• Wed, Jul 17 2013

I’m Terrified Of Raising My Black Son In This World

trayvonmartinWhen I was 18 years old, I brought my black boyfriend home to meet my father. My father, a first-generation Italian-American, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, was racist. I had no idea. It never occurred to me that my father, who had never mentioned race in any capacity, would have a problem with his daughter dating a black man.

I walked my boyfriend into the back of my father’s store, only nervous because I was about to introduce my dad to a boy for the first time. My boyfriend had a smile that would light up a room and a charm that was irresistible. He was funny, respectful and likable; I was positive my father would take to him. I led him into my father’s office and said, “Hi Dad. This is Teddy.” Teddy reached out to shake my father’s hand. My father turned around and walked out of his office.

He called me that night to express his “disappointment” in me, and then he didn’t speak to me again for almost two years.

I never forgave my father for that and our relationship was never the same. It wasn’t something we could ever work through because my father had an interesting habit of pretending things that he couldn’t justify or explain never happened. He eventually denied that he had ever had a problem with Teddy’s race. When we finally started speaking again, if I ever tried to bring it up, he just looked at me with a blank stare for a few seconds and changed the subject. I am certain that until the day he died he never saw a racist when he looked in the mirror.

My father turning his back on us in his office that day was a pivotal point in my life. It was the first time I felt real shame – deep in the pit of my stomach. I thought, “I come from this.” I felt responsible for it. I didn’t know how to explain what happened so I never tried. I buried it deeply and revisited it from time to time, anecdotally, if I ever had to explain my strained relationship with my father to anyone.

My father died five years ago. We never did bridge the gap that caused in our relationship. He never met my husband – the father of my two children. I sometimes wonder if he would have accepted him. Our son was made in my father’s image. He has the same skin tone (my father was very dark-featured Sicilian), the same hairline, and the same furrowed brow.  With his long legs, and baby belly, he even has my father’s stance. Some day,  I’d like to tell my son stories about the grandfather he resembles so much. Do I leave out the one that will certainly put a chasm between him and his dead ancestor?

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  • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

    This made me cry Maria. I love you and I love your beautiful son and if anyone ever even looked at him sideways I would kill them. I hope by the time he grows up and takes a walk alone at night we live in a far better, more normal world than we do now. I know it’s not likely, but all I can do is hope.

    • Whit

      Eva, I love your writing and articles but “if anyone ever even looked at him sideways”… is what gets us here. Minorities are persecuted for that everyday. Sideways looks, walking wrong…existing in this county.

    • Kevin Miskel

      Beating old women, robbing liquor stores, shooting out of moving cars in neighborhoods, knocking out strangers, fathering illegitimate children, embracing gang culture, yeah there’s no reason to ever look sideways at a black teenager. If there wasn’t SO MUCH violent crime perpetrated by black teenagers, maybe the good ones wouldn’t have to deal with a sideways glance.

  • CMJ

    Second Eve on the crying.

  • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

    This is just brilliant and touching and heartbreaking, all at the time time. Well done, Maria. I wish there was more I could do to change the world, but the more people like you out there, the better things will be.

  • LiteBrite

    I second Eve and third CMJ on crying. I had tears in my eyes when I read this earlier in the morning. This is probably the most powerful piece I’ve read yet on Mommyish.

  • Haradanohime

    I think it’s absolutely horrible that things like this happen to people. I’ll admit too when I was growing up, I was pretty much in a bubble. My first year of college proved so much to me about this. In Orientation, we were asked what was the first thing you noticed when you looked at a person. “Their eyes.” was my response. Immediately people called me a liar and many other things I’ve forgotten, because most of the class answered skin color. I’ve never really looked at a person’s skin color. While I was not raised in a huge multicultural area, it never occurred to me to take into account someone’s race. I thought people are people and that was it. The thought that someone was treated as a lesser being because of the color of their skin even today still saddens and disgusts me. We’re all human beings. Some people make racial differences as if we’re different species. All I see are people. Maybe that makes me strange. But I’d rather be strange than full of hatred.

    • Blueathena623

      I also had my eyes opened during my first year seminar class at college. I went to one of the most diverse colleges (Wesleyan, in Macon Ga), and one of the girls from Jamaica asked why it was that when we describe a white person, we don’t label them as white, but with a black person we do. So someone describing me would say I’m a girl with glasses, but someone describing her would say a black girl with glasses. It really made me think.

    • Andrea

      I have heard non-white people describing white people as “the white girl with glasses”.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      See, I have too, but it wasn’t until I moved to a more diverse part of the country. I never heard it in rural Indiana where my father used to work, but I hear it all the time in NYC where I spent most of my life.

    • jack_sprat2

      In rural Indiana, white is the default. In NYC, it isn’t. Now, in parts of the South, each race is common enough that the response s/b more like that in NYC, than the one in rural Indiana. In my experience, folks in the South are very conscious of who ‘belongs’ where. I suspect that, were a crime to occur in a black ‘area’, that a witness wouldn’t bother to mention the fact that the perpetrator was black. No need to do so.

    • geckomommy

      Yeah, I think this is a perspective issue. I would describe someone of the same race as me as you described. It never really occurred to me until I was reading Anansi Boys recently, which features black characters, and I realized that it took me a while to notice that the characters were black because the author (the amazing Neil Gaiman) chose to describe other characters from the protagonist’s viewpoint and didn’t mention skin color unless it was different from his own.

  • Guest

    Racism is terrible, and I certainly believe that no person should be harassed or discriminated against based on their race. While I am not racist, I simply do not understand how this particular trial is so much more important than other crimes that are currently happening or have happened in the United States. This past weekend a 6 year old African American girl in Harvey/New Orleans was murdered, dismembered, and sexually assaulted before being left to rot in a trash can by a black man. I don’t hear anyone crying over her rights; this case probably won’t even make national news. Or what about the 12 murders that happened within 48 hrs in New Orleans this past weekend. No one seems to care about all the black on black violence, and I just simply do not understand. Black people can kill one another on a daily basis, but you all are can’t believe that Zimmerman got off? Another example, what about the 2 black teens who shot and killed a 13 month old white baby in Brunswick, Georgie this year? Why wasn’t anyone crying about race then? In my opinion, all of these deaths are equally tragic and none of these lives should matter more than the other, but it truly seems that the media and others are making it to be that way, which is sad.

    • CMJ

      Actually, people DO care about these things….a great deal. Just because you don’t see the “media” covering it doesn’t mean others don’t read about it and are not outraged and impacted by it. And while we’re at it, should we also list out the crimes perpetuated on white people by white people that happen on a daily basis as well? Crimes happen on a regular basis by people of all races, ethnicity, and backgrounds. It is infuriating, frustrating, and disheartening that violence and death happens in this world but saying that people aren’t allowed to be outraged by this particular incident because “no one seems to care about black on black violence” is hurtful and ignorant.

      People are outraged because an unarmed 17-year old was killed by a man who “thought he looked suspicious.” Why did he look suspicious to Mr. Zimmerman?

    • Guest

      I wasn’t trying to offend anyone, and not once did I say people shouldn’t be outraged by this particular incident. I actually said that none of these lives matter more than the other meaning that they are all of equal importance and equally saddening. And you may care about black on black violence, but please come to New Orleans and tell me how much anyone, white or black, cares about black violence here? So, I don’t consider what I say to be hurtful or ignorant, I am simply stating exactly how it is where I live. Things may be different where you live, but they certainly are not here.

    • momjones

      You know, I grow weary of the false equivalency “black on
      black crime mantra” from “Guest” posters who just happen to show up and comment on an incredibly poignant article. So
      you are from New Orleans; I’m from Detroit, and why does it matter where CMJ lives? We can read, we can cite statistics, we can filter through the “media” (another “Guest” poster mantra). It’s not the point. Maria’s fear for her husband and her children who live in Orlando, Florida, are the very real points.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      I think we could have an entire dictionary of “guest poster” words and phrases, now that I think of it. I tend to automatically disregard anything someone posts that they don’t believe in enough to write under their own name or handle. Well said, momjones.

    • momjones

      We could definitely add any variation of “Not once did I say.”

    • CMJ

      Or “Did you read what I wrote?”

    • Upstater

      I am not a regular commentator but I hope that doesn’t deter people from reading what I have to say… Anyway, Maria can go on a continue to fear for her family but her fears are unfounded precisely because of the “black on black” mantra. The reason it continues to be brought up is because the media is going hysterical about the “white” (actually he is white and Hispanic, I guess the media gets to pick which they prefer, like Barack Obama who can also be called white) on black crime. In reality, her family is much more likely to be the victims of BLACK people, just as whites are victims of whites. But when a black person kills a white person, do you see Obama going to town to cry about the injustice?? T boot, blacks on a percentage wise are much more likely to kill/be killed. So go on Maria, worry about white people all you want and ignore the real problems your child is more likely to encounter.

    • Cee

      Ugh…I don’t have the energy. Go back to not being a regular commentator.

    • CMJ

      Yep….this is why we can’t have nice things.

    • CMJ

      Ah yes…the good ole’ “Obama” mention.

    • Cee

      Its almost like a bingo isn’t it?…Zimmerman is Hispanic, Obama, black on black crime, black person killing a white person..

    • CMJ

      And the classic – “I’m not racist but….”

    • Cee

      Oh that’s the Free Space because that one is inevitable in all idiots.

    • Ana

      For god’s sake the “injustice” was that Zimmerman was never charged with the crime until people started protesting putting pressure on the authorities. An equivalent case might be a grown black man gunning down a white, unarmed teenager and walking away. Show me that case, please.

    • NYBondLady

      But he was not convicted…I take it that you want him to be charged for the sake of how you feel about it? That is an injustice as well. The jury has spoken. Your facts and incomplete knowledge of what actually happened make your feelings invalid.

