- Posted August 23, 2013 by
Bronx, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Everyday racism: Your stories
Christopher Lane is Trayvon Martin
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
It’s a spin on the famous sign held up by thousands of Americans wearing hoodies, after 16 year old African American Trayvon Martin was gunned down in a quiet Florida neighborhood by Hispanic George Zimmerman. The incident sparked a mega-debate on the issues of racial profiling and racism in the United States. Christopher Lane was a 22-year old white Australian student who was jogging in small town middle America, when he was gunned down by an African American teen who claimed to be “bored”. But unlike Trayvon Martin, the murder of Christopher Lane has done little to spark a media debate on a controversy long hushed on the lips of America.
“90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM.”
This is the message tweeted on social media by James Edwards Jr, the youngest of the teens to be charged with first degree murder, on April 29th, 2013. Less than a month later Edwards would be riding in a vehicle with his accomplice, Chancey Allen Luna, who pulled the trigger on Christopher Lane because the boys had, according to the teen, “nothing to do”. The driver of the vehicle used in the murder, 17-year old Michael Jones, has been reported as Caucasian but is also alleged to be a member of the boys off-shoot Crips gang.
After the killing of Trayvon Martin, a media circus ensued that stirred up topics on color and race, drawing out vociferous African American activists such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to call for protests and rallies. Almost every incident that occurs involving a black victim and a white aggressor will cause some sort of public outcry that digs deep into the roots of racism in America.
Every time a black teenager is shot by the NYPD, the media makes a habit of pointing out the color of the officer’s skin. The controversial NYPD Stop-and-Frisk is believed to be targeted at black and Hispanic minorities, but in reality this tactic is employed in high-crime neighborhoods that just happen to be where black and Hispanic people are not the minority. But on the other hand, whenever a white person is robbed or assaulted for walking down the wrong city street, this will never be considered racial profiling in the eyes of the media. It seems that white people lack the support of Jessie Jackson’s and Al Sharpton’s, the kind of support that might raise awareness into the reality of our culture.
While we all would like to believe that racism in America is a thing of the past, with a black president in the office of the most culturally diverse country in the world. That true racism only occurs in other nations such as Russia, where it isn’t safe to walk outside the capital and be black (or homosexual, for that matter). Or Italy, where the first black government minister is being very publicly targeted by racists. Or Pakistan, where it just isn’t safe to walk around as a Westerner. The list goes on and on.
But as we all honestly know, racism is alive and well in America. But not just white-on-black; but black-on-white, black-on-lighter-black, Hispanic-on-black, etc. But it also isn’t as widespread as it once was. It has just shifted over the years and has taken a new shape. Maybe it’s just that white people do not share the same unity that other races do. But for some reason, it seems to be perceived as acceptable and will be tolerated as the norm, just as long as these issues remain silent on the lips of America.