Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

In 2002, Michael Green extracted a single promise from me during the year I spent reporting about his life after he spent 13 years in prison for a rape he did not commit.

Green, who is African-American, knew I’d be giving a lot of speeches about his story, including at high schools in Cleveland. He saw an opportunity to save lives.

“Tell the boys,” he said to me over and over. “Tell the boys this comes from me: If the police stop you, don’t ever run. Take your hands out of your pockets. Immediately. Put your hands over your head. Immediately. Stand perfectly still, and keep your opinions to yourself.”

“You have to promise,” he said. “You have to warn them.”

I’ve written about this promise a number of times over the years. I do that because I want to keep my word and share the warning in as large a forum as possible. If I’m honest with myself, though, I have to admit I also do it because I want to feel a little less guilty about my unearned privilege as a white woman. As a white mother, to be precise. My worries never rival those of most African-American mothers. Most days, I’d rather not think about that. Again, such privilege.

A decade ago, neither Green nor I knew to warn about the likes of George Zimmerman. He was no cop, despite his fancy notions of himself as a civilian enforcer. Instead, he was empowered by a law cooked up by the National Rifle Association and a certainty in his right to pursue an unarmed teenager who fit his description of a suspect. Some warned that this could happen, but we all should have seen it coming.

Earlier this week, in a speech to the NAACP, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder described a family ritual all too familiar to many in the audience. His father sat him down. The talk his father gave, Holder said, was “about how, as a young black man, I should interact with the police, what to say and how to conduct myself if I was ever stopped or confronted in a way that I thought was unwarranted. Now, I’m sure my father felt certain at that time that my parents’ generation would be the last that had to worry about such things for their children.”

Some family traditions just won’t die in this country. After Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin, Holder sat his own 15-year-old son down.

“This was a father-son tradition I hoped would not need to be handed down,” he said. “But as a father who loves his son and who is more knowing in the ways of the world, I had to do this to protect my boy. I am his father, and it is my responsibility not to burden him with the baggage of eras long gone but to make him aware of the world that he must still confront. This is a sad reality in a nation that is changing for the better in so many ways.”

Ever since the verdict was announced and Zimmerman walked free, I’ve been trying to write this column. How can I not have something to say about this?

  • brucegarner

    Finally…..someone who understand and acknowledges white privilege and its consequences. Thank you for this. It is so painful to read again and again that “the talk” has to be had with young black men in an effort to keep them out of trouble and alive. They should not have to endure this. But until us white folks understand what we are doing and seek to understand our own racism and correct it, we will see no changes, only more lives ruined and/or lost.

    • angelsinca

      As a teen, I learned the hard way what happens when you do not comply with the orders of a cop. I was arrested and my vehicle towed. I did not stop protesting when the cop became beligerent toward my concerns. I am white. I have no privilege because of my race. Arguing with a cop is plain stupid. Eric Holder once again demonstrates his racism.

      • Peoples425

        There’s a difference between arguing with a cop and he becoming belligerent with you as opposed to arguing with a cop that’s beating you, violating your civil rights and arresting you for something that you did not do. Please educate yourself before you utter such nonsense again.

        • angelsinca

          One doesn’t have to be black to be treated badly by the police. EVERYONE knows to be respectful to the cops or you pay the price. It isn’t a civil rights issue. It’s an issue of knowing when to keep your mouth and attitude in check.

          • Peoples425

            I’ll give you the fact that you don’t have to be Black to be treated badly by the police, however when you are Black, it is a more common occurrence and therefore the reason by the responses that have come about through this event. Keeping your mouth shut and attitude in check can only account for a certain amount of interaction. The fact remains that there are laws on the books that make it legal to harass citizens (disproportionately minority) that are doing nothing but minding their own business because the law says that they are more likely to carry drugs and/or weapons.

          • angelsinca

            “…because the law says that they are more likely to carry drugs and/or weapons”.

            It isn’t the Law. It’s the likelihood that drugs or weapons will be found. I know you want to say Zimmerman was ‘racially motivated’. The FBI’s investigation shows this is false.

    • Liberals have no morals

      Go live in an all black neighborhood and see what happens. You are a clueless white doo gooder who never had to deal with blacks on a daily basis.

  • Jack Ragan

    As a great grand son of a family who had a slave family. They were as much of the family as you could imagine. My great granddaddy was known as a good owner and when they were freed all took the family name. This is why, for instance, I had a descendant working in my department same as white folks.
    Also, Aunt Sally, I feel was a birther (sic) at my Moms entrance into the world and that Mom was her pet. After I was born, Aunt Sally came to our house o help Mom with me. When Peg and I married, Aunt Sally’s daughter did our laundry for us before we were able to buy a washing machine.
    Really and truly wish that all the bitterness would go away and that young colored boys could become a part of the American citizenry without fear.