    • jack_sprat2

      Given that the Prosecution introduced no actual EVIDENCE rebutting the defense’s claim of self-defense, I presume that that was because there never WAS any such evidence. The way that the law works, the Prosecution is supposed to have sufficient reason to believe that he has the evidence necessary to sustain a verdict, in the absence of a defense. The Judge informed the Prosecutor that he had failed to present any such evidence in his pre-trial argument. The Prosecutor promised the Judge that he would introduce such evidence at trial. The Prosecutor did NOT do any such thing.

      The reasonable conclusion is that the charges should have been dropped. That’s how it’s SUPPOSED to work, anyway.

    • Rachel Sea

      Statistics do not apply to individuals. It does not matter that, nationwide, black people kill other black people more than black people are killed by white people. What matters is where she and her family are, and what is happening around them.

    • lalala

      You do realize when he spoke to the 911 operator and they asked to give a detailed description of Mr. Martin, Zimmerman wasn’t able to and didn’t know what the color of his skin first. He was wearing a hoodie which is probably why he couldn’t determine the race. And we won’t ever know if he did actually know the race of the person and just lied about it on the call to the operator. Juries can only go by evidence presented to them.

    • Cee

      You DO realize that he probably followed him because he looked suspicious. Do hoodies get white people shot? You DO realize the 911 operator told Zimmerman to not get out of his car and let police take care of it. You DO realize that had it been the other way around, Martin would be in jail. Oh no. You just cover your eyes and ears and repeat your screen name over and over.

    • Unhappy Gilmore

      You do realize that your’e all a bunch of fucking sheep, right?

    • Cee

      Which Fox news reporter told you that?

    • jack_sprat2

      He’s right and I don’t much watch Faux News, any more than I watch Thumper and the other Progressives at MESSNBC.

    • Ana

      I just listened to the 911 call and he definitely says that Trayvon “looks black” early in the call. Did you even check this before you decided to spread false information?

      http://www.wftv.com/videos/news/raw-911-call-zimmerman-made-to-sanford-police/vGZq9/

    • jack_sprat2

      What you listened to is one of the DOCTORED versions of the 9-1-1 tape. That fallaciously edited version was the one put out by one of the networks, I believe ABC. early days. The actual tape is available with the trial transcript.

    • Ana

      It was NBC and I know all about it and it is the order in which he said “he looks black” is doctored to makes him look more racist. He does say “he looks black” in response to the dispatchers question so my point still stands. Zimmerman could see Martin well enough to describe him as black and the person I was responding to claims that “he couldn’t determine the race.” If you have a version of the tape where Zimmerman does not say “he looks black” I. Response to the dispatchers question “and this guy – is he black, white, Hispanic?” I’d sure like a link because I can’t find it anywhere. Are you still trying to defend Zimmerman?

    • Meredith

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/07/15/the-trayvon-martin-killing-and-the-myth-of-black-on-black-crime.html

      The Myth of “black on black” crime. When someone stats a sentence with, “While I’m not racist…” you can pretty much guarantee that 100% of the rest of the post will be racist.

    • jack_sprat2

      Come to Detroit. I’ll take you on a tour.

    • Cee

      How often would you hear about a black child getting murdered on the news? Many black children go missing, yet we only hear of the white child going missing and everyone cries and says that it could have been their child. When a young white girl goes missing and her body is found, the country mourns for her, yet no one will mourn a young black college student getting shot. While people would mourn the death of a black child, we simply do not know it happens because we are not told it happens.

      This is given importance because a young unarmed black child getting snacks while watching a game with his family was murdered by an overzealous white man that was told to stay in his car and allow police to investigate.

      Also when you start a sentence with “While I’m not racist…” just stop there, really. That’s when most people know you’re gonna say something ridiculous.

    • Chelsea DeLoney

      Yes!!!!!!! The media does not really cover the murders and crimes against Black people. It’s crazy when people ask “why are you mad about this case and not about this one?” … Probably because it’s not being covered by the media. When Elizabeth Smart went missing and even Kyron Horman people really cared and they had that right! I even cared, but I was being confronted with it on a daily basis by the media.

      … However, why is it that when any young person of color is murdered their “bad character” comes into play if they get media coverage? A lady who went my high school was murdered in Hawaii but all they can talk about was her work as a prostitute. A 14 year old girl is killed by her 16 year old boyfriend and all they can talk about is that she was a “prostitute” (though that is child sex slavery). You hit the nail on the head there.

    • jack_sprat2

      Many white children go missing, unlamented by the media. Those who get the press usually do so because a relative or friend beats the drums, tries to interest a reporter with a ‘hook’, makes it a story. Therefore, most of them are white. They’re also mostly solidly middle class. Why’s that, do you guess? It’s because that’s who’s sophisticated enough to work the system. They ask themselves questions, such as what does it take to get some callous, indifferent reporter to take an interest in this one particular injustice.

      You know that that’s true, if only you’ll think about why any of us ever heard about this case. It’s because the Two Reverends came to town and called a press conference.

      The missing kids who nobody ever hears about need nothing so much as they need a press agent.

    • Fabel

      I’m so sick of people bringing up random other cases—black on black, black on white—as a comparison. It does not compare, because, for instance, in the cases of black on white crime, the perpetrator is ALWAYS ARRESTED (if found, of course). Zimmerman was not even arrested at first, which is what led to public outcry & attention in the media. That’s why this case, in particular, skyrocketed into the national eye.

    • A-nony-mous

      I think the difference is that there’s a clear power imbalance. Any time there is a clear power imbalance it is much more likely to become an international news story. That power imbalance can come from gender, race, age or wealth.

      For instance, the story about the baby that was shot did make international news because the power imbalance was clear — teenagers vs an infant.

      The Zimmerman case made news because the imbalance was clear — an adult man vs a legally underage, disadvantaged minority child.

      A case involving two teens of the same age or same race committing a crime doesn’t spark as much attention or indignation because the power balance is the same between them. When you get adults attacking children, racial divides (and admit it or not, race carries power), men attacking women, teachers going after students, etc those are all power imbalances and all get attention. It’s not that people don’t care about the others, it’s just that there isn’t enough news time to report every single crime in the nation and so they highlight the ones that are particularly heinous because one party had little to no hope of defending themselves.

  • Jessica

    Thank you for your heartfelt response to this tragedy. This morning, my facebook feed is filled with people posting chain statuses about Marley Lion and Antonio Santiago, trying to draw comparisons and incite outrage as to why the media isn’t covering these stories with the passion that they have shown Trayvon. My immediate response is that there is a difference that no one seems to be catching- those that allegedly murdered Lion and Santiago were hunted down immediately and currently sit in jail, while Trayvon’s killer wasn’t even charged for the first six weeks following his murder, and now has been found innocent. It is not, as some have claimed, that Trayvon’s life seems to matter more than these others- it’s that his tragic death is deemed justifiable and legal under Florida law.

    • TMill

      EXACTLY! Why do they not see that part?? —>those that allegedly murdered Lion and Santiago were hunted down immediately and currently sit in jail

    • jack_sprat2

      There is a difference in the cases, which none of you choose to acknowledge. One of the lawyers who got O.J. Simpson off, the Constitutional scholar Allen Dershowitz, wrote an article pointing up that difference. He even called for the disbarment of the State’s Attorney who brought the charges. NOT for a failure to convict Zimmerman, but because she baldly lied to the Judge, in order to move to trial. What’s the difference, you ask?

      There was NO evidence, however contested, of Zimmerman’s guilt. None. Not a scintilla. In other words, the Jury, in order to convict, would have had to ASSUME guilt, as you do. What’s more, there WAS plenty of evidence which pointed to his innocence.

      There’s no requirement that anyone be convinced by said evidence, as most of it is circumstantial. However, there most certainly IS a requirement to have SOME evidence that points to guilt, in order to return a verdict of ‘Guilty’.

      Once again, none such was presented at trial. NONE.

      Now, you’re free to construct conspiracy theories as to why that’s supposedly so, but no jury is free to do so, in furtherance of racial comity or some notion of ‘racial justice’. Nor is any jury supposed to find a man guilty, simply because the jurors themselves don’t like him. (God knows, Zimmerman hasn’t come off as a likeable fellow. Then again, his former neighbor, seemed to have liked him well enough, many of them. Curiously, many of those neighbors are also black.)

    • Kevin Miskel

      FINALLY! A rational thinking person on a web forum. People in this country don’t understand the laws. Zimmerman wasn’t charged because it was deemed (rightfully so) on scene that it was a case of self defense.

    • Kevin Miskel

      Black on black crime,never on the news. Black on white crime, short blip, not on primetime. White on black crime,24 HOUR COVERAGE FOR MONTHS!! Answer why,please.

  • JLH1986

    Having open conversations like this helps. My clients are always taken back when I say, we don’t have the same background, I’m white, you’re black/Asian/bi-racial, help me understand about your background so I can help you. Almost EVERY time they say…no one has asked me that before. I’m not sure how to respond.

    • JLH1986

      I’m ashamed to say, until school, I would never have thought of asking it either…

  • geckomommy

    Growing up in Alabama, I know how difficult the racial prejudices can be. Racism goes not only both ways, but ALL ways, with people constantly being stereotyped because of the color of their skin. I try to tell my younger brother, who hasn’t traveled much and has never lived outside the state, that people are all different, and that the color of their skin shouldn’t factor into your judgment of them, but it’s hard for him to understand while living in a place that still has so much hate coming from all directions because of an “us versus them” mentality. I know it’s everywhere, but in all the places I’ve been, it is especially concentrated in the Deep South.

    I think it’s sad that it takes a case like this, that is not as open and shut as some would think (one way or another), to create discussions on race. As others have mentioned, crime that is racially motivated happens all the time, often in very obvious ways…why does it take a case so controversial and open to interpretation to bring up the discussion? Why do news articles call him “white” when he is white/Hispanic? Why did they edit his 911 call to make it sound like he was calling out Trayvon’s race without being asked? Why did the media use a photo of a very young Trayvon instead of a more recent one of 17-year-old Trayvon? It’s as though the media has been TRYING to make this an even bigger issue of race, to incite anger between races, and the fear-mongering makes me sick. It’s a very sad case, and I hope that rather than people calling for Zimmerman’s head, that they look to themselves and their community and try to find solutions for the racial divide.

