2013-07-26 / Columnists

An Intern’s Take

Dirty Laundry
By Ilyassha Shivers

It took a week of deep thought and soul searching but our President finally weighed in on the Trayvon Martin verdict. I sat and listened to Mr. Obama defend the system that rendered the decision and then give a back drop to lend some perspective from the African American experience. If you don't live under a rock or like me are without phone, cable or internet service you have been inundated with television personalities bashing the president for speaking out on issues that have been swept under the rug far too long.

I always like to bring things full circle to help paint a clear picture without letting my emotions take the driver’s seat. People in their 60’s are well aware of the history of this nation. Some have attended segregated schools, lived in segregated communities or, in the case of my father, had a cross burned on his front lawn. You don't have to go back that far to understand almost 50 years ago a young African American man was literally beaten to death for whistling at a white woman. His name was Emmett Till.

President Obama took this opportunity to shed light on some of America’s dirty little secrets. During the 60's when people were having water hoses turned on them and having dogs attack them and they were being beaten police the world didn’t know until television sent the pictures around the world.. It wasn't until then that the international community become aware of the plight of African-Americans.

We fast forward to 2013. It’s reported that there were more than a hundred demonstrations across the country this past weekend in support of the Martin family and against the one sided justice that was rendered in that Florida court room.

As I pointed out to a follower of my column, we will never know what really took place on that afternoon in 2011, but even if there was an assault, it did not warrant the death penalty. So to get back to the point and return the premise, there has been a concerted effort in this country to downplay race. You constantly hear that we live in a post-racial society, and that race is no longer the determining factor when decisions are being made.

One of my favorite movies is A TIME TO KILL. If you are not familiar check it out. In this story a young black girl is beaten, raped, and left for dead. To make a long story short, her father kills one of the men and ends up on trial for murder. As the case comes to a close, it’s left to the closing arguments where the prosecution lays out the evidence and gives it over to the defense. The lawyer for the defense tells the jury to close their eyes, as he retells the story, not leaving out any details, and then shocks the jury asking them to imagine if the little girl was white.

So I ask does the outcome of the trial change if Mr. Zimmerman kills an unarmed white youth? They say art imitates life but that was a movie. So what do you think? Are we living in a post racial society, or is a man still judged by the color of his skin.

You can email me at shiverswave@gmail.com …...Keep reading the Wave

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