The hoodie, in recent weeks, has become a deep cultural symbol, a shorthand way to comment about short thinking and hand guns, and unequal justice and stereotypes used to justify violence against those who represent our inner fears. A campaign to justify those fears is pointing to “grills” as not so innocent and school suspensions to support the threat of an unarmed teenager against an armed adult with a record for a propensity to violence.
But there’s another debate, about hate. Do those who accuse Barack Obama of fanning the heat of racial hate believe racial goodwill is so shallow that benign references in the context of grief can overturn an entire foundation of goodwill?
Web comments and Presidential candidates accuse the President and others of hate-mongering. These comments also seem to insist that we are a color-free society. But only so if we silence talk about race. Only so if the role of race in the actions of state agents, in the impact on life chances is whispered, in the same private rooms as income inequality. Quiet, Mr. President. It’s “disgraceful” to mention that a child killed by a man who identified a kid moments before he killed him as black—is black.
Obviously these commenters see race everywhere. And where they see race, they see hate. Whose hate? Why, blacks, who they think will blame all whites for their troubles, or using race to intimidate whites to grant special privileges.
But race’s main use is to hide the hate of those who loudly accuse others of its practice. Accusers who believe they are blame-free, since, in their rules of racial protocol, blacks bring on the enmity received.
Being black, I’d better be quiet before I am accused. And once hate gets a toehold, it demands special privileges. As do the hateful folks who demand we don’t question it. Like Cleavon Little in the movie Blazing Saddles, demanding everybody back off and look the other way.
My reply to an our comment that was the basis for this post: Why do you even suggest “race hatred” in the dealth of an unarmed 17 year old who was pursued by an armed volunteer with no authority, against the rules for every neighborhood watch, who brought up race first? You also have brought up race! Families, white, black, Latino, and all nationaliities feel this loss. It’s about safety, justice, protecting our young, keeping our children away from over zealous predators whose pathologies lie is sex, power, and fear. I, for one, am disgusted at you for mentioning race when parents and many sensible people of all colors are grieving. No one “hates” whites. People hate injustice!
His mother said, “it’s not a black or white thing, it’s a right or wrong thing.” The President was right:” it’s a tragedy.”
The death of a child doesn’t “cool” off; the hole doesn’t go away.
People like you always bring race in and then blame others. That’s tragic, too.