    • beaconbull

      While I agree with some of what you said, most of it I find troubling. What difference does it make what picture the media used? The media is not inciting anger amongst races. That anger already existed. That’s evident by the pro-Zimmerman apologists out there. Listen to the things some of your elected officials say.

      I have one question. Why is it so important that George Zimmerman be called a white/Hispanic? What difference does it make. Trayvon Martin is still dead. Dead because he was profiled. Can you honestly say that had it been a white kid, this still would have happened? Ask yourself these questions? Can you answer them out loud? Can’t blame the media for that.

      When you mentioned “people calling for Zimmerman’s head, that they look to themselves and their community and try to find solutions for the racial divide”, who is this mystical “they or their” and why should “they” be solely responsible for healing the racial divide? as a black male, I’ve been asked to “get over it and move on” way too much. It needs to be dealt with now. The “both sides are guilty” argument glosses over the issue of race and how to deal with it. No one ever says what they really mean. If “they of their” means black people, then say it. Say what you mean. Own it. People can’t blame the media just because they (meaning all people) are too lazy to do the heavy lifting.

    • geckomommy

      Whoa, “they” suddenly means “black” because I’m white? Or because you assume I must be white? Are you saying I need to “own” the fact that you assume I’m a racist?

      I worked in talk radio in college. The show was hosted by a black man. People called in all the time when he would discuss race issues and be offended thinking his voice “sounded white” – which is really offensive, and makes “white” people think they have to “gloss over” race issues.

      I mean, they, as in, the cumulative of a group of people living in a particular place who affiliate themselves with a particular group of some kind. As in, I, as a “white female middle class etc etc” should examine my own heart and my own community to see what I can do to eliminate race issues in this country. I would never blame one race any racial divide; it’s everywhere. I feel as though you’ve read quite a bit into my statements looking for racism.

      As a black man, how do you think the racial divide should be healed? I think it starts on a personal level, and with teaching our children that racial diversity is beautiful and that “different” doesn’t equal “scary.”

      I blame the media because I was once a part of it, and I see every day what it does to people, making them fearful of what’s in their food or what could be outside their front door.

      To answer your questions: As for using his photo, it made the case more compelling for viewers to envision a younger child. As for white or Hispanic, making it a “white” guy makes it FAR more controversial, in my experience – that’s me saying it like it is, “owning” it as you said, as the most heated race issues exist between whites and blacks in the South. Do I think it would have happened to a white kid? I honestly don’t know. If he had been wearing a hoodie and “looking suspicious” and Zimmerman really was just trigger-happy, maybe. Or maybe he thought he looked suspicious only because he was black and set out to shoot him, as in another case I read today where a middle-school aged black teen was shot in his driveway at 10am by a white neighbor who accused him of stealing from him. And yes, no matter what, Trayvon’s death is just as sad. But he is one example in a sea of examples, and the only reason we’re all talking about it is because of how the media covered it.

    • beaconbull

      The mistake is thinking that there is one answer. There are many answers. The fact that we, hopefully, can have a rational discussion about race is hopeful.

      Having once been a 17 year old who was walking around in a “strange neighborhood” minding my own business, I can relate to the probable fear Trayvon Martin had. I’ve been profiled most of my life, so my feelings and perspective are a little different than yours.

      As for the use of “they”, I apologize for assuming your meaning. There have many conversations I’ve been a part that “they” gets tossed around and it is usually clear what the meaning is.

      Could it have happened to a white kid? Judging by the words and actions of the Zimmerman family, I would say no.

      The reason why the story got covered is because of the way it was handled by the police and coroner. It took approximately 40 days for the police to charge Zimmerman. Trayvon Martin’s body was in the morgue and i.d.’d as a John Doe for three days before they even thought to contact his parents. Pressure from local groups brought the case to national attention. A 17 year old boy was shot and it was business as usual until thankfully citizens got involved.

      Please do not think I’m angry with you or want to pick a fight. I’m just trying have an open conversation without the filtering or parsing of words.

    • geckomommy

      I am always happy to have open and rational discussions; as I know you’re well aware, they’re unfortunately rare. Race is a very personal issue, and to claim that it’s not an issue at all is the biggest affront of all.

      Back to the main point of the article, it’s really heartbreaking to know that young black men are being treated the way they are by racist strangers they encounter in their everyday life. I know how I was taught to react if a “strange black boy” was seen walking around my neighborhood: something is wrong, tell mom and dad, he must be up to no good. Seeing a black boy that didn’t “belong” was right up there with a strange man in a van offering me puppies and candy. It’s horrible. I’ve seen a lot of progress in the past 20 years within my own family, but there is still so far to go.

      Something the host of that morning show and I often discussed was where we begin to heal the racial divide, and how it had to start at home with the way we raise our children. But, what then? You’ve said there are many answers. I’d really like to know what you think.

    • LawGeekNYC

      I also appreciate what you both have added to the dialogue; it is great to read issues hashed out by those who genuinely want to understand instead of just ‘winning’ for their side.

      I think part of what would help heal is less segregation. I grew up in a segregated neighborhood after my parents tried for over a year to find an integrated one in the suburbs, and failed. Luckily for me, the places they grew up became safe, and ten years ago I moved to Rego Park, Queens, to have the kind of life they always wanted for me.

      It cheers me every single day. I see women in chadors in the kosher bakery, older Chinese women using halting Spanish with the store clerk, black businessmen commuting in suits and ties, and just everyone existing, side by side.

      It’s not a miracle solution. We don’t have much crime but I’ll guess there are tensions I don’t see or hear about. But I can’t help but think that from my experience, it’s a great start. At the very least, it is a delicious way to live. I love coming home.

    • geckomommy

      That is definitely one of the most beautiful things about NYC!

    • LET

      Thank you both for your commentary. I really appreciate the dialogue. While I admit I do agree with gecko mommy on how the case is portrayed, I am glad you shared your perspective & I admit I can never truly know how it would feel to walk in Trayvon’s shoes. All the commentary on the case has really made me think& I find it very refreshing.
      As far as the article, I was definitely tearing up. I can’t imagine what it must be like to worry about my family like that. I definitely don’t have the answers on how to solve the issue…I hope we get there.

    • jack_sprat2

      An honest discussion on the subject also needs to include truths which are uncomfortable for both sides. It’s the racial REALITY of crime that ‘colors’ white perceptions.

    • jack_sprat2

      It wasn’t the police who mishandled the case. The then State’s Attorney made an impromptu appearance at the police station, during the wee hours of the night, whereupon she closeted with the chief. When he emerged, Zimmerman was let go.

      Point of fact: As in most jurisdictions, the State’s Attorney is the SENIOR law enforcement officer, even if not in line of command. Their decision in such matters is controlling. The cops have gotten a bad rap here.

    • Unhappy Gilmore

      Actually, yeah, it does matter that a picture of a 12-year-old child was used rather than a current photo. It is irresponsible journalism, for one. I wouldn’t expect Mommyish readers and/or writers to understand that though. And it’s important to note Zimmerman’s race because HIS race is what insitigated this entire incident. If the exact same scenario had gone down, but Zimmerman was an overzealous black or Asian or fucking alien green neighborhood watchman, than nothing would have happened because Zimmerman being “white” is what allowed this entire circus to come to fruition. And, yes, I can honestly say that if a white boy in a hoody and backpack that Zimmerman didn’t know had been watlking through, he would have eyed him with suspicion as well. You can keep trying to make this about race, but it won’t make it true. It’s a shame people are focusing so much on this “racial-motivated” incident when there are actual cases that could be addressed.

    • jack_sprat2

      “What difference does it make what picture the media used?”

      You’re kidding, right? The media deliberately cast this as a racial morality play. In doing so, it CHOSE to angelicize the deceased, rather than showing him as he actually appeared to Zimmerman and the world, at the time of his death. It ALSO chose to demonize Zimmerman, as well as to cast him in the role of honorary ‘white man’/'oppressor’. That’s called putting one’s thumbs on the Scales of Justice. It also exposes the corrupt souls i n the media business for what they are.

    • The Great Queen Spider

      The answer to the photo question is answered by snopes. If my link does not work google has the answer. http://www.snopes.com/photos/politics/martin.asp
      Perhaps he just looked young for his age.

    • Haradanohime

      That picture of Trayvon Martin on Snopes is not the the one that was killed. I’ve seen other articles saying it’s a kid by the same name. Here’s one according to http://www.examiner.com/article/zimmerman-vs-martin-the-trial-being-held-online

  • TMill

    Great piece! As an African American woman in the south, yes, there are indeed hoards of silent racists. That’s the most common kind nowadays. The loud kind are shunned, but the silent ones? Nope.

  • lalala

    People will experience prejudices and hatred for all different reasons. Whether it is because you are gay, your race, religion, etc.

    I think in this case bad judgments were made on both sides: Zimmerman should’ve identified himself, Martin should’ve walked away rather than engaging with Zimmerman. It is a tragedy that a kid had to die over this and I feel very badly for his parents.

    Why not teach your son to be strong and how to act in situations like this rather than having a “well I can’t do anything, this is how the world is” approach and saying I can’t do anything about this because of his ethnicity. Why not say, “hey if you are confronted with a situation like this, you need to walk away/deescalate”? Why not give him the tools to not find himself in a situation like above and to make smarter choices than either of the two individuals did.

    From having read previous articles of yours, you seem to want to take ideas that fit into your agenda of what you want to talk about rather than actually trying to identify what is really going on. I don’t think I will be reading anything written by you from now on honestly. While you are certainly entitled to your opinion and I respect that it doesn’t seem like you look at different issues/ideas with an educated, open mind and willingness to accept that there may be different attitudes/ideas out there.

    • crankylex

      Why is it always the responsibility of the person who is the victim to back down, to disengage? Why is it never the responsibility of the ignorant racist, sexist, homophobe, whatever, to control themselves?

