Tag Archives: Trayvon Martin

Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression Part 3: Challenging the Liberal Fascination with Gay, International Violence

by Erika Lynn Abigail Kreeger, ’16

This is the third part of a four part in a series entitled “Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression.” The first part is entitled “Russian Sexual Politics and the East/West Divide,” and the second part is entitled “Boycotting Boycotts of Russia.”

The call to boycott the Sochi Games is not the first time there has been a call to boycott the Olympics due to civil rights or social justice abuses. The US boycotted the 1980 Olympics in the SSSR, while the SSSR boycotted the 1984 Olympics in the US, largely due to animosity and suspicion of each other.

Before that, though, there was talk amongst black academics and black athletes in America to boycott participating on the US Olympic team in the 1968 Mexico City Games to protest social conditions of blacks at home. While the boycott was never realized, black and allied athletes found other ways to protest, the most famous being the Black Power Salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos, both African American, after coming in 1st and 3rd, respectively, in the 200 meter sprint.

And over the past few years, there have been calls in parts of Brazil, namely among the favela residents and the younger generation to not attend the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Rio, where  nearly 170,000 people have been forcibly relocated out of the favelas, among other unjust actions. (Note: the word ‘boycott’ generally isn’t used; rather, there are calls to not attend or watch either event on television.)

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Trayvon’s Eulogy

By Eli Arbor, ’15

This song didn’t come out of a place of musical clarity, of elation, of any sort of epiphany. It came from a single moment, a single shot in the dark on a rainy night, a single juror reading findings, and a single judge acquitting a man of a crime he committed. It came from an someone who was caught about to start a riot, from someone who doesn’t have the means to express his anger and frustrations in any other way. It comes from two men about the same age as Trayvon, who’s lives were deemed meaningless under the law, who could have been Trayvon Martin themselves.

In short, I didn’t write this song because I wanted to. I wrote it because I had to. And I wrote it because no one else would.
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Freedom, Liberty, & Justice For All

by Emilio da Costa, ’12


I’m not shocked that a white man killed a black boy and that the deliberations of the American judicial system resulted in that white man serving no jail time. I’m not shocked that there exists a Florida self-defense statute, colloquially known as the “Stand Your Ground” law, which not only encourages acts of violence founded solely upon suspicion, but also effectively pardons white-on-black killings. When I read Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, a book that makes the case for mass incarceration of lower-class minorities being a calculated mechanism of mass disenfranchisement, I wasn’t even shocked that the United States imprisons a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid or that black males are five times more likely to spend time in prison than white males.

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by Lina Schmidt, ’15

This article originally discussed only the Boston Marathon bombing. Because it is being posted now, it has been revised to include some events of the past few weeks that are also important to conversations about prejudice and privilege.

A lot of my friends, family, and fellow students at Stanford have been watching the news over the past few months. A lot has occurred: the Boston Marathon bombings, the trial of George Zimmerman and, recently, two Supreme Court decisions with grave implications for the Voting Rights Act and Native tribal sovereignty. These events all have something to do with the way US culture views race and ethnicity or, to its peril, attempts to ignore them.

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The Weight of My Race

by Kristian Bailey, ’14

This post originally published at Kristian’s personal website, “With a ‘K.'” 

The following is a combination of two posts I wrote on April 11 and April 12, responding to heated emotions I felt as a black man in response to developments in the Trayvon Martin case. 

The Weight of My Race: Part One

Sketch of me that a subway artist did in 2008.

Though Trayvon Martin’s family expressed faith in the justice system now that George Zimmerman has been formally charged (with second degree murder), I can’t help but feel dispirited that it took this long to happen. There have been few other times in my life when I’ve felt the gravity of what could happen to me by nature of my race and gender. Others have brought this up before that Trayvon’s case has evoked this in themselves, but today I feel the weight of my race: Continue reading

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A Young Black Man, Like Me

by Shawn Dye, ’14

My mother restricted me at a very young age. I wasn’t allowed to be outside past a certain time with the other boys on the block. I had no choice in what clothes I wanted to wear until I had my own job. I couldn’t even go to a lot of my friends of other races’ birthday parties. Initially, I thought that it was just her being strict and over protective. When she noticed me getting frustrated and acting out in school, she finally decided I was old enough. She sat me down one night and she gave me “the talk” that most Black parents have with their young sons. It went along the lines of, “I’m warning you now. You are a walking threat. You are a walking target. And you need to be prepared at all times to be perceived as such.” I asked her why and she frankly told me that it was because I’m a young Black man in America. And that was the end of the conversation.

As Trayvon Martin’s name and cries for help caught on the recorded 911 tapes pierce the conscience of the nation, I’ve been having flashbacks to that eerie conversation I had with my mother. I started thinking about my peers who made frantic attempts to escape my quiet wrath on the very sidewalks of this university as I wore baggy sweatpants, Timberland boots and my Stanford hoodie. I realized that not even the name of a prestigious university stitched across my chest would make all 130 lbs of me less frightening.

Trayvon, I just want you to know that whenever I see your name, I’m reminded that I’m not entirely free. Continue reading

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