Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"It wasn't racism! Did you see how BLACK he was?"

I've been following the tragic slaying of Trayvon Martin but I refrained from blogging about it because I do enough commentary about stuff in the USA, which is a foreign country after all. And it's not like we don't have murderous racism of the institutional variety here in Canada.

But sometimes the right-wing just demonstrates their overall cluelessness and disgustingness and you have to stop and stare.

It is racist to look at a person and automatically feel threatened by them, automatically suspect something about them and automatically feel hatred towards them because of the colour of their skin.

All of which George Zimmerman did when he saw 17-year old Trayvon Martin going to a neighbourhood variety store to buy some candy.

It is institutional, systemic racism to give preferential treatment or consideration to one group of people and to give inferior treatment or consideration to another group of people based on their respective skin colours.

And that's what the Sanford Police Department did when they saw this unharmed white guy with a gun (note: some commentators feel compelled to point out that George Zimmerman is half-Hispanic and therefore half-dago or something) standing beside this dead black teenager and deciding that there was nothing to contradict the white guy's claims of self-defense.

And that's what the Florida State Attorney did who said there wasn't enough evidence to guarantee the conviction of this son of a retired Florida Supreme Court magistrate so he shouldn't be charged. (Imagine a place where ANYONE found with a smoking gun and a dead body at their feet can claim self-defense and the authorities throw up their hands in helpless confusion!)

Eventually, word of this travesty of justice got out and it became a national issue. Enter the right-wing noise machine. Here's the thing about the right-wing: They're racist. And the first thing they do is deny this. Then they deny the existence of racism as a major social problem. They do the same thing here. They say that, sure, this is a tragedy and all, but it's not racism. And then they go on to justify Zimmerman's behaviour by pointing to Trayvon Martin's "race."

More than this: They make complete fools of themselves by revealing that they're just as racist as Zimmerman. "Martin was over six-feet tall and black!" "Martin got suspended from school!" [Oh. Then he deserved to die did he?] "Martin talked shit with his 'homies' on social media! It sounded vaguely gang-like!"

It's useless to even point their stupidity out to them. Because the cluelessness that led them to blurt out their racist nonsense will also shield them from any comprehension of just how fucking insane they are. They'll stare at you and ask "What? WHAT??" over and over.

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