    • lalala

      Did you not read my comment? I also said that he shouldn’t have acted in manner he did – why not identify yourself, say ‘Hey i’m part of neighborhood watch, we have recently had some issues in area, is there anything I can help you with” rather than make it a hostile situation.

      It would be nice if the ignorant racist, homophobe people would control themselves but unfortunately they often don’t and we as people can only control your own actions. Would you rather rely on the other person controlling their own actions than yourself ? And then you get this unfortunate result. You may be in the right, but would you rather find yourself dead and be right? That was all I was trying to say.. I don’t think it is okay that people act in that matter- but you can only control your own destiny.

    • Amber

      It’s just like those stupid ass women who keep getting themselves raped because they won’t stop going to the bars or wearing slutty clothing, right?

      Stupid fucking victims, if they’d just stop being so stupid they wouldn’t be raped or killed. What’s wrong with them?

      /sarcasm

    • A-nony-mous

      You’re giving Zimmerman and any criminal a pass by simply saying “That’s the way it is”…which is also ironic since you specifically criticized Eve above for that very thing.

      As a society we always focus on the person that is there in any unfortunate situation because it’s easy. They’re an easy and fast target for our frustration and anger. Even if we acknowledge that it’s displaced feelings that doesn’t make it better because we’re still punishing someone who has already been victimized instead of using that energy to find the perpetrator and to put our feelings where they rightfully belong. You see it time and time again in our society.

      Who gets bashed when teens get pregnant? It’s the mother. She’s visible and she’s around and an easy target. The father is long gone and almost never hears a word about his behaviour.

      If someone gets raped, what do we hear? It’s all about how the victim dressed, where they were, how much they drank, what their sexual past was. It’s all about how they caused their own rape. The rapist is usually long gone and it’s never about how awful what they did was and how they should have controlled themselves. It’s always on the victim to have dressed better or done something differently.

      If someone gets mugged or robbed, what do we hear? Well you deserved it because you forgot to lock your car door or you parked your car behind that tree or walked down a street someone decides you shouldn’t have been on.

      If only we used all that focus and anger on the actual offenders. But we’ve basically blown our wad by the time any are tracked down, and psychologically damaged the victim again.

      Whether you want to accept it or not, it *is* the responsibility of the bigoted person to learn to be better. There is zero excuse in that and if people stopped trying to excuse their relatives or friends for being bigoted with lame excuses like “Well that’s how they were raised” or “They’re old and can’t change” then we might get somewhere. You’re NEVER too old to change. NEVER too old to be polite and your background doesn’t matter either. You learned to use a toilet, you can learn to stop using offensive words and beliefs.

    • Rachel Sea

      If we are more modest/moral/sensible/street-smart than the victim then it won’t happen to us.

    • A-nony-mous

      That’s completely naive. You can never go out when it’s dark outside and still have someone break into your house and mug or rape you. You can park your car beside a police station and it could still be stolen or broken into. You can dress conservatively and still be raped. Rape is not about attraction, it’s about power. ‘Ugly’ people and elderly people are raped all the time, sadly.

      It has nothing to do with being ‘smart’. You can’t outsmart people who are determined to hurt you. They will simply wait as long as it takes. Serial killers have stalked their victim for weeks and even months before they find that opportunity to act. In many cases those victims *did* everything ‘right’ but you can’t be escorted around 24/7/365 so that you’re never alone and the moment you are…if someone is determined enough…they’ll come after you and that’s not your fault.

    • LET

      I thought she was being sarcastic & commenting on why people victim blame…could be wrong, though.

    • A-nony-mous

      I hope so. :-p It’s hard to tell online especially if you’re not super familiar with specific posters.

    • Rachel Sea

      That exactly what I was saying. The victim-blaming mentality is fear based. If it can somehow be justified, however wrongly, to be the failing of the victim, then the victim-blamer is safe.

    • Amber

      Oh thank god, I thought you were being serious. LOL

    • Véronique Houde

      somehow i knew that you were being sarcastic lol…

    • jack_sprat2

      Living in Metro Detroit, watching local TV news for some fifty years, I’ve had no need to have someone else explain to me why the headline “Several Children Killed In House Fire” is so often accompanied by photos or film of grieving black people. Care to guess why?

      Well, when I was in my early teens, my grandparents, who had lived in their house for decades, were subjected to armed house invasion. Five times, within the span of less than a single year.

      After the second, they installed bars on all of the windows. After the fourth, they installed steel security doors and double dead bolt locks. The fifth young man used a 15-pound sledge hammer to break in through the freaking WALLS.

      After which, they finally fled the City, along with all of the other supposedly ‘racist’ whites. They got $4,000 for a house which they had spent $35,000 rehabbing (from the studs up), less than five years prior. They lived out their lives in an old trailer, on a relative’s farm, far from the friends of a lifetime.

      (Betcha didn’t need to ask what single identifying physical characteristic united the five separate young men who stole their lives from them, did you?)

      My point? I’ve lived in several States and visited many others. I’ve yet to find bars on windows in white communities, no matter how poor they might be. On the occasional bar or pharmacy, yes. Not on the homes.

      Crucial differences.

    • Amber

      Bullshit. Criminals don’t give a shit how modest or sensible or street smart you are. They don’t attack people to teach them a lesson.

      They attack because they’re sick fucks who like to attack people. You can tell yourself you’re safe from all the sick fucks in the world because you dress like a nun and you’re oh so smart if it helps you sleep at night but it’s bullshit.

    • The Great Queen Spider

      You can be all those things to the max and could still become a victim. You’ve got quite a lot of things to learn to be honest. Your views of the world are far too simplistic.

    • Rachel Sea

      Oh for goodness sake. I was explaining, in brief, the rationale behind victim-blaming. I was not making any judgement call.

    • jack_sprat2

      I’m white. I was born in the City of Detroit and have lived most of my life in its suburbs. When I was in my mid-teens, I walked freely about some of the ‘harder’ parts of the City, never nervous among the many blacks who lived there.

      Things changed. Now, only a damn fool would do what I did then. If my nephews, much less my nieces, were to do, now, what I did then, I’d call their corpses fools at the viewing. Facts are facts.

    • Rachel Sea

      Zimmerman wouldn’t have done that, because he wasn’t part of neighborhood watch, he was just a vigilante.

      If everyone lived as though a vigilante could get them at any time, there would be nothing to live for, we’d just all sit in our houses, scared and alone.

    • jack_sprat2

      Why, yes, which is why my heart bleeds for all of the children, overwhelmingly black, who die in house fires, because their parents felt the need to protect them from home invasion, by installing security bars on their windows. It’s a great pity that those parents so often feel it safer to take that risk, than to risk the other. But, it’s a choice which must often be made.

      None of them are doing it to protect their kids from Night Riders of the Ku Klux Klan, though.

    • Elizabeth

      Why would we expect the irrational one to make moves to deescalate a bad situation?

    • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

      Is that because I have different attitudes/ideas than you? I don’t give a shit if you read my articles. In fact, don’t.

    • alice

      maria – why didn’t you write this article from the perspective that martin’s death could’ve been avoided had *his own mother* simply taught him to “walk away/deescelate” ????

      oh, because you don’t believe that to be true?

      I’M NOT READING YOUR ARTICLES ANYMORE!

    • Gangle

      Why didn’t a grown man know to walk away? I would expect a grown man of the world to know how to deescalate a situation before I would expect a teenaged boy to.
      Victim blamers are the pits.

    • C.J.

      A grown man should have know better than to create a situation in the first place. There shouldn’t have been anything to deescalate. A boy should be able to go to the store without being confronted. How do any of us know if he did try to walk away. How do any of us know if he feared for his life and was just trying to fight back. Unfortunately no one will ever know both sides of the story since one side can’t tell their story. Maria obviously has fears about how her family will be treated where she lives, why wouldn’t she write the article from that point of view.

    • alice

      i was being sarcastic ;)

    • C.J.

      I’m sorry, didn’t realize.

    • jack_sprat2

      “How do any of us know if he did try to walk away”

      Here’s how I know: The trial transcript. The audio tape of the 9-1-1 call.

      Zimmerman parked the car during the call. Shortly afterward, he tells the operator that Martin just passed his car. (At that point, Martin is walking in the direction of his father’s house, which is only ONE HUNDRED YARDS away.) It is then FOUR MINUTES before we hear the sound of Zimmerman opening the car door and exiting the vehicle.

      A STROLL, for a fit young man like Martin, is roughly three MPH. That’s 5,280 yards in an hour, which is 3,600 seconds. At that speed, he could’ve walked the gap to the house in 1 min 8 seconds. What did he do, crawl on his hands and knees? Walk on his hands?

    • Jane Doe

      This article was dripping BS, at least the aspects regarding the Zimmerman trial. Really. Anybody who looks at this trial and sees ONLY race is a moron and needs to take a step back. You ate up everything the media told you like a sheep grazing in the field. You are gullible and obviously ignorant to think that Zimmeran decided to kill a young black boy for sport simply because he was black. If this was a legit instance of racial profiling and murder, I would say string up Zimmerman, but it is NOT. It is nothing but racial-baiting stirred up by the media and you bought it hook, line and sinker. Congratulations for having the ability to think for yourself. I’m sure it’s fun living in fear of NOTHING.

    • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

      You need to work on your reading comprehension skills. I never said he killed him for “sport.” I said he was suspicious of him because he was black, which led him to follow him, which led to the altercation, which led to a young boy being shot.

    • Jane Doe

      Which led to mass hysteria, which led to people like you working yourselves into a frenzy and suddenly “living in terror” of raising your black sons in today’s world. Calm the fuck down and perhaps come up with some original thoughts.

    • A-nony-mous

      Who’s to say that Zimmerman wouldn’t have simply shot Trayvon in the back if he’d walked away? That he wouldn’t view turning as being aggressive or just plain being rude? It seemed like Zimmerman was gun-in-pocket and ready to kill that night and it likely did not matter what Trayvon said or did. Zimmerman had all his preconceived stereotypes and racism and that’s all he needed.

