Saturday, September 21

Other Uses of Legacy -

-- Trayvon Martin, Rev ML King Jr,
& Detective Inspector Richard Poole --

This may be the first positive development in the aftermath of Trayvon Martin's tragic death by misadventure . . .

An announcement was made last week of an assembly of students at a Fort Lauderdale high school presided over by many black officials, including at least one Christian clergyman and the local black police chief, to discuss the circumstances of the teenager's death and techniques to avert such violent confrontations in the future.

One aspect of Rev Martin Luther King's legacy which received no press attention at all during the recent commemorations: teaching skills in nonviolent conflict resolution. In all likelihood, if Trayvon Martin had been taught these skills, he would have survived that fateful encounter without untoward incident.

Kudos to whoever brought this initiative to these black youngsters. Did the kids get any exposure to this approach when the meeting occurred? We cannot ascertain what actually transpired there due to inadequate MSM reportage.

You can look up the mainstream press reports about the meeting, but they yield little useful information in this vein. Whenever Trayvon Martin's name is mentioned, it is usually used as a lightening rod to evoke a twisted propaganda spin and/or race-baiting.

We welcome this initiative which we believe moves the focus of the case into a more helpful and constructive direction.

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You would think that the BBC TV mystery series Death in Paradise airing on WPBT2, would be very popular here in SoFlo. It is an offbeat police procedural set on a fictional Caribbean island which features a displaced quirky UK detective from Croydon. I've watched a few episodes, though, I confess, I haven't followed the story arc religiously.

So, is it popular around here? That's hard to determine, but it brings me to another current issue in the black community, which I've seen up close.

African-Americans are no longer the only black people living here. Broward County has experienced an influx of immigrants from the Caribbean. They are here by choice; no one dragged them to Florida in chains.

And in many cases they have advanced qualifications for jobs which may put them in a supervisory capacity over local residents of color. Rather than viewing them as inspirational role models, some African Americans may develop resentments, and conflicts in cultural values may ensue.

One example of this issue impacts young African American gay people, who have had problematic interactions with Haitians who, they allege, demonstrate bigotry against gays.

Thus, it is not only White people, Latinos, Asians or Russians, that African-Americans youngsters have to learn to get along with. They may have to learn to cope with other black ethnicities who have strongly held but significantly different cultural values.