“ ‘Not Guilty?’ the filthy devils tried to kill me/  When the news gets to the hood the niggas will be/ Hotter than cayenne pepper/  Cuss, buss, kicking up dust is a must.”
Ice Cube – ‘We Had to Tear This MF Up’

The’ Not Guilty’ verdict for George Zimmerman, the killer of  Black teenager Trayvon Martin,  confirms a fact that all Black men know, but hoped had changed.  The fact that many white people view us as a threat.

Zimmerman claimed he was in fear of his life from a 17 year old boy

Zimmerman claimed he was in fear of his life from a 17 year old boy

It doesn’t matter if the Black man in question is well educated and softly spoken. It doesn’t matter if he has not even finished puberty. We are seen as a threat that must be contained. Trayvon was an unarmed teenager, and George Zimmerman was an heavily set 29 year old with an obvious weight advantage, who also happened to be packing a gun.  But still Zimmerman felt that he was the one who’s life was in danger, which could only be preserved by use of lethal force with a deadly weapon.  Even though casual observers can see nonsense of this, the Police could see Zimmerman viewpoint, as they released him without charge on the night of the murder.  A year later in the calm light of day, the six women of the jury could also see the logic of his viewpoint, as they acquitted him of all charges. They too could see how being faced with a young Black male wearing a hoody could put one in fear of their life.

Let’s drop the façade that these trials by jury are about legal argument or points of law.  Let’s be honest, they hinge on the prejudices of the members of the jury. That is why such a big deal is made of jury selection – because the defence know that the most significant factor that influences a jury’s decision, is not be the evidence put before them during the trial, but rather the prejudices they walked into the courtroom with.  The reason that Black celebrity OJ Simpson was found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife Nicole, was not because of the clever legal arguments of his defence team. It was because the Black women of the jury were well aware of the history of violence and lynchings visited on Black men in America, and were not going to send a Black man to jail for killing a white woman, where there was any sliver of doubt.

Is there a 'raging Hulk' inside every Black man?

Is there a ‘raging Hulk’ inside every Black man?

I am not for one minute suggesting that the members of that jury in Florida are all racists that think that all Black men should be put to death.  I’m not even arguing that George Zimmerman thinks that.  But what Zimmerman and those jury members, and so many white people share is the ‘Fear of the Black Man’.  We are viewed like Dr Bruce Banner – the mild mannered character from Marvel comics who, when put under stress will metamorphosis into an uncontrollable beast with super-human strength.

It was a similar thought process held by the Los Angeles police officers who were caught on camera viciously beating Black motorist Rodney King back in 1991.  It took four grown men with night sticks to keep him at bay, and if they were to ease up their beating for just a moment, no doubt King would have risen to his feet, and Lord only knows what kind of violent revenge he would have visited upon them.  The members of the jury at the trial in Simi Valley saw it that way too, when they found the four officers not guilty of using unreasonable force – a verdict which sparked the LA Riots.

Even though the cops who beat Rodney King were caught on camera, they were still found not guilty

Even though the cops who beat Rodney King were caught on camera, they were still found not guilty.

But this ‘Fear of the Black Man’ is not just something felt in America.  Many white people in Britain feel it too. Maybe the Metropolitan police officers who shot to death Azelle Rodney in 2005, and Mark Duggan in 2011 felt that same fear.  Maybe they thought that to alert these Black men of the presence of Police officers would be putting their own lives in danger.  Maybe they thought that attempting an arrest of the suspects would be too risky, and it would be simpler and safer to simply shoot them dead in the street, and worry about issues of due process later.

Maybe it was fear for their lives that the four Police officers who forcibly restrained the mentally unwell Sean Rigg were feeling, until he fell unconscious and died in 2008.

The Police restraint of Sean Rigg resulted in his death

The Police restraint of Sean Rigg resulted in his death.

Maybe that’s what the three G4S officers who were restraining Jimmy Mubenga on board a British Airways flight bound for Angola in 2010 were thinking.  No doubt those security guards felt that his pleas for help and cries that he couldn’t breathe were just a ruse, so that they would loosen their grip and he could break free of his shackles and attack them.  Until he stopped breathing that is.

