Trayvon Martin’s story, in recent days, has caught fire to the heart of our nation. The smoldering coals of racial envy and mistrust have been fanned into full flame, insensible and devious mobs are forming; it seems, in fact, that the so-called age of racial reconciliation hasn’t yielded advance at all, but simply ceded further public liberties to jealous factions. But if one is careful, some light can be seen on the horizon. In fact, my own conversion from radical liberalism to Christian conservatism began from racial strife, and I believe that these unfortunate racial troubles can be employed to undermine leftist causes. Below, in naked honesty, my tale is told.
During my youth on the west coast, black families were common neighbors. One such neighbor, Jeffrey, was my best friend for years until he moved to New Jersey, and another black family, the Thomases, befriended my parents. Being homeschooled in an interracial family, I had never been raised, aside from television, to believe that any sort of tension existed between races. But what racial information I’d learned solely from television and cinema was enough to leave me, by my teenage years, with the impression that I must speak and act carefully, or risk offending other races. And so out of simple politeness, I walked on eggshells.
When my parents moved into a military community outside the United States, the amount of diversity increased sharply, and still I found no real sense of discord — most likely because I still lived in a Christian homeschooled household, and the majority of interracial interactions were between brothers and sisters in church. But then, as I entered tenth grade, and began to attend a more public school environment, the diversity of students reached beyond religious boundaries, and I began to encounter secular students relocated from the South. My first summer job (acquired before entering the school, actually) introduced me to a young black man named Terrell with a bullet-scarred leg, whom I befriended immediately, as we both possessed a teenaged jovial spirit. But when summer ended, so did our friendship: he swindled me out of a hard-earned $150, and I, turning the other cheek, never spent time with him again. As high school progressed, I oftentimes found interracial interactions between blacks and whites to end poorly. One time, my sister’s shoes were stolen by a black youth, and I was forced to ensure she arrived home safely, across streets littered with broken bottles. Another time, she was assaulted by a group of young black men from our school, and a group of my friends and I patrolled the streets to retaliate.
But the negative encounters did not end with my sister. I saw a beautiful blonde girl sexually assaulted in broad daylight, but by Providence, I was there to ensure the boy left. Fights broke out in the school for various reasons, particularly amongst blacks generally disinclined to education, and hostile to the administration. Some of the black youths, it’s worth noting, surpassed these pitiful behaviors, going on to become architects or serve in the military honorably, many of whom remain in amicable contact with me today. But a trend was plainly visible: we had never been robbed, assaulted, or molested by fellow whites, nor had whites ever disturbed the peace so violently. And yet simultaneously, as the state-mandated high school curriculum progressed, I found myself indoctrinated with tales of white oppression, slavery, Nazi Germany, and the Civil Rights Movement. No crimes were attributed by the curriculum to any race other than mine, and so I carefully reconsidered the above happenings to be anomalies, and swept them under the rug of consciousness to reemerge later, as fuel to fire a racial consciousness which eventually became irrepressible.
In these circumstances, I found myself leaving my family for the United States, and entering the California college system. What had been taught at the high-school level then became exaggerated at the collegiate, and the number of anti-white stories increased. Columbus, since the new neighborhood had less blacks and more Hispanics, became a professorial favorite, with little other than his atrocities being broadcast to the malleable and guilt-ridden youth. Slavery was covered not once, but repeatedly, and the weight of whiteness began to cleave with utmost ferocity to a once innocent heart. Students would come to classes with “Wanted” signs for Columbus, and my European heritage, which I now understand to have been nothing less than a blessing to humanity, was debased into nothing less than a string of oppressions. I hated the English, the French, the Germans, the Spaniards, the Portuguese, and I hated Americans. I wanted to give back in whatever way I could, to apologize for each and every atrocity committed by my people (which is ironic, since my mother is a Hispanic immigrant), to right wrongs and heal wounds. At that moment, I would have ceded California to Mexican control. I was a hardened leftist.
And in that emotional state, years later, three young men from a college named Duke were suddenly put on trial for raping a black woman. I was horrified and outraged that such an evil could go unpunished — I looked to see the hammer of justice fall, and these monsters locked away. But as the trial progressed, and racial rhetoric pinnacled in a mountain of hateful blindness, it became apparent that something was wrong. The ideals I’d been taught to hold dearly, those pertaining to fair trials for all, were suddenly discarded by the same people who had so loudly proclaimed their ardent support. And when the verdict was released, and it became clear that these three young men were not aggressors, but victims, something within me — almost as a spring breaking free of a machine — snapped.
