21 Things You Can’t Do While Black


Florida’s second sensational, race-tinged murder trial in less than a year is underway.(My prognostication is the perpetrator will not be found guilty as charged but rather guilty of a lesser charge)  Michael Dunn, a white, 47-year-old software developer,  shot and killed Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old African American, as the teen sat in an SUV with three friends. Charged with first-degree murder, Dunn is pleading self-defense under Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law. He contends that he argued with the teens (over what a witness says he called their ” thug music“) and fired on them after he claims he saw Davis brandish a shotgun. Police found no gun at the scene, and  witnesses say Davis never had one.

Like the George Zimmerman trial, during which the self-styled neighborhood watchman successfully argued that he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in self-defense, Dunn’s case has raised questions about Florida’s broad self-defense law, racial profiling, and how the two issues intersect. Would Martin and Davis be alive if they weren’t black? Would they have been afforded the benefit of the doubt by their killers if they had been white? Their deaths didn’t happen in a vacuum. There’s evidence that just being black in the United States is often all it takes to arouse suspicion. Here are 21 examples from the last five years of some of the things black people can’t do without others thinking they’re up to no good.

1. Listen to loud music at a gas station.

2. Walk home from a  snack run to 7-11.

3. Wear a  hoodie.

4. Drive after swimming.

5. Drive in a car with a white girl.

6. Appear in public in New York City.

7. Walk on the  wrong side of the street.

8. Wait for a school bus to take you to your high school basketball game.

9. Drink iced tea in a parking lot.

10. Seek help after a car accident.

11. Inspect your own property.

12. Show up at your job.

13. Talk trash after an NFL game.

14. Throw a temper tantrum in kindergarten.

15. Buy designer accessories at Barney’s.

16. Buy designer accessories at Macy’s.

17. Be a 13-year-old boy.

18. Enter your own home.

19. Botch a science experiment.

20. Be a  tourist.

21. Lay face down in handcuffs.

Hat tip to AlterNet

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A PSA re-enacting the Trayvon Martin shooting.

The Question to ask is….


why was George Zimmerman able to get either a license to carry a handgun, or more accurately, a concealed carry permit when he had been charged several times for offenses that would make him unable to qualify legally for the permit?!?!   It appears he got out of a conviction on the battery charge against a law enforcement officer; ‘by entering a pretrial-diversion program, something common for first-time offenders’.  He had a domestic violence charge ONE month later  leveled against him and an injunction followed but there  is no word in  the press about the disposition of that case. Despite these two brushes with the law Zimmerman was able to get a permit to carry a handgun?!  Something is wrong with that picture.  Perhaps he has a good ole boy permit taken with a wink and nod.  Check out the requirements one has to pass before they can legally carry a handgun in the state of Florida.  It’s clear that Zimmerman was a felon after his domestic violence dispute occurring one month after his resisting arrest charge.  Therefore, on the  night he fatally shot Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman was a felon.

Conservatives always fall on the side of the right of citizens to legally own firearms.  Surprisingly, so does this progressive, who owns several of them himself.  Conservatives also say the laws we have on the books are enough and when it comes to firearm possession and crimes done with them, there’s no need for new ones and this progressive agrees with them especially regarding this case too.

So with regard to the death/murder of Martin the laws we have on the books are enough to charge Zimmerman with a capital offense, so let’s list them starting with the most severe to the least, shall we:

  1. capital murder-Zimmerman pursued Martin
  2. aggravated battery-a fight ensued which Zimmerman initiated
  3. aggravated assault-Zimmerman was carrying a firearm

There’s no need to charge him with a hate crime……there’s enough on his plate to put him away for the rest of his life.  What is troubling is the really lackadaisical police work of the Sanford Police Department that ignored evidence which pointed to Zimmerman’s guilt and exaggerated any piece of evidence which pointed to Martin’s responsibility in his own death.  There was nothing innocent about what Zimmerman did.  He preyed on and murdered Martin in cold blood, but with the complicit approval of the Sanford Police Department. It’s the latter that committed a hate crime….Zimmerman is simply a cold blooded murderer.