Racism still rampant after all these years
By Justine Panieri April 25, 2012 5:38PM
Updated: May 28, 2012 8:05AM
When I first heard about the case of Trayvon Martin, I was amazed. It wasn’t a good amazement like when you win the lottery, or awe like when you hear about a heroic deed. It was amazement as in “How can someone get away with murder?”
I’m also amazed there is still such rampant racism after all these years. Despite syrupy cries of “This had nothing to do with skin color” or “People have the right to protect their neighborhood,” I feel shooting an unarmed black 17-year-old is very clearly the result of racism.
Let’s face it, if Trayvon Martin had been white, odds are he would be alive today. In your heart, you know that’s true. And, it’s wrong — very wrong.
Are there really throwbacks who believe they have the right to shoot someone based on their own personal set of beliefs? What I find really astonishing is authorities looked the other way. Apparently, it’s A-OK to gun someone down if they appear “suspicious” to you.
Should minorities be afraid to go to the store for Skittles? Should black males be afraid to put up the hood of their sweatshirt if it’s chilly or raining because of the very real possibility that they might be shot?
Due mostly to public pressure, George Zimmerman eventually was arrested and charged with murder. As I type, he’s out on bail. I have to wonder if justice will be served, or if the state of Florida is merely paying lip service to the law.
At least there’s a chance justice will be served in the Trayvon Martin case. What about the thousands of unsolved crimes against minorities across the country?
How about justice for 14-year-old Haqikah Suggs of Joliet, who was found murdered on Memorial Day 2007? Her body was found off Route 6 and Farrell Road. She had been shot to death.
Will her murderer be found and brought to trial? Will a sensational movie be made about her life … and death?
The day Barack Obama was elected president I felt a great optimism for this country. I naively believed the days of racism were over. Now, it seems there’s some sort of not-so-subtle backlash. There appears to be more — not less — bigotry and an increase in race-related violent crime.
One of the things that makes this country great is diversity. I love the idea of a country filled with people of all colors, beliefs and ideas. We have the opportunity to experience other cultures without leaving home. We have the opportunity to learn from others and to open our minds to new ideas. Shall we allow fear to destroy the progress we’ve made?
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