Well, the president finally weighed in on the Zimmerman verdict last week.  Seems as though when he originally said that if he had a son, yaddi-yaddi-yadda , whatever, what he really meant to say was that he could have been Trayvon.  Well, that clears that up.  Calm and reason has once again fallen over the land and we’re all one big happy family, save for the evil white folks, “typical white folks” I think we were once called, whom Obama is still convinced hate all blacks and conspire on a daily basis to do them harm, like gun them down on the streets of Chicago or force them to have multiple baby mamas.  Yeesh.  If we had an angry old white guy as president, he couldn’t do more damage to race relations than this piece of work has done.

So he could have been Trayvon.  How so Mr. President?  Does that mean you would have been prone to a violent outburst, physically assaulting someone who dissed you by following you around?  Or maybe you might have been the young teen who celebrated his increasing gangsta cred by showcasing guns, stolen merchandise and drug use on Face book?  Including expulsions from school?  You know, those things excluded from the trial that spoke to the identity of Tryavon far more accurately than the cherubic twelve-year old that the press continued to display on television screens every night? Or are these behaviors that were merely forced upon Trayvon by the evil white man?  Or do you actually mean that you too could have been a poster boy for a class of citizens who prefer martyrdom and victimhood pathologies over responsibility and ownership of ones’ faults and failings? Given your brand of leadership, or lack thereof, I’m inclined to believe it’s the latter.  But of course, I’m white and as I’m often reminded by the current crop of black leaders and celebrities, I can’t ever know what it’s like to be black.  Nope, not a bit.  I can never be Trayvon.

My hair was quite a ways down my shoulders, usually unkempt and probably often a little on the greasy side.  I usually wore ratty jeans that had more holes than pockets.  My scuffed and muddy black steel-toed boots were haphazardly laced if tied at all.  My tee shirt usually had some wise-ass comment on it, either promoting drug use or some spiffy new profanity I was proud of.  This was the standard dress for teens in my area and age, all of us “typical whites.”  Funny thing was, we weren’t profiled; nope, we were discriminated against.  At least that’s how we saw it.  Vandalism in the high school?  We would usually be the first called to the office.  Cops would slow down as they drove by us, often times stopping to ask us what we were doing and where we lived.  I was often pulled over just to check my insurance papers.  Right.  It took me a little while before I made the connection, but it always seemed to be inventory time at the local Kmart, because every time I shopped there, there usually ended up being a store associate at the end of each aisle I perused, repeatedly stocking and restocking shelves, shuffling items from the back to the front of the shelves, again and again, constantly asking me if they could help me find something.  And for my safety, there was always a rent-a-cop willing to walk discreetly behind me as I made my way out the door to my poor excuse for a car, ostensibly to re-arrange the shopping carts in the lot while peering over his shoulder at me.  I’ve been asked to leave the local 7-11 on more than one occasion, being told that if I wasn’t going to buy something I had to go. I was white; they were white, what the heck was going on?  Nah, I wasn’t profiled.  If I was, I would have probably walked right up behind one of them and knocked them to the ground with a wild haymaker and then we’d have been even.  Funny thing was, once I cleaned up, got a little pride and started to look for a job, I ended up working in one of these discriminatory white bastions of inequality.  One of the first things they taught us was loss control.  Come to find out, guys that looked and acted a lot like I used to, were guys who usually filled their pockets from aisle to aisle and breezed through the checkout line only to pay for a single beef jerky.  Statistics from the local police told the tale.  Tough things those facts.  And I’ll be darned if I didn’t witness it multiple times myself.

The collective behavior of the larger group made me suspect.  It didn’t matter at the time that I was doing great in school, playing multiple sports, active in political campaigns and involved in church.  Not one bit.  Of course, I could have walked around with a big-assed chip on my shoulder about how unfair the world was but hey, the world is unfair.  Grow the hell up.  Trying to pay one’s own bills sorta does that do a person.  Once I dropped the tough guy uniform and attitude and started to become my own person, things got a lot easier.  Respect was given, not because I was standing in their doorways demanding it, but because I earned it and gave it back.

Sometimes it’s not even about what you look like.  A couple of friends and I were doing business in a large city and thought it’d be a great idea to walk around and maybe do a pub crawl.  Coming out of a seedy little sports bar, we were a bit more disoriented than usual and walked a few blocks before we realized we had no clue as to where the hell we were.  The locals didn’t like it one bit.  Standing at a corner diagonally to a group of young black men, we tried not to look too helpless but were showered with all sorts of profanities that escalated to verbal threats.  What was it Jesse Jackson said about hearing footsteps behind him and being relieved?  In any case, we quickened our pace as they crossed the street and proceeded to move at a quicker pace towards us, only stopping when we ran across the parking lot of a convenience store where a police car was parked.   They stopped but didn’t disperse, nor did they lose their zeal for reminding us that we didn’t belong there, that they’d shoot our white asses if we came back into their neighborhood again.  The black patrolman in the car just chuckled.  “Get in” he said and as he drove us to the side of town where our hotel was, he instructed us on the fact that red baseball hats weren’t really the color one would brazenly wear in that part of town.  Who knew, I was a hated white guy with a more hated Red Sox hat.

No Mr. Obama, I’ll concede that I don’t know what it’s like to be black any more than you know what it’s like to be white.  The fact that your administration is hostile to white people does nothing more than endear you to the radicals and race baiters  of the black community, and that doesn’t help black people either.  It does, however, speak volumes to the type of person you really are on matters of race and what a poor leader you are of a country sorely in need of someone with the strength to actually lead.  I’ve no more held slaves than you’ve been one.  My descendants emigrated from France through Canada.  I’ve never persuaded young black men to stay away from school for fear of becoming an Oreo, I’ve never shot a black baby in a drive by over drug turf and I’ve never fathered black baby after black baby only to walk away from them and their mothers, left to fend for themselves.   And as a white man coming from a poor middle class upbringing, I’ve never had “white privilege”, whatever the hell that is.

Continuing to stoke the fires of hate over the Zimmerman verdict needs to stop.  Whatever truly transpired that night, only Trayvon and George know, but the jury believed George and the other facts presented in the case.  Your racial witch hunt via the Department of Justice will only deepen this divide and you sir, will be remembered for a long hot summer of hate.  Chose your legacy.  I dare you to.

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