      I think it’s important to acknowledge the world as it is. That’s not defeatist, as you imply. It’s realism. This constant naive attitude that we try to pass off as ‘hope’ or ‘optimism’ doesn’t help because we minimize the seriousness of racism when we simply go “But we can be the bigger person!” “But we can act differently!” “But there’s other nice things in the world to focus on!” It’s an easy cover and distraction technique that enables us to feel like we’re doing something when we’re really just dodging talking about the issue. We NEED to face up to our faults and our racism and our stereotypes or else we really won’t ever get beyond them and I think that’s something that we haven’t done as a nation and most of us haven’t even seriously stopped to do as people. Many of us who are not part of a minority are not taught in school about ‘white privilege’ and don’t understand the kinds of things that are described above.

    • Paul White

      Well, given that Zimmerman *didn’t* shoot until he was losing a fight, I think it seems unlikely he’d have shot if Martin hadn’t physically attacked him.

      There’s *no* evidence Zimmerman actually tried to detain Martin; given the fact that we had a phone recordings of the incident (no video but audio) it seems like we actually do have a fairly decent idea of what happened. It seems like:

      Zimmerman followed Martin
      Zimmerman lost Martin
      Martin came up and started beating Zimmerman
      Zimmerman shot Martin.

      That *seems* be be what happened. But there was no actual evidence, of any sort, that we’ve seen in the trial or media that Zimmerman tried to grab Martin or confront him.

  • keelhaulrose

    People claimed during the Paula Deen scandal that racism was a thing of the past, that it’s dead, and the only people who are still racist are crotchety old folks who will die off soon.
    They need to read this article, and some of the responses. Racism is alive and well, even if it’s no longer confined by the government.

    • Whitney

      Thank you! It is alive and well–and a terrifying thing.

    • jack_sprat2

      Thing is, Antebellum Nostalgia is NOT proof of racism, just of racial obliviousness. Nothing I saw was conclusive proof of Deen’s supposed racism. She’s certainly clueless, as many are, but there’s no evidence that her foolish attitudes harmed anyone other than herself. (Frankly, I rather wish that I could condemn her further, but that’s because I loathed both her and her get from the first time that I saw their cooking show. It always felt like sugared emotional feces to me; I, rightly or wrongly, couldn’t help forming in my mind the image of a vicious sow and her half-grown piglets.)

  • Rachel Sea

    I was raised near San Francisco but my family is all from southern states, including Florida, and they tried to raise me to be a racist. I’m very ashamed, and embarrassed, to admit that my first impulse, when I see a black man walking towards my car, is that I need to lock my doors. I never do it, because the rational part of my brain knows that that is fucking racist bullshit, but my mom made such a big deal about it all the time, whenever we drove anywhere (one of my first memories is being made to lie on the floor of the car, because we were driving through Oakland and my mom was sure that a black person was going to shoot at us), that it seems hardwired, and I can’t get my subconscious to stop.

    I think that is the last vestige of racism in my brain, but what if it isn’t? Could I be trusted to be 100% impartial if I were on a jury? I hope so, but I fear not. If I, who am hyperaware of any racist tenancies in myself, who loves a bunch of people who aren’t white, can still have this thing that I can’t get myself to stop thinking, what about people who aren’t afraid they might be racist? FFS, my mom still INSISTS she’s not racist, because black people have higher incidence of [insert racist talking points here]. She would have acquitted Zimmerman in a heartbeat, because she too would think that a black kid, with a hood up, walking at night, was up to no good.

    This case has highlighted that white people can murder black people in stand-your-ground states, because all they need for an acquittal is fear. It makes me glad my mom doesn’t own a gun, and it makes me terrified for the people I love who are black.

    • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

      I grew up in Southern Oregon, and Southern Oregon is about on-par with the deep south (Surprisingly enough, the racism is not towards black people, it’s far more towards Mexicans), and when I moved up to the big city I still had racist tendencies, I am absolutely ashamed of some of the things I said when I was younger. I actually got smacked, threatened, and a bunch of other things before I realized “Dude, what you’re saying is NOT OKAY.”

      I think the funny thing is I never believed it, I never believed that anyone is different because of the way they look, but I still had these hurtful words hard-wired into my head.

    • Rachel Sea

      I’m relieved that I’ve never had an impulse to use any of the racial slurs I know (and I’m pretty sure I know every single one that was in use before 1995). My sister does, and it’s absolutely nauseating.

    • jack_sprat2

      Rachel Sea, I grew up in Metro Detroit, myself. When I began driving, in 1976, I never locked my doors. (Mind, my three cars had no power door locks.) Well, round about 1979, while in Pontiac, I stopped at a BBQ shack, for pick-up. When I returned to my car, there were a couple of tall, fit, young black men in the lot. Being somewhat naive, I failed to check my ‘six’. When I slipped into my seat, the two of them opened the passenger door and helped themselves to the back seat. I managed to convince them to leave, without further incident, but it seemed touch and go to me. (Perhaps I’m racist, for not trusting in their angelic natures?)

      Well, being a generous soul, I went on much as before, only occasionally locking my doors while out. Until around 1991, when I was shopping at a video store, once again in Pontiac. Returning to my car, I was startled when a large black man helped himself to my front passenger seat. He proceeded to play a familiar con, which involves presuming a preexisting relationship. (It often has a special power when used by black cons on white marks, as many whites will reflexively wish not to be seen as being one of those who think that “they all look alike.”) Judging it the safest course, I simply drove him the mile or so to his destination, where crack was being sold more or less openly on the street. Needless to say, I declined his offer to make a return trip.

      Since that day, I ALWAYS lock my car. Not least, so that I don’t have to do so when young black men suddenly hove into view.

      P.S. Whatever lessons were drawn from this case about SYG laws, the Zimmerman defense never cited them. It relied solely on a traditional self-defense rationale, the same one used in Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon.

  • crankylex

    Maria, this hit me right in the gut. I’m white (Italian, no less) and my husband is black and this is the kind of thing I think about all the time. We don’t have any kids, and we’re in our late 30s at this point so it’s not looking likely that we will have them, but thinking about how to keep my theoretical brown skinned kids safe from the people that would be around them has been keeping me up at night for a while. I would also like to be able to walk in public and hold my husband’s hand without cops stopping us to ask me if I’m okay. Do you ask the smiling laughing white woman holding a white man’s hand if she’s okay? DOUBT IT. I am just rubbed raw at this point and I feel like I’m seconds away from totally losing my shit on social media with people who are boo hooing that some imaginary black person somewhere might have thought about calling them a cracker.

    • coffeeandshoes

      Crankylex, I was about to post nearly the same thing. My husband is black and I am white. I’m in the mid-30s and we are trying to conceive so I think about mixed kids a lot. My heart absolutely aches when I think of how my husband is often judged and/or treated poorly because of what he looks like. I can’t ever truly understand what that must feel like; I can only listen and express frustration along with him, though my frustration is that of someone who has never experienced that herself.

      While we have never had anyone give us weird looks when we’re out together, several other friends have. I have about 5-6 girl friends who married outside of their race (to the point where my husband asked if I was part of a crazy club when we first started dating – ha!) and some of them have had trouble.

      I don’t know what the answer is, and I sure wish I did. Something has to change because the atmosphere of intolerance that exists in so many places is shameful.

      For the record, we live in Richmond, Virginia, which had been, in our experience, a surprisingly tolerant place. We are both Northeast natives, and RVA’s past life as the Capital of the Confederacy led us both to jump to conclusions that have, thankfully, not been proven to be universally true.

  • Becca Ward

    I read this and it brought tears to my eyes and made my heart ache. I’m a mother and step mother of three boys in the UK and I just wanted to send my wholehearted support and admiration to you and your family from mine :)

  • disappointed Floridian

    I got tears in my eyes reading this too. I’ve lived in Florida my whole life. I’ve followed Mommyish for a while now, and when I saw that Ms. Guido moved from Brooklyn to Orlando, I thought, “she’s not going to like it here. She’s going to run screaming home.” But I digress. I just wanted to let the author know that she nailed it, in her description of paranoid, red neck, racist Florida; we are one armpit of the country and Texas the other.
    Here’s my vent: I felt so strongly about the verdict of this case that I did something I don’t normally do. I took to Facebook; I almost never make political posts. I am a humble, quiet Democrat most of the time.
    When I complained about the jury being idiots (I know it’s not really their fault but I was seething with rage after listening to that jury member on Anderson Cooper, who seemed at best dim, and at worst a poster girl for the NRA)…anyway….when I posted my disappointment with Florida’s stand your ground laws, a friend jumped all over me about pissing on her newsfeed; that she only wanted to see happy, cute things and that if I had any knowledge of the law (she is a lawyer), I would understand that this verdict was just.
    I unfriended her AND her entire family (because they were backing her up in the FB thread and trying to make me feel misinformed; uh….excuse me. I am NOT misinformed. That was f#ck#ng murder; maybe not first degree murder but manslaughter at THE VERY LEAST. A handsome black kid with the rest of his life ahead of him, was simply protecting himself from a stalker, and he got the death penalty. That’s the way I see it. I can’t continue to associate with anyone who thinks that verdict is fair.
    I have far too many “friends” who get offended if you’re not all roses and rainbows on your social media platforms. But show me something positive, if you please, something to be happy about other than gay marriage being okay in some blue states. It’s a start, but it ain’t enough. Bigotry, gun nuts, women being treating like semen depositories instead of real people….If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention, and I think it’s okay to get out there and post your opinions and fears. Their is no activism in sitting down and shutting up.
    So thank you, Maria Guido. I will share your beautiful writing with my likeminded friends. And I wish you luck in either enjoying what good there is in Florida–and there is some good (you should move to the greater Ft. Lauderdale area; we are the bluest county in the state), or returning someplace like home before your kids are old enough to remember FloriDUH.