And God only knows what was in the minds of the Police officers who visited Smiley Culture in his home in 2011, only for the visit to end with a knife in his chest!

This ‘Fear of the Black Man’ can also carry over to ‘Fear of Black Women’.  Maybe that’s what the Police who went to Joy Gardener’s house 20 years ago felt.  In 1993 an immigration officer and police officers arrived at her home to serve a deportation notice, and when Gardner refused them entry, the police entered by force and struggled and fought with her. The officers gagged and restrained Gardner using a body belt and wrapped 13 ft of tape around her head, which they later claimed was to prevent her biting them. Gardner suffocated and subsequently fell into a coma, later dying in hospital. The three police officers involved were found not guilty of manslaughter in 1995. Clearly all concerned thought that 13ft of gaffer tape was a reasonable precaution to take when dealing with an ‘angry Black woman’.

Police were fearful that Joy Gardner would bite them

Police were fearful that Joy Gardner would bite them

All of these examples are of confrontations between law enforcement officers and Black people suspected of a crime.  This naturally heightens the tensions and raises the stakes for all concerned.  But this ‘Fear of the Black Man’ is also something that ordinary brothers face on a daily basis.  This was brought home to me when a friend related an experience he had in his work place.  During a meeting with his white colleagues, this professional Black man was involved in a full and frank exchange of views.  After the meeting had ended, one of his female colleagues pulled him aside and asked if he had calmed down. When he confirmed that he had, she expressed her relief, confiding that back in the meeting she feared that ‘he might stab somebody’.  This white woman who had worked with my friend for years, feared that if he lost his temper he might erupt into murderous violence against his work-mates! If she can fear this from one of her work colleagues who she knows well, then how much more does she fear from a Black man whom she has never met?  How much more from a Black youth she encounters on the street who is wearing a hoody?

The great irony is, as I hope I have shown, that it is us who has more to fear from them, than they do from us. But Black men, since this is what we are facing, how can we protect ourselves and stay safe?  Here’s some tips to remember in your interactions with white people.

1)      Best not to wear a hoody.

2)      Never ever raise your voice or gesticulate wildly.  Although this is the way people of colour naturally communicate, it makes white people nervous, and could escalate any conflict to dangerous proportions.

3)      If you are unfortunate enough to have prolonged contact with the Police or other authority figures, then surreptitious audio and video recording devices, and/or eye witness are recommended. (The come in very handy at the trial).

4)      In interactions with the Police, never argue, resist arrest or make any quick movements, or you could end up dead.

5)      If you’re an immigrant, never overstay your visa, because if they come to deport you, you could end up dead.

6)      If you’re mentally ill, make sure you always take your medication, because if you relapse, and have a psychotic episode that results in the Police being called, you could end up dead.

In summary, just tread very carefully, or you could turn up missing, and judging from past evidence, no one will be convicted of your murder.

RIP,  Smiley Culture, Mark Duggan, Sean Rigg, Jimmy Mubenga, Azelle Rodney, Stephen Lawrence,  Joy Gardener, Rodney King and Trayvon Martin.

trayvon-martin

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Comments
  1. robmcm says:

    How come no one cares about the black on black crime going on in America’s inner cities ??? But by all means, continue ranting and crying like white people are out “hunting” down black people…..how come 49.7% of the murders in this country are committed by a group that makes up 13% of the population???

    • leepinkerton says:

      What makes you think that no-one cares Robmcm? Is it cos the mainstream media gives the issue so little coverage? Well you should know they rarely give anything coverage if it doesn’t affect them. I personally, and many other Black people care passionately about this issue, and are working on it everyday. I dedicated a whole chapter to it in my latest book. If you want to read it you can find it on Amazon. Its entitled ‘The Problem With Black Men’

      • robmcm says:

        Yet people are not out protesting like they are now. But when you hitch your wagon to white liberals who are full of white guilt and ashamed to be white, this is the result you get. Having lived in the inner city I know what goes on there, and the problem is NOT white people hunting down black people like so many people in the media are making it out to be. Rather it is the senseless murders for reasons such as being on the wrong block, the colors of your clothes ( not your skin) , turf to sell drugs, and ” you disrespected me”.
        Where is the justice for hundreds if not thousands of black youths who killers won’t be found because of the “stop snitching” culture in inner city neighborhoods ? This article is just another race baiting piece of garbage that only fools guilty white people who have no clue what goes on in the inner city. Booker T Washington was ahead of his time in 1911 when he nailed it on the head about what goes on today:
        “There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

      • leepinkerton says:

        “This article is just another race baiting piece of garbage”? That’s strong robmcm. I like the quote from Booker T though, and I think there is some truth in it. But if you feel so strongly about black on black crime, what are u doing to address it?

