Racist Response to Howard's Trayvon Video PDF Print E-mail
By Hilltop Editorial-- Black College Wire   

One particular response to Howard’s recent “Am I Suspicious” Trayvon Martin video is a shocking and painful reminder of the degree of racial hatred that is still prevalent in American society.

The response video, “Hey, Young N*ggers at Howard,” was removed from YouTube for its violation of the site’s policy against “hate speech”—but not before The Hilltop staff had a chance to view it and be appalled enough to write about it. The response video featured a male voice, hidden behind a picture of a man in a sombrero with the words “I Am George Zimmerman” written across the screen.

The man identifies himself as a “white Hispanic” and expresses his extreme disapproval for the public—and Howard’s, in particular—campaign against racial profiling. He argues that George Zimmerman, and Hispanics, like himself are not racist and that African Americans need to stop creating trouble and making excuses for our misfortune.

He said that President Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Colin Powell, are proof that the United States has been good to African Americans “since 1860” when it set us free. In addition to its obvious historical inaccuracies, the video is filled with “n-word” references. Ironically, the speaker told Howard students to go back to school and learn something because, in his opinion, our views about racism are incorrect and imaginary.

As a staff, we were conflicted about whether or not to share the video or to ignore it, and its removal from YouTube, while a welcome sign that “hate speech” will not be tolerated, is also a problem because it eliminates compelling and indisputable evidence about the racist world in which we live.

While we were not at all surprised by this revelation, it was difficult to see it and hear it expressed so blatantly before our very eyes. Rush Limbaugh and all the conservative radio and television show hosts and politicians across the country--at least not their public personas—have nothing on this man. With and without the video to quote from, it is almost impossible to convey that level of hatred in writing without contaminating the page with ignorance and racial slurs.

Yet, the Trayvon Martin case and the responses to it demonstrate the continued inability to honestly and adequately address the consequences of race and racism in America. Hateful rants full of prejudice and frustration do not count.

Many people have gone out of their way to protest the labeling of the killing of Trayvon Martin as a racial issue, arguing that black-on-black crime rates are higher than those of white-on-black crime, as if that negates the fact that the killer of a teenage boy has not been arrested. Even President Obama was criticized by his Republican candidates for bringing race into the equation with his response to Trayvon’s murder.

As a country, we still refuse to acknowledge that no matter how many friends of other races we might have, our judgments and assumptions about the way people look, behave, dress, and even speak, the reasons for it, and the feelings or resentment that we may have towards people, as a result, are all indicative of our prejudices. Attacking a group of college students for taking a stand is further proof of the depth of our post-racial delusions.

Our View: The racist response video was a sad and disturbing reminder of how far we still have to come.

This article was originally published as a staff editorial in The Hilltop, the Howard University student newspaper.

This is an opinion article that represents the views of the writers.

Posted Apr. 07, 2012
< Prev   Next >