Ramadan Reflections 2013 (day 6): Stuck

I’m stuck.

I’ve been stuck all day on my feelings about the Trayvon Martin and the verdict.

I’ve been asking myself how to contextualize this within Ramadan. Where do I reflect on this?

I’ve been writing little lines here and there… I opened up the Quran to find an answer. I opened to Surah: Al- Araf

Surah 7: Ayah 34 stood out to me:

And for all people a term has been set:to and when [the end of] their term approaches, they can neither delay it by a single moment, nor can they hasten it. 

In this I choose to believe that Trayvon’s murder and the end of his young life was meant to be. This ruling by the court is also an end to apathy, inshallah. I hope that those of like-mind and heart will understand that we must fight for justice in all its forms and name racism, sexism, xenophobia, islamophobia, homophobia and on, in all it’s forms. At all times.

We cannot – I cannot – be as tight-lipped (which generally, I am not) in naming racist actions and remarks around me. I particularly cannot falter or hesitate as a woman with skin-privilege.

THIS MOMENT IS RACISM IN ACTION – this is institutional and socio-cultural racism in all it’s glory. I refuse to be engaged or even hear any form of explanation or defense that is contrary to what I know. That is exactly what we, as millions of people in the US and around the world, know to be true.

I started to write a little poem, but I’m not ready to share it yet… I’m taking an easy route right now by ending with something from bell hooks… I hope you’ll understand.

bell hooks on Zimmerman case

“White supremacy has taught him that all people of color are threats irrespective of their behavior. Capitalism has taught him that, at all costs, his property can and must be protected. Patriarchy has taught him that his masculinity has to be proved by the willingness to conquer fear through aggression; that it would be unmanly to ask questions before taking action. Mass media then brings us the news of this in a newspeak manner that sounds almost jocular and celebratory, as though no tragedy has happened, as though the sacrifice of a young life was necessary to uphold property values and white patriarchal honor. Viewers are encouraged to feel sympathy for the white male home owner who made a mistake. The fact that this mistake led to the violent death of an innocent young man does not register; the narrative is worded in a manner that encourages viewers to identify with the one who made the mistake by doing what we are led to feel we might all do to “protect our property at all costs from any sense of perceived threat.” This is what the worship of death looks like.”

– bell hooks

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