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This country is reaching a boiling point:
It’s time now to clear the air. when i was a little girl my father and i were pulled over one night on a highway in virginia. we were headed back to new york after visiting family in martinsville. i wasn’t scared until i heard the police officer order my father out of the car, like a criminal, and he said “boy, you got some i.d.?” i’d never heard anyone talk to my dad like that. as he got out of the car he told me not to worry but the way he said it only frightened me more. my father’s offense wasn’t speeding. my father’s offense was that he was a black man driving a nice car. to the officer this seemed out of place, just as a young, black man in a hoodie wrongly seemed out of place to george zimmerman the night he shot and killed trayvon martin. left unchecked or unchallenged our biases, bigotry and stereotypes take over our better judgment. people, in trayvon martin’s case, a teenager walking home from the store, are dehumanized into some form of other, unworthy of respect and it’s justified as a way to make people some kind of separate and unequal status. so when newt gingrich, presidential candidate newt gingrich says that “really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works, they have no habit of i do this and you give me cash, unless it’s illegal,” or rick santorum says, “i don’t want to make black people’s lives easier,” or rush limbaugh calls a presidential candidate senator barack obama a magic negro, or mitt romney says nothing at all, the effect is dangerous, because they reinforce and validate old stereotypes that associate the poor and welfare as criminal behavior with african-americans and people of color, calling us lazy, undeserving recipients of public assistance. in the case of trayvon, those festering stereotypes had lethal consequences. you know, early this month i joined civil rights hero john lewis in retracing the steps of the civil rights movement through birmingham, mondtgomery and selma, alabama. it was inspiring to be reminded of the courage that people from all backgrounds, black, white, gay, straight, men, women, conservative, liberal, they refused to let their silence endorse the evil around them. they stood up against the hate, against the racism, and against prejudice. thank you
Turn to watch Bashir’s very real analogy.