The shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, and the aftermath of the incident has without a doubt destroyed decades of progress in race relations here in America. It’s hard to argue that shooting an unarmed teenager who was simply walking home from the convenience store could ever be justifiable, despite what some may argue. If George Zimmerman, the alleged gunman, ever felt at risk of physical harm, he may not have had a legal obligation to attempt to flee before using deadly force, but there is no doubt in my mind that he had a moral obligation. Zimmerman was absolutely wrong, and there’s no way to justify his alleged shooting of Martin.
But was the shooting racially motivated? The evidence is scant either way, and I’d rather see more proof before venturing an opinion. But there’s no question that the media has treated this case like a hate crime. This has spurred a number of Americans to have “the talk” with their children regarding race relations. In case you haven’t heard, “the talk” goes something like this:
“Son/daughter, you have to understand that although 99 percent of <insert race> people are perfectly reasonable and bear no animosity toward you, there is a small group of them that will actively try to make your life difficult. They will make assumptions based on the color of your skin, which may result in you being hurt emotionally, mentally and even physically. If there are a lot of <insert race> in one area, you should change your behavior accordingly to avoid the racist backlash they will inflict on you.”
There is no getting around it. This statement is racist. Insert whatever race you would like into that blank and it is still racist. A number of journalists wrote about “the talk” when it was given by black parents to their children, and the overall reaction was support and calls for possible Pulitzers. Then John Derbyshire, formerly of the conservative “National Review,” wrote an article on “the talk” from white parents to their children. He was, of course, fired and deservingly so.
Some have called this a double standard. So what if it is? There is no public interest in defending the rights of White Americans, and that will continue as long as there is a massive amount of economic disparity between whites and minorities.
I do believe that we will eventually live in a country where race will be a trivial matter. We have already made significant progress as a society, with each successive generation being more tolerant than the last. So in the name of progress, I’d like to call on every one of all races to stop giving “the talk” to their children. To stop propagating fear in the name of safety. This fear builds upon itself, growing like a cancer in our society. One race was taught by its parents not to trust the other, so they act with discrimination. The other race reacts to this discrimination with mutual distrust, which leads to more fear and further discrimination. For many of the older generation, this fear has been so deeply engrained in their psyche that it may be too late for them. They may never be able to see past their prejudice and appreciate the humanity of those different from themselves. Indeed, for some in our younger generation it may already be too late. But unless we prefer a world where we must constantly live in fear of our fellow human beings due to such an arbitrary distinction such as skin color, every one of all races must cease the propagation of race-based fear. It can’t just be stopped by one race, since the discrimination of the races that continue to indoctrinate their children with fear will inevitably lead to further discrimination. Everybody must stop. Now.