Niagara Gazette

Opinion

July 21, 2013

JACKIE DAVIS: Now is a time for civil discourse

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — The trial is over, and yet so many questions remain. If the authorities are not allowed to racially profile a suspect, can a private citizen? Wouldn’t any kid have been frightened by a grown man following them home on a dark night? Didn’t Trayvon have a right to confront his potential assailant, for following him for no apparent reason? How many kids would have had the courage to do so? What about Trayvon’s civil rights? How can a juror say “race was not a factor” when Zimmerman was looking for a black suspect? Doesn’t Zimmerman bear any responsibility for taking the law into his own hands?

Now is the time for civil discourse. Problems of race aren’t solved by denying their existence. In a recent interview on CNN, Dr. Robert Franklin, former president of Morehouse College said, “We all have to grow beyond seeing stereotypes, profiles and caricatures” and like Dr. King’s moral emphasis, begin to “respect every person as a child of God.”

In that same interview, Tim Wise the (white) author of “Dear White America” said, “Part of the problem of racism in this country is ... denial. When you are in denial that a problem exists, you can’t solve it … when we are open and honest about our racialized fears, we actually do a pretty good job of keeping them in check.”

If this trial leads to civil discourse, greater racial harmony and positive change, then Trayvon Martin’s death will not have been in vain.

Jackie Davis is an inspirational vocalist, musician and speaker with more than 20 years of television broadcast experience. Contact her at jjd.22344@yahoo.com.

Jackie Davis is an inspirational vocalist, musician and speaker with more than 20 years of television broadcast experience. Contact her at jjd.22344@yahoo.com.

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