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Speak of Freedom: Trayvon Martin, ‘Project X’ & The Media’s View of the Young Black MalePosted by Brando on 03/20/12 | Filed under Features, Speak of Freedom
The long-standing narrative of being young and black in America has always been prosed the exact same way – lovers of the materialistic, yet too caught up in the moment to justify support for a cause. The current generation of African-Americans, especially its young boys, fall along the same vitriol Tupac Shakur ran with for his apex in the mid-1990s and that of Kanye West today: loud, boisterous and still having a hand in the previous generation’s sand. They are young, they are loud and at times too scatterbrained to fully comprehend that the world around them is at times, truly out to get them.
This isn’t a racial hit piece, more along the lines of stroking the awareness fire. The statistics regarding coverage of Trayvon Martin’s tragic murder (for that’s what it truly was) don’t necessarily matter. Study CNN long enough and you’ll realize matters of color (i.e. Whitney Houston) will continue to be at their forefront with Fox News laughably trailing behind.
The news of Martin’s death slowly trickled out after Spring Break to those youths who had spent the previous week somewhat oblivious to everything around them. The media almost shielded the story and tucked it away so that the giant explosion of anger and tweets even prompted some to put George Zimmerman’s actual home address and phone number for the world to see. Zimmerman’s the man who claimed self-defense in Martin’s death, shooting the young man with a single bullet as he cried for help according to the 911 tapes.
Stories of young black men being cut down have been glorified on screen with the “hood classic” films of the early 90s. It’s nothing new, and regardless of what race Zimmerman has been classified as, it’s the same prognosis for every male under the age of 25 these days – you’ve grown up with the hood movies that spoke on such issue and now you’re literally living it.
Even those deemed socially aware such as Touré have been tasteless regarding Martin’s murder, the Sanford police department’s refusal to arrest Zimmerman (who in his “Neighborhood Watch” position has called the police on 46 different occasions between the first of the year & the Martin death) on murder charges and more. His attempt of turning the matter into a relatable adjective for other events in life were reprehensible, another in a canon of tweets from the writer where his best action would have to never let his mouth purse through the 140-character barrier.
But the mindstate of the young male, in a kill or be killed world (both figuratively in terms of competition & literally sadly) has always been to achieve glory in youth and reflect upon it later in life. The film "Project X" has given way to the ideal that such a reckless party where everything goes out of control and winds up on the news is something to be lauded, when rather it’s civil disobedience dressed in the same Hollywood wash of youthful exuberance.
Such a party attempted to be thrown in Houston a little less than a week ago. Properly advertised in the lexicon of parties, there was massive promotion on social networking and a large gathering of college kids & teens came descended upon a vacant house looking for fun. Instead, one boy lay dead as a gunman walked up and fired upon a crowd.
Were both issues with Martin and the party senseless? Of course, and sadly “copycat parties” from the movie won’t spread awareness of how Hollywood really is fairy tale. The producers may not put out a warning or come out on national talk shows to speak about the craziness. Instead, they might line their pockets from ticket receipts. At least Jackass came with a warning sign for people not to try this on their own.
Yet, this is the dialogue between America and it’s black youth. They’re powerful, yet unsafe. Imaginative, yet dumbed down and typecast when they’re in a negative light (see Chris Brown being dignified as a rapper when ever he’s in trouble). The social awareness of it all is that no one race truly is out to get the other – it’s that people are out to get one another. For what gain, who knows? Zimmerman wanted to take the law into his hands and some youths inspired by the actions of a Hollywood movie set wanted to make a name for themselves.
But death spoke a little louder.
Time to let the black boys and young men of America completely understand that there’s a target on them – regardless of race, color or creed.