It’s Open Season on Young Black Boys and Men

trayton

Make sure to tune into Politini this (and EVERY) Thursday 8pm EST for our show “Born a Suspect” a discussion with black men and fathers. 

It has taken several days to collect my emotions from last Saturday’s verdict.  As Aisha and I sat on the couch in horror while watching the scroll on MSNBC read: Zimmerman Not Guilty.  I began to cry.  I cried for the sons I don’t yet have and the America I thought we were evolving towards.  I wouldn’t call myself an optimist but I did think that George Zimmerman would be found guilty—maybe not of second-degree murder, but would have to pay some penalty for taking the life of an unarmed child.   For Zimmerman to be able to walk free and receive the very gun back from the courts he used to violently take the life of Trayvon–sent shockwaves through my body and across this nation.

What message does it send to young black boys everywhere to let George Zimmerman walk free? It simply reminds them that their lives don’t matter.

Watch Aisha’s reaction to the trial here:

We watched for months as conservative’s villianized this child for being guilty of what white teenagers are able to do without recourse or judgment—listen to rap music, experiment with marijuana and flirt with girls.  No, Trayvon like too may young black boys aren’t allowed the luxury of being young.  They are forced to grow up in a world that views them as criminals by the time they hit double digits in age.

Sometimes I try and put myself into the footsteps of black men—my cousins, friends and uncles.  Wondering what it must feel like everyday to be presumed a criminal once you set foot outside your front door.  Recently, I was in conversation with one of my black male friends and I said, “I’m not sure how you walk through life and aren’t raging mad all the time”.  His response “I would be in jail or dead”.  He’s right.  Expressing frustration or anger isn’t an option for black men and boys.  If they’re not being completely “gentile” then the assumption is that they’re dangerous.

The ability to express emotion is at the foundation of what makes us human. Yet, each and everyday black men and boys are robbed of this piece of their humanity.

I’m angry. I’m angry that in 2013 black boys are still being senselessly murdered on our streets because of profiling and fear.  I’m angry because as Melissa Harris-Perry so eloquently stated on her show, “ I live in a country that makes me wish away my sons”.  I’m angry because as a “free” black person—this country— and the bigots that we arm with the second amendment and their hatred, make me feel unsafe in my own skin.

Yes, I voice my anger and my rage at a system that continues to deny black boys and men their humanity and now places targets on their backs.  I VOICE MY ANGER—because my brothers and not-yet-conceived son aren’t able to do so on their own behalf.  We owe it to them and to the dream of a more perfect union to speak up and OUT every time and in every moment injustice and racism rear it’s ugly head.

Tune into Politini this (and EVERY) Thursday 8pm EST for our show “Born a Suspect” a discussion with black men and fathers.

This clip from Spike Lee’s movie School Daze hits the nail on the head: