It wasn’t until I was in the second grade that “flesh” was changed to “peach.” (And in other skin color related crayon news, “Indian red” was changed to “chestnut” in 1999.)
Some of us with white skin take offense when reminded that we are the privileged race. Ours is the default skin color.
Note how many people describe people as “that black guy” or “the Asian woman” when we don’t usually ascribe skin color or race to someone if he’s a white guy or she’s a white woman. I love that Zadie Smith intentionally identified only the white people by their skin color in White Teeth.
So, as I write this on the 25th birthday of my oldest child, I am thinking about Trayvon’s parents who will never celebrate their son’s 25th birthday. I’m trying to get my head around the fact that his killer was not even found guilty of manslaughter.
Let’s say that Trayvon was carrying weed and a gun instead of Skittles and tea the night he was killed. Let’s say he even had a criminal record. Who cares? The truth is that he was walking home to his father’s house from a convenience store and someone shot him because he was black.
That’s basically why he was shot. A “suspicious-looking” white kid would not have been shot by George Zimmerman.
Crayola started making multiracial crayons twenty years ago but we are still judging people by their skin color. I do it. You do it.
The truth is that white skin color remains privileged. For every college applicant who gets a break for being “a minority” there are countless times that that same minority kid has endured unfair judgment against her because of her skin color.
I don’t know what to do about this. It makes me feel sick to think you can shoot someone for walking while black.
Of course Trayvon Martin fought George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was following him for no reason. Who wouldn’t be afraid?
This is a tragedy.