Answering the backlash to outrage over the Zimmerman verdict

"I have never seen a young black male walk into an elementary school and shoot young children. And Congress, which is composed of mostly white men, was unable to pass any significant gun legislation," he said.

Erich March, the prominent Baltimore funeral director, has organized vigils. He's tried to rally people to action during the city's epoch of drug addiction, drug dealing and violence — big forces, perhaps impossible to defeat.

I asked him about the criticism that blacks do not express sufficient outrage about the daily killings of young black men.

"The difference of one instance of homicide creating mass protests and countless others going uncontested as business as usual within the black community can be understood in the context of motive," he says.

"Homicides within the black community are about the drug business. More often than not, a black man is killed by another black man because of competition, embezzlement and territorial trespassing."

Reaction to killings of that nature are subdued, sometimes nonexistent.

"But when an innocent bystander or a child is the victim of violence," March says, "the response is usually immediate and indignant because it is not business as usual."

Similarly, Trayvon Martin's death was not business as usual. It sparked a strong response among African-Americans because of what they suspected Zimmerman's motive to be when he pursued the unarmed 17-year-old.

I hope that helps my fellow white people understand a little more. Sometimes, when you actually speak with black people, you pick up a few things.

dan.rodricks@baltsun.com

 
your neighborhood
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Google Plus
  • RSS Feeds
  • Mobile Alerts and Apps

PHOTO GALLERIES