For my first post, I decided to write about the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case. By this time, we all know that Zimmerman was found not guilty on all charges. In an instant, social media lit up with all sorts of commentary. On my Twitter feed, I saw nothing but outrage for the verdict. There were some posts, however, that wished for peace and prayer for the family. I think that can about sum up my feelings as well. But whenever these situations where race comes into play, I’m always thinking of one thing, “Where do we go from here?”
I don’t have an answer to that question, but I ask it often, in hopes that our nation can find a solution to end the bias that certain groups continue to face. As a Black woman, I am at risk each day because of my skin and my gender. Do I walk around each day thinking that someone will choose to target me because of those things? No. If I did that, I don’t know if I would ever leave my home. I have to believe that, while there are people in this world that are hateful towards people of color, I believe there are more people that do not feel this way. My faith in God, in humanity and my optimistic attitude keeps me from feeling as though all is lost in this country.
But how do we even begin to move forward? How do we begin to stand up and against such intolerance? We have to remember that for some, these behaviors may have began early in life. There are people who have been taught by their parents to hate others. And that hate has continued to spread from one generation to the next. Once you have feelings that have been embedded into your mind for many, many years, it is hard to let go of such negativity. And then, you have those who have hate for certain groups based on experience. Even still, there are those that hate simply because of ignorance.
I cannot even begin to think of what we need to do next as a nation. But I do hope that over the upcoming weeks, we can start to have conversations that generate thoughtful ideas on how to hopefully solve this problem.