I Am Not Trayvon Martin, and You Aren't Either
This video went viral this week, echoing the new sentiment "I Am Not Trayvon Martin" that has given the once official rallying cry "We Are All Trayvon Martin" a twist. Despite our desire to show solidarity with the Martin family and strike a chord of human commonality with this tragedy by saying, "it could have happened to any one of us," that’s not quite true, is it?
More than just extending our awareness enough to realize we aren’t Trayvon Martin (if we are white and middle class, like me) and do not incite paranoia with our every step, we should be honest enough to recognize our likeness in George Zimmerman. Check out the video below.
The implications of seeing more of oneself in the oppressor than the oppressed are heavy, and necessary. Like the girl in the video, I too have been conditioned by society to be seized with fear at the sight of a young black man with his hood up in my dark neighborhood. The threat is in the suspicion I feel, and my racist feelings are a tangible enough threat to defend myself against. In the eyes of the law, I am George Zimmerman, which makes it only more essential that in my heart, I am the prosecutor.
What do you think? Let me know on Twitter.