  • Mike Bertolino

    I was given a similar warning by my father not to get macho with the cops if I was pinched . The reason had nothing to do with race . It is because the police are armed in this country and they have a license to kill and 99.9 percent of the time they can get away with it. You are warned most of the time by the police unless you are drunk to remain silent. “The talk ” is given by white parents as well . This case was not about racism it was about Zimmerman getting his head bashed in by a 19 year old who was spiralling out of control . Maybe Zimmerman should not have been armed with a gun , maybe a nightstick would have been more appropiate, it is after all a disaster when any young mans life is taken , but to insist that this was racially motivated and that is why the young man died is a little off base. White priviledge? Have you checked out affirmative action lately and please just because I was born with a lighter skin tone than black people does not make me any better , nor does it make me any worse.I am tired of both sides playing the race card on each other . Don’t we have bigger fish to fry than this?

    • Actually Zimmerman should be fried like a fish.
      He pursued a kid, caught him & killed him.
      The kid was guilty of what? I must have missed that part.

      • highpckts

        Why fried? Were you there? Thought not! No one will ever know what actually happened! You convicted Z before the trial to prove you are not a closet bigot! Why all the outrage now? Where is your outrage when thousands of black kids are killed on the streets every day? You are all hypocrites!

        • Sand_Cat

          Go ahead and attack your friends (unless you’re a Muslim; IZheet doesn’t like them much). So we’re all hypocrites and your enemies because we object to a high-profile verdict, which I guess means every other day we cheer when black men are killed. Wow, maybe you should re-examine your own head.

          • highpckts

            Well, do you cheer? Wow you seem to have a huge chip on your shoulder! The verdict, given the evidence, was the only one the jury could come go! My head is fine and I think that those that protest too much about being a bigot, usually are the worst! You never answered my question about the thousands of kids killed on the streets everyday! Are you equally outraged about that or just this this case? Interesting!

          • Sand_Cat

            Obviously you didn’t read my post.

          • Charles Temm

            thousands of kids killed on the streets every day? What country do YOU live in?

          • highpckts

            This one or do you live somewhere else? Read the news! Kids are killing kids everyday! Thousands is not a huge number when you consider how big this country is!

          • Charles Temm

            Given your hyperbole I doubt you can understand simple facts but I’ll give you a chance anyway>

            Check this out

            Boiled down for 2010, violent crime deaths were not even in the top 15 (unless a partial factor among suicides is accounted for)

            Firearm—In 2010, 31,672 persons died from firearm injuries in the United States (Tables 18 and 19), accounting for 17.5 percent of all injury deaths in that year. The two major component causes of all firearm injury deaths in 2010 were suicide (61.2 percent) and homicide (35.0 percent). The age-adjusted death rate from firearm injuries (all intents) was 10.1 in 2010, unchanged from the rate in 2009. The age-adjusted death rate for firearm suicide increased 3.4 percent in 2010 from 2009, whereas the death rate for firearm homicide decreased 5.3 percent. (p.17)

            Anyway, in case you can’t figure it out, the majority of firearms injuries was 31k with the majority of that suicides. Beatings, knifing etc lkely adds some more but is not statistically significant enough to number in the CDC report.

            So no such numbers as you claim are being killed DAILY in the US. Your claims can’t be supported in any manner.

          • angelsinca

            “…every other day we cheer when black men are killed.”

            Their head is fine. No one is cheering. No one, not even within sarcasm. Sorry to disappoint, but white people aren’t the racists you want to portray them as.

          • Sand_Cat

            But it just keeps happening, over and over and over.

            You do seem to have missed the intended irony in the line you quoted; I didn’t say anyone is cheering, though I have no doubt many are about this verdict out of some delusional sense of oppression. I guess you weren’t disturbed at the flood of donations to Zimmerman’s “defense fund” before charges were filed. It seems to me at least some of them – including at least one mentioned on this site by the proud contributor – were another way of saying “way to go.”

          • angelsinca

            With the race baiters quick to claim his guilt before he was arrested, before the facts were known, it was obvious Zimmerman would need an expensive defense. So a legal fund was established. Donations that were made into the fund were actually saying, “Here, you’re gonna’ need this”.

        • Peoples425

          The holes in Z’s story were too wide to hold any substantial water. The fact that the prosecution couldn’t display the case any better was probably the sole reason that the case didn’t get the verdict that it should have. Z killed the kid plain and simple. The kid had a right to question why he was being followed and that being the case, plain and simply put, why is it that there was no one with common sense regarding this case judging it? Why would you be screaming for help if you had a gun and you were getting your head slammed into the pavement? Better yet, if he’s on top of you and you shoot him, why is it that there’s no DNA on the gun?
          There’s plenty of outrage over the gang shootings in the street, however what doesn’t get played in major media is the community meetings, the marches and rallies that are held in regards to stopping this violence. They don’t want to show that on TV.

