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A Lost Race

by Mike Anton

Today, while discussing the Trayvon Martin non-case on Facebook, I was pointed to a response article from a giddy writer, happy for me to read his piece and equally excited to see my take on it. That author is Sean "Spiffy" Styles, the ex-wrestler turned cover band crooner, who cobbled together his thoughts into a post for his website entitled, "The Absence of Color" which, obviously, is about nothing but race, following in Charles P. Pierce's recent piece for Esquire about how it's Never About Race.

In an homage to the crew at Fire Joe Morgan, I have added my two cents under his original text, in bold.

Yesterday I wrote a column that called for the media to be more responsible in their reporting of the Trayvon Martin killing. Today, I’m getting racial.

Gather round, children. This white man from rural Pennsylvania is going to talk to us about race relations in America.

Oh, and the name of that post, concerning this story about the death of the 17-year-old kid whose race has nothing at all to do with this, no sir, no way? Ni**as in Sanford.

Folks, we're two sentences in.

Part of me wants to start off with a disclaimer – but I don’t think I’m going to this time.

I'll cover you: INANE BULLSHIT COMING HEAVY AND HARD, PEOPLE!

One of the biggest problems in this country when race is discussed is that everybody feels like they can’t pontificate without offending people.

You can tell already that the syntax will go swimmingly with the pontification.

Of course, the de facto reaction is, “Oh, well you are clearly a racist.” This is directed at any Caucasian who has the audacity to ask simple questions, offer dissenting opinions, or who has the balls to stand up to black pundits who themselves are often the most openly racist assholes walking the earth.

No, that's not the de facto reaction. That's only the de facto reaction if you're a racist. Saying, "the penitentiary system in America seems to be the new Jim Crow because of how skewed the numbers are towards incarcerating young, black men" does not make me a de facto racist. As for actual racist comments? I'm going to guess...five lines from now.

The Travyon Martin case disgusts me in that EVERY leader in the African-American community has jumped on the bandwagon.

That's like saying, "it disgusts me in that EVERY custodian in the Elementary school community has thrown sawdust on vomit." It's what they do. It's not like they all run a Black Activist Leaders diner and partake in kooky mystery adventures on the side. Though hearing Farrakhan say “zoinks!” would be great.

Also, you spelled his name wrong. It's “Trayvon,” but I'm sure when you went back to edit this they all looked the same.

Let's see how many times throughout this impassioned piece our fateful writer neglects to spell the name properly of the person of whom the entire post is about. Over/Under is at six misspellings. Place your bets now.

EVERYONE has expressed OUTRAGE over the fact that there hasn’t been an arrest made in the case.

Everyone HAS expressed outrage over the murdering of a 17-year-old year boy, shot to death in self-defense, because Martin was carrying a bag of Skittles fully-loaded with the taste of the rainbow and a can of iced tea that, if thrown, could surely leave a sizable bruise. See, your awful control of the English language has unwittingly given you a point from civilized society! There will be no shut-out!

Now, leaders like Al Sharpton are flipping out because the media now has the gall to report that Travyon (2!) Martin was in the middle of serving a 10-day suspension from his high school because he was caught with an empty bag of marijuana in his bookbag. Now black leaders are calling for an “independent investigation” which basically means “Hey, let’s get a bunch of black people involved in this investigation to instigate more theories about cover ups and bad policework.”

Ol' Grandpa Mack wearily walks outside near the barn, once a beaming red structure, now torn asunder, like the old farmer himself. As he shuffles along, his grand daughter, Becky, saddles up beside him to ask what's wrong; his face tells a story, and it doesn't seem to have a happy ending. With great zeal, Grandpa Mack thrusts is thumb in the air. The worry spreads on his face. Becky looks up at him, with all the innocence afforded a nine-year-old much too young to understand adult arguments. With a pitying smile, Grandpa Mack leans down to his young granddaughter and whispers, "There's a contradiction brewing."

