This past weekend, TheWellVersed caught up with Brother Ali at the Paid Dues Festival to get his insight on the killing of Trayvon Martin.
The conversation that comes out of it is as important as the case. The case is important because that’s a person who’s dead and that’s a killer that’s free. We have a great opportunity to have this conversation [on race] again in a more mature way than we’ve had before. There are a lot of layers and different aspects, but the fact is that we’re talking again. More and more people are able to talk in a grown up mature way. It’s not the majority; it’s a small minority in the privileged White class. I was watching a video where a young white girl said ‘I am not Trayvon Martin,’ that was beautiful.
If I could wrap it up in a sentence: I can say we all know the truth and we have an unfair relationship to power. Not all whites are in power but we have a relationship to power. We know it’s unfair and unjust. When it’s deep down, its guilt and it’s not productive. Hate crimes come from guilt, racism comes from guilt. It’s post-traumatic stress that we all have about race. When we start talking and dealing with it, it goes from unconscious guilt to conscious responsibility. We do have a greater voice in that power structure than other oppressed people. When we get out of that guilt, we can put a premium on humanity and demand that we live in a fair world again.