And Then Came Summer
We are yet again on the precipice of summer, and I suspect, if I searched my posts from this time last year, that I said something similar. I’m sure that I’ve previously mentioned this in some form.
— Last week, jury selection for the George Zimmerman trial began. Zimmerman, who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, is facing second-degree murder charges. In the time since Martin’s death in February 2012, he (his hoodie and his Skittles) have become symbols, political shorthand for the violence enacted upon black youth on a daily basis across this country. Representatives of the state, in this case the police, as well as private citizens have hurt and in many cases killed young black people for reasons that are never sufficient. Martin is just the most notable of a slew of names we’ve not bothered to archive in our collective memory.
— Cities like Chicago and Philadelphia have decided to close public schools in mostly black neighborhoods in an effort to “save money” or channel students who have lost their neighborhood school into charter schools where heads of private organizations with political connections can profit from the school industrial complex. Despite the increasing evidence that charter schools and the “reformers” who pimp them do nothing to directly benefit students, mayors and other representatives continue to push the political agenda as a solution to the crisis in American public education. If that’s not enough, as schools close, prisons open–facilities that will inevitably house tomorrow the black youth who are being failed today. If they live long enough, that is.
— As the temperature rises, so does the murder rate. Once again, black and brown neighborhoods in cities like Chicago are often the sites of incredible violence. Yet, what can we expect when guns are easier to find jobs?
I used to read about all of the systemic, horribly racist things happening in the world and wonder aloud why there is nothing on fire, no windows broken. And yet, I cannot blame the seeming non-reaction on some kind of malaise. After all, what would such acts do or change? What I do know is that there is no honor in enduring any of this. It’s as frivolous and wearisome as this blog post. And yet, I can’t help myself. After all, summer is here; I fear how long the list of horrible things that happened to black people will be once we reach the other side of it. But if what’s happened so far this year is any indication, we, black youth especially, must brace ourselves for the season and everything that comes with it. After all,
until Octavia comes back with a spaceship, there is no where else to go.