This post is part of the BW series “Comin’ Straight Outta Your Monolith”. Normal BW postings resume in April.
A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across a post on Madame Noire that talked about “Black Privilege”. Granted the post was very tongue-in-cheek, it simply was to look at Black stereotypes in a happy, positive way. Such as getting athletic scholarship (nothing too wrong with that buuut I prefer my race to have more braniacs and less pole vaulting) or getting the pass to fly off the handle.
The one entry that bugged me though was number 4: “We wish a [insert expletive here] would, but they don’t”. It reads:
“Decades of Cops and other shows that perpetuate violent stereotypes associated with blackness have instilled a level of fear into a good amount of people in society. And despite the fact that over 90 percent of crime is intra-racial, that fear makes others hesitant to jump into conflict with a sista (or a brotha).”
Yep. That violent stereotype that makes other races “back off us” is responsible for a dead 17 year old right now. I don’t think it’s privilege when the only thing it graces you with is an early grave. At least White privilege allows you to murder a harmless 17 year old and even the police will cover for you despite all the condemning evidence and still folks will say you’re innocent…despite stalking and gunning down someone with a pack of skittles and some iced tea for a weapon.
Thing is, stereotypes can be taken in jest but as far as Black stereotypes goes, we don’t really have much to celebrate. Not everyone likes to feel like they’re in the one race depicted to be evil incarnate. And when that belief is applied, it can be fatal.
Violence is one of the biggest stereotypes that our race has and can create a bevy of reactions. It can create a fear response from other races where they assume we’re going to pop off at any given moment so they steer out the way of us and get concerned when we start to get into their hobbies or fandoms (ask Weeaboo Stories). It also can create suspicion that we are likely to turn violent at any given moment and that in itself can create a fight response in the other race.
As many of you are aware, Trayvon Martin was killed in February when he was returning home from the store bearing only skittles and iced tea when he was tracked and gunned down by George Zimmerman because of the stereotypical assumption that Trayvon was up to no good and would be likely to fight if confronted so he opted to hunt Trayvon and shoot him as he, Trayvon, plead for his life. Still Zimmerman walks free. Though I personally believe if Zimmerman does not get arrested, he’s pretty much a dead man walking, I think that this shows how terrible “harmless” stereotypes are. Post-racial America? Yeah, right.
So this column is going to be mega short. Instead, please sign this petition to have psychopath Zimmerman behind bars because justice must be served and it’s beyond time for this to change. A teenager was killed for simply Walking while Black because of these stereotypes.
This is tiring and this has to stop.
If you have Twitter and would like to give Trayvon Martin’s mother some condolences, here is her twitter. (Thanks Ms. Lilypads)
And oh, look, a dox on Zimmerman (Thanks internets)