We’ve struggled at OutJustice on how to respond to the Trayvon Martin case. We all feel very strongly about it. It seems that, though opinions vary somewhat, no one can come up with a reasonable explanation better than the systemic racism of our society for why events even led up to the situation that ended in Trayvon’s death.
In that we have been overwhelmingly in agreement.
And that’s sad.
So, agreed: In some ways race isn’t our issue. Yet, like every other social justice challenge we face today our mission overlaps with issues of all other peoples and even animals. For that reason, we want to share Stephens’ words.
In particular, Stephens directly addresses white privilege.
If anyone reading this does not believe in said concept, contact us and we’ll give you a tour of some Chicago schools and neighborhoods. That invite will remain open.
So, don’t take offense to this, but take action. If you take offense to anything, take offense to our institutionalized oppression and take major offense to it. And then get active.
Take meaningful action.
“Be the change,” as people paraphrase Gandhi to have said, “that you wish to see in the world.”
To white folks who deny racism as a motivation behind Zimmerman’s crime,
I urge you to stand alongside people of color (not in front of them)
and amplify their voices to demand justice not just for Trayvon Martin
but for all people of color who continue to be victims of a system that
perpetuates racism. I ask you to question your ‘authority’ on the
subject and attempt to understand and subvert your white privilege and
As it turns out, Mr. Stephens is involved in queer and trans activism, too.
We did once we looked at his bio. And we knew it was the right article to use to discuss this upsetting case.
It just goes to show – we all need to stand together for all movements to find justice for all sentient beings, whether fighting racism, cruelty to animals, human trafficking, misogyny, … name your issue and it’s there.
Much of this article includes sentiment we feel in the OutJustice offices.
Until our society openly “owns,” that is admits freely and openly that we need to address racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and so forth (and on and on), we will not move forward.
We aren’t even ready to heal from slavery with states pushing for voter ID cards. Our prisons are overflowing with people of color. And now, thankfully, the beginning of our struggle for LGBTQIA persons it seems that (less than) half of our country thinks it acceptable to treat queer couples as second class citizens (or lower). But it’s a start.
And our victories in marriage equality and the fact that homophobia/transphobia isn’t for most of us in our faces every day doesn’t mean we’ve achieved all that much as a movement. We have. And we haven’t.
Until our government stops allowing profit to dictate its decisions, racism will remain prevalent. And so will homophobia.
White privilege is systemic.
So is heterosexism.
Until we change that, we will not have a free, equal, or healing country.
We as a people need to buck up and fight for our neighbors whether we relate to them or not. Until then, the wounds will continue to be brutally ripped open and we can’t even begin to heal.
We are many nations.