In the wake of murders of young black men by police officers and civilian non-blacks (especially whites) there has always been those who have secretly and openly expressed their views on the killings. There are many people from different backgrounds who will express disdain for such acts of cruelty particularly if the victims were not committed any crimes and did not possess any weapons. However, you will have those that will justify their deaths up and down.
The murder of Trayvon Martin is still one of the hottest topics around. Part of the reason is the right wing’s effort to try to paint this young man as another thug up to no good. Geraldo Rivera concluded that his murder was due to the fact that he appeared like a thug. Martin was wearing a hoodie which, in the case of young black males, portrays the negative stereotypical image of the street thug. In that moment Rivera’s flimsy response shifted the blame from Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, to that of Martin’s family.
But the parade didn’t end there. It only just begun.
Right wing media sites like Wagist was in the business of trying to find that loathsome wanna-be thug in Martin while disputing the mainstream media’s depicting him as an innocent black child killed by a racist Hispanic. They’ve constructed information that included allegations that suggested Martin assaulted a bus driver, was suspended from school because he was caught with drugs, and that he was overall a violent gang member and a possible menace to society. All of which can not be proven, completely false or is completely irrelevant to the case.
Nevertheless, whatever that is used or created to justify the murder of young black males while denying that race is a compelling factor will indeed be used by those who will deny that they may just be racist themselves. Yet, most of those people will see the death of a black male by a cop or civilian as deserving by default. So, the question is why does this happen? Why are the killing of young black men justified no matter who pulled the trigger?
The answer is simple and obvious. The lives of black men in this nation are rendered low by society’s “standards”. Black men, from the time they are born, are told in one way or another that they are bad and worthless.
They are automatically seen as thugs and criminals even if there are those with no criminal records or gang affiliations. The stereotype is solid depending on the physical appearance. A young black man with braids or dreadlocks, a hoodie, or sagging pants is America’s image of the street thug out to rob, rape and murder.
Their lives are sometimes juxtaposed by those of white victims of crime at the hands of blacks. While there are those who are upset over such murders of black men, there are also those who will place white lives as much more deserving of grief and sorrow.
Sometimes crime statistics and prison population numbers are used. The belief is that since black men are most of the criminals you see, hear and read on the news and that there are many black men who have been through the system, that must mean that black men are committing most of the crime in this nation. No questions asked.
Much of that is due to the mainstream and news media’s overrepresentations of crime and violence involving black males. However, a large part is due to this nation’s age old fear of the savage black male out to attack “innocent” white people for no Earthly reason. The media helps maintain that fear and helps give people a viable reason to fear, hate, imprison and destroy young black men.
Many people either don’t know or don’t care that they are buying into the hype that has existed before they were born. Yet, they claim that they don’t “see race” or that they are not racist themselves. One can conclude that most of that is denial talking. Others believe that they are naive while some will defend their views saying that what they believe is true and that the truth itself is racist. Whatever the reasons are, it is undeniable that black men are being killed left and right in a nation with a phobia against them.