Treyvon Martin’s death sparked a line of dialogue that I genuinely appreciated. The facts of this case will be determined in a court of law but the implications of it are much greater. The criminalization of the young Black man in America is far from a new concept except of course, for those who don’t have to live it. At this point it feels like beating a dead horse to talk about this part of being Black in America. However, it seems like its news to some people. Yes, while walking down the street at night you are likely to be stopped and questioned for no apparent reason other than your skin color. I am viewed as a threat. As a young man of color this is no surprise and I have several friends who have experienced this. Even at Gettysburg a liberal arts college where one could rest assured I am just another student with the same level of criminal activity as the next student (next to none) this is not the case. Sometimes you experience double consciousness because being Black slaps you over the head. For example when you’re with your group of friends talking on a Thursday night near Constitution and you see a group of girls cross the street in the block before yours, so as not to cross your path. Did this happen because I’m black? Maybe not, maybe it did. The point is I have to consider the role that race plays. Even if I can now say my President is Black. Or when you’re leaving the ATM from PNC and the cops stop and question you and ask for identification, as if you had just robbed the atm via your own bank account. So yeah, people were outraged about Treyvon Martin’s death, not just because of how young he was, and not because (in the public court) Zimmerman is guilty, but rather because we’ve all been and continue to be Treyvon Martin on a regular basis. The issue of race and the criminalization of people of color affects us all, regardless of our race/gender. Poor people have been disenfranchised and given ideology to keep them that way.
April 16, 2012
Why hoodie walk?