Party Tip: Pronounce Harassment With A British Accent

The previous Summer was one of my lowest points in my life so far; selling coupon books door to door, and when that got tired, campaigning for Clean Water Action door to door (since then, I’m happy to say I got my old video editing job back). In both cases, I was an hour or two away from Detroit in predominantly white neighborhoods. Everyday was I was harassed by cops, home owners trained dogs on me and called all sorts of names, and one guy even threatened me with a gun.I also met some really cool people too, so I can’t complain too much. As a black guy, this is the experience I am always ready and waiting for. I dread going to mostly white neighborhoods because of the possibility that I could be harassed, or more commonly, awkwardly avoided or watching parents yank their children across the street away from me. However, my work and social matters often have me diving right into the heart of those communities, and it is times like these that I wish I had some sort of invisibility power, or perhaps, the power to not be noticed as much when traversing the streets. I came up with a device for minorities to use when they fear that racism is on the menu; The H-Blocker.

The H-Blocker also works for women, too.

This whole incident with Trayvon Martin is tragic, and to some of us, infuriating because it only highlights some of the rampant racism that is alive and well here in America today. Just because we have a mixed President doesn’t mean that race relations in the U.S. have improved. In fact, his presidency has brought a lot of hatred, fear, and intolerance from the shadowy corners of our polite society and into the bold light of day – – the fact that a black kid, seemingly  minding his own business was stalked and killed by a man claiming he “felt threatened” only supports this fact.

Much expected, FOX’s own Geraldo Rivera weighs in on the Martin situation; proving once again that he is out of touch on the subject at hand. I don’t think Rivera is coming from a mean place; in his own warped way he’s trying to help, but obviously, he’s completely missed the point – – but so are all the people who are wearing hoodies in support of the Martin family. I’m touched by all the support Martin’s family is getting, but to people who are only wearing the hoodies in support; we’re not having the necessary dialogue. Martin was shot because he was black, not because he was wearing a hoodie. Wyatt Cenac had a great bit on the Daily Show pointing out that it wouldn’t matter what black men wear, there are certain people will always find them “threatening”. This country is in a dire need for a long, painful, honest, and serious conversation about the racial history, present, and future between black and white people. It seems we would rather make jokes and skirt around the bigger issue because it is so difficult for all of us to address. No one expects everyone to get along perfectly, but the elephant in this room is more like a herd of charging rhinoceroses.