    • Rachel Sea

      The verdict was WRONG, but the law made it legally correct. In Florida is doesn’t matter if you start it, if you can convince a jury there is a chance you become scared that the person you attacked is going to finish it, you get to kill them (unless you are black, then Stand Your Ground doesn’t apply and it’s 20-to-Life for you).

      I have family in Florida who I will NEVER visit, thanks to laws like this one.

    • Paul White

      You know that African-Americans are responsible for something like 40%+ of the *successful* SYG claims in Florida?

    • jack_sprat2

      That law had NOTHING to do with this case, though. It was never mentioned in Court, just in the media.

    • Paul White

      You know what?
      There is absolutely no evidence Zimmerman initiated a physical confrontation, and what he was doing was legal; it wasn’t a crime to follow a stranger.

      If he followed Martin, he was being a douche, and being stupid. But those things do not give someone the right to physically attack you, which, well, the evidence is that Martin did. If that is in fact what happened, then Zimmerman is legally in the clear.

      The more I read, the more it seems like the meeting of two people trying to act tough, and well, one of them died because of it.

      To use an example; if someone walked up to me and called me a dumbass motherfucker, I would *not* be legally entitled to physically assault him correct? And he would be legally within his rights to defend himself if I did.

    • Chantelle

      You know what?

      This verdict sends a message to Floridians that they can stalk, harass and provoke confrontation because they have a gun and are within their rights to use it if the victim decides not to cower down and allow for said behavior. Have you ever been followed? Harassed? Threatened? Do you know what it feels like? Of course Trayvon was going to defend himself but with a punch or a shove but because of the SYGL, which Zimmerman was very well versed in, Trayvon didn’t have a chance.

      Is that the message of this verdict? Anyone can approach you and question your whereabouts and identity because they feel they have the right to? They can start a fight because they know they can shoot you and get away with it because they were on a dark, empty street in the rain without any witnesses? And you can’t do anything about it? Can’t talk back, get loud or push an aggressor away because they MIGHT have a gun and can kill you legally?

    • Paul White

      Punching someone isn’t at all on par with shouting at them.
      And there’s not actually evidence that he restrained or touched Martin. At all. That’s the big dividing line, legally.

      Legally? You could walk up to me and ask WTF I think I’m doing, at any public place. It’s rude, it’s gauche, etc. But it’s legal. It isn’t a physical attack. I’d tell you to screw yourself if you did it, but I wouldn’t hit you or knock you down.

    • Haradanohime

      Using your logic: Shooting someone isn’t on par with punching someone.

    • Paul White

      No, but you *can* actually die from being physically assaulted. IT happens every year, a couple thousand times.

    • Haradanohime

      Yes to many abused women as well. That still does not make it Ok to shoot a 17 year old kid when you are a fighter in training and wanting to become a cop.

    • Paul White

      Where are you getting that Zimmerman was a “fighter in training”? Seriously?

      And even if you are…if you’re losing a for real fight, and you don’t know how far it’ll go? I can understand killing to stop it. I’ve actually been on the losing end of a fight or two. It’s terrifying and painful, and you can be VERY scared for your life.

    • Haradanohime

      He was taking training in MMA Style. His Instructor testified in court. If you are taking training courses in any fighting style you are “in Training.” I am not saying he was a fighter but he did take those courses.

    • jack_sprat2

      So what? Mike Tyson punched a man at a traffic incident. He wasn’t even charged, because the evidence supported his contention that the other guy swung first, without sufficient provocation.

    • jack_sprat2

      In every State, not just Florida, a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm is sufficient to excuse the lethal use of force. I’m not required to let you rip me apart like a cookie.

    • jack_sprat2

      Many of the criticisms actually condemn Zimmerman for supposedly not having identified himself and asked Martin questions. Yet, there’s no evidence that that wasn’t Zimmerman’s intent all along.

    • jack_sprat2

      Have I? you didn’t ask. Why, yes, I have, on three separate occasions, each time by young black men, twice a pair, once a single. Each time, I crossed the street on the diagonal; each time, they followed. Each time, they made it more or less obvious that they were just having me on.

      That’s been a common ‘game’, here in Metro Detroit, for more than three decades. As has been the ‘Knock-Out Game’, long before it caught on elsewhere. Tell me, should I have turned on them, committing aggravated assault, in consequence of the fear which they deliberately engendered in me? Were I to have pounded their heads into the pavement, should they have forgone drawing and using their own concealed firearms?

      Young black men follow white people, as well. Be careful what you wish for, or, is this another rule which you imagine should only work in one direction?

    • jack_sprat2

      Well, your friend should know that justice has very little to do with the law. She would have been correct, however, had she told you that the verdict was correct LAW. The prosecution presented no evidence, whereas the defense had several items which supported Zimmerman’s account of things. Juries aren’t supposed to flip coins or bow to prejudice, whether their own or the mob’s.

  • LindsayCross

    Maria, I wish I had a more thoughtful or intelligent comment to make. All I can think to say is that I adore you. This is a powerful, wonderfully written reflection on a very emotional topic. I’m sending you lots of mental love.

  • Chelsea DeLoney

    Thank you so much for posting this. I know what it feels like to be Black in society, but raising a son? I’m scared. I’ll admit that. My son is due in a week and this whole case just reminded me how far we have NOT come. I’m seeing so many people pull the “stop using the race card” and “race has nothing to do with it” crap, but if that was indeed true… why is a grown man who stalked and killed a 17 year old roaming free without being truly judged by a jury of his peers? In order to get a fair judgement we need people from diverse walks of life. Why is a woman who fired a warning shot in her own home against her abusive spouse in jail for 20 years and now allowed to invoke the stand your ground law?! Why is another young Black teen killed (shot 8 times) without having started a confrontation with an older white man?

    It hurts me to the very core of my stomach that my baby boy’s life means nothing to this nation. His father is white and he definitely agrees that Zimmerman should be in jail, but even some of his ideals are scary and backwards. I mean you can’t MAKE someone walk in your shoes. It’s just so easy to say “stop pulling the race card” when you’ve never experienced racism in that way. I’m distraught, sick, and I feel just helpless. The more people who think this is right, that’s the wrong I see in this country.

    Even during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960′s (plus before that) there were people who stood idly by and did NOTHING to help, thinking it was OK to slaughter other citizens because of color. Those people are even more dangerous than blatant racists IMO because they let it happen without enforcing consequences. Passivity is a monster.

    • The Truth

      that woman that “fired a warning shot” turned down a 3 year plea deal like a moron. the reason she got 20 years and found guilty was she left the house AND CAME BACK WITH a gun! If the gun had been there to begin with she wouldnt have gotten 20 years

    • The Truth

      and you have no reason to be scared for your black/milatto son, teach him basic common courtesy and hell do fine, especially in an age that caters to blacks and minorities, such as: lower entrance qualifications for colleges and universities, lower standards for government jobs, grants scholarships for being black, and small business loans for being black. Teach your kid not to be a Trayvon dumbass and not be a thug, maliciously assault and batter neighborhood watch captains, and people will treat him just fine!

    • Chelsea DeLoney

      I say this with all the seriousness I can muster… do NOT call my son mulatto ever again in your life or anyone else. It means mule and it’s a racial slur. When you use racial slurs it makes everything you say invalid. Educate yourself.

    • jack_sprat2

      So far, in Florida, blacks have been MORE successful than whites in invoking ‘Stand Your Ground’. Curiously, Zimmerman never did so, in spite of what most people believe. He was acquitted on old-fashioned grounds of self-defense.

    • jack_sprat2

      “I mean you can’t MAKE someone walk in your shoes.”

      True. For example, who is more likely to kill a member of the ‘other’ race, in America? I suspect that you believe that it would be we conical-hat-and -white-bedsheet-wearing crackers. Well, not so. Between 1970-2010, there were 180,000 more whites murdered by blacks than there were blacks murdered by whites.

      In light of that fact, who should be terrified more on behalf of their children, ma’am?

  • Samantha_Escobar

    “Denying that we have a lot of racial inequities in this country doesn’t make you transcend them; it makes you entitled and naive. Race isn’t even an issue to me! Exactly. That’s the problem. You can’t live in that kind of oblivion and not be responsible for what happens outside of it.”

    The amount of truth in these sentences is just…profound.

  • C.J.

    This brought tears to my eyes. It is sad that in this day people still have to fear because of the colour of their skin. I just don’t understand it. When the verdict came out I had not heard of the case so I googled it. I was shocked to read that a young man was killed while simply walking down the street. I live in a small town in Canada but not your typical small town. It is a very diverse little town that is made up of many different races/religions/cultures and everyone is accepted. That’s part of the reason we have stayed here for the past 12 years. I guess living in such an accepting community for so long it seams so unreal to me that there are still places with so much hatred towards skin colour. Of coarse I do hear the news stories of racism. I just don’t understand how so many people can still think that way. People are people, it shouldn’t matter what colour anyone is.

  • Claudia Nieto Brown

    I wonder how come if a White/or Mexican(or any other light skinned) kills a black person its Racist? But when a Black Person kills someone who is White ect. its not Racist? I’m lost in this @.@, I Don’t Think that Zimmerman &Trayvon Case that’s been on TV had anything to do with Racism, I really think the Media blow it all out just to get a “So Call Juicy Story” it makes me sick how they do that, like they did with the School Shooting saying the guy used a Automatic wep to kill those poor Children, When he really just used 2 hand guns .-. That’s why I don’t watch the news, I just wait for it to be posted on yahoo….then wait some more, cause I know it will change.

    • Ranger Dan

      He used handguns AND an AR15. An AR15 is a semi-automatic rifle that uses a .223 shell, that has an extremely high velocity. It does a lot of damage and depending on the magazine can hold up to 100 rounds. Sorry, but I can’t say that I’ve had the same experiences as you when it comes to white on black or black on white crime. What I have found is that some are racially motivated and some aren’t, regardless of the perpetrator’s race.

    • Claudia Nieto Brown

      Yes I know about to rounds and all that guns uses but he didnt use the AR, he only use the Handguns..the ar was in his trunk. And I know most crimes are mostly not Racial, but the media try to make it seem that way, Yhat is what I was Saying.