          • highpckts

            So you are the judge, defense attorney, prosecutor and jury? You were there and they were ALL wrong? Wow!

          • Peoples425

            The whole trial was a farce regardless so my ire is riled more because there was nothing “fair and balanced” about it.
            I have common sense enough to know BS when I smell it, plain and simple. Don’t patronize me.

          • highpckts

            So you are a lawyer! You KNOW fair and balanced in a murder trial! You know what was allowed and what wasn’t! You know really what happened on that dark street? You have ESP! I’m impressed! I’m in no way patronizing! I just don’t understand how you know so much when you weren’t there!

          • Peoples425

            I know when “benefit of the doubt” comes into play even after several different versions of your story come out, even after the fact that there were no toxicology reports done (Standard practice in homicide cases), even after showing that the injuries sustained by the victim were not life threatening, even after proof of life endangerment was non-existent… I’d like to think that anyone with half a brain can tell what is fair and balanced. Well, except for those who continue to support Zimmerman after this…. those people usually have less than half a brain.

            Common sense plays a large factor in this case. You cannot claim self defense when it is shown that your life was not in danger, especially when you chose to initiate any confrontation with a suspect you presumed to be dangerous. You cannot say that the suspect was the aggressor when it was you that initiated the conflict in the first place. You cannot scream for help rhythmically (as in catching your breath between screams) if you are in a fight for you life or getting your head bashed into the ground. You cannot claim that the suspect was on top of you when you shot him if there’s none of the victim’s blood and/or DNA on you or the gun for that matter.

            No, I wasn’t there, but given the evidence, I can piece together more of the puzzle than the pea brained idiots that continue to back the story that Zimmerman was screaming and was getting his head bashed into the concrete.

          • highpckts

            Really? I am not backing Z but I also know that no one will ever know who truly instigated the confrontation! Not you, the lawyers or anyone else sitting in judgement! He was acquitted because of lack of positive evidence!

          • Peoples425

            It shouldn’t matter who initiated the confrontation, the fact that you get out of a car with a semi-automatic gun that is already cocked and loaded is implication of intent.

            There was a way that this evidence was not represented and regardless of who threw the first blow, both individuals perceived the other as a threat so self-defense should be shown as a two-way street.

          • PsyGuy

            When I go to the range, most people there have their guns cocked and loaded with the safety on. Does that make them killers if they have to shoot someone? I know plenty who carry that way. They aren’t “looking” to shoot someone. They just know that a split second can be the difference between life and death

            GZ’s gun had a safety mechanism on it. It was just not one you have to disengage. Once the trigger was pulled so far back, the firing pin was no longer blocked and free to move against the round.

            George did not shoot TM for 40+ seconds. Either that is an awful lot of restraint or TM had him pinned in a way where he couldn’t get his hands to his weapon.

            You can’t have it both ways.

          • Peoples425

            When you go to the range, you too have intent with that weapon and that is for it to be fired. You cannot argue this not being the case.

            You cannot confront a person armed with a loaded weapon, not identifying yourself or the reason why you are there in the first place and then expect a person (rational or not) to approach the situation calmly or feel like they are not being threatened.

            I, like many others, do not know exactly what happened out there that night and can only speculate, but given the evidence that has been presented, there is little doubt that GZ had already profiled this kid and had in his mind decided his guilt.

            Maybe he restrained himself, maybe he was pinned, maybe he was just gloating over the fact that he had “caught” this kid and was going to kill him and get away with it.

          • Beedogs

            Second amendment my friend. Carrying a legal handgun is not a crime. Beating a mans head on a sidewalk IS a crime.

          • Beedogs

            So, Zimmerman was suppose to wait until his brains were spilling out of his crushed skull to employ self defense? Or do you think he broke his own nose and bashed his own head on a sidewalk as a cover story? You are really quite dense and gullible.

          • Peoples425

            Given the audacity of a man to sit there and lie publicly about his story and about his income, I wouldn’t put it past him.

            You cannot get your head banged on a sidewalk repeatedly and be expected to get up and walk casually in and out of a police station, speak coherently or even employ self-defense very readily.

            I’d say that you’re illustrating yourself to be the dense and gullible one here.

          • PsyGuy

            If it was a farce as you claim, then everyone is misplacing their anger and should do something useful like try to get Angela Corey out of Office. She also prosecuted Marissa Alexander (another case that people bring up).

            The defense had a choice in all of this. They helped chose and approve the jury, they chose the charges (stupid charges if you ask me). And yet I do not see ONE person saying they want to do something to get her out of office.

            Do I think GZ could have done it differently with a better and different result? Absolutely! Go I think TM could have as well? Absolutely!

            Do I fully buy GZ’s story? No.

