NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2013 - Page 63

The Aftermath 8. 9. BRN-FALL-2013.indb 61 In any encounter with the police or any other law enforcement representative, a black male can anticipate being held to a different standard regarding his conduct as his mere existence can be seen as a potential threat and he is considered to have the inherent capacity to become a wild and dangerous brute at any moment. In order to survive encounters with law enforcement representatives, a black male must be fully conscious of the perspective of those representatives, recognizing that raising his voice, gesticulating or looking angry could be seen as sufficient reason for the use of deadly force. Because of the prevailing myth of the black brute, black males must be self-aware in their interaction with white people who are not a part of law enforcement given that there are over 300 million firearms in the United States and the overwhelming number of them are owned by white Americans. 10. The combination of the myth of the black brute has combined with “stand your ground” statutes to produce a toxic environment for black males where any argument, confrontation, fight or contentious encounter with a white person can have lethal consequences that will be deemed legally justifiable. 11. The principles of self-defense in the American justice do not apply to black people when the presumed attacker is white. It is clear to all rational observers that if the “black George Zimmerman” had shot and killed the “white Trayvon Martin” and claimed self-defense he would have been arrested on the spot, convicted of killing the “white Trayvon Martin” and he would have begun serving his second year in prison by now. 12. As a black male, you are not assured of a right to safety or to be free from random acts of lethal violence even if you are smart, aware, well dressed, educated and law-abiding. To stay alive you will also have to be lucky. In a classic case of watching a truly committed clown adding insult to the injury suffered by the parents of Trayvon Martin, Cornel West somehow thought that the aftermath would be a good time to call President Obama “A global George Zimmerman”. While such a comment may help boost Cornel West’s speaking fees, it did nothing to elevate or illuminate the public discourse. On a more serious, non-clown note, in watching hours of commentary and reading thousa ???????????????)????????????????????????$????)?????????????????????????)??????????????????????q??????????)i????????t?????????????????????)??????????????q????Q?????5?????t?)Q????????????????????????)????qQ???M???M???????Q?????5?????t)??????????????????????????????)??????????????????????????????????) ??$????????????????????????)????????????????????????????????)??????????qQ???Q????1??????????)i????????Q????t??????????????)???????????????????????????????)??????????????????????)%???????????????????????????????)???Q?????5?????e??????????????)???????????????????????????????)???????????????????????????)?????????????Q?????5???????)?????????????????????????????)?????????????????????)??????????????Q???M???M??????)Q?????5?????() 1 ,?I9%MM9 ?9=%I((?()????????????????)?????????????????????????)????????????????????????)????????????????????????????)???????????????????????)???????????????????????????)???????????????????????????)??????????????????????)?????????????????????????????)??????????????????????????)?????????????????????((??((?()%?????????????????????q9???????t)???????????i??????????????Q???)??????????????????????????????)??????????????????????????????)???????????????????????Q????????)????????????????????????????)????????????????????????????????)??????????????????????????)???????????????((????????????4((0