Monday, July 15, 2013

Acquittals and Privilege and Race and The Damned Unfairness Of It All

I sound like a whiny child on the playground, the World is Unfair! Yes, it is but in this case it isn't the other kid who gets the lollipop that I want, it's a mater of life and death and treatment by the law.

One of the reports on NPR this morning was how the outcome of the Zimmerman trial would effect The Talk:  The Talk: What Did You Tell Your Kids After The Zimmerman Verdict? The talk wasn't a part of my life, being an UMC White girl. The closest thing I came to The Talk was "be respectful and if you get a ticket for speeding, we're taking your car." One of my coworkers told me years ago how closely he policed his son's closet and behavior and it never dawned on me that it was a matter of self-defense. I feel like an idiot that I never thought of that and I'm sure my co-worker was just shaking his head and sighing.

I was driving this weekend with my boyfriend to visit his parents when I cop pulled in behind me. Now I will confess, I'm the reason super-speeder laws were invented. The aforementioned coworker actually got out of my car once and threatened to kiss the ground after a short trip to dinner. So when Mr. Officer pulled in behind me, I checked my speed and I mentally verified my license and insurance were on me. Just in case. I've been pulled over before, usually for lights out or (thank god rarely) for speeding. Privilege comes in to play because I didn't once think about driving a good car in rural Georgia and whether or not I'd be pulled over because of the color of my skin. I didn't have to think about what to do to be less threatening, I didn't have to worry about being arrested because I was "mouthy". I can be assured if I'm pulled over, I probably deserve it. So today I think about my friends and co-workers who are rightfully afraid for their children and I wish desperately this world were different and that I could do more to change it. Because it's just not fair.

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