With the Trayvon Martin heartbreak fresh in the public mind, I’ve been privy to some challenging and at times heated discussions about race and privilege and a lack of understanding and compassion that can be seen from some people. Here’s a roundup of thought-provoking posts I’ve been sharing and reading:
- Not Guilty = License To Kill— The Mahogany Way
- On #Trayvon. And Us. — Native Born
You acquit. I acquit. We acquit each other when we look the other way when a remark is made about “those people” and why they are “that way.” We acquit each other when we accept the idea that “race is not an issue.”
- Calling Out My Sisters — Mocha Momma
You have words, sisters. You can’t use them for this?
I love you, sisters, and I’ve been disappointed in the quiet corners where you find me to talk about race when I’ve seen you in the public arena defend marriage equality.
You let everyone know, with your words, what’s important to you.
Are you mad? Are you grieving, too? Or is it your fear that’s keeping you from amplifying the messages of Black parents right now.
I’ve seen it, sisters, and it’s a powerful thing when you make your friends go viral and when you jump on bandwagons, but when race is painted on the side, you tell me you’ll jump on the next one.
Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did — The People’s ViewAt this point, I would like to remind everyone exactly what Martin Luther King did, and it wasn’t that he “marched” or gave a great speech.
My father told me with a sort of cold fury, "Dr. King ended the terror of living in the south."
Please let this sink in and and take my word and the word of my late father on this. If you are a white person who has always lived in the U.S. and never under a brutal dictatorship, you probably don’t know what my father was talking about.
But this is what the great Dr. Martin Luther King accomplished. Not that he marched, nor that he gave speeches.
He ended the terror of living as a black person, especially in the south.
- President Obama’s remarks on Trayvon Martin (full transcript)— The Washington Post
But I did want to just talk a little bit about context and how people have responded to it and how people are feeling. You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African- American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African- American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that — that doesn’t go away.
- White people — In my spiral notebook
And then I graduated, and did many things, and a few years later, one of these things was move to Chicago, start volunteering at this writing workshop, and ride my bike there, where one night, I happened to find myself next to a man who said to me, “[B]ecause there aren’t a bunch of black boys here, I don’t have to worry about my bike getting stolen.” And I opened my mouth and nothing came out.
This is it. This is it. This, right here, is how black boys die.
- Trayvon Martin Murder Trial: Mothers of Black Sons Speak on Implications — PhD in Parenting
Amanda, who blogs at Mommies are Light, and has two multiracial children, wrote:
- Diverse selection of views on raising children to be more compassionate from the July Carnival of Natural Parenting (links at the bottom of the post)
If you’re a white person (as I am), this is a time to listen, to acknowledge what mothers of black children are feeling, to unpack your own privilege, to avoid derailing conversations, and stop running away from the tough topics.
If we want the world to change, we all need to work to be the change. Peace to the families who are heartbroken tonight.