This week I learned that my friend of and fellow NOI Black Roots fellow Dante Berry has become Vice President of Membership & Engagement at Million Hoodies Movement for Justice. This caused to me to return to some of my previously unpublished writings created after the trial of George Zimmerman (and Trayvon Martin). Dante’s work is inspiring. Hopefully this post will also spark conversation. This post was originally titled, “When was rioting even an option?”
Its been a few days now since the verdict in the Zimmerman trial and for the first time I’m able to write about this. Various contributors and supporters of TOK have been having conversations about what this verdict means. We’ve gone through a legal analysis of the trial and the laws. We’ve talked about anger and apathy. We shared fears about the safety of our sons and lamented the lack of conversations against similar threats to our daughters. I’ve been able to reflect on a few things but truthfully, I’m still processing this all.
I’m proud to see that people were outraged. Even if this trial wasn’t about race (which is heavily debatable), making this trial about race should make America realize the difficulties we have when starting, let alone to holding a coherent conversation around race. Our language is flawed, our analysis is weak and our feelings are hurt. When I refer to our, please note, I am not referring to Black people. I’m referring to Americans. White people hurt about the implications of race too. If you’ve grown up to believe that all you have to do is work hard and the world is open to you, then it hurts to hear that your race gives you an edge. It feels like it undercuts all the work that you’ve done.