Trayvon Martin Was A Victim of Racial Profiling
I was a victim of it in 2010 (and at other times, but I’m referring to this one incident), but fortunately there was a handgun ban in DC and someone wasn’t trigger-happy with my “suspicious behavior”.
Trayvon Martin was killed in cold blood while walking back from a convenience store with a soda and Skittles for his younger brother who wanted them. He was trying to walk back to his father’s fiance’s home when he was stalked, chased down, fought, and killed by George Zimmerman, a white Hispanic man who took it upon himself to be the neighborhood protector when the 911 dispatcher told him to stay in his vehicle.
There was a scuffle, multiple 911 calls were made referring to someone yelling for help (it was Trayvon) and then there was a pop sound. There was no more movement. George Zimmerman had taken the life of a 17 year old Black teenager who wore a hoodie and white sneakers, and was merely walking back home.
It is not helping the case that Zimmerman muttered “fucking coons,” under his breath on the 911 call. This, in my opinion, qualifies as a hate crime, which is federally indictable, even though he appears to be covered under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. (The law allows someone to kill someone they feel is endangering them, even on public property.)
My own story of racial profiling from 2010 involves my white neighbor who parks two spaces over from me. When I moved into my building, which is 95% White with me being the only Black person there for 6 months before a Black woman moved in, no one except my neighbors who park next to me spoke to me. I spoke to them and sometimes got a response and sometimes I didn’t get one.
I had just returned from DMV where I got my new license, tags and car stickers for my registration. I changed my tags and put on the new stickers on the windshield. I had my old tags in my hand and walked around the car to make sure I hadn’t dropped any screws or anything else that could damage the tires.
I see this white woman and her husband approach their car. The husband was carrying a suitcase. She was following him and I heard her say, “Can I help you?” I kept looking around the car. “Excuse me, can I help you?” I replied, “Are you talking to me?” She said, “Yes. Can I help you with something?” I said, “No, I’m fine.” She said, “Well, it looks a little strange with you snooping around the parking lot looking at cars.”
My first instinct was to reply calling her all kinds of words beginning with F, A, B, and even the dreaded C. However, I firmly said, “I just changed the tags on MY car” and visibly armed it and walked away (but not before giving her the nastiest look I could give). Her husband, ashamed, put the suitcase in the car and kept his head down.
Ever since then she goes out of her way to speak to me and even holds the door for me to get into the building – even if I’m walking from a long way. No, I won’t listen if you say she wasn’t racially profiling me. She was.
RIP Trayvon Martin. May justice prevail in this. For information on Trayvon’s murder, click here: http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/20/10775671-trayvon-martin-case-to-go-to-grand-jury-fla-state-attorney-announces
To hear George Zimmerman mutter “Fucking Coons,” under his breath, click here (2:21-2:23): http://youtu.be/jL72w4xiTVU