  • Amanda

    I grew up in Pine Bluff , AR. I am white, the minority in that city. My sister and I couldn’t even get off the bus with out being jumped by a group of black kids. That didn’t harden my heart towards blacks. Maybe because it was also a group of black kids that would come to our aid. And though I’ve been robbed at gun point by twice by black men I still haven’t hardened my heart. Hell, I’ve caught a white man breaking into my car. I don’t care what color you are. I am not naive enough and so unaware of what happens in the world to think that only black people are capable of committing crimes or that only white people can be racist. I have dated 2 black men. They treated me better than any of the white men I’ve dated. In a gas station once a black man in line bought my beer. A white man has never done that. It doesn’t matter what color you are, growing up in this world is going to be hard. Just like there are people who hate blacks for their skin color, there are going to be blacks that hate others for their skin color. I am no longer in Pine Bluff. I hope to never go back. Just the other night a white friend of mine was riding his bike at 2 am on his day off. He works 3rd shift and was unable to sleep. He was stopped by the cops. After being questioned they let the ex marine go on his merry way. Not one time did he mention whether or not these cops were white. I know that racism exists. And as a white person I’ve been on the receiving end of it. Yes , it was 22 years ago. As an 8 year old, getting beat up because I’m one of 2 white girls on the bus, well I can’t say that hasn’t stuck with me. I can’t tell you how many times I was called a cracker. I also have to admit that as an adult I haven’t been harassed. I also don’t treat a person a certain way because of the color of their skin, the way they dress or the way they talk. All my life I have been surrounded by people of different backgrounds and all walks of life. Because I am white, am I wrong in being worried about my son if he’s surrounded by a group of black kids on a bus or if he’s walking in a black neighborhood to a friend’s house? Does that make me a racist? (my son is 2 btw , so i haven’t come across this situation as of yet)

  • Rosey Williams

    I really hate it when people respond to articles/situations like this with, “I don’t care what color your skin is” or “I don’t even see color” or “Race just doesn’t matter to me.”

    Race matters to me. I’m white, and I teach Black literature at a small four-year college. Look at what Maria said. Her husband goes to the same store she goes to, but her husband’s experience is completely different. That’s why race should matter to you. He goes to the park, and the police find him suspicious but not her. That’s why race should matter to you. He goes out for a ride, and he is more likely to get wrongfully accused and/or followed by the police. That’s why race should matter to you.

    I notice skin color because I know that the color of a person’s skin can and will change so many life experiences from one person to the next. I think about the twins born in England – their parents are both half black and half white; their genes happened to mutate in a way that made one girl completely black and one girl completely white – and I think about how they will grow up together without ever having the same experiences.

    It shouldn’t be a source of pride for people to say they don’t notice color. To not notice color is to pretend that color doesn’t matter, and I’m absolutely positive that Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin will tell you that color matters.

    • Haradanohime

      So it’s not ok to admit our faults? I cannot speak for the other posters reasoning but I will state mine. I was admitting to ignorant of the way things were when I was younger. I WAS kept in a bubble. I lived in a small town where there were not many minorities. My Grandmother was a racist, and I had no idea until long after she had passed away. But stating that I do not see the color of people’s skin does not make me one. I do see color. I just chose not to let it make a difference in how I treat people and it is not what I use to determine an impression on me. I treat everyone I meet equally. I try to make no prejudgments until I get to know that person. Sometimes my information comes from other people but I try to make my own informed decisions. Because of this I have met, had discussions with, and sometimes befriended people that would have scandalized people where I grew up. I know there are other who DO see skin color and DO use it as in influence as to how they treat other people. But how does that make me treating others with equality a bad thing?

  • Let’s Move Along

    You really laid it on thick here. I won’t deny for a second that racism is alive and well. I also don’t think Trayvon Martin deserved to die that night. Not even a little. The most tragic thing about his death is that people only care because he was killed by a “white” man. If he had been gunned down by another black – by the way, your kid has more to fear from other blacks than he does whites – nobody would give a crap. Nobody would have batted an eye, but having a white (HIspanic) guy kill him fit an agenda and the media were off to the races, so to spreak, and everybody jumped on board without considering a single piece of evidence. Zimmerman is guilty of being an overzealous wanna-be cop, and he would have eyed any young male out that night. Trayvon’s race isn’t what set the ball rolling that night. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and his reaction to that May or May Not have contributed to his death, who knows? I’m not going to blame the victim, but this wasn’t about race as much as you and everybody else want to make it about race. Only in America can a brown man shoot a black man and everybody blames whites.

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  • ali 07

    You probably should move to a state without a law that says you can stand your ground if someone fights you. That’s actually what this case was about. Not race. Race is the reason it went to trial and wasted time and money, but the case was about whether someone acted according to the law. And he did.

  • starre

    This is not a response to the article or even the Martin case at all, but a few commenters have posed a question that I would like to respond to. Two years ago, I heard a commotion outside my bedroom window at night. I opened the front door to find a neighbor telling me a young man (18-20 yo) had been in my yard near my daughter’s bedroom window. My neighbor was coming home late and noticed a “suspicious looking guy” in the neighborhood. I have no idea what made him suspicious, but the neighbor got home and was concerned. He decided to walk down the street to check things out. He had a gun with him because he works as a deputy in another county and is usually armed. When he got to my house (15 houses away from his), he saw the guy approaching the side of my house. He yelled for the guy to stop and reached for his gun, but never actually pulled it. Just kept it in the holster with his hand on it. The guy saw this and ran away to my backyard and jumped my fence. The neighbor didn’t pursue, but dialed 911 instead. The guy got away. Why is this relevant? All individuals in this story are white. Yes, white people can be suspicious of other white people. Had the guy turned and charged the neighbor, he would be dead. The neighbor was willing to shoot to protect himself if necessary. He told me so. He was not immediately threatened, so he didn’t need to use the gun, but he was ready to.

  • Whit

    This is so sad and heart-breaking. My grandpa used to get “White Supremacist” mag and was adamantly opposed to my mom marrying a Mexican. Things eventually worked out between the family, but I worry about raising a hispanic son or daughter in the West.

  • Ruby

    Nigger lover.

  • Whitney

    I loved your article. I hope you, your son, and your husband have a happy life in Florida. After this case, I understand your apprehension. I live in the west. My mom is white and my dad Mexican. Growing up, I was the only mexican in my middle class neighborhood for many years. Kids wouldn’t sit by me, because “their parents said mexicans were bad,” and I had an older gentleman show me a large knife once telling me it was can opener,” an afri”can” and mexi”can’ opener” The worst part is when people think racism is dying out. It is very much alive in the younger generations and we need to keep talking about it and bringing awareness to it.

  • Shelbie

    The only thing worse than a nigger is the white woman that produces his kids.

    • starre

      Then why are you reading this article? There is no place for that kind of talk here. I may have differing views than the author and some of the commenters, but I respect them highly and am here to learn from their experiences and share some of mine. Get lost!

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter
  • Momma425

    You know, I dislike how the media is able to manipulate the public and essentially make people feel the way they want. In this case, it was especially apparent that this was happening.

    I grew up in a suburb neighborhood. I know my neighbors, I recognize people who walk by my home for the most part. If I saw someone who I didn’t recognize cutting in between houses in a hooded sweatshirt in the rain, I might be curious or suspect something as well. I don’t care if that person is black, white, Asian, Indian, Hispanic, or from mars- I might suspect something based on the situation and how it felt. Zimmerman lived in a gated community. He didn’t recognize Trayvon Martin, and as part of a neighborhood watch program, he found him suspicious. I don’t understand why everyone is assuming that Zimmerman looked at Trayvon and said, “He is black, and therefore suspicious,” instead of believing what Zimmerman said about the circumstances.

    I don’t understand why people think that Zimmerman just picked Trayvon and murdered him because he was black, instead of out of self-defense as Zimmerman claimed. Not only do the witnesses and evidence all point to Zimmerman telling the truth, but common sense does as well. If Zimmerman was just some crazy, racist psycho that has been roaming around with a gun and willing/ready to shoot the first black kid who comes along- why not just drive up to Trayvon and shoot him point blank? Why not shoot him while following him? Why call the police? Why allow himself to get beat up first? Doesn’t make sense to me.

    And speaking of racism, let’s expand, shall we? When did it become okay for a black kid to make racial comments about someone who is white? Personally, I plan on teaching my white children that it doesn’t matter what color you are- making racial slurs is not okay. It’s not okay to call a black person a nigger, it’s not okay to call a white person a kracker, an Asian person chink eyes, a middle eastern person a towel head, etc… Trayvon’s parents, however, apparently have no problem with their child making racist comments towards Zimmerman-but everyone is up in arms about how terrible the possibility is, even WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE, that Zimmerman was racially profiling Trayvon.

    I know that when media outlets present a story, they present it with a bias. It’s hard not to. In this day and age, where people with guns are shooting up movie theatres and malls and schools, it is hard to side with someone who carries a gun at his hip. It is assumed that anyone carrying a gun intends on using it to murder a bunch of innocent people. However, I had a really hard time looking at Trayvon’s pictures, edited and not current all over the media and saying, ‘wow, we are getting the full story.” In truth, Trayvon has a history of assault. In truth, Trayvon had some involvement with drugs- either selling them or giving them to friends at school. In truth, the “little kid with nothing but skittles in his hands” was taller than Zimmerman. In truth, Zimmerman is half Hispanic. In truth, the audio edits were misleading and edited in a way that made Zimmerman sound racist. In truth, if you listen to the whole tape, he didn’t identify Trayvon as a black kid until later in the phone call with the police only after he was asked. In truth, ABC digitized a surveillance video that they played on air. In truth, the first pictures the media used to Zimmerman were 7 years prior to the incident and those just happened to be pictures where Zimmerman looked much beefier and bigger.

    Believing everything you hear in the news leads to false accusations and is just plain old inaccurate.

