Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Let's Make a List: "Goons vs. Coons" and What Could Trayvon Martin Have Done Differently in Order to Still be Alive?

I told you that the black racial apologist parade for George Zimmerman would be in full force. As someone else suggested online, perhaps George Zimmerman called his "best black friend" Joe Oliver a "coon" so many times that the latter began to confuse said word with "goon" (or alternatively that there are local versions of racial slurs that are in fact "complements").

Racial Stockholm Syndrome is real. Joe Oliver and other black accomplices/apologists for anti-black racial violence such as Larry Elder are object lessons in the phenomenon.

In the near future, there are going to be many monographs and edited volumes written about the Trayvon Martin tragedy. I have one or two more posts on the subject to offer in the next few days. So much remains to be said as this event is so personal, for so many of us, on both sides of the colorline.

During Jim and Jane Crow there was an informal pamphlet called The Negro Motorist Green Book which offered guidance, advice, lodging suggestions, and other information for African Americans traveling throughout the perilous South.

Playing off of that idea, what deliverables would you take away from the murder of Trayvon Martin and the spectacle that has come to pass during the last week or so? If you had to crystallize this down into a pamphlet, book, or set of talking points for young black and brown boys (and girls) what would you include?

This could be both cathartic and therapeutic; crowd sourcing is a very reliable means of coming to consensus, learning new information, as well as generating useful and insightful ideas.

Here are a few of my suggestions for the hypothetical and imagined Green Book for Black Men and Boys Walking in Gated Communities Policed by White Vigilantes:

1. As a black male realize that you are guilty until proven innocent. Normal standards of jurisprudence, common sense, and fair play do not apply to you.

2. People of color should be deferent, "respectful," and submissive when confronted by "authority figures." Shut your mouth, answer their questions, and do as you are told. The lessons your grandparents learned still apply in post civil rights, post racial, Age of Obama America. For black folks confronted by White authority the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are very much contingent.

3. You will have friends heretofore unknown; you will have enemies expected; you will have new found enemies and detractors among people who you would have previously thought would have a natural sense of linked fate with you. The takeaway? Remember, every brother ain't a brother, and every sister ain't a sister.

4. The right of self-defense applies to just about every group of citizens in America but you. You are existentially vulnerable under all circumstances to white authority (and those who identify with it). If a young white man defends his life and personhood he is a hero to be valorized. If a young black man defends his life and personhood he is a thug, threat, hoodlum, and a priori a criminal. This last bit of advice is critical: remember, your criminality is automatically assumed by the White gaze. There is little if anything you can do to disprove this assumption.

What would you add to the list?


Anonymous said...

Joe Oliver=Noble Negro Opportunists

Joe is a racial ambulance chaser on hire to pander to and appease and act as a buffer for white america.

Joe is nothing new his types always emerge after a raw racist event takes place in our nation.

Black youth's misbehavior makes them juvenile delinquents as such they will be handled by the criminal justice system

White youths are adolescents their misbehaving will be never be reported to the criminal justice system instead a call to thier parents is the best practice in America
White youth are ado

freebones said...

Just idle curiosity here, CD, but do you feel as though the issue of race in America is getting any better, on average, purely with the passage of time? I'd like to think that younger generations are less and less prone to racial antagonism on average than those that came before. What are your thoughts on that?

Derrick said...

I would change the 1st point. Ishmael Reed's "Bigger and OJ" argued that "Blacks are guilty until proven guilty." I have always thought that was an important point to remember. That at any moment our status, class, and degrees become irrelevant to our blackness.

YKM said...


You quoted The Story of Catcher Freeman!!!

HAHAHAHAHAH That's what's poppin... I've been using this episode to preach the gospel of BS that surrounds us (along with the Martin Luther King Speech from the episode Return of the King

These people either A) are nuts or B) have no nuts. At any rate, its an insult to cashew and macadamias.

Historiann said...

In addition to the Green Book travel guides, your series recalls those books for children recently called The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Daring Book for Girls. Perhaps your book could be called The Dangerous Book for Daring Black Boys?

Here's my entry: Don't look people in the eye, but don't look like you're avoiding eye contact. White people find both eye contact and the avoidance of eye contact very threatening in young black men.

Anonymous said...

6. Like Clarence Thomas learned to shut his mouth and go along. Like Colin Powell learned that he really wasn't the head negroe in charge. Like Condolezza Rice found out what they REALLY thought about her from Cheney's memoirs. When you have arrived, you really haven't arrived.

