We Cry Over the Death of Trayvon Martin
Trayvon Benjamin Martin. 17 years old.
The face of this young boy has been in my mind for days now. By now most of us have heard how an overzealous neighborhood watchman followed, cornered, and then murdered the boy as he walked back home from buying candy at a nearby store.
I have not brought myself to listen to the 911 recordings where you can hear the boy screaming for help to no avail.
This boy, this young man, could have been my son or anyone of my son’s friends. Like so many of these crimes, this one is incredibly close to home.
He wasn’t doing anything. He presented no threat other than the fact that he was black. That a Latino man, blinded by his racist perceptions and prejudice could bring himself to kill this boy over nothing more than the color of his skin infuriates me to no end.
I have no words truly to explain the outrage and hurt I feel for his family. For our society. For our children.
I can’t imagine what these last moments would have been like, the fear in this boy as he was followed. That he walked alone in the dark, that he wore a hoodie. This was enough to bring hate his way.
I gasp. So often have I see my own son walk out the door, headphones around his neck, pants a bit lower and baggier than what I would like. Hoodie and cap on his head. Brown color on his skin. And I worry. I worry that there will be a George Zimmerman out there who will hurt him.
These past few days I have shed many tears for a boy I never knew, but who reminds me so much of my own. For his mother and father. For the world we live in, the world I have brought my sons into. I hold my son – my tall, beautiful, brown-skinned son and I pray for him in a way I haven’t prayed in so long.
“Please God. If you are out there, protect him. Guard him from violence and ignorance. I will willingly bare it all on his behalf, but please, please don’t let him fall prey to hate.”
But I know that in my prayer, I don’t just want safety for my own. But for his friends, and their friends, and others that look like him, act like him, are walking preys like him. Regardless of the color of your skin and that of your children, this is a tragedy we should all be mourning. It speaks volumes of where we stand as a society, as a people. How far we still have to go despite how far we have come.
We all, as a society have, lost something with the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. Educate your children. Educate yourself. We can’t let these tragedies happen. But we must work on change together. We can’t let this further divide us. We must work in rebuilding that which has been shattered together so that all our children are safe from hate and ignorance, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation.
In the meantime, I will join in the petition to bring Zimmerman to justice and hold my own children a little tighter, a bit longer each night.