As many of you know Saturday evening, the jury in the Trayvon Martin trial decided to find that George Zimmerman was not guilty. Many people–on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media websites–started to complain about the unfairness of the criminal justice system, and how we as Americans should be outraged about this situation and protest. On Sunday, on Meet the Press, Reverend Al Sharpton spoke about how he and Travyon’s parents and their lawyers had talks about preparing civil rights litigation against Zimmerman. All this hoopla, all this outpour of emotions, about this grave injustice that occurred to a young African-American teen, but yet we rarely see the media focusing on the massacre of young black males in Chicago.
Chicago, or as some of the local refer to it, Chiraq, is in the midst of one the greatest massacres in the history of this country of young males, but there is no news coverage of that. There isn’t any conversation about the violence that these young black children witness everyday, or the debilitating effect that has on their psyche. Where is the national conversation about how these children are basically born into gangs because they were born in a certain neighborhood? There have been 221 murders in the city of Chicago this year; this past fourth of July weekend forty-eight people were shot and eleven died. According to recent statistics, 75 percent of all murder victims in Chicago were black people. Yet, the media continues to draw our attention away from this, or not draw our attention to this. Why? Do they not care about injustice? Do they not care about young black males? Do they not preach about racial equality and fairness for African Americans? I’m not sure what the answer is. It seems the media will only focus on black Americans when whites are accused of doing some sort of racist act towards them. If blacks are harming other blacks, they barely bat an eye All I know is that this deserves just as much attention, or even more attention, as the Trayvon Martin trial.
Look, there will be another Trayvon Martin. Before Trayvon, we, meaning black people, were up in arms about Sean Martin, killed after leaving his bachelor party in 2005, Oscar Grant, murdered on the Oakland Bay Area Transit Train in 2009, and Troy Davis, executed in Georgia in 2011. The media will prop up the story and talk about how we should have a superficial conservation about race in this country, then they’ ll move on to some other story. Ok. Let’s have a conversation about race. Let’s talk about the problems that are going on in black communities in Chicago, Newark, Detroit, and etc. Let’s talk about poverty ,which leads to poor schools and drug invested communities,which causes children to be born out of wedlock and, later, those children look for a sense pride and love so they turn to a gang, which leads to despair and lack of motivation to better one’s self, which leads to the reinforcement of negative black stereotypes that plague the minds of many white people, like George Zimmerman. Let’s not talk about having a rally or a march. Let’s not have the good Reverend Sharpton give a speech on how this is an outrage and how we can’t stand for this–or Micheal Eric Dyson, or Cornel West, or Tavis Smiley or any other so-called Negro leader.By the way, those same people have not once said anything about setting up a march in Chicago or holding a rally about violence in Chicago–some leaders they are.
I understand the sadness and the horror behind Trayvon Martin situation, and my heart goes out to his family.But I believe that the deaths of hundreds of young black males, some even younger than Trayvon, should receive as much coverage from the media as this trial has. If the media paid as much attention to inner city violence as they do incidents between blacks and whites, then maybe there would be a little less blood in the streets of Chicago.