            BUT, You sit in one breath and talk about a trial and then talk about all of the evidence that was not allowed in the trial.

            How about the messages where Tracey Martin and Qua Fulton were trying to traffic guns to/from Trayvon? You do realize those *ARE* felonies, right?

            You also realize that the “tea” and “skittles” when mixed with codeine make “purple drank/lean” correct?

            All of these were in TM’s phone messages to include his indulging in fighting. And you want US to all believe that TM just could not control his phone and it was always someone else texting. That doesn’t explain his *DAD* and *COUSIN* messaging HIS phone and trying to commit FELONIES by buying him a gun.

            You keep wanting to bring up GZ’s past but not talk about TM’s past which shows your bias.

            I have my own questions on GZ’s story. But I am not blind to TM’s hand in this either. He could simply have gone on home that night and not confronting GZ. Once home, GZ would have had to deal with his DAD.

            And I am expected to buy into GZ being the only one to make stupid decisions that night… right!

            I have this swamp land for sale… interested?

          • Peoples425

            There are people currently either boycotting Florida in general or signing petitions and gathering support to remove Gov. Rick Scott and Angela Corey.

            Never heard of any messages about trafficking guns, however, yes I know those are felonies. I also know about this “purple drank/lean”, but what does this have to do with the fact that he wasn’t doing anything at the time to warrant suspicion nor garner the attention of a gun-toting, cowboy-wannabe? There are many that claim that TM was a gangsta-wannabe and such, however this does not negate the fact that he had a right to stand his ground as well.

            I do not buy that TM was a saint, nor do I buy the fact that he had no good in him either. GZ already had felonies under his name, but that didn’t come out either. Just because someone is trying to buy you a gun, it doesn’t make it a felony until he actually has the gun.

            Decisions are made according to one’s circumstances/environment and one’s mentality that reacts to it. As I stated, you cannot expect someone to react calmly to a person that follows you in the night and has not identified themselves nor the reason for their pursuit.

          • Beedogs

            Trayvon was guilty of attempting to beat Zimmerman’s brains out on a sidewalk. Trayvon was incorrigible and his mother kicked him out to his fathers place. He was kicked out of school. He was a doper, and thief. He bragged on social media of his racism and violence. Trayvon and Tryavon’s parents killed him with his thug life decision
            THAT is factual and backed up by evidence at the trial.

      • Beedogs

        Trayvon was guilty of attempting to beat Zimmerman’s brains out on a sidewalk. Trayvon was incorrigible and his mother kicked him out to his fathers place. He was kicked out of school. He was a doper, and thief. He bragged on social media of his racism and violence. Trayvon and Tryavon’s parents killed him with his thug life decision.

      • Mike Bertolino

        I missed one point Zimmerman was not a cop , just a sycophant wanna be . In Huntington N.Y. you can be arrested or one of these wanna be cops will assist or detain a person for trespass on the grass, outside a public housing complex in Huntington Station. I personally know someone charged with this at 2200 ( 10 P.M) on a Friday night about 25 years ago. The police in Suburbia will manipulate the circumstances until it suits them. Sadly we are approaching the point of becoming a police state. what is more alarming than that is , it seems to be just fine for most of We the people.

    • LotusJoan

      Actually no, we do not have bigger fish to fry then this. What bigger fish is there than America’s future which is tied up in our young people. What bigger fish is there than human life?
      I am sorry that you can not see that there are two sides to this. You accepted that Trayvon Martin was “the suspect”. You refuse to see that the criminal justice system in America is not color blind at all.

      • Mike Bertolino

        In the USA orange is the new black . I stick with my origional position this is not about race , it is about a police state and its tactics.

    • johninPCFL

      Google “trevor dooley”, the black guy attacked by the white guy, and who got prison time instead. Then talk about how great and color-blind the system was.

      • PsyGuy

        First I heard of this story. I tried to glance at a few sites about it and they are all conflicting on the story details (even what the one guy’s daughter said).

        Maybe, instead of doing what Obama said and respecting the system’s verdicts, we should all form mobs, go down to the court house and just start beheading people whom we *feel* are guilty and take justice in our own hands.

        I’m sure that will work!

        No sense in trying something *really* useful like getting rid of Angela Corey for being a screw up. Naaa. That won’t work!

      • Mike Bertolino

        I personally think the system stinks and I have a year in a law school to bolster that belief .. as well as fracturing some misdemeaners in my lifetime. We need to stop overfunding the police dept as well as the military. People convicted of crimes are treated in the USA as the enemy . I never said how great and color blind the system is, but remember this racism is a shared human emotion . All colors white , black , red and yellow in some point of their lives hate what is different than themselves. There is a point in history mentioned by Saint Paul in the new testement that all of us need to arrive at , that being “this calls for wisdom” I will google Trevor Dooley and get back to you Mr John . Peace.