As I’ve said – I’m sure that the Sanford police are a bunch of clowns, and I’m sure that now that the case has been bumped up the line that their incompetence might be rectified.

Which means that you'd be in favor of an “independent investigation,” as long as no black people are involved, presumably. Notice the implication that everyone on the police force must be white and anyone who would want to investigate the case is surely black. Why, it's like there is some sort of white conspiracy going on!

I’m hopeful that regardless of outcome the facts give closure to this firestorm.

Yes, yes we must stop the firestorm! That is what's most important. If we don't stop this kerfuffle taking over our news stations, discussing morally repugnant laws and the obviously troubled African-American experience in this country, how will we ever learn about the important issues, like how do dogs get around?

HOW DARE YOU DEMONIZE MY SON!!! Says Trayvon Martin’s mother – apparently oblivious to the reality that all that the news is doing now is reporting more FACTS about the case.

Yes, because his life at school is pertinent in Zimmerman's discretion. He could smell the suspension all over the boy, though he tried to cloak it under that hoodie. That wasn't good enough to fool the training of Neighborhood Watch!

And I for one am shocked -- shocked! -- at the AUDACITY of this woman to defend her dead child! Can you imagine? How can she sleep at night? ...Honestly, how?

It’s not demonizing if it’s true. It’s not disrespectful if it’s accurate.

This is a line from Bully, right?

As I’ve said – it’s a shame that Travyon (3!) Martin is dead,

Mighty big of you to take such a courageous stand.

...but if the Black Community is going to go after George Zimmerman, and 73% of people think that he should be in jail – I’d say the LEAST we could do is try to be thorough with the FACTS involved in this case.

Of which, YOU have mentioned NONE outside of NAMING the two PEOPLE involved with THIS case. That sends A sloppy MESSAGE, just LIKE rampant capitalizing.

Also, if 73% of all people want him in jail, isn't that a fuckload more than just the black community?

Of course,

Of course!

...her grief hasn’t stopped her from trademarking lots of phrases using her son’s name and image – I’m sure just for a memorial college fund to be set up in his name.

Not possibly to stave off other people trying to make money off of her dead son's name. No, she's obviously using this exciting opportunity of her child dying to market a whole line of Dead Black Kid lunch boxes and Thermoses that are sure to take America's recesses by storm!

I’ll say this as delicately as possible as not to spark controversy:

Ugh.

Fuck Al Sharpton.

Double ugh. Which I guess is "Ugh Ugh" but that doesn't look as aesthetically pleasing.

Oh, wait, I'm getting in the way of the inflammatory language that he promised he wouldn't use to spark controversy, something I'm sure he's used to as the lead singer of Walk of Shame and all. Have at, Axl.

Fuck him with something hard and sandpapery. Fuck him, and then steal his mom’s blueberry pie. It’s unacceptable for “leaders” in the black community to pile on every high-profile case where the public perception is that somehow it’s all about racism.

Yes, I don't know where the “Black Community” gets off bringing race into this.

Here’s the thing: Sometimes… It’s not about racism.

He says with a straight face. Christ, he makes Buster Keaton look like Jimmy Fallon.

That’s not to say that racism does not exist – it clearly does.

(see above)

A LATINO guy shot a BLACK guy after an apparent altercation. Believe it or not, that happens A LOT in this country.

Which I guess makes it okay. Which means he's for the slow murdering-off of two different minorities in this country. So good work there, Adolf.

You know what I never see?

A valid argument you typed out on your computer screen?

Al Sharpton speaking out when it’s a black person doing the shooting (which also shockingly happens a lot in this country.) I’d have a lot more respect for Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson if they were not such advocates for constantly polarizing the African American community from the rest of the United States.

Because they never do that.

It’s not healthy, and it hurts race relations a LOT more than it helps.

Says a man who should know. I mean, just check out the following sentence:

White people aren’t the ones doing it this time.

