Imagine if the images of black boys that we were inundated with were not those of threats, but those of gentle children. Imagine if young black boys, instead of being told in urban communities to act like men, were supported to be what they are, children and boys.
Two weeks after George Zimmerman's trial in the death of Trayvon Martin ended in acquittal, Juror B29, the only woman of color identified as Maddy, says George Zimmerman got away with murder, while Juror B37, a white woman, believes he did nothing wrong. Both agree that race played no role in the case. Doesn't this settle the issue of whether race was involved in this case?
Here's what the race baiters on the right fail to comprehend: There's a clear-cut, easy-to-follow blueprint for avoiding the ravages of black-on-black violence and crime. America has yet to provide us a comparable blueprint for avoiding racial profiling.
There is a teaching in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 70a): "If someone comes to kill you, kill him first." Then the Talmud continues: "But if you can prevent his killing you by wounding him rather than killing him, and nevertheless you kill him, you become a murderer."
As the bitter disappointment and initial anger subside after an all-female jury's verdict in George Zimmerman's trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin, provocative questions linger about their not guilty judgment.
Many of the white voices of horror and outrage over the Simpson verdict also contained "shock" and "surprise" over the verdict in the Simpson case. In looking at the many of the responses of those angry over the Zimmerman outcome, there is a numbing outrage, but not a lot surprise.
As a mother of three children, one of whom is an African-American male, these are sad times for me. I must constantly fan away fear. I must constantly be vigilant for all Black boys. I must cast a net of prayer over my son and others. I have to form a circle of protection around them.
This case and how people feel about racism is not the cause of these issues but rather a symptom of them. Moreover, whether it is a drunken altercation in NYC where a racist term is used and a fight ensues or the quick crumbling of the Paula Deen Empire, these issues are increasingly permeating the public sphere.
We have got to get over our racial sensitivities and denials, as well as our resistance to addressing the biases and assumptions that fuel and sustain racial injustice in America today.
What will we do with you? You will be tall and dashing, I can tell, but I fear that on a rainy night dressed in a hoodie this will cause you some issues. So how do I shelter you from a fate sealed by ignorant misunderstanding and prejudiced overreaction?
To believe racism is non-existent in the American justice system amongst other venues is a ludicrous omission of societal norms and an obtuse understanding of human nature.
If CNN is suffering in the cable ratings race, they may have found a new success formula in their wrap-up of the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin trial.
I entreat you, as a mother and as an American. Do not let Trayvon Martin die in vain. Make your voices heard. "Be the change you want to see in the world" armed with Facebook, iPhones, Twitter and YouTube... there has never been a time of greater personal empowerment than now!
The disheartening yet unsurprising result in the Trayvon Martin case has been the subject of incessant conversations with both French and American friends in France, where I am working presently. What has struck me in these discussions is how universal a tragedy the Trayvon Martin story is.