Monday, March 26, 2012

Trayvon Martin: Skittle and Ice Tea a dangerous cocktail

While I realize there will always be racism and prejudice, it is daunting when something as tragic happens like the death of seventeen year old Trayvon Martin.  This situation boils down to one word, stereotyping. We all do it, rather we want to admit it or not, but our preconceived notions should never cause us to take the life of another.

Personally as a black woman I have been trailed in stores. Rather I'm "dressed to the nines," or in the infamous hoodie that brought injustice to Trayvon ,my skin instantly makes me a target when I walk into many stores.  The worst experience I ever had was at a plus size clothing store, where I was followed from the moment I walked in the door, yet never acknowledged by the sales associate.  Sometimes it seems like my money isn't good enough.

I've also been on the other side of this situation. I worked in retail for several years. Occassionally  I found myself trailing "suspicious" African American women with oversized bags who looked to be up to no good.  Sometimes I was wrong, often I was right which my job a whole lot harder.  We've got to do better my people.  That doesn't negate that fact that I was wrong, we are all wrong when we stereotype.  We never know who someone is or what they are going through, everybody isn't "Jimmy the crackhead," ready to take advantage of you.  Underneath those hoods are college students with white collar dreams, hungry teens try to stay warm waiting for the city bus which always seems to run late, someone's dad just tryna' pick up milk for the kids,  don't pierce them with your eyes.  Don't misunderstand me, have some wisdom, I am not instructing you to be friend everyone that you see on the street, simply have some compassion.  We  are all Trayvon Martin to some degree. We have stereotyped and been stereotyped.

I wasn't there so I don't know the full story, but it is evident by his phone call with his girlfriend that he was scared.  I guess skittles and ice tea proved to be a dangerous cocktail.

Sound off, what do you think?

Najeema Iman, I AM Curly Locks

1 comment:

  1. I so feel you on this Najeema! I think this case hit home with alot of African Americans because at some point in our lives rather we are black, white, or Hispanic we have all experience some form of prejudice. I can count several times when I encounter racism. I must say at Rochester College I felt a "different" type of what I like to call "kind prejudices". I felt the racism in the air lol. Yet I could tell not too many of the other white students didn't make an effort to get to know the blacks at that school.
    For the first time I experience racial profiling while driving home in Southfield. I was at a red light and I seen a police car along side of me. I glance at the officer and drove off on the green, then I see this HUGE BRIGHT Light on the side of my window. It was a flashlight. Finally she pulled me over and asked me where was I coming from. What city? Why are you out late? I just left the hospital from seeing my mother. This police officer had the nerve to asks me "Whats the room number"? I'm like really??? "There is no 'room numbers' for emergency rooms" I told her. Ugh, I was so upset and nervous. I started crying when she told me I fit a description for a robbery. Because I had on a baseball cap. So I know the rage everybody is feeling for Trayvon Martin. Stereotypes surround the African American community everyday. I just don't understand why George Zimmerman followed Trayvon after being told not to. This case is so unjust I can't even gather my thoughts to begin. I believe justice will be serve, I believe Zimmerman attacked and followed Trayvon and Trayvon fought back for HIS PROTECTION. The Self-Defense is bull. Why would would Zimmerman scream help if he had gun then suddenly the screaming stops and then a gunshot?? Just crazy...