The Black Man Continues to be a Target in America

About three weeks ago on July 14, I acknowledged my 43rd birthday.

I say acknowledged instead of celebrated because for several years now my birthday has become a time of reflection, not celebration. Birthdays are very special to me, but for the past three years my birthday has been a bit muted. July 14 will never be the same for me.

You see, I share my birthday with at least 25 people that I know personally, but there was one person with whom I shared my birthday who was one of my closest friends, Tyrone Thompson. I speak about Tyrone – or Ty as those closest to him called him – in past tense because Ty is no longer with us. In the late night hours of June 5, 2010 Ty was gunned down during an attempted carjacking in a northern suburb of St. Louis.

Ty wasn’t a typical homicide victim. But then again he was.

Ty was a former municipal police chief from a prominent St. Louis area family. He and his sister owned a popular nightclub. He worked under his brother at Kwame Construction, an international construction firm, and Ty coordinated the company’s annual scholarship golf tournament. Like I said, not your typical homicide victim.

But Ty was your typical homicide victim because Ty was an African-American male … typical homicide victim.

While according to the most recent census, African-Americans make up 13.6 percent of the population yet in 2011, according to the FBI; African-Americans accounted for half of all murder victims in the nation that year.

For the past three years on July 14 I have observed a uniquely African-American tradition of pouring out some liquor for Ty – “this is for the ones who ain’t here.” But this most recent July 14 was even more somber of a day for me … and for many African Americans.

Just hours earlier on July 13, a Florida jury of 6 women – none African American – said self-appointed neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman was not guilty of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. In essence, the jury said though Trayvon was unarmed and minding his own business, Zimmerman was well within his right to kill Trayvon because just being a black man in America is enough of a threat to warrant using deadly force.

Every day I step out of my house, I walk out knowing that I’m in the unenviable position of being both the potential suspect and potential victim. And you wonder why so many black men suffer from high blood pressure. The stress has to be felt by black women too because every time their child, husband, boyfriend or brother exits the home, they are a target. They are targeted by other black men (and in far too many cases, children – the two who killed Ty were just 18), they are targeted by the police and now they are targeted by any non-black with an itchy trigger finger. Hopefully Zimmerman doesn’t get the itch again, as he’s out and about fully armed.

Many are calling for a boycott of Florida to repeal its shoot first, “Stand Your Ground” law that was used to acquit Zimmerman – yet did nothing to help Marissa Alexander, who got 20 years for firing a warning shot, but more than half the states in the U.S. have similar laws on the books. Conversely, few (besides me) are calling on the boycott of Chicago, which as a city government seems to not care about the jaw-dropping murder rate as long as the killings are contained in poorer, black and Latino neighborhoods.

But hey, we have a black president, so everything’s A-OK, right? Tell that to Ty and Trayvon and the thousands of other black male murder victims who die every year. Tell that to Marissa Alexander.

Author:
Posted in Crime, Uncategorized.

11 Comments

  1. Ro, Am I allowed to be angry and white at the same time? Is anger reserved only for the black man? If you believe that angry black men are possessed of the devil too, then so be it. But if you think I’m demonic only because I am tired of being discriminated against because of my skin tone, then your logic is flawed.

  2. @ Mr. Troy…..you yourself cannot escape death! We all must face that truth one day! I serve a God that made us in his image and who is about love and not hatred, which you clearly have! But I’m not mad at you but I will not entertain the demon inside of you! So repent now before its too late for you! Tomorrow is not promise to any of us! Be careful about the so called “God” that you are serving! That entity, wants to be like God, but has been banished from Heaven along with his angels (demons).

  3. I want to thank you all for taking time to read and comment on this commentary. As the author, I feel compelled to address some of the destructive and divisive comments that have been posted.

    My comments will be brief, but to the point.

    I find it quite telling that three-fourths of the commentary I penned is about a good friend who I knew and loved — and who was murdered at the hands of two misguided African-American teens — yet some (well one really active poster) have decided to latch on to the five … count them — five sentences, where I even mention George Zimmerman. The first mention does not even come until the ninth paragraph.

    So, did someone say something about race baiting!?

    Once again, thank you all for taking time to read and discuss this critical topic of the endangerment of the black male.

  4. Troy, you owe it to yourself and to the public to be respectful…Unless being respectful is Un-American.

    Bruce

    • Respectful? What is respectful about being told I cannot possibly understand the plight of the black man and the abundant racism that exists in America? Our President is black, our Attorney General is black, yet I still hear that whenever I disagree with a black man I am a racist. The MOST racist people in America are Jesse and Al. Even our President race-baits with regularity. I will no longer stand aside and be lectured to by a community that has benefitted more from the freedoms in America. Can we form a Congressional White Caucus? Can a white woman compete in Miss Black America. I’m the hateful racist. The law says employers cannot discriminate based on race, yet there are still racial quotas in many jobs. I am the victim of racism, and I am called the racist. That is pure injustice and I will not take it anymore.

      • Troy;

        You are on point!! Remember, these same people that are racist were kicked out and exiled out of their own countries in Europe, set to sea to die and landed on these occupied shores. The Klan just changed the colors of their robes to Judges, Cops and lawyers and they, themselves invest in privitizig the new slavery Jails!!

        So, tell the truth, stay in church and shame the devil. And remember, it was the Southside of Chicago that made Obama. I don’t know to many Black Americans that was raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, HELLO!! You are on Point!!

  5. I too share 14 July as my day of beginning, also have for the last 45years used it to reflect on realities…
    Maurice Copeland, Relentless Honeywell Whistleblower, Powerful …

    nachalooman.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/maurice-copeland-relentless-honeywell-…

    Jan 14, 2011 … These warriors fight the good fight, oftentimes alone, or with few along side of …. 15 Responses to “Maurice Copeland, Relentless Honeywell …

  6. Well, don’t let facts influence your race-baiting. SYG was NOT put forward by the Zimmerman defense team. The jury acquitted him based solely on the facts of his self-defense case. This is precisely what the law required.

    This was a manufactured case that ruined Zimmerman’s life, and it has only been kept alive by racist individuals and organizations like yourself and the CBC.

    You sicken me.

    • Troy you are sick. Your type refuse to see this matter in any terms that don’t feed your self-hating, demonic agenda. Perhaps you’ll be blessed to suffer an event in your twisted life that will open your eyes to the simple truth surrounding the miscarriage or justice that is at the heart of the Zimmerman/martin case..or not. Either way may you continue to simmer in your rotting condition of being stuck in a body that keeps your evil spirit in a wretched state..until you return to your home which is the domain of your satanic maker..you are sick.

      • Ah Sasha…My eyes are wide open to the complete miscarriage of justice that is the Zimmerman. He never should have been charged with a crime in the first place. But again, don’t let facts get in the way of your race-hating and race-baiting.

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