He knows when the white people are usually doing "it," as I'd guess it must be routine if this is such a definitive break in that cycle. Good to know we have an expert at "it" on hand with us, folks, to guide us through these dangerous waters.

Look out, a hippo wearing a hoodie! *bang-bang-bang*

Hell, white folks don’t even have a dog in this fight.

Which is why we must bring up how they don't, because we're the most held-down majority in this country.

So that being the case ask yourself why the reporting on this case

I hope to god your 10th grade English teacher has been shit canned by now, for the good of literacy.

...revolves almost exclusively over Travyon (4!) being black?

 I hear ya, man. Had to actually read the full story in the New York Times, cause the headline just read "BLACK KID." Then I found out what happened: he was black.

I understand that George Zimmerman was heard on the 911 tape calling Travyon (5!) a “coon”. First of all, the fact that someone under the age of 50 still refers to a black person as a “coon” would be funny if not for the tragedy.

Like aspirin, racial epithets lose their power over time. That's why you can call a black person a "nigger" because it's so old that it no longer has any effect! Try it sometime, Sean. I'll definitely laugh.

Second of all, using a racial slur does not automatically make somebody a racist

Let's just bask in this for a second. I know, I know, you want to look down to see what he could possibly say that could make this inherently ass-backwards statement make a lick of sense. But let's just take a moment to really cherish the fact that he has the grip on the definition of the word "racist" just as solidly as a toddler does with nuclear fission.

Ok, let us continue on this road further into the Heart of Dumbness.

...any more than calling your buddy a “faggot” because he has to go shopping with his wife instead of playing poker with the guys makes you a homophobe.

Holy shit.

Wow.

Sorry, I'm sucking wind like I just ran a mile.

No, using "faggot" in this tense has nothing to do with the perceived notion of homosexuals having a lack of masculinity, such as enjoying a shopping trip with the wife and not sitting around a musky apartment with a bunch of other men. Or maybe you're just using that word incorrectly, I don't know. I'm too busy trying to keep my head together with duct tape over here.

We hear all of the time in this, the era of the pussification of America, that we aren’t allowed to use “hate speech”. When I say “we” I of course mean the majority (aka white folks). I’m frustrated with the double-standard that seemingly allows minorities to use language that is inciting, instigating, and incendiary.

And here is his long list of examples of how other minorities have troubled Caucasians over the last three hundred years:

...

Now that that's done, let's bring up other racially-charged incidents (which this whole case definitely is not, mind you) to show that any black person who perceives a slight is a terrible, horrible liar. Remember people: these are just facts. It's not demonizing if it's true!

I remember Sharpton going crazy about Tawana Brawley. In fact, I remember Sharpton going crazy about a lot of things that if he were white, he’d be condemned.

Or a presidential nominee.

If you want a more recent example of the media jumping the gun and prominent black leaders piling on – go re-read the Duke Lacrosse case where a black stripper screamed rape, only to later recant her story.

Yes, it was the media and prominent black leaders. It had nothing to do with the overzealous DA Mike Nifong, right? The man described thusly in Until Proven Innocent, a book from Stuart Taylor Jr. and KC Johnson about the Duke Lacrosse rape case (page 356):

Mike Nifong's politically motivated persecution of the Duke lacrosse players – whose innocence was manifested by evidence in the DA's hands for nearly all of the nine and one-half months he spent hounding them – my well be the most egregious abuse of prosecutorial power ever to unfold in plain view.

Damn that duplicitous stripper!!

It never stops the fake indignation that we as a nation seem to have for cases like this. You want racism to end? Try telling Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson to stop seeing color, and instead be advocates for the community – all races, colors, and creeds.

Yeah! Stop it you guys, clearly the only ones who are racist!

We have white people who exclusively look out for the needs of white people, and white people ONLY: they are groups like the KKK and the Nazi Party.

