Tag Archives: Trayvon Martin

Sometimes The Debate Just Tires You Out

After much deep thought (well semi-deep at least) I have decided to discontinue this blog. It is in part because my film production company and talent management company are keeping me extremely busy these days, but the biggest reason frankly is just fatigue from trying to open people’s minds.

In the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin trial, I have watched the racial division get even more entrenched between those I feel are trying very hard to get people to to realize the many subtle and profound ways race plays into life in America, and those on the other side who simply refuse to see it. I think I have come to realize that blogs like mine either preach to the choir of those who are like-minded already (though it has been a joy to meet so many through this blog) or it goes to those who simply want to argue and no matter what logic is used, prefer to discount.

I have also reluctantly come to the conclusion that at the end of the day, for the most part, the only people that can impact white racism, in terms of getting people to maybe possibly listen, is another white person. When a person of color, especially a black man, tries to discuss what racism feels like, it is hard for some whites, the ones who most need to hear it, to get beyond the fact that a black person is saying it. They see it as whining, complaining, exaggerating, being mistaken, everything but being what it is. And certainly the same may well be true for dealing with closed minded blacks or other minorities, only other people of color may be be able to get through to them also.

The reality of this fact hit me the most in the aftermath of President Obama’s wonderful discussion on the Trayvon Martin verdict. It was heartfelt, honest and just a man talking about his real life experience. Yet the outcry from those who don’t like Obama or don’t want to hear that black male view was swift and ugly in many instances. Again, basically totally discounted.

So my decision to stop writing this blog doesn’t mean I am giving up on what matters to me. That would be impossible when I live a mixed life, with a mixed family, one of varying ethnicities and cultures. Nor do I think the majority of the people out there are bad. Not at all. And as I said before I have had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people all over the world, and of varying skin colors through this blog. And I will continue to support, follow and comment on their blogs. I treasure them too much. I will continue to chime in occasionally through my Huffington Post blog, which I write here and there, as I am moved. I have found lots of great blogs and sites on matters of race, mixed life, and equality in general, so I know the information is out there. So mine ceasing won’t end the debates and good work so many are doing.

Thanks to the loyal readers and those that stumbled hear occasionally . I hope I added something. And I’ll be jumping into the fray here and there, so don’t think I am disappearing.

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These Kids Show Us That We Can Get Past The Racial Polarization

This video is a MUST WATCH. Especially at this time when our country seems even more polarized over the role race plays after the verdict in the Zimmerman trial. Restored my faith in people, our future. It is so so touching.

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The Zimmerman Verdict Makes Me More Sad Than Anything

Trayvon MartinNot much to say. Just sad, though expected, outcome. What does it say when many of us expected this outcome though? Sad for my own son.

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Do People Feel The Pain Of Other Ethnic Groups?

Do you feel anything?

Do you feel anything?

I thought this was a very interesting study that I read about on Slate:

Let’s do a quick experiment. You watch a needle pierce someone’s skin. Do you feel this person’s pain? Does it matter if the person’s skin is white or black?

For many people, race does matter, even if they don’t know it. They feel more empathy when they see white skin pierced than black. This is known as the racial empathy gap. To study it, researchers at the University of Milano-Bicocca showed participants (all of whom were white) video clips of a needle or an eraser touching someone’s skin. They measured participants’ reactions through skin conductance tests—basically whether their hands got sweaty—which reflect activity in the pain matrix of the brain. If we see someone in pain, it triggers the same network in our brains that’s activated when we are hurt. But people do not respond to the pain of others equally. In this experiment, when viewers saw white people receiving a painful stimulus, they responded more dramatically than they did for black people.

The racial empathy gap helps explain disparities in everything from pain management to the criminal justice system. But the problem isn’t just that people disregard the pain of black people. It’s somehow even worse. The problem is that the pain isn’t even felt.

A recent study shows that people, including medical personnel, assume black people feel less pain than white people. The researchers asked participants to rate how much pain they would feel in 18 common scenarios. The participants rated experiences such as stubbing a toe or getting shampoo in their eyes on a four-point scale (where 1 is “not painful” and 4 is “extremely painful”). Then they rated how another person (a randomly assigned photo of an experimental “target”) would feel in the same situations. Sometimes the target was white, sometimes black. In each experiment, the researchers found that white participants, black participants, and nurses and nursing students assumed that blacks felt less pain than whites.
You will definitely find the rest of the article and more on the study interesting. Read it here. So interesting how deep and subconscious discrimination can go.
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“Stand Your Ground” Law Is Simply Dangerous

A bad law.

A bad law.

Seriously Florida?

Something is wrong with this state. Really.

A Florida man appeared in court on Wednesday to face charges in the shooting death of an apparently unarmed black teenager in a case putting Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law back under the U.S. media spotlight less than a year after the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Michael Dunn, 45, is being held without bail on charges of second-degree murder for the Friday night shooting of Jordan Davis, who was also 17.

According to authorities, Dunn pulled into the parking lot of a Jacksonville, Florida, gas station alongside the SUV where Davis and three friends, all of them young African Americans, were listening to music.

Dunn asked them to turn their music down and, after an apparent exchange of words with Davis, he produced a gun and fired eight or nine shots at the SUV. At least two of the bullets hit Davis, causing his death.

Until I know more information I don’t want to conclude that this is about racism, a la Trayvon Martin, but it sure is a sign that this whole “Stand Your Ground” crap is rife with problems and too easily used by people with issues.

Here is the full article.

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Zimmerman Makes It To Court. Finally.

The wheels of justice can sure turn slowly at times.

The above picture is worth a thousand words indeed.

That is all many of us wanted to see, the man brought to trial. Whether he is convicted or whether it is determined he shot Trayvon Martin in justifiable self-defense, which I doubt to be honest, at least he has to go through the judicial system. Martin’s death at least deserves that.

It is a shame that it took a special prosecutor and all the protests to get this to happen. That has been the worst part of all this to me. The idea that a man could shoot the kid and not have to answer for it in a proper way. Life, anyone’s life, is worth a full looking into.

So glad to see that looks like it will happen in this case. Finally.

No matter what people want to believe, it is still clear though, that justice is not blind.

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Trayvon Martin Didn’t Have To Die

Unarmed and no threat except for what someone perceived.

I don’t know if you have been following this very controversial and very sad story out of Florida, about the unarmed young Black kid  shot by the neighborhood watch captain. But it is one of the most troubling and saddest stories in a long time. And maybe that is more so for me as a father with a half-Black son. It is our worst nightmare.

This article from The New York Times sums up the story well. And if you can stand it, listen to the recently released 911 tapes here. But do Google Trayvon Martin and read more about what happened. A true tragedy.

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