If Things Were The Other Way Around
I know I should never read the comments sections of news sites because they are, as I have often said “where the lowest scum settles.” For some reason, news websites attract the most vicious, looney, racist segment of society. And I guess, why not? It’s not like they’re busy doing anything productive.
But I went to an article about Trayvon Martin and the comments were like a punch to the gut. (This is not the link to the site. I don’t know what site it was. This link is just for background in case you’re unfamiliar.)
Among the usual speculation about the victim, there was this:
What’s a Trayvon?
A child is dead and someone uses the occasion to make fun of Black People and Their Funny Names. A family weeps and the best thing someone a thousand miles away can think to do is to make fun of their son’s name. Because he’s black, and his name is, what too creative or something? I wonder if he were white and his name was Cadyn or Jasyn or Kole or something, would that be as funny?
What if he were white? And what if the man patrolling the neighborhood with a gun and following children were a 28-year-old, 250-pound black man? Would he still be walking the streets, even if he had never shot anyone in cold blood? No, no he wouldn’t.
Because big, armed black men are scary and dangerous, and big, armed white guys are apparently just defending the neighborhood from the peril of skinny boys going to the corner store for some candy and an iced tea.
I’m disgusted. I’m horrified. I’m especially ashamed at myself that it took someone else pointing out how different things would have been if the races were reversed for me to start thinking about it.
Thanks to the people who keep reminding me I need to examine my hidden beliefs about stories like this. I need reminders and I need help. I just hope there’s a day where we all can come to the point of knowledge and sanity so that no one thinks it’s ok to make fun of a child’s name while he lays dead with a gunshot to the chest.