My site has never been one of a political nature. I rarely speak on news items that aren’t of the “light” variety—that is not my voice on this canvas. But for me to be silent about the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin wouldn’t be right, especially since his murder hits close to home. I, too, am the mother of a 17 year old black young man. Who wears hoodies, drinks ice tea, and likes Skittles. This could have easily been my son, killed because he was supposedly of a threatening nature. Killed because he was walking while black.
When my son was first born, my dad told me that I would have a heavy cross to bear. Being the mom of a black boy and raising him was going to be difficult because he faces a lot of things—things that I didn’t face. I never really understood what my dad was talking about until my son became 14. It was then that I saw the looks he got when we were at the mall or out an about. He was once given an in-school suspension because he hugged a white girl, a friend whom he hugged everyday. He was suspended because supposedly his conduct was sexual harassment, even though the young lady he was hugging said he was not harassing her, and in fact she hugged him first, and he reciprocated. It didn’t matter. A teacher thought the behavior was inappropriate. And so it began.
There’s been other instances. He’s been followed around a convenient store to make sure that he was not stealing. He’s been stopped by mall security because he fit the profile of someone who stole something out of a store (the profile being black male, about 15 years old, black hair. That was like every black male in the mall at that time). We’ve talked about these incidents, and sometimes he has been upset that it has happened to him. But as I told my friend Robyn, who is white and has a teen boy the same age as mine, I have to raise my child differently than she raises her child. Her son doesn’t have to be worried about being “profiled” because of his race. They are the same age, but face two different realities.
Which is why I’ve been hard on my son. I don’t take any mess and he knows that. I’ve used tough love on him to prepare him for that cruel world out there, who can’t wait to pounce on him and spit him out. Only, my son has weapons to fight. He knows the deck is stacked against him. But those weapons are no match for a gun’s bullet.
Most of you already know the story of Trayvon Martin, so I won’t repeat the gory and sad details here. He was gunned down with what looks to be no probable cause by a neighborhood vigilante who was told by 911 to not pursue. I won’t even give this person the satisfaction of my keystrokes by typing his name. He will get no shine on my blog.
This man is allowed to walk freely while two parents are grieving the loss of their child.
Dare I say if this was a black man who shot and killed a white teen because he felt “threatened”, would he not be in jail?
But that is another subject for another blog.
I haven’t been able to even update my blog the past few days because I was so hurt by the murder of Trayvon Martin. I can only imagine the pain his parents and his family are feeling at this time. Such a tragic end to such a beautiful and young life. For no reason.
Whether this is a hate crime or not, it is a crime and should be thoroughly investigated. And not by the Sanford Police because they have already shown they cannot handle this investigation without prejudice.
We love you Trayvon Martin.
P.S. I cannot bring myself to listen to the 911 audio tapes. I just can’t…