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There’s not much I can — or, frankly, should — add to this essay in the Huffington Post by African American actor Romany Malco. I’ll only say that he’s right, and that you don’t hear this kind of thing often enough. The “we” he’s talking about is the African American community:
Trayvon was doomed the moment ignorance became synonymous with young black America . We lost that case by using media outlets (music, movies, social media, etc.) as vehicles to perpetuate the same negative images and social issues that destroyed the black community in the first place. When we went on record glorifying violent crime and when we voted for a president we never thought to hold accountable. When we signed on to do reality shows that fed into the media’s stereotypes of black men, we ingrained an image of Trayvon Martin so overwhelming that who he actually may have been didn’t matter anymore.
True. And so is this:
If we really wanted to ensure Trayvon Martin’s killing was not in vain, we’d stop perpetuating negative images that are now synonymous with black men in America. We’d stop rapping about selling drugs and killing [redacted]. The next time we saw a man beating a woman, we’d call for help or break it up, but one thing we would not do is stand by with our cellphones out — yelling WORLDSTAR! Instead of rewarding kids for memorization, we’d reward them for independent and critical thinking.
We’d spend less time subconsciously repeating lyrics about death and murder and more time understanding why we are so willing to twerk to songs that demean women and boast of having things we cannot afford. We’d set examples of self-love for our youth by honoring our own hair, skin and eye color. We’d stop spending money on designer gear that we should be spending on our physical and psychological health. We’d seek information outside the corporate owned-media that manipulates us. We’d stop letting television babysit our kids and we’d quit regurgitating pundits we haven’t come up with on our own.
Okay, so it gets a little lefty-Marxy in there. But I like the message. It’s just too bad you don’t hear this from the one person, arguably, who could really make a difference with it. But of course our president is too busy with his platitudes and generalities to make a real impact.Published in