    • Sand_Cat

      Another “justification” of the unjustifiable. You clearly haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about. White privilege is pretty much as alive as it ever was in almost all areas of life.

      • Beedogs

        Yeah. Imagine if America was color blind enough to elect a black president.

      • Mike Bertolino

        You are not happy with the verdict , neither an I. I would not have been happy with a guilty verdict either. I would have been happier to read that both of these idiots the black and the white one were taken down to the police station cited and explained it all alive to a judge , preferably a black female who does not like guns or gankstas who like to wear their pants down below their buttocks . My stepson had the same problem which I cured by calling him a faggot in heat. The gun problem in my household is solved I hide the rifle from my wife and she hides the bullets from me. If the need ever arises to reach for the iron both of us need to agree on that one. Like I said this is not about “White Privilidge” it is about a young man who is now dead , partly due to his attitude and partly due to the systems reponse to a problem by figuratively hitting the fly with the sledgehammer Zimmerman on my opinion should have been armed with a nightstick and called for assistance from a real cop if he felt the need .

  • elw

    “Yet every approach feels wrong.”

    Yes I agree every approach is wrong; there is no approach to the fact that we kill each other so casually and talk about other humans as if they are not living, thinking beings. Let’s be honest about our Country, it is not being White that is the safety net; it is the amount of money you have that keeps you safe. In some places, anyone with a gun can Pick a fight with you and shoot you for fighting back. In many places, regardless of your color, if you are poor you can be accuse of a crime you did not commit but end up in jail. There is enough hate for everyone to go around twice. As a species we have a long history of genocide – even for people that look just like the ones doing it. Violence is very well documented in our history and daily existence by people of all colors. Hate, jealousy, fear and anger are all part of every human being; but so are love, acceptance and tolerance part of who we are. What is important to remember is money can change who dominates; just because today being shades of White is better than being shades of Brown does not mean it will stay that way. We could take the power of money out of the equation by changing the norms by which we choose to treat and view each other, but that takes work on the part of everyone and the will to make it happen. So the questions for each of us to ask is what kind of a Nation do you want to live in and what are you personally willing to do and change to make it happen? If you want to get somewhere, you have to know where you want to go and change always starts at the individual level.

  • ObozoMustGo

    Connie… you evidently have not used your “unearned privilege” very welll… just sayin…

    On another topic unrelated but certainly worthy of mention here at The Memo….

    I just wanted to offer my congratulations to all of you DemonRATS!!!! Nice work!!! Well done!!!. You’ve finally moved Detroit over the brink of disaster and into bankruptcy with 50+ years of near 100% DemonRAT rule. This had to be your objective. After all, with the exception of the real useful idiots (many on here) no one, not even yourselves actually believe that socialist DemonRAT policies do anything but result in the destruction of the civil society and an economy. DETROIT IS EXAMPLE 1 OFTHE FAILURE OF DEMONRAT POLICIES AND IDEAS. Of course, knowing how stupid most of you are, your little pea brains will think that the cure to Detroit’s ills will be much more of exactly what caused them in the first place because progressive liberalism is the disease that presents itself as its own cure.

    Congratulations, once more, on a glorious victory in the intentional destruction of an American city. Next stop, support for Obozo in his attempts to turn America into one giant Detroit!

    Have a nice weekend!

    “When men once get the habit of helping themselves to the property of others,” warned the New York Times in 1909 about the proposed federal income tax, “they are not easily cured of it.’”

    • highpckts

      Excuse me? Democrats brought this country to it’s knees? I think not Obozo!!!

      • BillP

        Bozo is recycling his comments, he used this in his comment on the cartoon of the day. Besides being an empty bitter man, Bozo is lazy.

      • ObozoMustGo

        Hi high! Hope you are well. Actually, it’s PROGRESSIVES that brought this country to it’s knees. And progressives exist in BOTH parties. Contrary to the beliefs of the freak left, Bush was a progressive. Anyone that believes in the notion that government politicians and their constabularies in the bureaucracy are masterminds that can control and direct the affairs of mankind IS a progressive. A leftist. It just so happens that most of those idiots with an unfounded belief in the fantasy, the lie, that government masterminds can control and direct economies and people, are DemonRATS. No one that believes in true liberty is a DemonRAT.

        I am here to help, high.

        Have a nice day!

  • brucegarner

    To Brian Niles: No I do not have a picture of Jesus, but it doesn’t take a lot of anthropological information to determine that Jesus, being born and raised in the Middle East, was NOT a blue eyed, white guy. As I said, he was an ethnic Jew and they were dark skinned with black hair and dark eyes. Do a bit of research before you start making your sarcastic comments. And try seeing the world through something other than your “white guy” eyes… makes a difference. Neither you nor I is entitled to a single thing in this life just because we happened to be born white.

    • highpckts

      Well done!!

