Friday, July 26, 2013

Dear Ms. Martin - Regarding Your Speech To The National Urban League

Ms. Martin:

Regarding your speech at the National Urban League, let me first say that I sympathize with your overwhelming grief at the loss of your son. I can assure you that, despite what some are asserting, the loss of your son's life resonates deeply throughout all of America, irrespective of politics or skin color. In that, please accept my heartfelt condolences.

Ms. Martin, it is apparent that in your grief, you are looking about for anyone or anything to blame for the death of your son. You are looking around for something to give some greater meaning to your son's death. No one can begrudge you that. We would all react similarly.

That said, Ms. Martin, you are being used. While no one can have even the slightest doubt that your grief is real, it is grief blind to reality, and you are being manipulated by those of your skin color who have staked their careers on furthering racial division and the canards that this is still the America of Emmett Till, that America of today is 1950's Mississippi writ large, that blacks are under siege and threat from white racism.

Who is it, Ms. Martin, that is telling you that, but for Florida's Stand Your Ground law, your son would be alive today? I ask because that person is shamelessly lying to you. I hope you realize that what was at issue in your son's case was not the Stand Your Ground law - your son was on top of Zimmerman, pummeling him. Zimmerman had no opportunity to retreat. What was at issue in the trial was the ancient right of self defense. I am sure, at some level, you realize this.

Yet you are being invited to inveigh against Stand Your Ground laws as if it was what caused your son's death, let alone what allowed Zimmerman to be found not guilty. You are being invited to inveigh against the law as if it is a racist construct.

At some point, you will look back on this and, I hope, realize that those who are urging you on are doing a great disservice not merely to you, but to your son and to the black community. If there is to be meaning to your son's death, then you need to ask why your son, that night, decided to beat a "creepy ass cracker." What led him to make that criminal and fatal mistake? If you really want to honor your son, may I suggest ma'am, that no matter how painful, you take a cold, hard, and realistic look not merely at your son, but the people now inviting you to speak at their gatherings to blame, ultimately, race for your son's death.

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