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All Da King's Men

Let's Have A Real Conversation About Race - Part I

By David King Published: July 23, 2013

Over the last week, I've heard many of the usual race baiters, who I'll refer to as the Al Sharpton-Jesse Jackson-MSNBC (SJMSer) crowd, attempting to portray the Zimmerman-Martin verdict as being typical of the way mean old racist America works, where a black man can't get justice in a white world (and never mind the actual facts of the case. Those are irrelevant). The SJMSers invoke slavery and Jim Crow, as if those things are still happening, as if the last 50 years of progress have not occurred. I've discovered that when it comes to race relations, many so-called "progressives" are ironically stuck in 1955.

Even President Obama weighed in once again on the Zimmerman-Martin case. His remarks weren't that bad, but he didn't have anything very helpful to say either, not that I expected much from him. I gave up on Obama providing real leadership long ago. Pretty much his only concrete suggestion was a political one, about reworking Stand Your Ground laws, which had little if anything to do with the Zimmerman-Martin case.

The President said the following:

You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son.  Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.  And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away. There are very few African American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store.  That includes me.  There are very few African American men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars.  That happens to me -- at least before I was a senator.  There are very few African Americans who haven't had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off.  That happens often.

As traumatizing as it must have been for young Barry Obama to be followed in department stores and have car door locks click shut in his presence, I have to say, those things happened to me too, and I'm a white male. Somehow, I wasn't permanently scarred by them. In fact. I rarely even think about them, because they are such trivial events. I also have to say, if that's the extent of the "racism" Obama experienced on his way to Columbia, Harvard, the Senate, and the Presidency, Obama's a pretty fortunate guy. His charmed life is a pretty far cry from being forced to work for massuh in the cotton fields. I call that major progress.
 
Because Obama shared some of the personal "horrors" he experienced as a black man, I will likewise share a few experiences from the personal history of me and mine.
 
- Many years ago, I was jumped, beaten, and kicked by a group of young black males who uttered racial slurs as they were beating on me. There was absolutely no rhyme or reason for why I was attacked. I didn't know any of them. They did it simply because they felt like doing it.
 
- My daughter was robbed at gunpoint by two young black males.
 
- In Los Angeles, a young black male and a young Hispanic male attempted to carjack and kidnap my 20-something white female cousin as she was leaving the grocery store. When she tried to run away in fear of whatever horrors these thugs had planned for her, one of them shot her in the back, ruining her life.
 
- My mildly autistic grandson was beaten up in school by young black kids because he was different than them, and didn't act or dress like them. This happened several times, until his parents finally had to pull him out of school.
 
- My car was stolen and discovered a week later in a black neighborhood on the east side of Cleveland.
 
- My house was robbed, and a young black male pawned some of my jewelry the next morning.
 
This is just a taste of my personal experiences, so excuse me if I don't shed a tear because Obama was once followed in a department store. You also won't see any of my personal experiences being highlighted by the likes of Sharpton, Jackson, MSNBC, or the rest of the race baiting purveyors of political hype. My experiences don't fit the phony narrative the SJMSers are trying to erect. The truth is, the Zimmerman-Martin case isn't very indicative of anything. There is no spate of Zimmermans shooting Martins in this country. When it comes to interracial violence, my personal experience is the norm.  According to statistics from the FBI and DOJ, 90% of black-white interracial violence is committed by blacks. The real tragedy in America, however, is the epidemic of violence blacks are committing against other blacks. Until these facts are acknowledged, along with the reasons behind them, the SJMS crowd will forever be proposing solutions to the wrong problem.
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