  • realitychecked

    Please seek help for your personal problems and stop trying to project your own deeply rooted feelings on the rest of the world. Enough is enough of the never-ending left-wing hysteria, delusion, and derangement. The race-hustlers have sunk their claws deep into this case because it serves their agenda and the despicable mainstream media and goofy guilt-ridden do-gooders are wringing their hands and perpetuating the propaganda. It is deplorable and ridiculous. More of the same silly stereotypes, tedious bias, and banal bloviating. If Sharpton and Jackson weren’t enough, here we have a weepy, sappy columnist rushing in to add to the circus. What a sad commentary on our times and further evidence of the decline of common sense, personal responsibility, and the ability to separate fact from fiction and fantasy.

    • Cathy

      But no mention of the baby shot in the face while in a stroller while black thugs tried to rob his mother. That’s not important enough. This was a child A 17 year old isn’t a child

  • throttler

    I agree;you have too much white privilege. You must give all of your money to colored people. Then go live in Haiti. No, wait, you can’t be a citizen of Haiti if you are white. I guess Detroit will have to do.

  • armed bear

    What a total crock of liberal backwash and PC flush fluid. There is no such thing as white privilege. It is made up, just like the “white hispanic”. It is a contrived notion, just as the innocence of a thug, by only displaying his 14 yr old photo and not the one of him with gold teeth, shirtless, pot smoke coming from his mouth. How easy it is for pseudo journalistic hacks to pretend to be so caring, so guilty. Horse droppings. No one is born a winner or a loser. We are all born choosers. Choose to adopt a work ethic, or choose to adopt a welfare entitled mentality. Choose to sacrifice and succeed, or choose to be a lazy slothful parasite on society. Color is not an issue. Color is a crutch. It allows the weak to make excuses. I had no United mixed breed college fund, I did not participate in minority programs, I did not follow the alcoholic pattern of my culture to define who I am. I worked. I studied. I joined the military. I chose to go to the library and not “hang out”. I do not use my Creek ancestry to get ahead. I refuse. I do not show mercy or pity for anyone who says they can’t. if you feel so guilty white lad, then give away your house, belongings, money and clothes, move to a ghetto and live their life.

    You are truly an insufferable b1tch.

    • brucegarner

      Try this test: Go into a fast food joint where the counter server is black. Walk up to the counter with a black man so that you both reach the counter at exactly the same time. The vast majority of the time, you, as a white man, will be asked for your order first. That is a simple but clear visual of white privilege.
      You are so accustomed to your white privilege that you can’t even see it. Most of us are like that. It takes seeing examples for us to understand it. We really do have certain expectations of others just because we are white.
      For what it is worth, I worked my way via two jobs through an expensive private college. I took out loans that I paid back. I studied and I “hung out” because I was smart enough to do both. I have always worked hard at any job I have had, whether paid or as a volunteer. So stop projecting your issues on the rest of us. And if you really are Creek, I hope you appreciate that heritage….but I suspect you had actually rather be more white and not Creek. Just sayin’, dude, just sayin’. It seems you are really the insufferable beatch….or are just working it and throwing shade?

      • Jay Schneider

        You miss his point, Bruce. And I’ve also observed the exact opposite of what you say is the norm — it’s happened to me but I don’t view it as privelege. I don’t complain that the black guy got served first. Because it’s not racism. Perhaps you should consider a career change. Maybe tea leaf reading? Because you seem to find patterns in random nonsense. Things have changed here in the US. And the killing of Martin has nothing to do with racial profiling or racism. Have you read about who he really is, now that the gag order is lifted and the real Treyvon Martin is visible?

        He’s a thug! So you get a thug, and a wannabe cop with a gun. Bad mix and a worse result. Especially for Treyvon. Why don’t you focus on the real issue — a revision of Castle Laws in the state of FL is what is needed.
        White guilt is idiotic, and will only keep race relations from improving.

        • brucegarner

          No, Jay, I don’t miss his point. I grew up in the 60’s amid the Civil Rights Era and all that entailed. The fast food example is just one example of what most white males will deny exists. I live in the real world. I listen to what people say in casual conversation. I also take note of “how things are done.” Whether Martin was a thug or not is immaterial. What is material is if he was doing anything wrong on the night he was killed. Was he breaking the law? If he wasn’t then there is an issue here that is broader than the trial which is now over. I wasn’t there and I wasn’t on the jury so I can’t really evaluate the outcome, but then, neither can anyone else. Yes Jay, things have changed in the US. But racism is still very much with us. It will not go away until we as white folks understand how it is a part of our lives. It’s not an issue of guilt….although some of the crap that spews from the mouths of racist white boys makes me ashamed to be white. It is an issue of understanding all of the aspects of what we have done to others and presumed it was just the way things were done. Our founding documents state that we as a nation are all about liberty, justice and equality for all. (Unfortunately, the Constitution originally counted African-Americans who were slaves as only a portion of a white person….one counted as 3/4 of a white person if I recall correctly and it denied women the right to vote.) Despite its flaws, we have moved toward having all enjoy equal rights….but we are not there yet. Racism and bigotry are based on fear and ignorance. These ills can only be ended when we actually sit down with those different from us and get to know them as human beings, as individuals….only when we actually hear some of what they have experienced. It isn’t tea leaf reading……it’s life experiences.

