Words escape my very sense of being civil. Civility awakes to imbedded anger that is ready to engage any and all who make comical commentary about the death of Trayvon Martin. For me this extends past Trayvon’s death into my own personal world and the world of many fathers with teenage sons. The reality is that this is and could have been the very same verdict that can so easily have befalling my 17 year son.
This morning I awake to more tweets and facebook post about Trayvon. The very souls of black folks are troubled and stirred. But for the first time I read a something that I overlooked last night for good reason-negative white tweets of support of Zimmerman. Though I may disagree with their thoughts on Zimmerman I give them the space to disagree without being rude or uncivil. But reading something this morning I learned –the more- that the life of a black boy is worthless in the eyes of many. The quick comparison to O.J. is sophomoric and cantankerous.
Now 16 years later the experience of the Trayvon’s killing have me lost in a familiar place. I am stretching to understand the Why?. It is this very moment that everything Christian about me becomes contaminated with hatred. I want to find the white guy who made that racist comment about, “it is time to get some skittles.” I want to ask the jurors how could you allow this man to get off. I want to ask God how long will the injustice toward black boys be perpetrated with such calculated insensitivity. I don’t want to be a Christian and extend peace where vitriol has been leverage as the thought of the day. I have a rage that is suffocating the very essence of peace for a myriad of reasons. It is getting tiresome to watch the extreme hatred toward our young black boys. (This is just not by media and white folks but black folks as well.)
I am angered, hurt, and plain confused but not surprised. Yes, I hoped that this would be the time when we would see black boys win in the heart of the judicial system. A 17 year old boy was killed by someone who “suspected he was doing something wrong.” The defense and Robert Zimmerman keeps saying Trayvon had 4 minutes where he could have gone home when it is more like George Zimmerman had 4 minutes when he could have went to Target. Trayvon was going home before Zimmerman profiled him.
I think back to the night when Allen Love and I were stopped and the car searched for no particular reason. I think back to the many nights we were questioned by black females and white people in general about being thugs. The many times we had to defend our reputations as well as those of other brothers because of people’s perceptions of us. A 17 year old boy was killed by someone who “suspected he was doing something wrong.” Can you believe this!-killed. My son is 17 and I have had this conversation with him many times about this very thing. I would want him to protect himself if he has too or run for safety-ultimately getting home safe.
My hope is that the kid that donned the hoodie, Trayvon Benjamin Martin, when he went to the store will be a symbol of change for young boys. The tragedy that happened to Trayvon happens weekly around the country but this time it was highlighted. We stand once again asking, “Is there value for the young black male.” I answer unequivocally, Yes.
A 17 year old boy was killed by someone who “suspected he was doing something wrong.”