Black people were brought to America for two reasons – free labor and entertainment. And every day you spend doing something other than serving your masters or playing court jester to their ever-changing tastes – you are deserving of whatever happens to you. If you’d just play your role, you’d be safe – that’s what we’ve been told. But be free? Don’t play your role? Don’t follow Jim Crow? Don’t drastically modify your behavior to accommodate the whims of the masses even in the age of Obama?
You deserved it.
It’s what you get for not knowing your place. Which, obviously, is either serving our captors or existing out-of-sight of those who are most offended by our insistence on living as free people.
If you are angry, as so many are angry over George Zimmerman getting away with starting a fight and murdering a teenager over it, be angry. If you are sad for the parents of Trayon Martin who essentially had to experience the death of their son twice, be sad. If you are a mother or father of a black boy and now you’re more worried for him, go ahead and worry. But remember, the system that let George Zimmerman kill a boy and get away with it existed yesterday. It existed a week ago. It existed six months ago. It existed 60 years ago. It’s always existed. Parents have always worried for their sons. People have always been sad or angry over the injustice and indignities we suffer.
So what do you do?
Should we all throw up our hands and collectively return to servitude? (You win bigots who funded Zimmerman’s defense!) Well, now that’s just silly. Can’t put that spilled milk back in the bottle. We’re all “free” now. Do we tell our sons to not wear hooded sweatshirts, even if it’s raining? Do we lock them up in our houses until they turn 35?
If you want to best honor Trayvon Martin it is to keep living your life without fear or care for what someone thinks you shouldn’t be doing because of America’s original sin of racism. Walk to your store like you always walked to your store. Wear your hoodie like you always wore your hoodie. Go to school. Go to work. Call out injustice and fight against it. Fall in love with whomever you want to love and loves you back. Relish in that love and not care what anyone thinks. Go to college. Get married. Make babies. Teach them our history. Tell them our stories so they know. But not so they will be afraid, but so they will be fearless.
Fear is what racism wants, what it needs in order to suppress us. It needs submission. It needs fealty. It needs weakness. It needs a broken outrage button. It needs acceptance. It needs the status quo.
But you cannot accept that.
Live your life like Trayvon Martin should have been able to live his — to be a kid and out-grow the awkward phases and become an adult like his older brother. Live the life his parents wanted for him. Live the life you have wanted for yourself. Change nothing for racism and all its desires for fear and control. Fight it. Seek and destroy it. Speak out against it. Overcome it. But don’t let it stop you from enjoying every moment, minute, second we have on this earth with those we love. Don’t let it taint your love. Don’t let it taint your joy.
Instead, reach down inside of you, find your outrage button – the one all free people are born with – and fix it. You will not be a broken person out of survival in an unjust world. Do not accept what is given to you, the dead corpses of black boys, because there have always been corpses. Free people don’t accept something just because it was always there. Free people live and react as free people with all the power and indignation their creator bestowed upon them. Don’t let this injustice lead to acceptance or apathy. Don’t let an injust world change you.
Trayvon Martin was born free. You are free. Stay free.”