Fox News has started beating the drum and asking why everyone is so upset over Zimmerman when there are so many blacks killed by blacks every day?
And they’re absolutely right, although of course they’re right for the wrong reasons. They’re trying to distract the discussion from the sordid facts that white men routinely kill black kids and get away with it and always have, and that non-coastal Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and the rest of the old South think that’s the way it should be.
Still, a broken clock is right twice a day, and this is Fox’s nanosecond of correctness. It is heinous that we liberals can get so up in arms over Trayvon Martin and not over the 1500 other young black boys between the ages of 15 and 19 that die every year from guns. (For more nauseating stats, follow the link. You get the idea.)
Wait, liberals say, we do get outraged over it. Look at all the programs we’ve started and the efforts we’ve made.
No, we don’t. We get saddened by it. We were outraged over Zimmerman. There’s a difference and there are reasons for it.
First, of course, is that the issue with the Zimmerman trial isn’t really about Trayvon Martin. Not really. The issue that has us outraged is that a white man murdering a black kid isn’t considered a crime in the Old South and that half the white people in this country are OK with that.
Second, of course, is the truth that Trayvon was a young black male. Many people fear young males, particularly black males. For many there’s a little nagging feeling somewhere in the back of the mind that black teenagers that get killed are probably gang-bangers, and well, what can you say? Zimmerman’s defense certainly used the “he-was-black-and-wore-a-hoodie-so-he-deserved-it” defense.
But three dozen of the black kids killed by guns each year are under the age of 9. Unless you’re a full blown psychopath, it’s impossible to believe, no matter how racist and paranoid you might be, that a five year-old “deserves” it. Many of the teens have nothing to do with guns or gangs either, like 15 year-old Hadiya Pendleton, an honor student killed in Chicago last year. And while I can’t find stats, I suspect very, very few of those kids were killed by “white hispanic” guys. Most, like Hadiya, were killed by young black males.
We liberals squirm when we say that. We use the passive voice, “children are killed by bullets,” as if bullets simply materialize out of the air, and children fall onto the sidewalk with the tops of their heads blown off. We try to deflect the conversation.
We blame guns. Well, guns are clearly part of the problem. But that horse has left the barn. We’re simply not going to get guns off the streets. There are 300 million of them out there and gun laws have had about as much effect as sweeping back the tide.
We blame environmental factors–poverty, lack of opportunity, drugs, lead in the air, lack of appropriate after-school activities, etc. Probably all of these play a part and probably we’re not doing enough to address them.
However, it’s young black males that are pulling the triggers, and we don’t really like to say that. Just as those in the Pew poll somehow have convinced themselves that the Zimmerman trial was not about race and are thus disingenuous about the real problem, we are equally so in the other direction.
I’ve written before about the need for fat people to stop making excuses and take responsibility. I think it’s time we liberals did the same thing here. Yes it’s guns and environmental factors, but the ones pulling the triggers are young black males. At some point, they and the communities they live in have to find a way to stop the carnage, just like all the underclasses that have come before them in America have done.
Today, Ted Nugent used the black-on-black violence argument and the now standard right wing meme of trashing the memory of Trayvon Martin. It’s hard for anyone with decency or intelligence to listen to this and get past the base motives to listen to the argument, but this is one case where we should.
There are 1500 George Zimmermans out there, and not all of them are “hispanic whites.”