No, we are NOT Trayvon
Over the weekend there were about 100 rallies around the country protesting the not-guilty verdict for George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
From the rallies you would hear the leader start, “I am;” the crowd repeats, “I am” … “Trayvon Martin;” crowd repeats, “Trayvon Martin.”
These were multi-racial rallies trying to make the point that what happened in Sanford that night affects us all, regardless of race.
But now there’s a website called WeAreNotTrayvonMartin.com where mostly white people are pointing out they really can’t claim to feel threatened because being white means you are and likely always will be treated differently – the point the president was making Friday.
Here’s a sample post:
“I am NOT Trayvon Martin… When people hear the way that I speak, they tend to quickly assume that I am intelligent, educated, good, and deserving of respect. When I wear a hoodie I feel invisible. When I walk out of a store and the shoplifting detectors beep loudly, I am told, “go ahead those just don’t work right” (by the way I shoplift all the time)… I am afraid and ashamed to admit that I don’t always know how to relate to people who act or look different than I do. I have always seen myself as the default race that all others are compared to. I am NOT Trayvon Martin and that benefits me every day…”
“I am a 21-year-old Jewish white woman … I just graduated from a top-tier liberal arts college with $0 of debt since my parents were able to pay in full. I have carried large amounts of ecstasy, marijuana, cocaine, and speed through the New York City Subway, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Never once have I been stopped and searched, including once when a police dog barked at me.
“Occasionally I complain about the prejudices I experience as a woman and a Jew. However, no one has ever judged me on the basis of my skin color. Never have I been suspected of stealing, ferrying drugs for others or doing drugs myself. Yet I have done all of these things, and gotten away with it.”
The point of this website seems to be, that making progress on race in America isn’t a matter of white people trying to imagine what it’s like to be black, but instead to understand and accept that they can’t… because they’re not.