Zimmerman's father gave the impression, in his initial statement that Zimmerman, who is 28, had loads of black friends and family. Yet, the only person they could find to vouch for him is a 53 year-old, husband of a woman who is friends with Zimmerman's mother. Oliver disclosed this dynamic in his 'coming out' statement. SMDH

DebC said...

@freebones..."I'd like to think that younger generations are less and less prone to racial antagonism on average than those that came before."

I wouldn't be holding my breath, bsed on this: http://jezebel.com/5896408/racist-hunger-games-fans-dont-care-how-much-money-the-movie-made

Feel free to click on those individual tweets to see exactly how the younger generation feels - in their own words (and this is only a movie! smdh)

MilesEllison said...

The only thing that would have kept Trayvon Martin alive in this situation was being white. Unfortunately, he couldn't have done that differently.

D. said...



Unfortunately, the younger generation is just as antagonistic, if not more so. I left The Escapist (video-game website) because of the racial antagonism on the forums that would flare up at least once a week. What really got me is that very few racist posts were modded. It's that silent compliance that turns the stomach.

DebC said...

@D...Media propaganda would have us believe differently, but I agree with you 200%! And yes, the silent compliance turns the stomach but - it, too, is a part of the overall message that seems to escape a lot of us(in addition to )what is actually being said in forums all across these alleged, United States.

Throcky said...

In my experience, the youth of America aren't as post-racial as the media makes them out to be. That said they do very much believe in the existence of post-raciality, and I believe these are linked.

The university I go to is an engineering university in Texas. There is a lot of "diversity," if by "diversity" you mean whites, east Asians, and south Asians. To put the racial make-up in perspective, our basketball team is 90% white.

Discussions about race are always great, as you can imagine. In one class discussion of Autobiography of an Ex Colored Man, a few students claimed that the greatest "racism" they've seen is white people having to "pass" as brown in order to get scholarships meant for people of color. One student said that she liked other races because they were so exotic compared to the bland normality of white people. I tried to make points against this but when most of the class is against you it's difficult.

Then there was another class where we read an article about how black-white friendships are unrealistically portrayed in Hollywood movies. One student pulled the Ancient History card and claimed that it was irrelevant now. He said this despite the fact that (as I pointed out) it was written just 15 years ago.

As you can see, the belief that we live in a post-racial utopia is quite ingrained in white students. It's so ingrained that any evidence to the contrary appears ancient and thus irrelevant, no matter how recently it happened.

The sad thing is that I haven't seen any students of color trying to refute the white students' beliefs. I don't know why. Perhaps they've internalized post-racial ideology. Or perhaps they assume everyone else has and are thus uncomfortable discussing anything that appears to contradict it.

The most accurate portrayal of how young whites approach race that I've seen is this paper by Bonilla-Silva: http://crs.sagepub.com/content/28/1-2/41.abstract

DebC said...

@Throcky...I currenly live in the "belly of the beast" as well, and I totally understand what you're saying about - "diversity," if by "diversity" you mean whites, east Asians, and south Asians" - here. I participated in a dialogue (during Black History Month) sponsored by the local university and KLRN when I first moved here a couple years ago and, so frustrated about the color-blind BS being bandied about, I had to stand and say how insulting it all was that their "blindness" showed how much they did not even see me. After the lecture, many Blacks in the audience came up to me and THANKED me for saying what they were thinking! Blew me away how they didn't feel comfortable saying the same sh*t I was saying - and they were feeling! Just boggles the mind...(thanks for the link!)

Adam GH said...


No suggestions currently for the guidebook, but this post reminded me of two others you have had here.

One: Charles Mills on Critical Race Theory and the concept of whiteness which acts independent of some objective sense of color.

Two: "Are you Black or Blue". The piece on policeman of color taking sides against Henry Louis Gates Jr. for being so angry at the policeman that questioned the ownership of his home.


These pieces miss completely the point that's being made against Trayvon's killer. It doesn't matter whether or not Trayvon threw the first punch, or whether his assailant was latino. ZImmerman is White and Trayvon is Black. Zimmerman's friend witnessed here moreover may in fact be White for the practical purposes here.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

These guys should just take out ads:

Black Friend for Sale - willing to quit previous engagements, inluding livelihood to defend you. No need to give details, will make shit up o match your story. Payment negotiable. For details please call xxx-xxx-xxxx.

freebones said...


sometimes i forget that my friends and family do not represent the average human being. sigh.