"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”
― Chief Seattle”
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.”
Given that today marks the 33rd International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination with the 2012 theme “Racism and Conflict,” I personally find that it would be interesting to learn and understand how we all can identify a local (now “national”) case such as the unfortunate killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin (26 February 2012) and apply it to a global context. Just as the theme denotes, racism, discrimination, and xenophobia—manifested in any form, whether systematic or unmethodical, each yield inevitable consequences of conflict, oppression and injustice to some degree… universally.
I also find it rather enlightening and humbling to witness a “movement” or mobilization of sorts (particularly initiated through social media applications and tools) to stand up in solidarity, even to the extent of creatively organizing and promoting “A Million Hoodies March for Trayvon Martin" at the United Nations headquarters in NYC and a pouring of photos posted online of hooded ladies and gents.
In the same instance, I cannot help but ask questions (although not criticizing, but simply attempting to be critical) … Is “solidarity” sufficient? … or are we limiting our inherent capacities and potentialities? … Is wearing a hoodie the most I can do? … What am I trying to accomplish/achieve by tweeting, Facebooking, or blogging a snapshot of myself stanced in-hoodie pose? … Am I being passive by opting out? … Is this kind of tragedy new to us? … If so, what are we gonna do about it? … If not, what are we gonna do about it? … Do our actions imply that we’re unified for justice? … Are we unified against injustice? … or do we believe that they are one and the same? … What does justice look like? … What does it entail? … Is the U.S. truly “soul-searching,” venturing on an “occasional” or “trendy” wave of activism and advocacy, or is this a meaningful symbolic gesture that will yield forth further awareness and advancement? … Do I perceive Trayvon Martin as my son or brother and meanwhile deny that George Zimmerman is of my own kin? … Am I more sympathetic, because I’m a mother of a Trayvon Martin or a mother of a George Zimmerman? … Am I Trayvon Martin and not George Zimmerman? … Do I neglect the oppressor and only recognize the oppressed (when ignorance clearly leads to oppression, and the oppressor is, therefore, only truly oppressing himself/herself)? … Since when does a “Neighborhood Watch Captain” become a “Neighborhood Gunman”? … How does media—digital and otherwise—shape and influence how I think and react to injustice … and justice? … Which story/scenario/perspective do I believe—the one I see … don’t see … or both? … How do we learn and educate ourselves and one another if one were to firmly believe and adhere to the knowledge that "[t]here is no force on earth that can equal in its conquering power the force of justice and wisdom"? … Then perhaps one can only ask WHAT form (exactly) do “justice and wisdom” take, and HOW do we get there in the first place? …
What does the event that took place on 26 February 2012 in Sanford, Florida have to do with me … you … us … . and the world? … And what can (and SHOULD) we REALLY do about it?