The national horror currently directed at the murder of Trayvon Martin is a reaction that our White supremacist society has when it is occasionally reflected back at us. This is what you’ve become. This is where your thoughts and actions lead. Your bad-cop fantasies don’t lead to heroics, but rather the murder of your brothers and sisters. Martin and Zimmerman are symptoms. Symptoms of a society fooled into suspecting and hating each other instead of banding together against the real criminals leading us astray.
Immediately most of us feel a sick revulsion at the murder of Trayvon – there’s that piece of humanity that still understands that an African American youth is not the walking crime-spree we’re taught that he is. But there are those who would use this as an opportunity to reinforce the daily dose of racism our culture feeds us. Members of the reactionary Right will tell us absurdities that either make Martin’s murder a logical conclusion or a more innocent, easier to swallow “wrong time, wrong place” scenario. That Trayvon, being a Black teen (wearing some sort of “gangsta” affiliated “hoodie” sweatshirt) wandering (looking suspicious) a gated community (usually code for rich and White, though not entirely correct in this circumstance) was an obvious target. Zimmerman’s history of violence will be discounted and his act given a silent nod.
I’ve already seen propaganda created by neo-nazis like StormFront that try to use false images of Martin to depict him as a “gangsta” youth found more often in White nightmares than in our communities. Trying to distill Zimmerman’s racial ancestry in order to turn this into minority-on0minority crime that vigilant Whites must be prepared to protect (read: attack) themselves from. But these are extreme cases. When Fox News can tell us that Martin’s sweatshirt was as much to blame for his death as was Zimmerman’s bullets, it packs the same message as a Klan’s burning cross; that Trayvon was an other, and a dangerous other at that. Fox’s is just a bite size helping.
Until we can recognize that the our gated communities are nothing more than a symptom of a people so frightened of each other as to seek the leadership of actual psychopaths and monsters to protect them, we will continue to attack ourselves and suffer. When we can recognize that a hooded sweatshirt in a gated community is exponentially less dangerous than a business suit in a financial district, we will watch our livelihoods diminish and our brothers and sisters become criminals.