August 1st, 2013 19:17 EST
The Black Experience in America
On Friday, July 19, 2013 President Barack Obama delivered a candid, insightful and articulate message to his press corp. and the nation regarding the murder of Trayvon Martin, and the subsequent outcome of the Zimmerman trial. He put into context the Black experience in our country, and the matter of racial inequality in America.
Mr. Obama clearly and concisely conveyed why many in the Black community felt in utter disbelief and subsequent outrage regarding the not guilty verdict by citing that;
Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago".
He proceeded to convey a host of experiences which most Americans have never and "will never" go through - to being followed while merely shopping - to the locking of car doors simply because a Black man is near - to those who cross to the other side of the street because a Black person is walking their direction - to the complete fear (by some) of being in an elevator with a Black man.
The president even went further by posing the question, that; "If Trayvon had a gun on that fatal night, and shot Mr. Zimmerman would he have the same right to stand his ground"?
I would suggest to all those who continue to echo that we were not there, and therefore don`t know exactly what happened - to ask themselves this simple question:
If your child was visiting you for the weekend, and subsequently asked you for money for a drink and candy from the neighborhood store, and an unidentified man began to follow (your child) isn`t it natural for that child to become fearful?
Let`s say that same unidentified man who was once following (your child) by car then proceeded to follow them by foot and a struggle ensued. Would you thus conclude that your child caused his own death? Absolutely not! This is absurd!
President Obama`s words articulated the daily pain, disgrace and complete disrespect that Black people endure within American society, and this exceedingly disgraceful treatment (based on mere appearance; skin color) cannot be overlooked.
The stereotypical labeling of Black men as the problem, i.e. (thugs, unruly and dangerous) continues today.
Regrettably, there will remain many within American society who will continue to view African American men (young and old) through a murky lens, and are unable to break away from years of psychological manipulation through the negative propaganda by the media, movies and countless years of contaminated history, i.e. (books, teachings, and the environment in which they`ve been raised).
Nevertheless, the president`s presentation should serve as an education to our nation that the Black experience is genuine, and that the lopsided views and perspectives of some within America and the world at large must be addressed.
Now some have argued, that Mr. Obama was essentially pushed to make this statement, and that he had to make his deliverance on the above mentioned day due to the pressure of the Zimmerman verdict.
Whether pressured, pushed or force to make this well overdue address to the American people; he delivered it. And the resonance of his articulation coupled with his own personal experiences are now being echoed across the world.
The president`s address merely represents the first steps in genuinely addressing racism in 21st century America.
Now is the time to set-forth concrete strategies to educate not only our nation, but the international community and combat the matter of racism in so-called contemporary America; so that this nation can once and for all live up to its credo.
Sadly enough, decades after intrepid individuals such as the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Minster Malcolm X summarily put their respective lives on the line for racial and social equality in America - Black men are still being gunned down for no apparent reason other than being Black.
Regrettably, the words of the fore-fathers of America still have still not born significant fruit, and the poisonous philosophy of racism still remains deeply imbedded within the American culture.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ".
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M. QUINN is a freelance journalist and activist born in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Author of the books; Removing the Veil ", and RECOMPENSE A Matter of Human Rights ".
He is also the Founder of the Campaign to Remove the Veil"; which advocates incorporating a comprehensive study of racism into the American educational system as a core curriculum.. He specializes in social, political, and historical analysis and commentary.
REMOVING THE VEIL - THE BOOK