In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Two days later and I am still in disbelief about the verdict of Not Guilty for George Zimmerman. Disbelief because even a casual viewer of a daytime court show would know that if not for Zimmerman leaving his car, Trayvon Martin would still be alive today.
Part of me wants to cancel the remaining Civics classes for immigrants because let’s face it, there are two Americas: the one for the whites and the ones for the rest of us. I used to get a renewed sense of pride listening to the class speak so highly of this country, but I also have a daughter who says she isn’t surprised at the verdict. She says that this is
a white man’s world and us black folk are just living in it.
How do I teach people we are in the land of the free and the home of the brave when I can’t even convince my own child?
A writer on Twitter said she hoped the big bloggers would take part in the conversation. That they could bring attention to this travesty. I’m not going to hold my breath that they will. If this was an argument about gay marriage, those big bloggers would have changed their profile pictures to whatever the symbol was and written all kinds of posts about how we are all equal. If it was about genetically modified foods or GMO, there would be petitions flying through, lists of companies to boycott, and hastily created pledge buttons passed around.
On the matter of race, its silence.
As the writer of Americanah wrote:
…this is America. You’re supposed to pretend that you don’t notice certain things.”
I’m not waiting for big bloggers, other bloggers to say anything. It’s akin to the twitter tragedies that pop up and everyone is supposed to stop scheduled tweets and join in the mourning of “fill-in-the-blank”. My expectation is not that a food blogger will write a post about this verdict. Or that everyone will feel the pain I feel.
Y’all don’t get how hopeless this makes us feel-mothers of brown boys, wives of brown men. You have NO fucking idea.
— A’Driane Nieves (@addyeB) July 14, 2013
One blogger wrote that she felt she was inserting herself into grief and it was obnoxious to extend condolence. It’s not. This blogger is white. She will never worry about her son because he has brown skin. She may not be Black but she’s a mother. She knows right from wrong. I thank her and those like her who know that there are no words to say and no amount of sending condolences to conquer our fear. I thank her for just being a mom and knowing that on some level, this is a sad sad day. As always, I stress that we can no longer wait for others to help. WE, parents of brown sons, parents of white sons, people who live and breathe, WE must do more. We start by voting. If I hear one more person talk about they “don’t vote because all politicians are crooked” I’m going to SCREAM. They are crooked because they know YOU aren’t voting! Hold them accountable for the job they are supposed to do. We give the cashier at McDonald’s more grief if we don’t get enough barbecue sauce then those who are sworn in to represent our interest. If the teachers at your child’s school only see you at a concert, change that. Schools love and need volunteers. We need to advocate for our children. We need to know protect our children and teach the world that Sarah Palin isn’t the only Mama Bear out there. We as a country, a country I begrudgingly love, must do more than tweet our disgust and turn the channel.
We can black out our pics til our faces are blue but if we don’t do anything besides that, then we waste our time. True or false?
— Awesomely Luvvie (@Luvvie) July 15, 2013
Don’t talk about it, be about it.