“Or, Opinions Are Like Assholes…” by S.R. Torris
I had something eloquent to say about this, I really did. I was going to let it be known the way I see it but then…
There are some who call the Media, liberal. I’m not one of those people. I’ve witnessed too many victims being re-victimized by the so-called liberal media. So unlike many of you who heard Geraldo Rivera’s “Blame It On The H-H-H-Hoodie” campaign and were astonished by the absurdity of it all, I wasn’t. I was prepared to hear what’s being alluded to now: Trayvon Martin was some undisciplined out-of-control pot smoking Black kid who attacked this poor guy who was just doing a service to his community as the Captain of the Neighborhood Watch. Why that George Zimmerman, he’s a 21st century Bernard Goetz, taking matters into his own hands – he’s the real victim in all this, who was doing nothing but defending himself against some strange hooded Black kid roaming through his town. African-Americans should more than understand, should even empathize with George Zimmerman because their history with suspicious hooded persons hasn’t been all that great!
Yeah, I expected this.
Then you have those who will do their best to politicize and blame it on the Stand Your Ground Law. From what I’ve heard, Trayvon Martin was the one who stood his ground. If Zimmerman was alleged to have called 911 and during the course of the conversation with the dispatcher he/she told him, do NOT follow Trayvon Martin, do NOT engage Trayvon Martin and Zimmerman WENT AFTER Trayvon Martin anyway, thus causing Trayvon Martin to defend himself, what basis does George Zimmerman’s flimsy argument have? He felt threatened? Then he shouldn’t be carrying a gun. Drunk drivers and punkasses with guns are some of the most dangerous things on the streets today. If I have a gun and the confidence in my ability to use it, Arnold Schwarzenegger could be coming at me and he’d be in a world of trouble. In my book, a 9mm trumps a can or bottle of iced-tea and a bag of Skittles every time. So why blame the law when clearly Zimmerman wasn’t following it?
But I expected that too.
What’s thrown me for a loop and has erased all memory of the eloquent dissertation I had planned are the rumblings I’m hearing from those who claim to represent “The Hood”.
“Everybody’s talking about Trayvon Martin but what about those 50 homicides that happened the same day in [insert name of urban area here]? Why isn’t anybody talking about that?”
ARE YOU FRIGGIN SERIOUS?!
Pick up a daily newspaper of a major metropolis and that’s all you’ll see! When the news hits that “film at 11” there are any number of Black men being led to a police car in cuffs alleged to have robbed this one, chopped the head off of this one, or shot that one. Watching the news you’d think the only people committing violent crimes in this country are a few angst-y white teens (punkasses with guns), wild young Black men and unruly angry Black women. And most of the victims are OTHER BLACK PEOPLE. And it does deter tourists from going into certain neighborhoods because the image of animalistic Black folks is being broadcast to the world. There are people coming from war torn countries that don’t want to move in urban areas where there are a large concentrations of African-Americans.
Criminalizing Blacks makes for good television and it sells ads like crazy – and albums too but we’ll get there later.
Trayvon Martin’s murder has made some realize their celebrity doesn’t make them or the ones they love immune to bullets. Some are protesting this travesty, even if it’s just by taking a photograph. And their silent protest may have detrimental effects on future projects – but they are doing something.
What are YOU doing?
Are you assisting ex-football player Jim Brown with his Amer-I-Can anti-gang violence organization? It’s been around for at LEAST a decade. Do you donate time or money so that it stays in existence until there’s no more need for it? Are you one of those people who protect the older women in the neighborhood who call the police when drug dealers and dog fighters congregate outside their building? Or are you one of those who joined the “Stop Snitchin” movement and got the T-Shirt to prove it? Before there was the Occupy Wall Street movement there was a small mention of people in Newark, New Jersey and Brooklyn, New York who were marching to protest violence in their streets. There were even families who marched at night when the most violent activity occured. Where you there marching with them? After Occupy Wall Street some called for an Occupy The Hood movement. Still haven’t heard anything about that, are you in the process of organizing it? Are you part of the Violence Interrupters, ex-bangers and ex-cons and all around hood cats that get in the thick of it to discourage violent interactions? There’s a great documentary out now about them, have you seen it? No, of course you haven’t seen it. You just want to bitch and moan about the press Trayvon Martin is getting.
Which brings me to the music part I mentioned earlier. Drake, Lil Wayne, 50Cent, Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G, Ice-Cube, N.W.A, Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Dipset, Cam’ron, Rick Ross, DMX, D-Block, Jadakiss, and I could list more – if you have participated in giving them “street cred”, bolstered their image of being bad men and added to their coffers then you’re part of the problem. That’s right, I said it: part of the problem. An artistic, lyrical guy with great music production could release an album today and because it doesn’t have Hood approval and/or lascivious things throughout it, he probably would sell much. Amongst the aforementioned rappers (if you believe their claims) they have kicked a pregnant woman in the belly to terminate her pregnancy, they’ve shot people, they’ve killed people, they are Blood gang affiliates, they are Crip gang affiliates, they are pimps, they slap women, they’ve sold crack in capsules, they sold assorted drugs by the kilo weight, they’ve released havoc in their community as a result of being drug kingpins, they’ve conspired to kill people – and most of these people, these victims, are from The Hood.
And The Hood co-signs it.
But I know, “it’s just entertainment”. Black-On-Black, violent, niggers-killing-niggers entertainment – with a hot beat. Who cares? No one cares, not even The Hood. And that’s the point: if you don’t give a damn about yourself, why should someone else give a damn?
Back in December Detective Figoski, a New York veteran cop, was shot during a home invasion. He left behind four teenage daughters. The New York Police Foundation set up a scholarship fund and at last count in January they had received $2 million in donations. His daughters can go to school anywhere they want. Remember Ramarley Graham? He was the unarmed 18-year-old Bronx kid who police said they saw making a drug transaction. So they followed him to his house, kicked his door in and shot him dead in his bathroom – he was still unarmed during all of this. The last I saw in print as of February, fundraising for the Graham family netted a whopping $1,000.00! I’d also heard they were barely able to raise $5,000.00 to pay for the funeral.
So where the hell was The Hood?
It’s easier for people to help, it’s easier for them to care when they are not slogging through the viscous goo that is one’s hypocrisy. And in the case of Trayvon Martin I’m sure his family would wish they could care for their boy just one more day, even if it meant fending off the hypocrites in every “hood”, at least he’d still be alive.
And I had something eloquent I wanted to say…