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Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Black Kid in Florida

I just read two articles in the New York Times: One with hope, one with fear.

The Hope: There is a biracial kid in Ohio who won an Irish Folk Dancing competition (think RIVERDANCE!). The cause for hope is that the "close-knit community" of Irish folk dancers were color-blind and chose this 17 year old kid because of his talent and obvious love of Irish folk dancing. It did not matter that his skin was Black ... nor did it matter that his ethnic make-up from Mom and Dad is Black and Jewish. Dad is a Southern Black Baptist and Mom is a Midwestern Jew. This kind of "cultural mixing" makes for great TV/Film hate and anger dramas. However, in this case, the absence of observing these differences makes for a wonderful and warming and hopeful story.

The Fear: In Florida, a teenage Black kid was shot to death by a guy who was part of a civilian watch group. The guy was not Black. He was of "Hispanic decent". I put that in quotes because it was emphasized by his lawyer ... a seemingly lawyer-like spin designed to justify the pathetic and racist actions of this individual. There was no mention of this kids backgroud. There was no mention of this kid being of a mixed heritage or if he was maybe biracial. He was shot because the shooter said he "looked suspicious". This is code for being young and Black. Make no mistake about it. If that biracial dancer was walking in that neighborhood in Florida, he wasn't biracial ... he was "suspicious" and Black.

The shooter has not been charged and the media is having a feeding frenzy covering it. The shooter did call 9-1-1 to report a "suspicious person". The police told him not to follow this kid and that the police were being dispatched to investigate. The shooter/civilian watch dog did not follow instructions, something happened, and a kid with skittles and a soda in his hands was shot to death. This is one of those times I am actually grateful for the media in America. They will play and reply this story until some sort of justice is served ... at least I hope so.

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