In a blog entry for Global Grind, Michael Skolnik writes that because he was born white, he’ll never look out of place and has spent his entire life privileged. He explains why that makes him want to fight for Trayvon Martin and for every young black man who looks “suspicious” walking through his own neighborhood:
I will never look suspicious to you. Even if I have a black hoodie, a pair of jeans and white sneakers on … in fact, that is what I wore yesterday … I still will never look suspicious. No matter how much the hoodie covers my face or how baggie my jeans are, I will never look out of place to you. I will never watch a taxi cab pass me by to pick someone else up. I will never witness someone clutch their purse tightly against their body as they walk by me. I won’t have to worry about a police car following me for two miles, so they can “run my plates.” I will never have to pay before I eat. And I certainly will never get “stopped and frisked.” I will never look suspicious to you, because of one thing and one thing only. The color of my skin. I am white.
I was born white. It was the card I was dealt. No choice in the matter. Just the card handed out by the dealer. I have lived my whole life privileged. Privileged to be born without a glass ceiling. Privileged to grow up in the richest country in the world. Privileged to never look suspicious. I have no guilt for the color of my skin or the privilege that I have. Remember, it was just the next card that came out of the deck. But, I have choices. I got choices on how I play the hand I was dealt. I got a lot of options. The ball is in my court.
So, today I decided to hit the ball. Making a choice. A choice to stand up for Trayvon Martin. 17 years old. black. innocent. [M]urdered with a bag of skittles and a bottle of ice tea in his hands. “Suspicious.” [T]hat is what the guy who killed him said he looked like cause he had on a black hoodie, a pair of jeans and white sneakers. But, remember I had on that same outfit yesterday. And yes my Air Force Ones were “brand-new” clean. After all, I was raised in hip-hop … part of our dress code. I digress. Back to Trayvon and the gated community in Sanford, Florida, where he was visiting his father.