          • Jay Schneider

            You have some serious issues man. And you’re only perpetuating this idiocy. I don’t deny anything exists — I look at things empiricallly. For every anecdote you push, there is one that invalidates your claim. I’ve grown up in a very different era than you — one where I had no racial baggage and have certainly felt the prejudice of other races and ethnicities against me personnally. But I don’t consider that racism. You seem not to be able to acknowledge that you misunderstand what racism is. In fact, we now have institutions which discriminate against white men — I don’t begrudge affirmative action, although it has cost me job and business opportunities. I accept this as part of the social contract of my generation, and get by okay even in the fact of this institutionalized discrimination which in any other context would absolutely be considered racist. Get it? You apparently also don’t understand that all the racist crap spews from the mouths of *everyone*.
            My family came here in the early 1900s from Germany and Scandinavia. They were not racists, didn’t own slaves, and probably didn’t even know what that was all about at the time. Were the prejudiced? Probably. Like everyone else.
            You don’t need to lecture me on history. Unlike most, I can recite the Bill of Right. I know how many Supreme Court justices are sitting and who they are. I know how the legislateive process works. As said before, I understand and accept why certain discriminatory laws are in place. And you’d be surprised that I actually know the people you say I need to sit down with. I look at them as people, but apparently you still look at them through your warped prism of life experience — you are stuck in the past and would impose white guilt on me.
            I’ve lived and worked in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Among the 35 or so countries I’ve lived in, I’ve experienced massive racial, ethnic, religious and political violence in Afghanistan (2010-12), Rwanda (1994-1997), and Zimbabwe (1992-93). You want to see what racism is? Take a look at these countries, among others. We aren’t even close today. It’s the same everywhere. People just don’t get it and frankly I’m so sick and tired of people crying “Racism” when it isn’t. Not denying that racism exists — but let’s be clear: Racism is institutionalized discrimination. You’re conflating racism with bigotry in a way that confuses the issues. There is no evidence Zimmerman was racist. There was no evidence that he “racially profiled” Martin. There is plenty of evidence, however, that Martin assaulted Zimmerman (after uttering his own racial epithet on his cell phone). Why do you ignore this? Why do you ignore the facts? Why do you insist on this white guilt mantra and use the Treyvon Martin case as an example when it so clearly isn’t? (Rhetorical question.)
            The issue with this case, as I see it, is the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida (otherwise known as Castle Doctrine). It is different in each state and Florida and Texas, among others, seem to have taken this doctrine to the extreme. THIS IS THE PROBLEM. So enough of your stupid agenda.
            Now go ahead and lecture me some more on life experiences. I assure you I’ve had a broader spectrum of experiences, and probably better educated besides. I urge you to look at racism against whites in the United States. You think it can’t exist? Look at the DC court system, among others. Wondering where the data is? It’s suppressed. Because politically it would be too explosive.
            Now I’m really angry. This country is so screwed up. It’s a wonder we aren’t more like Rwanda, or Pakistan, or [insert genocidal country here]. LOL
            Until you and your ilk are honest and a little more objective in this discussion, you won’t get anywhere. None of us will. And you’ll only succeed in making a very large segment of the population very angry.

