Monday, July 15, 2013

other voices: reflecting on injustice

I can't come on here and write about my improv class, or the pesto I'm making & consuming, or my recent work conference in Atlanta, or - speaking of which - my stupid job, or the flowers in my garden that are getting more beautiful by the day. Or any of the simultaneously important and petty details of my life.

I can't think about anything when my heart is so heavy with injustice and grief.

There are many people smarter than me talking about Trayvon and what the not guilty verdict means about America, our criminal "justice" system, racism and the lives of black folk vs white folk in this "great" country. I encourage everyone to read their words, as I'm still working out mine:

ThisWhen you have a society that takes at its founding the hatred and degradation of a people, when that society inscribes that degradation in its most hallowed document, and continues to inscribe hatred in its laws and policies, it is fantastic to believe that its citizens will derive no ill messaging.
It is painful to say this: Trayvon Martin is not a miscarriage of American justice, but American justice itself. This is not our system malfunctioning. It is our system working as intended

This: If Trayvon Martin had been white, he’d still be alive. What better real-world example of white privilege is there?

This: ...fear-mongering represents a deep white anxiety about black bodies on the streets, and echoes Zimmerman’s fears: that black bodies on the street pose a public threat. But the real violence in those speculations, regardless of whether they prove to be true, is that it silences black anxiety. The anxiety that black men feel every time they walk outside the door—and the anxiety their loved ones feel for them as well...

ThisYear after year and case after case it continues, with black life viewed as expendable in the service of white fear, with black males in particular (but many a black female as well and plenty of Latino folk too) marked as problems to be solved, rather than as children to be nurtured. 

And can you look at these photos and not have your heart break?

I'm a white, middle-class woman living in America. I don't think it's fair for my voice to drown out the voices that really matter in all this. I should have started here.

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