Only one race was brought to this country not by choice, but by force. After being kicked out of their homes by opposing tribes, they're sent on an arduous journey to across an ocean in the harshest conditions that, if they happen to survive, give them the opportunity to toil in the fields for hours, months, days, years. Their great gift is some semblance of shelter and not being killed for acting outside of their code of conduct (pick cotton and shut up).

Then, after two centuries of this ingrained servitude, they are allowed to pursue a regulated freedom, one that made damn well clear that they could get paid for their jobs, but were still second-class citizens. These people, “polarized” from the other races and classes, eventually had to fight for the same rights as other people who earned them by being born with the right skin color. And now, one of these people, born about three generations after a hard-fought equality was earned, has been gunned down as his self-identified murder gets to walk free, carrying the murder weapon as he skips along.

So yeah, the KKK and black people are like peas in a pod.

I’ll be holding my breath to see Al Sharpton holding a press conference the next time a teenage white girl gets raped and killed to condemn the black suspect.

Because so many white leaders are pounding the pavement every time a hockey player rapes a white classmate.

Better yet since he’s such a strong voice for Civil Rights – Come out and support equal rights for gay people.

YEAH! I WONDER IF YOU'LL EVER DO THAT, AL SHARPTON! EXCEPT IN THIS STATEMENT THAT I FOUND THAT EXPLICITLY SAYS THAT HE DOES WHICH I ARRIVED AT ONLY AFTER A STRENUOUS GOOGLE SEARCH OF "REVEREND AL SHARPTON GAY SUPPORT" AND CLICKING THE SECOND LINK FROM THE TOP.

The silver lining to this particular case is former NAACP leader C.L. Bryant who flat out accused Sharpton and Jackson of exploiting Travyon’s (6!) death to racially divide the country.

Ah, and because he isn't a current leader he doesn't count, so EVERY leader, as you mentioned earlier, is a scumbag. Guess prominence has a shorter shelf life than "coon."

I’m not saying Travyon (7!) Martin should be dead.

Big fucking statement there, chief. Also, I hope you all took the over.

I’m not saying George Zimmerman is innocent or guilty. I’m saying that black leaders calling for the “facts” can’t be pissed if some of those facts happen to be that Travyon (8!) Martin got suspended for weed.

Even though they have dick-all to do with the case at hand. Soon the truth will come out about whether or not he loop-swoop-pulls his shoelaces or does the bunny ears. THEN America will have ALL the facts! Or maybe just spelling his fucking name correctly. Nine.

They can’t get outraged when the police report states that Zimmerman got punched in the nose.

Because if a man nearly twice your age is stalking you in the night it is entirely unfeasible for one to try and defend themselves against a man carrying a firearm.

If you want justice, you should want the truth to come out – even if that means that a 17 year old boy who happened to be black was killed with cause. Regardless, it’s not a massive conspiracy all the way through the Federal government to let this Latino guy go free. It might be a shitty local police department, but that’s why we have Due Process.

Add "due process" to the list of things that Sean doesn't understand, along with "racism" and "building sensible arguments." Due process "balances the power of law of the land and protects individual persons from it." Zimmerman has already gone through due process. Under the laws, he is allowed to Stand His Ground and use deadly force, if necessary. Due process won't help Trayvon Martin as he was found unanimously guilty of wearing a hoodie while being black.

I'm not even going to comment on the "massive conspiracy" thing.

Sometimes the truth is that there are good and bad people in this world regardless of the color of their skin, and causation does not equal correlation.

Thank you, hedging syntax, for that bold statement that completely belies everything you just wrote about how black people are shifty and up to no good. It's true -- no matter what color you are, Spiffy, you'd still be an ignorant asshole.

Image courtesy of ScrapeTV

 

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Mike Anton is the Editor-In-Chief at The Inclusive. Mike writes movie reviews and interview pieces for The Film Stage as well as screenplays, sketches, and the like. He lives in New York City and though he's an avid beard and flannel enthusiast, he does not consider himself a hipster. Contact him at mike.anton[at]theinclusive.net or @mpants