5.4.12

In Response To The Eve Carson vs Trayvon Martin Argument

I try to keep my strongest opinions to myself, but white folks* are causing my blood pressure to rise thanks to their insistence on virtually fist pumping the air over the absolutely ridiculous Eve Carson blog post they are sharing on Facebook.

Surely you've seen it. It's the one my white friends* are touting as the correct explanation for why they are so upset about the outrage surrounding Trayvon Martin's murder. The post, and their response to it, is completely knee-jerk and has no parallel to reality. Yet it feels good to try to downplay what's real because reality is really sticky and gross.

Therefore, I furiously typed out this response in a Facebook comment, but realized it had no place there and brought it here instead. Read at your own risk:
Screaming that it's racist to demand Trayvon Martin's murderer face consequences for his actions and using a tragedy like Eve Carson's murder as your reasoning shows that you a) don't understand the point and b) don't want people talking about race in the United States.

The point: No one's angry because Zimmerman killed a black child (versus a white child). We're angry because he killed a child and walked away without any consequences. Argue that point. Explain how it'd be okay for anyone -- white or black -- to kill any child -- white or black -- and then go on home afterward.

Where Eve Carson fits in this story: Eve Carson's death was tragic and terrible. I remember people sitting riveted in front of their television screens, their eyes pouring tears, when updates on the murder investigation came one. There were candlelight vigils. A garden was named in her honor. She was awarded a posthumous degree and -- still today -- people feel so helpless and terrible that this beautiful young girl was gunned down.

Where Eve Carson does not fit in this story: No, there was no Million Eve Carson March. There didn't have to be. Her killers were tracked down within a week of her murder. They were not allowed to leave the scene of the crime until someone could prove she didn't deserve it. Police had to provide cover for them when they went to and from court because outraged people were prepared to gun those men down in the streets, just like they did Eve. Comparing the reaction to Carson's death to the reaction to Martin's death is apples to oranges.

Further, no one ever mentions the other promising young student gunned down by Demario Atwater, one of Carson's killers. Remember Abhijit Mahato? I wonder why no one is evoking his name to attack the outrage people are showing about how police have treated Trayvon's death. Hmm -- what could be different between Abhijit and Eve? There, my friends, is your apples to apples.

How about this. How about we stop using the tragic deaths of our children to justify this country's refusal to acknowledge where our system is broken? How about we stop saying one person's death is more or less tragic, more or less wrong, than someone else's?

Let's have a real conversation about guns, race, and corruption. Let's honor those children whose lives were taken too soon. Okay?
I should probably remove the white person talk because white folks are very sensitive, but in my experience, white people are yelling the loudest about how they're done hearing about Trayvon.

Why? Maybe they feel that they have to denounce that racism could exist because it could mean that they, too, are racist (even if they aren't). Maybe they fear if they admit that a little racism exists, they'll have to admit a lot of it exists (the "give 'em an inch" argument). Maybe it's that no one wants to accept that there may be an imbalance, because finding equilibrium could hurt those who are favored.

But it's ridiculous because Zimmerman isn't white and no one's saying white people are bad. Stop being so defensive and we'll all get much further in this world!

With that, I feel like at least I've said my piece somewhere and can now go back to talking about my kids. ;)

7 comments:

  • Courtney Foster

    you tell them girl! I cant help but get upset about this whole thing and how some people are trying to make it no different than other things and blah blah blah.

    Here is the deal, a person was killed walking down the street, the FL laws are f'ed up to allow this to happen and in reality this wouldn't have been the case if it was a white child who died. To ignore it or want it over when its not even close is trying to hide the bad stuff in life and ignore what is going on. Racism is still huge and ignoring it is racism in its self.

    I could go on and on and on but I wont! I remember when I was 23 telling a black friend that racism didn't really exist, I wish she would have slapped the heck out my stupid privileged white person self!

  • Bibliomama

    White person who agrees over here. You will never catch me saying that racism doesn't exist.

  • Amber

    Exactly, Kelly. This isn't about the reactions of white vs. black deaths, it's that NOTHING has been done. That is wrong. WRONG.

    I am not sure how this Travyon Martin story could get any more convoluted than by the conservative's reaction to it. Please, why can't we all recognize that race IS an issue? That it's okay to talk about it so we can change? I just don't understand. And it all makes me very very sad.

  • Christi Wampler

    OMG, you are in my head. I saw the Eve Carson post on a FB friend's timeline last night, and I literally said "that's apples and oranges" to my husband.

    I am not outraged that a white/Hispanic man shot a black teen. I am outraged that a person shot another unarmed person for apparently little to no reason and has yet to be charged. I don't know if he called him a racial slur. I don't know how he feels about black people. Nobody does but him. The tragedy exists no matter what. The racial element is secondary to the stupid as f*ck "Stand Your Ground" Law, but it absolutely still exists because any idiot knows that if a white boy or girl had been shot, the media would have been on it from Day ONE, not a month later.

    Anyway, preaching to the choir. This white girl agrees.

  • Kimster

    Yes, thanks for sharing. I've seen the Eve Carson / Trayvon Martin article posted all over Facebook this morning typically from those who like to lead their arguments with, "Of course, I'm not racist, I have lots of black friends"; similar to how the article starts off. I didn't even bother responding on the status log; the last time I did that I was defriended. Hey, ex-friend, if the shoe fits...People who are bringing the idea of an uproar of racial profiling not being allocated to Carson are missing the fact that while Carson's murderers were black and were immediately sought for arrest and tried, Martin's killer was white who has yet to be arrested and remains free. Carson's tragic murder immediately received national coverage while Martin's tragic killing would have been swept under the rug had there not been an uproar approximately a month later. But taking race completely out, which I often think would produce different reactions for cases on a grand scale, two youths were tragically killed; in the case comparison that this article addresses, only one set of killer(s) were arrested and tried. There's where the injustice difference lies for me.

  • Irene M.

    Thanks for this! I posted a long facebook rant and then deleted it. Will post this instead.

  • Kelly Quinones Miller

    I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one whose mind boggles at the sheer stubbornness of some people. The Eve Carson comparison drove me over the edge, mainly because it happened in my area and I remember how the murder was treated. It's definitely apples and oranges.

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