followed while shopping in a department store, noticing people lock their doors as he walked across the street and also seeing white women who clutched their purses and held their breath while they were in a confined elevator with him.

These are all very familiar themes for African Americans because we continue to be subjected to these overt acts of profiling in our daily lives.   I recall shopping at an upscale mall where I had purchased a back massager from Brookstone which came in a very large box.  I decided to peruse the mall before I took the box to my car.    As I was walking through the Nordstrom’s men’s section on my way to the exit, I suddenly saw a mall security officer leap from behind a rack of clothes as if he wanted to startle me.

He was talking on his walkie- talkie and never introduced himself or said anything to me.   I thought the whole incident was strange but as I was walking to my car, I realized that he was trying to get a reaction from me because he thought that I was a thief.

The following day I called the mall security and asked them if they had a policy of following African Americans around the mall as they shopped.   I explained to them what happened to me the previous day and that I felt slighted by this officer’s conduct; of course they denied that this was their policy, but it was obvious that this was probably standard procedure for them.

My primary reason for calling was because I was upset that I was profiled and I wanted to make sure that someone responsible heard my voice and my complaint.   One of things that really resonated with me about Obama’s statements was that he indicated that black people felt put off by the failure of society to acknowledge that this type of profiling was prevalent.

This failure to acknowledge our pain and our frustrations is the very root of many of the maladies that exist within the black community.   Without a means or an outlet to vent our frustrations about profiling and discrimination on a daily basis, many times that anger is directed towards our own community.   Escalating black on black crime in many large cities is rooted in disappointment, lack of opportunities and decades of discrimination.

In 1995 after the overthrow of the white majority rule in South Africa, President Mandela helped to establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) where witnesses who were identified as victims of gross human rights violations were invited to give statements about their experiences, and some were selected for public hearings.   Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution (Source:  Wikipedia). The result of this initiative was profound because it helped to heal some of the pain associated with decades of apartheid on the majority of black South Africans.

America has never apologized for two decades of brutal enslavement that our ancestors had to endure, nor has there ever been an attempt to reconcile the pain and the injustice of slavery.    Since we’ve elected our first African American President, I think some people assumed that we were living in a post racial society.   But the Trayvon Martin tragedy was a reminder that race is still prevalent and we still have a long way to go to achieve MLK Jr.’s dream of a non-racial society.

I often feel as though we’re becoming two different races composed of educated and affluent African Americans and a distant race of disaffected black youth who don’t feel as though they’re a part of our society.    There are many reasons why these youth feel so disenfranchised but I believe that the primary reason is the absence of strong black male role models in their life and the decline of two parent families in America.

Young black men are more likely to join a gang because the gang lifestyle represents an extended family of male role models who serve as surrogate father figures in their life.    The result is typically an early death or extended incarceration, which has not declined over the past 20 years.

I believe that we have reached a point in the black community whereby we can help those who want to help themselves and we simply have to pray for those who are lost.

Profiling George Zimmerman and how he killed Trayvon Martin

GZSince the controversial not guilty verdict from the George Zimmerman trial in Florida just a few days ago, there’s been lots of discussion about race, profiling, stand your ground laws etc. but very little has been mentioned about the actual killer George Zimmerman.   We know from the news and from the trial that Zimmerman wanted to be a police officer and that he studied criminal justice for a short time.   We also know that he voluntarily started a Neighborhood Watch program in his gated community where Trayvon Martin happened to be visiting his father.

These are all descriptive facts about him but the real George Zimmerman is actually a sociopathic wannabe cop who may have committed the perfect murder.   I’m convinced that Zimmerman was a sociopath because of his actions before, during and after the killing of young Trayvon.    The textbook definition of a sociopath is a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

We know from the news coverage of the trial that in 2005, Zimmerman got into a fight with an ATF agent and was arrested and charged with “resisting officer with violence” and “battery of law enforcement officer,” both of which are third-degree felonies.   Also in August 2005, Zimmerman’s ex-fiancee, Veronica Zuazo, filed a civil motion for a restraining order alleging domestic violence.

In 2008, Zimmerman applied to become a police officer in Prince George County but was rejected probably because of his prior arrest record and domestic abuse charges, but what these events really demonstrate is his history of confrontation and inability to control his anger.  It’s obvious that Zimmerman was intent on becoming a police officer and probably became ever more obsessed with his desire upon being rejected just a few years earlier.

Some controversial and racist comments from Zimmerman’s 2005 MySpace page have recently emerged indicating that he was upset about his arrest and had animus towards Mexicans and his ex-fiancee whom he refers to as his “ex hoe”.

