A few years ago I watched, “Race on The Oprah Show: A 25-Year Look Back” (www.oprah.com). Josh Solomon, who is white, was doing a study to find out how it was to live the life as a black man. He took a pill that changed the color of his skin from white to black.
Solomon said, “He was refused service in a restaurant, needlessly questioned by a police officer and seen as suspicious by people on the street. In the short time he spent as a black man, Solomon concluded that we haven’t come as far as we thought. Afterward, Josh told Oprah that “white people get this respect and black people are constantly trying to prove that they deserve it or are worthy of it.”
He went on to say in the interview that the study was suppose to go on longer but he couldn’t stand to live the life of a black man any longer because of the negativity they faced daily. Therefore, he stayed in his house until the pill wore off.
That study was done in 1995. Let’s fast forward to 2012.
February 26, 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was walking alone from a convenient store, where he purchased skittles and iced tea. He was casually dressed (hoodie and sneakers) on his way to his father’s fiancée’s house in a gated community.
The scripts from the 911 calls reveal that his accuser, 28-year-old George Zimmerman, approached him because he was a part of the neighborhood watch volunteer program and said Martin looked suspicious. There was a confrontation and reports state that 250 lb. Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed 140 lb. Martin in what he said was in self-defense.
At the time of print, there has been an outpouring from many calling for justice because some suspect that Martin was followed and killed because of racism and for that same reason they believe that Zimmerman wasn’t charged with the crime.
Do you think that racism still exists in America?
It doesn’t take a study for most black men to tell us how they feel when they are stopped by a police officer or walking alone and an unmarked car is following them. Or what about how they have to remain upbeat when they are repeatedly passed by as they try to hail a cab.
The Martin case is about doing what is right, whether he was black or white. All his family, friends and over 2 million who have already signed the petition wants is justice.
To sign the petition, log onto www.change.org and scroll down to “Featured Petitions.”
To read the rest of my writings, log onto www.pressonwebzine.com.