Emily L. Hauser with a clear, bottom-line description of white privilege as regards the Trayvon Martin case (and many others):
I bring this up now because I’ve been thinking a lot about all the parents of African American boys who are holding their sons a little closer today in the wake of the horrible, heartbreaking Trayvon Martin case.
My aunt is one of those moms — white as me, but mom to a black man who was once young, a young black man who was stopped for jogging in his own neighborhood, a young black man for whom she would tremble a little whenever he went into the city.
Like every other parent of a young black man, my aunt knew that my cousin could be frisked, arrested, and even killed for little but his youth, gender, and skin.
Like Trayvon Martin.
Like Travares McGill.
Like Sean Bell.
Like Amadou Diallo.
Like Oscar Grant.
Like Orlando Barlow.
Like Aaron Campbell.
Like Steven Eugene Washington.
Like Kiwane Carrington.
UPDATE: It appears that Zimmerman may find out that privilege has its limits:
The boy’s father says police depicted George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot an unarmed Miami Gardens teenager while on his nightly patrol, as “squeaky clean.” Then Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee told an Orlando TV station that the gunman didn’t have a criminal record — technically true: Charges in the shooter’s 2005 felony arrest, which the chief did not mention, had been dropped.
Now Chief Lee, who came on the job just 10 months ago for $102,000 a year to clean up a department tainted by racial scandals, finds himself under fire in what promises to be one of the most explosive law enforcement cases of the year. For weeks, black leaders have called for the firing of Lee, a Sanford native with a three-decade career in law enforcement whose father once ran the nearby black neighborhood’s convenience store.
In a 3-2 vote Wednesday night, the Sanford City Commission gave the chief a vote of no confidence, adding to the mounting national pressure to oust him.
The price paid in blood for this cleanup is too high; let’s hope they get it right.