He speaks about what he doesn’t miss about his former home in Manassas,Virginia,

“I dont miss driving around scared to hit mexicans walkin on the side of the street, soft ass wanna be thugs messin with peoples cars when they aint around (what are you provin, that you can dent a car when no ones watchin) dont make you a man in my book. Workin 96 hours to get a decent pay check, gettin knifes pulled on you by every mexican you run into!”

He bragged about not going to jail regarding a case with an ex saying,

“Im still free! The ex hoe tried her hardest, but the judge saw through it! Big Mike, reppin the Dverse security makin me look a million bucks, broke her down! Thanks to everyone for checkin up on me! Stay tuned for the A.T.F. charges……”

A few days later, he spoke on getting his felonies reduced.

“2 felonies dropped to 1 misdemeanor!!!!!!!!!!! The man knows he was wrong but still got this hump, Thanks to everyone friends and fam, G baby you know your my rock!” 

Source (The Urban Daily)

Based on Zimmerman’s language and his boasting about being acquitted of the domestic abuse charges and having his felony assault charges against the officer reduced to a misdemeanor, he was not only elated that he was able to escape his charges but he seemed to gloat about his ability to evade justice.    This is the same state of mind that he had when he approached an unsuspecting Trayvon Martin on a rainy night on February 26, 2012.

Zimmerman was familiar with Florida’s “Stand your ground” laws from his criminal justice studies and his amateur police work.    He knew that he could not be portrayed as the aggressor because the aggressor cannot claim that they were standing their ground when they’re in pursuit of a potential criminal.

In listening to the 911 call he made, you can hear him paint a picture of Trayvon as looking suspicious, and peeping into neighbor’s windows and then eventually circling his car.    These were all lies that he told so that he could establish an alibi and a justified reason for confronting him.    Most importantly, he has a virtual witness in the 911 call operator to document his side of the story because he knows that no one can dispute his story.     The way he describes Trayvon and his actions were designed to portray Trayvon as the aggressor.

Trayvon likely never saw Zimmerman until he confronted him on the way home.    Based on Rachel Jeantel’s testimony, Trayvon was confronted by Zimmerman who abruptly asked him, “What are you doing here?”   Jeantel also said that she heard Trayvon say, “Get off!”  and then she heard a scuffle that sounded like they were on the ground and the phone went dead.

Her testimony clearly demonstrates that Zimmerman was the aggressor who approached Trayvon without introducing himself as Neighborhood Watch.    He never introduced himself because he wanted a confrontation!   Zimmerman knew in advance that he had a loaded gun and he knew that he needed a reaction from his “suspect” to justify shooting him.   His approach to Trayvon was similar to how a “dirty” basketball player will foul and harass another player to get a violent reaction from them.

So he confronts Trayvon and probably pushes him and that’s when he says, “Get off!” but he wasn’t saying “get off” as if Zimmerman was on top of him, he was saying “get off” much like black people might say if someone grabs or pushes them by saying, “Hey get off me man!”.

Once they’re engaged in a scuffle, Zimmerman who outweighed Trayvon by almost 50 pounds probably let him get a couple of punches in, including one to the nose.    He knew that he had to have some bruises and scars from the encounter to make it seem as though Trayvon attacked and nearly killed him.   Zimmerman probably never threw a punch, but he wrestled with Trayvon because he wanted ALL the evidence to demonstrate that Trayvon was the aggressor.

Once he got Trayvon into a state of rage, where he wasn’t backing off or defending himself he knew that he could shoot him in so called self-defense.    Zimmerman was probably struggling for his gun as they were wrestling and Trayvon began to yell for help.    It’s obvious that Trayvon was the one yelling for help because the screams stop abruptly after the shot.   If Zimmerman was the one yelling for help, he would have continued screaming in shock of shooting his attacker.

This may seem controversial, but keep in mind that Zimmerman is a wannabe cop who knows the law.    He also did not have life threatening injuries that would indicate he was completely in fear of his life.   He also refused medical care and simply wanted a doctor’s note for his job the following day.    Zimmerman probably thought that he would make a positive impression on the local police and his neighbors by killing a potential criminal.   He also hoped that he would be hailed as hero and that his hopes of finally becoming a police officer would come true.

The entire shooting may not have been premeditated but it was certainly calculated which made it so difficult to try in court because most reasonable people would never assume that someone could deliberately orchestrate a murder that seemed so random; but a sociopath like George Zimmerman knew that from the moment he stepped out of his car with a loaded gun.