    • zbb says:

      robmcm, if your question is not rhetorical and you are actually interested in productive discussion, check out this article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/07/15/the-trayvon-martin-killing-and-the-myth-of-black-on-black-crime.html

      also, i’d love to know where you got that 49.7% statistic. the closest stat i can find to it is from an fbi ucir report (with all of ucir’s methodological discrepancies) from 2008 that states that 47.9% of all murder victims are black. could you provide a title or a link?

  2. robmcm says:

    I don’t feel that strongly about it, just pointing out that 93% of blacks murdered in this country are by other blacks…..that seems more of a problem to blacks than “evil whitey” hunting them down and killing them.Just my 2 cents….Here’s another good quote from Booker T Washington:
    “Among a large class, there seemed to be a dependence upon the government for every conceivable thing. The members of this class had little ambition to create a position for themselves, but wanted the federal officials to create one for them. How many times I wished then and have often wished since, that by some power of magic, I might remove the great bulk of these people into the country districts and plant them upon the soil – upon the solid and never deceptive foundation of Mother Nature, where all nations and races that have ever succeeded have gotten their start – a start that at first may be slow and toilsome, but one that nevertheless is real.”

    • zbb says:

      what are your thoughts on the 86% of whites killed by other whites? what do you think whites should do about that? as the majority of americans dependent upon government aid are white, does the inclusion of the second washington quote mean that your concerns for the white community are equal to your concerns for the black community?

    • leepinkerton says:

      robmcm, you are very good at quoting Booker T, and I like them. The sentiments of this last one are echoed in a blog post I wrote back in January entitled ‘Mary Seacole, and the immigrant mentality versus the dependency culture’ if you check that, you’ll see that I encourage Black people to stop relying on ‘the man’ for handouts and do for self. But I’m not clear where you stand. On the one hand you argue that all this Trayvon noise is just a side-show of white liberal guilt, and that the real problem that needs addressing is the Black on Black crime that you’ve witnessed first hand. But then in you’re next comment you say that you don’t really feel that strongly about it. Can you, without quoting someone else, explain what you are, and what you think we should, really be focussed on?

  3. robmcm says:

    @zbb- LOL, please don’t post links to left wing garbage……when an author states that black on black crime doesn’t exist, how can you take anything he says seriously ??

  4. robmcm says:

    Booker T Washington sure was a man ahead of his time:
    “I have begun everything with the idea that I could succeed, and I never had much patience with the multitudes of people who are always ready to explain why one cannot succeed.”

  5. zbb says:

    thanks for that link; white people really have a handle on violent and property crime in this country! i’d heard before that white people committed more crime than any other group, but i had no idea the numbers were like that. also, if you can’t read the wording of that sentence as the popular concept of ‘black-on-black crime’ as existing without the context of ‘white-on-white crime’, then are you really reading to learn?

  6. robmcm says:

    “what are your thoughts on the 86% of whites killed by other whites?”–It means that whites usually kill whites, and blacks usually kill blacks. But the point is that 49.7% of murders in this country are committed by a group that makes 13% of the population , while white makes up 72% of the population and commit 48% of the murders. Seems pretty disproportionate to me….

  7. robmcm says:

    ” Can you, without quoting someone else, explain what you are, and what you think we should, really be focussed on?”– Focus on personal responsibility and quit making excuses , America has become a victim society today…..

  8. robmcm says:

    ” also, if you can’t read the wording of that sentence as the popular concept of ‘black-on-black crime’ as existing without the context of ‘white-on-white crime’, then are you really reading to learn?”– BS, white on white crime exists at a far higher level than black on black crime. But you can’t deny that in proportion, black people commit way more violent crimes than whites, especially murder….

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