Ask yourself the question. Are you a racist? Did you just cringe? Did you recoil back into your Lazy-Boy, turn your head, cower and then draw on your past?
What has Trayvon Martin done for this country and racism? If anything, the death of Trayvon has brought to the forefront the blatant vein of racism and bigotry which still exits in this country. Come on now - don't act like I just said some dirty word, or called for sort of boycott. African Americans have nothing on the rest of us. Listen to mainstream media, or NBC & ABC and you get the misguided sense that only Black America is being put upon. Such is not the case.
I can only draw upon what history has taught us. The Great Potato Famine of Ireland, from 1845-1852 caused nearly 45% to 85% of Irish to emigrate to the New World, better known as the United States. Most landed in New York. I have a picture of my dear Daddy standing on a ship in New York harbor, who came to this country after World War II with high hopes and very little money. He pursued the classic American Dream. He did not let prejudice against the Irish dissuade him from achieving success.
"Irish Need Not Apply". It happened. Stop and think about that. From the "Know Nothing" movement of the 1850's right on down the line to our own President Richard Nixon's precipitant and preconceived notions about the Irish that existed in this country - the very same country that produced Abe Lincoln and the Gettysburg address. "...[T]hat all men are created equal..." has a nice ring to it - don't you think? A bedtime story no doubt.
Moving on - Japanese Discrimination. World War II saw a rise in the hatred and dehumanization of the Japanese in this country. Ask an elder Japanese American how it felt to be in the United States during World War II, and they are apt to describe internment camps, and segregation. Sounds pretty discriminatory to me. According to a 2010 BBC poll, 11% of Americans still hold negative opinions of the Japanese. How can that be? In a country claiming to not see color nor race, nor ethnic background, nor religious affiliations, how can 11% still harbor some deep seeded hatred towards an entire race?Slogans and posters covered modern day America with anti-Japanese rhetoric. Just as the Irish were consider onerous, so too, were the Japanese.
Oh, say it ain't so! How can America, in all its greatness look down upon the immigrant? The list keeps on going. Jews. Anti-Semites are still going strong in the land of the free and brave. A 2009 study published in Boston Review found that nearly 25 percent of non-Jewish Americans blamed Jews for the financial crisis of 2008–2009, with a higher percentage among Democrats than Republicans. Really, 25%. Unreal. Unfathomable. Look back in history to Poland and the atrocities that came from the death camps. Barbaric rituals of gas chambers and then the incredulous modern day philosophies (or should we refer to it as toilet paper scripture?) from the wind bag and crazy loon Louis Farrakhan, who spews anti-Semitic hatred on mainstream television, make even me feel ashamed, even though I find every ounce of his speech beyond impotent.
So, today a loud plea is coming from some African Americans calling for the arrest - oh hell - breeze past arrest, and move towards extermination of Mr. George Zimmerman. The mainstream media, mainly NBC & ABC, had to put a color label on Mr. Zimmerman immediately. He was a "white latino". What exactly is a white latino? From all accounts I have read, Mr. Zimmerman is a latino. Was the phrase "white" added for color...(pun intended)? Are there human beings in this world who like to incite violence or race bait? I'd venture to look at the number one villains on this matter - Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Shaprton, and to a certain extent, the President, ("my son would look like Trayvon") and their caustic free speech.
Trayvon's parents want justice. The mainstream media would not appear, by their own one-sided coverage of this story, at all interested in justice. Most people of sanity rely upon facts. I base my opinions and viewpoints on facts first. I am human, and yes, contrary to popular belief, I actually have a heart. I am a proud, first generation, Irish American. I love this country. What I find to be malevolent is America's lackadaisical attitude to look beyond other ethnic groups and fixate on only African Americans. Yesterday the media reported that NBC has doctored the 911 tape of Mr. Zimmerman. Is this not a total miscarriage of justice? We also see the now, "fine tuned" version, of the police cameras which show an image of a possible laceration or contusion to the back of Mr. Zimmerman's head. The media has already tried Mr. Zimmerman, based solely upon questionable evidence and over done sentiment. Race baiters and bigots such as Rev. Sharpton and Rev. Jackson have called for everything but Mr. Zimmerman's head on a silver platter. The Black Panthers have openly solicited for the death of Mr. Zimmerman. Why would it appear that no one has picked up the torch against wanton violence?
And what about Black America? Surely some responsibility should be placed upon them. I was raised in family structure where color was what you had in a crayon or chalk box. My parents taught us about social responsibility and taking ownership of your behavior. I've even blogged about this before. Own your mistakes. Seek means in which to rectify your errors, and then move on. The discourse of the Civil War, World War II, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, etc. should have taught us, as Americans, numerous valuable lessons. Yet, it would appear that we are still content to sit in our own ignorance, and point fingers and cast blame. I wasn't there, the night Trayvon Martin died. I would venture to guess that most people were not. Yet, the media has already tried Mr. Zimmerman, and found him guilty. Based upon what? Sheer ignorance and out right racism.
My latest edition of "Los Angeles Magazine" graced my mailbox yesterday. Ironically, the cover stated "I am Black, I am White, I am Los Angeles". The magazine is shamelessly left. However, I enjoy reading it, perusing the restaurant blogs, the fashion statements and articles. I can't recall who said it, but the phrase, "know your enemies, so that you might be better suited for war" comes to mind. I read liberal media because I want to know what the opposing views are, and so I can be better informed when engaged in debate. The gist of the magazine was examining race in Los Angeles 20 years after Rodney King and the riots that followed the verdicts of 4 LAPD officers. I have my own opinion of the verdict. And I can say, that I was lucky or unlucky, however you wish to look at it, to have been in Los Angeles in the middle of those riots 20 years ago. I worked for a law firm, in the mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles. The Koreans took a big hit financially during those riots. Why? Were any of the police officers that stood trial of Korean descent? No. Was the alleged victim of trials Korean? No. But nonetheless, the Koreans were targeted
Anyone recall Reginald Denny? Now there is a name from the past. Draw on your memory from 20 years ago. Put yourself in a semi truck, at the intersection of Florence and Normandie in downtown L.A. right after the verdicts were read. What can we learn from this man? History shows us that he forgave his black assailants. He FORGAVE them. I admit, Mr. Denny is a bigger person than me. 20 years later we can still hear Rodney King blame everyone for all his troubles, take no responsibility for his actions, yet we can also hear Mr. Denny forgive his attackers for their unprovoked act of horrific violence which played out for world wide audience on LIVE television. Unreal.
Los Angeles Magazine's article might leave the reader believing that L.A. has moved on from those riots of 20 years ago. Not so. As long as certain groups are unwilling to accept some of the fault, Los Angeles can never move beyond the nightmare of April 1992.
It seems that America has also learned nothing from history. All groups at one point in history have been the target of racism, hate and bigotry. Why do we allow, and/or tolerate certain people to use their race as an excuse for bad behavior?
Perhaps America might be wise to pick up a copy of the Gettysburg Address and listen to the words of a great American - Abe Lincoln.