Tears in Black and White
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Tears in Black and White

Jacksonville : FL : USA | May 01, 2012 at 4:48 PM PDT
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Oprah's First Show 25 years ago

If a black woman cries in the forest and a tree falls at the same time, does it make a sound?

One would almost be led to believe that no one in America thought of black women as human beings until the first time white America saw The Unmistakable Her shed a tear on the Oprah Winfrey Show. It seemed there was a big huge gasp in the audience that day that sucked up all of the energy of more than a trillion tears shed over billions of years; or at least for the last 7,000 since our ancestors, Adam & Eve, first existed.

"Aw. They cry." (real tears, too...).

And Oprah became a billionaire because a lot of white women thought she was the only one amongst us who was human, in spite of the fact that she doesn't look like Halle Berry.

History tells America its own spooky stories about variances and differentials in treatment depending on who is wearing the emotion and the sorrow at the time; but to this very day, some very "angry black women" know what it's like to be treated less than human, less than a dog even; and to be put into a box with a lid closed so tight that nothing seeps out until it's time for an outright explosion.

Let's start with Marissa Alexander of Jax, Florida; even though her story is but one of thousands that have gone unnoticed all over the United States, in both civil and criminal courts.

Ms Alexander happens to be black, and she does not have a criminal record and no background issues except for a violent person in her life from whom she had little or no legal or police protection. She buys a gun (exercising her Second Amendment rights), a license and permit. She is at home and fully within what may be perceived as her right to protect herself from a violent and abusive estranged husband.

Second Amendment rights, as we see them from this vantage point, are written strictly for white men and white women running from their own sins and shadows and conjuring up black hobgoblins and other "dark" things that go bump in the night because the law allows it. And the only reason the vast majority of them are so paranoid is because of their own wrongs.

So she, Marissa, the black woman, applies the "stand your ground" laws rightly and effectively. In her own home and facing a threat.

Her abusive husband comes after her, chokes her, she manages to fire off a warning shot upward to stave him off (when she would have been fully justified to fire it at him instead of away from him) -- she gets arrested (with a quickness for defending herself in her own home) and is facing up to 20 years in prison. If history serves us, she'll get every second of them. Or not, because this is a high profile case out of the thousands that have gone under the national radar and for which no telling who is sitting in prison right now and should not be there.

George Zimmerman, on the other hand, fires a bullet dead on into the back of a black teen who had no criminal arrest record, who was running and calling for help, was not doing anything wrong except "walking while black," and in a situation where even the police report itself called it an "unnecessary" homicide,

It takes not only nearly two months to arrest him, but he also goes on a social networking site and raises more than $200,000 for his "stand your ground" defense in a situation where he was clearly NOT acting out of self-defense. Trayvon Martin, the young black man that he killed "unnecessarily," was not only not bothering him, but certainly wasn't breaking into his home, nor abusing Zimmerman when it happened.

It is because Marissa Alexander is a black woman that the law is applied unjustly to her, though she was the one who used the law and its boundaries correctly.

The underlying belief system is that black women should not feel, do not hurt, do not cry, and that they are supposed to just stand or sit and take and put up with abuse, assault, theft, rape, threats, harassment, anything anyone throws at them, with their hands tied and do and say nothing about it because, even less than an animal at the SPCA would be treated ... how they feel, what they think, what they do to protect themselves doesn't make a hill of beans difference in a country where laws were not meant to "protect" black people, only to persecute them.

***

REFERENCES

If this horse were a black woman, it would be the one doing time for being abused and assaulted.

Davis, Angela. "The Role of the Black Woman." The Massachusetts Review. Added together, the language of today's "Christian" conservative evangelical rightwing masses would have these days revisted, and returned.

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malex
Twenty years for self-defense. Figures...in "her" case.
greeneink is based in Denver, Colorado, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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