July 19, 2013
You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son.
Yeah, I know it was kind of cheesy, but Michelle loved that line.
Of course, if I’d married my old girlfriend, Genevieve, our son would have looked more like George Zimmerman, but, then, Genevieve and I never would have allowed our son to live in some crime-ridden exurban sticksville, so that’s irrelevant.
Still, I wonder what Genny’s up to? I saw in the Times where she married that Egyptian guy, but that couldn’t have lasted, could it?
Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.
When I was preppy at Punahou and a liberal arts major at Oxy, I was quite the badass.
And when you think about why, in the African- American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African- American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that — that doesn’t go away.
It used to be white Southerners like Faulkner who said things like, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Should I cite Faulkner for the literary cred, or is it too obvious?
There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me.
Note to self: include a searing chapter in my post-presidential memoir on that security guard at the State Street Marshall Field’s who eyeballed me in a suspicious manner while I was in the scarf section. (My agent says an 8 figure advance is possible. Note to self: Find a new agent who will take on the ex-President for the prestige and a 2.5% commission.)
And there are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars.
As you’ll recall, Zimmerman Got Out of the Car After Though the Police Ordered Him Not To. But locking yourself in your car is also racist …