Posts Tagged ‘hate’

You say #Trayvon, I hear Evan.

July 14, 2013

Every time I hear the name Trayvon Martin, my mind changes it to Evan.  Evan is my towheaded perfectly adorable nephew who happens to be bi-racial.  There are plenty of times I’ve been out with my brother and his family and observed racism.  I’ve wanted to scream (on more than one occasion) after I’ve noticed my brother and sister-in-law being followed in box stores “They are BOTH better educated than you!”  (I know, way to counteract racism with classism.)

I spent a few hours coloring with my nephew on his 6th birthday.  Coloring a family picture, he was matching up skin tones to crayon colors.  Innocence.  I wonder when he will learn he is seen as “different” than his cousins: not for his unique characteristics but because he is not white.

My nephew is being raised bilingually (or, better stated, my sister-in-law is attempting to raise him bilingually, Evan is known to state his Spanish ears aren’t working).  His parents are instilling in him to be proud of his unique heritage that spans European, South American and Caribbean roots.

And I worry about them.  I worry about them as they travel in this country, where all three of them were born, what happens if they are pulled over because of profiling.  I tell my brother he needs to travel with passports when they leave the area where they live since how else can he “prove” he is a citizen? (Not that they should have to!).

But most of all, I worry about the day when my nephew discovers he is “different” and some people a suspicious of him because of how he looks.  I wonder what will happen when he is a teenager and he goes to the convenience store to get something to eat.  I hope by then we will have evolved as a country so that his parents won’t have to hear a knock on the door letting them know that somebody thought their child didn’t belong in the neighborhood.

Gabrielle Giffords

January 9, 2011

I didn’t think I’d have a lot to say tonight about the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords today.  I’m in that state of numbing shock that makes me wonder what has happened. Earlier in the week, Rep. Giffords (D-AZ) was one of the members to take to the House floor to read The Constitution.  She read the First Ammendment, about the right to assemble peacefully.

A federal judge was killed. A child was killed. Rep. Giffords, conducting a ‘Congress on the Corner’, meeting her constituatnts outside a grocery store, was shot, an aide was killed. So were others. Many others critically injured. 2 individuals wrestled the gunman to the ground saving who knows how many other individuals.

Out this shocking, stunning, sad day a voice of reason came from the sheriff of Pima County, Arizona Clarence Dupnik who said called out the vitriolic rhetoric on radio and television markets and his own state when he said:

“This has not become the nice United States of America that most of us grew up in and I think it’s time we do the soul-searching,” he said.

“The anger, the hatred the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous and unfortunately, Arizona has become the capitol. We have become the Mecca of prejudice and bigotry.”

The fact that 6 people had to die, 19 people injured for somebody in a place of leadership to say “this is OUR fault” is tragic. But Sheriff Dupnik, if you were running for office in my district, you would probably get my vote, for speaking the hard truth, the difficult truth and telling this country to look in the mirror. And to stop running ads that show candidates with bulls-eyes across their faces.

Words have consequences: And even the First Ammendment, which Rep. Giffords read on the House floor this week has been limited by the judiciary to prevent First Ammendment defenses in order to incite violence.  It’s time for the arugments to end: it’s time to work together. We have differences to celebrate, we have differences to debate. We don’t have a single excuse for picking up a gun and shooting 25 people at a Safeway.

It is time we simply grow up.