          • brucegarner

            It doesn’t matter what your family origins are. It doesn’t matter whether they owned anyone or not. Racism is an institutionalized entity in this country. Bigotry and prejudice tend to be based on ignorance and/or fear of those who we do not know and who differ from us. Racism is either the child or the parent of those issues….or it’s just an ingrained idea that one race is inherently better, superior or whatever than another or all races. The so-called superiority of “white” races has been taught to us via both very subtle means as well as overt and often very destructive ways. No, you are not of my era, but you carry the same baggage whether you will admit it or not. Your defensiveness bears witness to that. We all suffer from the injustices perpetuated by previous generations. It will take many more generations for the impact that began with the enslavement of human beings on these shores to fade….and some of that never will. Unfortunately, we found a variety of ways to continue to enslave those who had been freed by the law but not by practice. We failed to teach the skills needed to become a part of the broader society. And yes there were some who did overcome the barriers, but such is the case with every group that is ever marginalized. If someone tells you that you are a no good piece of junk all your life, you tend to absorb that idea and make it true whether it started out that way or not. If you have never known something different, you have no comparison.
            I have had the sad experience of seeing people treated badly just because of their race and for no other reason. You may or may not have had such an experience. I’ve witnessed abuse of others because of their race continue simply because the abuser could continue to get away with it. Some of those experiences are decades old….others very recent. You can deny any or all of this if you wish. You can even claim that it is not your narrative. That doesn’t change the fact that racism is still very much with us. Nor have we escaped the snare of bigotry or prejudice either.
            None of us comes into this world already knowing what we need to know to survive….even simple everyday tasks are learned, despite the fact that we may not remember learning them. If we do not teach a group of people what they need to know, whether by design or neglect, we perpetuate their ignorance. That’s how racism thrives. It gives us an excuse to treat someone badly because they are not “like us” when we haven’t done anything to help them be “like us.”
            Yes this country is screwed up in some ways. The worst way is the economic disparities that exist when a CEO’s compensation is hundreds of times larger than the average worker in her/his employ. Economists have noted that when that gap gets to be too large, the seeds of discord are planted and begin to grow. You know dude, there isn’t a person on the planet worth an annual salary of millions of dollars. We have managed to convince ourselves that crossing the line between abundance and greed is an acceptable thing. That may be our downfall. The creation of a permanent underclass will not strengthen us as a nation. It will continue to wear away at our foundations.
            I don’t know what your educational level is, but I will posit that mine is better in some important areas. I have a Bachelor of Science in Biology from a private college (and I paid for that education myself….my parents were too poor to pay for it). But it isn’t really the course work for the degree or the near minor in chemistry that has proven most valuable. It was being brought face to face with the reality that all the world was not “white like me.” It was being brought face to face with the reality that economic status has an impact on both expectations and accomplishment. It was being brought face to face with the fact that a family name can overcome many a deficiency in the person who carries it.
            I have no doubt that you are more traveled than I. But what your travels really teach you?

            There are very reputable consulting firms who conduct training on the issues surrounding racism and other isms. I doubt you would take them just as much as I doubt they would have any impact on your attitude. I’m not perfect, dude, but I have learned a lot from life that you don’t seem to have learned. You insist that you are not part of “my” narrative. That’s an illusion only you can address. Whether you will admit it or not, just being a white guy has profited you in life. That’s the white privilege associated with racism did for you.

  • Jay Schneider

    This is not about race! Just stop this nonsense! I’m white, and I got that same talk! What a bunch of idiots…

    • Cathy

      We were brought up to respect authority. That’s missing in our schools as well for those protecting our cities. The kids seem to be running the show. And they haven’t a clue how to get along with each other even.

  • Mohammad Izzaterd

    Trayvon was a racist punk who thought he was going to slam a cracker but it didn’t work out since that cracker had a gun to defend himself. He got what he deserved. Racist is code for antiwhite.

  • bugandco

    If you are attacked by a young black male, don’t move, don’t reach for a gun, just relax and let him pound your head into the pavement.

    • Beedogs

      Indeed. Otherwise be labeled a racist by the President of the USA and liberals nationwide.

  • brucegarner

    One of you said: “Go live in an all black neighborhood and see what happens. You are a clueless white doo gooder who never had to deal with blacks on a daily basis.”
    I hate to burst your ignorant bubble, but I live in a very integrated neighborhood. As a teenager and during college years, we were the white minority in our neighborhood, actually the only white family on the block.
    And during my 37 year professional career, I was often in the minority, was often supervised by black folks, supervised an almost all black staff, and pretty much every combination of race and ethnicity you could find.
    So I believe I am well acquainted with “dealing” with blacks on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I am also well acquainted with “dealing” with white folks of privilege and white bigots as well. Most of their “knowledge” about those different from them was from stereotypes and misinformation. The moral of this tale is that you can’t paint all blacks OR all whites with the same broad brush. We are all individuals.
    Why don’t you go live in a poverty stricken neighborhood and try to survive on the subsitance level income you will find there. Learn something about life for someone who can’t and/or doesn’t benefit from white privilege before you share your ignorance with so many people at the same time. You sound like all you see is what is in view when your head is up a certain body cavity……

  • No, I’m The Mommy

    It’s called white guilt, not white privilege. You don’t have to feel guilty for being born white any more than anyone else has to feel guilty or pitied for being born any other race. Get it straight. GUILT not PRIVILEGE. BTW, I did not choose my birth race one way or the other so I have no guilt one way or the other. Get over yourself.

  • Cherry Walker

    Trayvon was a thug who was looking for an easy score. His “young” life was cut short because of his actions. Stop trying to make him into a saint. His own parents didn’t value him until he died and they saw a way to make money off his death.
    Anyone who has “white guilt” needs to get a clue and if it really means something to you, mentor AA children or volunteer your time in prisons to teach AA individuals to read and write so they can contribute something to society. Otherwise you are just a hypocrite.