I don't know if George Zimmerman is a racist, but my editor, Rodney Jessup, sure is.
And I've had enough.
For nine years I've been honored to report the news in Florida.
Sure, there's been some racially charged moments.
(mostly "good ol' boys" who didn't know I could hear around corners)
The last few weeks I've been happy to cover the Trayvon Martin case-
okay, not "happy" per se, but... you know what I mean.
I've done it despite more seasoned JMG journalists being readily available, many of whom live closer to where the crime took place.
I get why I was asked to cover it.
I'm not naive.
And I get why I was asked to do live segments on DNN.
I don't mind.
I appreciate the opportunity.
Maybe the JMG News Service should ask itself, or its redneck editors, why it doesn't have more African American reporters in Florida, but I'm willing to play the part.
To an extent.
When my editor, Rodney, tries to tell me to wear a hoodie to report on Zimmerman's bail hearing, however, I have to say "no."
I don't care if I'm the only black man that Rodney knows.
I must draw the line.
I'm not going to wear the hoodie.
First of all, it's played out- and tacky.
Last month a postal worker was murdered in Tallahassee while working his route.
Can you imagine if every reporter covering it had put on a mail carrier's uniform for their segment?
I'm also not going to carry a plastic bag at night.
Or eat Skittles on air.
I'm not going to "talk ghetto" for a few minutes to prove it's scary but not a capitol offense.
I'm not going to ask my relatives if they know how to get the bounty on Zimmerman from the New Black Panthers.
And if a race war breaks out, I'm not going to give Rodney a heads-up.
Infact, I might give the angry mob his home address.
Look- I want to tell everyone to stop, take a breath and report on this responsibly... but I know it's no use.
I don't know if the Martin family will get justice.
I don't know if Zimmerman will get his fair date in court.
I just know my newspaper and its parent company can't can't seem to report on this case without turning it into sensationalized caricature of a script for a made-for-TV movie.
I'm done with it.