To the Editor:
I wish to comment on Jerry Marchese’s letter about the Zimmerman verdict and race (Kane County Chronicle, July 26, 2013), and I must say I do agree with his last point – the issue is not going to go away any time soon.
On the Internet one morning, I saw something that reminded me of the last flying B-29 Superfortress aircraft, named FIFI. A mother of eight and the only nonwhite juror on the Zimmerman jury looking full-face into the camera on network TV, saying how she cannot sleep, so unfair to the family of the slain teenager. Her heart is aching.
So, let us recap how this mother felt – a teenager is followed home by someone driving a car then they get out and follow on foot. They have a gun; the teenager did not. It’s dark, and they did not know this person following. The teen may have felt threatened and felt the need to defend himself. Remember, Zimmerman was the aggressor. Zimmerman decided to get out of his vehicle and follow the teen. Why didn’t Zimmerman let the police handle everything, instead of engaging the youth? Zimmerman, it turns out, applied to be a police officer and was rejected.
Sometimes, I think being raised in a crazy, mixed-up family was a blessing. It gives me insight to a behavior I have often used myself. You know, when you are upset or sad, pretending everything is fine because you must be a professional “whatever.” The show must go on. Paste on the plastic smile and wish everyone a nice day. People, in general, would like to pretend we don’t have racism in America. Maybe if we all pretend we don’t have racism, it will go away.
Over the years, I have engaged in discussions about race over the Internet. I feel pleased that President Barack Obama has taken a moment to put in his own perspective on being black in America. His statements come almost one century after another U.S. president endorsed a viewpoint of blacks so distorted and hateful, in my view, it echoes still today.
Even in the 21st century some pockets of the South foster old wounds. It was dangerous to be black in the South in the past, and – as I contend – it often still is dangerous to be black in the South.