    I would be more afraid to raise my child in a society that didn’t believe that a person was innocent until proven guilty. Justice for Trayvon, or anyone who is killed does not mean that we need to send someone else to jail unfairly.

    • Ippoletta

      Dude, just shut the hell up. had Zimmermans fat ass stayed in the fucking car like the real authorities told him to, Trayvon would still be alive today. but no…. he wanted to act like a renegade cop and shoot a kid for no reason. i still hope that some random guy catches Zimmerman and blows his brains out with a shotgun. the only reason he was found not guilty is because his daddy is a judge and has connections.

      end of discussion.

    • jack_sprat2

      Zimmerman also has rights. No one had the right to tell him what to do over the phone and expect to be obeyed. Trayvon would be alive today, had he used the four minutes, between his passing Zimmerman’s parked car and Zimmerman’s leaving said car, to cross the ONE HUNDRED YARDS to his father’s house. As for the rest, you’ve certainly got an ugly soul, yourself, sir.

  • Ranger Dan

    To my understanding, Zimmerman admitted that he did not identify himself to Martin. I brought my kids up to defend themselves. Not knowing what Zimmerman’s motives were, or who he was, Martin did exactly what my kids were taught to do. He was attacked by a stranger.

  • scooby23

    Bravo, bravo! This is a wonderful article. Just wonderful. People that deny racism exists in modern society are almost as bad as the racists themselves. We unfortunately will never completely erase racism from society, but ignoring the fact that it still is alive and well will just make it worse.

    • Jenine Smith

      You have to understand that if you pay the racist any attention, then you’re still letting them have an effect on you. If you ignore the racist and everything that they do, you’ll realize that person is just a coward. In turn, that racist will realize they’re not very powerful.

    • scooby23

      . I guess what I was trying to say is that some people just outright deny that racism still exists in today’s society, which is quite wrong, and can have a very bad effect on people. But yeah, I see what you are saying, giving racists more attention is just what they want. Racism is a very complex and sad issue, in my opinion.

  • Voice of Reason

    First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.. Jeremiah Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.

    Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the ’60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream. Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks — with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas — to advance black applicants over white applicants. Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and individuals all over America have donated their time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes for blacks.
    We hear the grievances. Where is the gratitude??

    Barack talks about new ‘ladders of opportunity’ for blacks. Let him go to Altoona ? And Johnstown, and ask the white kids in Catholic schools how many were visited lately by Ivy League recruiters handing out scholarships for ‘deserving’ white kids…? Is white America really responsible for the fact that the crime and incarceration rates for African-Americans are seven times those of white America ? Is it really white America ‘s fault that illegitimacy in the African-American community has hit 70 percent and the black dropout rate from high schools in some cities has reached 50 percent?

    Is that the fault of white America or, first and foremost, a failure of the black community itself?

    As for racism, its ugliest manifestation is in interracial crime, and especially interracial crimes of violence. Is Barack Obama aware that while white criminals choose black victims 3 percent of the time, black criminals choose white victims 45 percent of the time?

    Is Barack aware that black-on-white rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse, that black-on-white robberies were 139 times as common in the first three years of this decade as the reverse?

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  • Brandy

    Zimmerman isn’t white. He is hispanic. Just thought I’d point that out to the author.

  • LaVonne

    Maria, your story has tears streaming down my face. My husband and I are Black Latinos originally from the Bronx NY. Before starting a family we moved to northern, Virginia to offer better childhood experiences to our beautiful babies. Our daughter is 6 and our son is 3. Everyday I am so fearful thinking about the challanges that lay before both of my children because of the color of their skin. Ignorance, intolerance, racial profiling does not seem to be going anywhere in this country. After Trayvon Martin’s verdict my entire family has felt a very heavy burden. It is with a heavy heart that I say the only thing that we can do is pray that our children (the future) will rise above the inexplicable ignorance and break the cycle.
    Love & Peace.

  • The Truth

    You obviously suffer from a condition called “white guilt”. White guilt is a tactic that liberals/blacks have used to brainwash white people so they feel guilty for something they have not personally done, and make them forget about how blacks as a majority (not all) are lazy, into drugs and crime, lustfull, believe they are “victims” and dont try to better themselves, and they now get free: welfare, food stamps, unemployment, disability, and now Obamacare (reperations?)

    I love how you forgot to mention the fact that trayvon attacked Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain mind you, instead of that trayvon acting like a civilized person and just saying, “Hey who are you? What do you want?” But no, your innocent little 17 year brutally attacked the HISPANIC neighborhood watch captain and beat his head in senselessly into the sidewalk. Amazing how you forgot to mention that fact, as well as how the media created the new word “white-hispanic” in order to turn this into a race issue (creepy ass cracka?)

    I truly feel sorry for you, you obviously suffer from the “white guilt” liberal brainwashing mental illness. If you have no idea why your dad would be upset when you brought a black guy home with you, you are obviously a moron. You probably believe all the FBI statistics about black males causing crime, STD’s, knocking up women, unemployed, unmarried, etc is all fake right? And I am sure that your parents would be happy to know that you ended there genetic line, now their/your family line will look nothing physically and mentally like all previous generations of your family ever again, as well as have IQ scores drop and lives of crime. I am sure your Dad will be so proud that his daughter banged (married? ya right) a black guy and has milatto babies now, so your father can know that his daughter will forever be involved in the welfare systems, judicial systems, and of you feeling inferior to blacks and always being called “snowflake”

    Youll get what you deserve unfortunately for you, you will never be happy even if blacks took over the world and you were the last white left things. Without any other races to blame but themselves, blacks and you would just go back to living in mud huts throwing spears like all the blacks living in Africa

  • The Truth

    Aww deleting posts you dont agree with huh? keep living the lie…

  • cmecu

    this story is biased

  • cmecu

    it’s the 1 sided view here. First thing we know we trade fine wasn’t a innocent angel everybody would like to pay him he’s had juvenile record breaking and entering stealing jewelry have seen him in pictures with his gun smoking weed. He was out that night getting ingredients for a drug called purple drank. On his way back home his activity look suspicious a guy who is not white as the writer of the story makes a person out to be this is always gotta be a white black saying and its not he was Hispanic. They get into a struggle Trayvon is basically assaulting violently Zimmerman. Zimmerman feels his life is being threatened and he defends himself like any American should. You’re right to life and when somebody is trying to take that away like Trayvon was and you have every right to defend yourself.there’s always an agenda going on somebody’s trying to paint this is racism and its not when two people don’t like each other that doesn’t mean it’s racism when two people disagree doesn’t mean it’s racism even if two people kill each other it doesn’t mean it’s racism things happen and it doesn’t have to be racism people who push racism are the racists them self.

  • Ray Mondo

    Your father died ashamed of you.

    It is the idea that you date african men – you can call it “preference” if you want, but what it actually is is that you are declaring european men as not good enough to fulfill your intimate desires – dating outside your race, and especially reproducing outside your race is a shun to your own ethnicity. Your children will never identify as anything but “black”, and be a part of “black culture”, and then finally becoming a part of the anti-white “anti-racism” movement and further the reproductive genocide of this race.

  • Brett

    What about blatantly ignoring the racism in wanting so badly to blame a white person that half the country somehow overlooks the fact that Zimmerman is clearly not white?

  • Jenine Smith

    I said to myself that I won’t look at too many race stories or articles in the new year, but I just couldn’t pass up this one. I read through this whole article and just shook my head. Maria, if you continue to make your son feel like his black half is
    gonna be a problem in the country, then eventually he will either be
    ashamed of his black side and feel like it’s a burden or he’ll cling to
    his black side and blame whites and everyone else for what’s wrong with
    the African American community. Either way it’s a vicious cycle. Trayvon Martin was a troubled teen at the wrong place at the wrong time. If you do your research, he was sent to live with his father because his mother couldn’t control his bad behavior. I’m not justifying what George Zimmerman did. And before anyone tells me I don’t know what it’s like to be black in America, I’m also half black and white. The only difference with me is that it’s the opposite way around. My black mother never ceased to tell me how people in the world would see me. One time, she and her then boyfriend discouraged me from going to Australia because of the color of my skin. And let me tell you, it didn’t set well with me and still doesn’t especially now that I’m older. What makes it sad is that some black people, particularly women, are still discouraging me from dating people of certain races. You can’t tell me that what they’re doing isn’t a form of bullying.

    I don’t wanna go through life feeling like people won’t accept me because I’m part black. I don’t want my black half to determine my place in society because it doesn’t. And here’s another thing. If you’re so liberal, then why are you still making the color of someone’s skin such an issue? I never met your father before. I’m not doubting the fact that he may have been racist. But, what you fail to realize was that was his problem. You should just tell your son to be proud of who he is and just brush off any racism that comes his way. The U.S. as a whole has come too far to go back since the Civil Rights Movement. Some Americans are still so obsessed with race it’s mind boggling. That’s why when I do get married, I’m not gonna make race an issue. Hell, I may even hide my biracial background because it’s not important. I’ll just tell any foreign guy I meet that I’m American. As long as I’m a good wife, that’s all that matters. End of story.

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  • handycappt

    I hope that one day you grow up and stop blaming your Father for YOUR feelings

  • frank ford

    Maria Guido is a dumb slut!

  • loads of races

    If you have a problem with a certain race, you have to remember that that certain race makes up half of mankind. Say something racist in public, you will risk getting your ass kicked by the millions of white, asian, black whatever people who also get offended..

  • Richard

    Lots of American blacks go to Africa to find themselves, or come to terms with their identities. I know, I grew up there. It might be a good idea for you to do this; not South Africa, which has too many white people to be “properly” African, but somewhere maybe linked to his father’s origins, Nigeria or South Sudan or Ghana, somewhere like that. It is very difficult for mixed-race people to come to terms with their mixture. Sometimes the children ask whether their white parent hated whites to marry somebody of another race, or if the black parent hated or was ashamed of being black. In Africa there is also discrimination against mixed-race people, unless they are famous American politicians, of course! But don’t think this is a problem unique to the USA, or to white people. In any event, I wish your son the best of luck in his life.