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Make sure our kids know that more Zimmermans lurk in the shadows

mcneir | 4/5/2012, 5:56 a.m.

It is a well-known saying that tells us, its hard to teach on old dogs new tricks. However, there are always other ways to make sure that dog finally gets the point. They must be reprimanded, reeducated and ultimately forced to take responsibility for their ways. Its strange that we are good at holding our beloved animals accountable but in the case of humans, specifically those of privileged race and position, we are more inclined to ignore their transgressions and look the other way. The metaphor is not to meant to imply that George Zimmerman, the murderer of Trayvon Martin, should be compared to a dog or some other animal. Although, if the shoe fits you get the point. What we want to emphasize is that in the U.S., there is a plethora of attitudes, beliefs and associated actions that have lived well beyond their time. They may have been the status quo in the years of slavery, or during Jim Crow. They may have been the law of the land and the prevailing mindset in those turbulent years of bloodthirsty lynchings and the civil rights movement, but this is a new day and age, right? Or is it? When we look at the efforts of many members of Congress over the past few years, one would have to wonder if Blacks are moving forward or being pushed backwards. Blacks simply do not have the luxury to believe the hype. We know full well the dangers of walking while Black especially if the subjects in question are males. The sad truth is that no matter how well we prepare our children, how often we talk to them and share horror stories that we have not only heard about but experienced, there will always be a racist hiding in the wings. There are still plenty of George Zimmermans lurking in the shadows. Our laws must punish them for their crimes. Our laws must protect our youth.