Tag Archives: Trayvon Martin

Trayvoning and Distance: Whiteness and the Problem with Pronouns

He distinctly remembers, some decade or so ago – much younger, more rigid and sanctimonious then – saying, “we do not want them to think we accept their sin.” New Spirit of Penn, the University of Pennsylvania’s gospel choir – but what was really, in his mind at least, his choir in the way he tried to own and control, in the way he tried to posture and preach – was asked to sing at the annual QPenn celebration that year (2001). Though there were rumors and a bit of concrete reasoning as to why he was likely a closet …Read more »

The Time Isn’t Right, But It Is Now: Processing Our Anger for Trayvon the Black Feminist Way

I am still angry that Trayvon Martin’s murderer is a free man. I know many of you are still reeling, too, and that you share my sense of despair and helplessness. Every time I see George Zimmerman’s defense team, Mark O’Mara and Don West, give another interview and brazenly suggest that it is Zimmerman who is the victim, Zimmerman who is in danger, Zimmerman who was unfairly racially targeted, I alternate between wanting to throw something at the tv and wanting to summon all my evangelical roots to call down the fire and brimstone of an Old Testament God who …Read more »

I Want New Dreams: On Rachel Jeantel and Citizenship

There was a friend I had once and we spent – in my 20/20 hindsight perhaps – too much time together. Meeting my last year of undergrad, our camaraderie, our communion, genuinely moved me deeply. Even today, maybe, still. But throughout our time together – dinners and lunches, walking and talking – there was a twofold uncertainty: I of his feelings for me and me, my feelings for him. Those days, my life was filled with living into the category of “church boy,” directing choirs and playing the Hammond B-3’s for fun…and income. The son of a preacher man working …Read more »

To Rachel Jeantel, With Love

On the stand: unbought and unbossed

If you’ve been following the George Zimmerman Trial, the name Rachel Jeantel probably rings a bell. Rachel is 19 years old and was one of the last people to speak with Trayvon Martin before his murder. Brought on as a witness for the prosecution, this brave young person has been ridiculed in the mainstream media  and social media for her size, her complexion, her speech, and her mannerisms in ways that betray how unsafe, and yet how necessary, it is for a Black woman to unapologetically speak truth to power. Rachel has been fierce and steadfast through it all. We …Read more »

Be/Loved Community: It Ain’t Just For February

“The Beloved Community. . . is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. . .poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. . .Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred.” –The King Philosophy Despite the harsh reminders of how hate and ignorance can pollute the world, brought forth this past week with the anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s murder (February 26), …Read more »

On Appropriate Victims: More on Trayvon Martin and Other Names You Need to Know

Part of the reason folks rallied in reaction to Trayvon Martin’s murder has to do with ideas about who is an appropriate or worthy victim. He was shot by a vigilante, he wasn’t armed, he was a good student, had some class privilege, he was doing something mundane, simply returning from buying Skittles and ice tea. He was “innocent” and killed in cold blood. We have an idea of who is deserving of support en masse and who is not. And for similar reasons we thought, with 911 tapes, eyewitness testimony, national outrage that it would result in a prosecution …Read more »

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