My curiosity enlivened amidst recollections of a racially-tumultuous past, I researched Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and a pattern began to emerge of aggressors being portrayed as victims, victims being portrayed as aggressors, the blindfold of justice being removed, and of peoples insensibly rushing — before ample evidence — to lynch innocents. And those innocents, I then realized, were beginning to look quite a bit like me.
There’s something strange that happens within a man, an irrefutable sense of betrayal, when he realizes that that a people he so vivaciously defended are committed to his destruction. Had I been one of the three youths falsely accused in the Duke trials, that mob would not have gathered around their front doors; they would have been gathered at mine. The trial would have been mine, and the media would have willingly pursued my demise to feed an insatiable dragon, one looking at all times to rectify past injustices with new blood, and refusing all standards of justice and decency to do so. In short, this riotous incivility was not law and order, or even social justice. It was an entire group’s purposely fostered hatred coming to a boil, exploding with vengeance not upon the guilty, but simply upon any whites it could. It placed the burdens (if indeed they really were all burdens) and penalties of deceased peoples upon innocent individuals.
At that point, I began to carefully reconsider the concept of oppression. And what is it? Is it purposely violating a group’s property rights, for the sake of disempowerment? Is it requiring their association with certain kinds of people? Is it running lynch mobs to ensure that the process of justice only favors a certain side? Is it falsely and purposely ascribing emotional conditions to entire races, and blighting the character of innocents to ensure their subjugation? Is it, perhaps, the employment of a social sensitivity so devoid of reason and precedent, that a group is forced to tread with utmost delicacy in daily interactions? Is it allowing false charges to be brought, and then releasing those involved in perjury simply on account of race? If this is the case, I decided, then the oppressor is not me, nor is it white Americans in general. It is the people in the democratic party, and any members of the races soulless enough to pursue the above policies.
At that realization, recounting my experiences throughout high school, I began to feverishly research poverty and crime, an endeavor which lifted a mask of ignorance so long worn, that I began to feel as the man in Plato’s allegory of the cave (though it must be noted that many, if not all those racial statistics have since Obama’s election been purposely washed from government sites). I had found an uncomfortable truth, and my neighbors were disinclined to hear it. I had found that culture itself, and its standards for religion, family, money, sexual relations, and the concepts of justice and rights meant more than race ever could, and I began to reevaluate Christians and whites and conservatives from this new perspective. I began to look at the heart instead of the environment. And though Christian conservatives were once my enemies, I now wondered whether they had been fighting for me against even my blind disapproval. I had in truth been an oppressor, and my victims, whom I had tarred and feathered for years with slanderous accusations, had been my only defenders.
But this story of my conversion to conservatism did not result so happily, at least not immediately. It simply transferred my anger from one race to another, and it was not until I had been convinced of man’s fall from perfection, humanity’s common brotherhood, and my need for salvation from Divine judgment that I was able to once again pursue sincere amicability amongst diversity. Jesus Christ alone brought reconciliation where before there was only strife.
But through that entire process, painful as it was, I learned something which would remind me, for years to come, that there are peoples committed to my destruction, and that they must not be taken lightly. When we see torches lit on the horizon, nooses tied, and angry faces screaming about an indefinable and overreaching false-justice, it is our duty to say — STOP! At that point, the mob must not be treated as a wounded minority, but as a hateful and irrational machine, geared without reason toward a revenge which cannot be had, even should justice itself be granted its proper course.
When they take to the streets, so must we. If they with bloodlust march on the defendant’s home, we must be there to defend his family until justice has taken place. We must stand by every man’s right to a fair trial, and portray anyone who says otherwise as they really are: malevolent, dishonest, unreasonable, unfit for even common citizenship, and, quite possibly, racist. Civilization itself requires not that emotions simply reign unchecked in pursuit of liberty, but that they submit to order and proper application, and that if emotions will not submit, and if a passionate tyranny drives men beneath the cause of righteousness, then those men must be forcefully subjected to civility. This, my countrymen, is justice.
Black or white, we have a duty to bring heavenly and colorblind justice to earth, to preserve righteousness and defend against evil, to fight the barbaric not simply with the pen, but with active, physical power. So, should Trayvon have been murdered, then let his murderer hang. But if Zimmerman is found to be innocent, we must not let these mobs get away with tyranny. We must silence them with unreserved derision, dull their fangs, and let their next public appearance be met with the fury reserved for a man in protection of his household. Because if Trayvon’s story teaches anything, it is that the next household they target could be yours.