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…
Whitney Eiland says
I also did a wrote about Trayvon on my blog, it is extremely hard to listen to the 911 audio. Every time they play it, I start crying or leave the room. I know it’s gonna be a long fight, but I truly believe Trayvon will get justice. I can barely look at his mother, Sabrina Fulton because my heart hurts for her. So glad the Justice Department will be investigating because leaving it up to the Sandford Police is not an option. We must all continue to pray for his family at this very difficult time, and love and hold our own a little closer, especially our young men.
The Cubicle Chick says
Whitney, very well said. And I totally agree. Hoping justice will prevail for this family.
Aisha G of HartlynKids says
I don’t blame you for not wanting to listen to the 911 tapes one bit – they are heartbreaking. Thank you for this post and the most interesting part was the recognition by Robin that you have to raise your sons differently… that should not be and it is.
Unlike you, I’ve been unable to put cohesive thoughts together for a post. My heart breaks a little more every time I hear the 911 tapes and then I simply hug my 3 year old son. So much hope and promise in his young guys, yet so much that his father and I have to prepare him for.
Robyn Wright of RobynsOnlineWorld.com says
I have been thinking about you and C since this story broke. I can truthfully say though that a couple of years ago I would not have given this story as much thought – sad, but true. I mean I would have still been bothered by what happened, but by you sharing with me the things you have about being black and about how different it is for your to raise a son the same age and in the same city as me it has changed the way I looked at a story like this.
You know that I really don’t factor in race into things, people are people. The Pollyana part of me wants to think that everyone can be this way in today’s society – but you have opened my eyes to the fact that even though that would be great, it is not reality.
I have a feeling that justice is not going to play out the way most would like in this case based on the laws in Florida. I just hope that people look at the bigger picture though too and realize that we are all PEOPLE. We need to have love and respect for all and acknowledge that we are different, but that is ok too!
Beautifully written. It’s tragic and sobering. Trayvon has become a martyr-a silent change leader. The more it’s spoken about and the more stories are told such as yours, the more people will stop and remember Trayvon, and what he unknowingly gave his life for-a chance for young black men to not be judged based on something out of their control. If you ask people if they stereotype, the will most likely say ‘no’, but what would their subconscious say? Perhaps the only silver lining in this tragic story is that the death of a young innocent boy may help to stop a person’s subconscious from racial profiling, therefore not only making it a safer place for your son to grow up in, but for his son too. Much love to you and your family and the family of the victim, it’s a sad day, but you got to keep your head up.
Danyelle this was a well written post. I too am distraught and heartbroken over Trayvon Martin’s murder. While I am not a parent, I have a younger brother and my friends have sons who are close in age to Trayvon. I know all too well “the talk” my mom gave my brother when he turned 13. I pray that justice is served and that Trayvon’s death is not in vain.