by Mia McKenzie
I don’t have a ton of emotional energy right now, because, you know…racism. But I had to pen this brief response to some of the ridiculous nonsense that has been spewing forth from the mouths of racists in the wake of the Zimmerman verdict.
My favorite/the one that makes me want to shake someone the most:
“Well, Trayvon thought Zimmerman was a gay pervert, and his homophobia caused him to attack. The hate and discrimination needs to stop on all levels.”
That might be the stupidest fucking thing I have heard regarding the Zimmerman verdict so far. But it’s not alone in its incredibly convoluted absurdity. Racists are saying all sorts of ridic things to justify both the killing of an unarmed black teenager and the subsequent acquittal of his murderer. I’ve listed my three faves below.
1. Trayvon was homophobic and that’s why he attacked Zimmerman.
According to Rachel Jeantel, Trayvon thought Zimmerman was possibly a “pervert”. He thought this was possibly why the man was following him, and this somehow makes him homophobic and gay people should be offended and yada yada.
Okay, first of all, it’s very likely that this kid was really, really scared (yes, black males get scared when people are following them). How he expressed that fear, the words he used to deal with it, aren’t for anyone to judge. He was being followed. Stalked. By a strange man in a car. Under those circumstances, he was allowed to search his experience for any possible explanation of why that might be happening. If he landed on “gay pervert,” well…so what? That does not equal “homophobia”. Because he wouldn’t have been reacting to Zimmerman’s possible sexuality, but to his actions. You know, the actions of following him. I mean, let’s say for the sake of argument that Zimmerman had been following Trayvon out of some sort of sexual interest. A strange, grown ass man following a 17 year-old boy down the street with that kind of intention is a pervert. And not the good kind. So, gimme break with that bull.
2. Zimmerman is Latino, so no white supremacy there! (the crowd favorite)
Ugh. Really? Okay, listen.
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First of all, when did Latino become a word that describes one race of people? There are white Latinos (Louis C.K. is one), brown Latinos (Salma Hayek is one), and black Latinos (Sammy Sosa used to be one).
Secondly, even if Zimmerman isn’t white, it doesn’t really matter. Because white people are not the only ones who perpetuate and benefit from white supremacy. The reason that white supremacy is so globally effective when most of the people in the world are not white is that we are all in on it. You don’t have to be white to play into either white supremacy or anti-black racism. In fact, non-white people are rewarded for their complicity in white supremacy and anti-blackness all the time, by being given limited access to whiteness. You see how 99.9% of Zimmerman’s supporters are white people, right? There’s a reason for that.
Zimmerman believed that Trayvon was dangerous because he was black. Further, he believed that he had a right to stalk and kill him because he was black. It’s white supremacy that taught him all that.
3. Trayvon was the racist one. He called Zimmerman a “creepy ass cracker”!
If you think using the term “cracker” makes someone “racist” then you are undoubtedly one of those people who thinks that “reverse-racism” is a thing. You don’t understand that racism is a system of oppression that restricts access to education, employment, representation in media, safe housing, safe food, medical care and tons of other stuff BASED ON RACE. You don’t understand that using words that might, at the very worst, hurt someone’s feelings, isn’t the same as using a word that is deeply connected to that system and to the kidnapping, murder, rape, enslavement, genocide, displacement and dehumanization of entire races of people. And if you don’t understand all of that, with the infinite resources there are in existence to have educated you about those things by now, then there is probably nothing I can say here that will clue you in.
Also, George Zimmerman is a creepy ass cracker. He has more than earned that designation. He’s the creepiest. Okay?
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Mia McKenzie is an award-winning writer and the creator of Black Girl Dangerous.
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