False Equivalencies.

The Trayvon Martin case has captured the nation but for some it has become a way to make their own political points, and it is not who you think.  Yes, people like Al Sharpton dedicated the better part of the last month to the case, but he was invited in by Martin's parents.  But there has been a steady parade of false equivalencies.  The first came in the form of a gang related shooting in downtown Indianapolis, people like Abdul-Hakim Shabazz wondered aloud if there would be a march for dead black youth killed by other members of their own race.  Then some reached back into the last decade, when a white couple were brutally killed by a group of young African-American men and some asked "where were the marches".  (In fact I recall a few but there was a lot less national outrage), and once again today another call for some kind of march for black on black killing in Indy.  Some don't see the difference.  The marches in the Martin case had more to do with the lack of the police and district attorney's interest in following the evidence and at least investigating the crime.  In each other situation the police did their jobs and in at least two mentioned arrests were made.  Unlike the Martin case where there seemed to be more interest in the police smearing the victim's memory than finding cause to arrest the man who executed him.

So some say marches only occur when a black person is killed by someone outside of their community.  But this weekend two young white men were randomly shooting black people in Tulsa OK killing 3 and injuring 2.  The police did their jobs, there were arrests and while preliminary reports suggest that race played a role there is no call at this writing for protests.  Again the police worked with the community and did their jobs.  As the investigation moves forward as long as the law is used in an appropriate way in a week we will likely not be talking about it.  You see the protest is not that a young black man was killed in Florida when George Zimmerman stalked him and shot him.  It was that the authorities were not interested in justice.  Regardless of race we should all expect justice and frankly we should take to the streets when it doesn't come from those we hire to bring it.

While I agree we should be outraged by black and black crime, I believe that the very lack of value placed on the life of Trayvon Martin and many other African Americans by the authorities have helped lead the devaluing of life by the very young black men who throw shots at each other so comfortably.  Perhaps in the interest of moving forward we can organize a real discussion about this and not stand on soap box and scream at each other.


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