Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Acceptance? Not so much

This whole Trayvon Martin case has gotten a huge amount of attention in the community in my area.  If you are not familiar with this case, a young African-American male, 17 years old, was shot and killed after a small scuffle by a self appointed Town Watch person in Florida.  The young man was wearing a hoodie, unarmed and carrying only a cell phone, an iced tea, and a package of Skittles.  The Town Watch person probably assumed he was up to no good simply based on his appearance, his clothing, and the fact he was a black youth in an upper class white area.
Social Media played a big part in spreading the news of this case.  There was so much about the case through the people who are connected to me on Facebook that I thought this was a local person until I read about it through the links I found on Google.  The amount of hits on Google are so many that it is hard to locate the first newspaper article that just gave the facts about what had happened.  In many cases the impact of the social media has become an important voice in determining what issues become important.  The social commentary that one hears from this communication tool is important because it points to how people are responding to an event, and it demonstrates the fact that even 100 plus years after the Civil War, race relations in this country have not progressed that far.  There is still a huge divide between the blacks and the whites and now the whites and the browns. 
Many branches of Christianity, often spoken of by the Religious Right, tout acceptance.   But their version of acceptance is usually lip service to actual reality.  If there really was acceptance in this country, there would be no situations where people shoot and ask questions later. I blame that on the spread of fear largely pointed at the African-American and Hispanic community by the Fox News followers.  Their terror mongering rants are what have perpetuated situations like this because they simply cannot accept someone dressed like Trayvon in a location where people supposedly do not dress like that; they cannot accept someone different from themselves.   

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