I know it’s Monday and I usually do a post about bipolar disorder on these days.
But today….I can’t.
I’m a tangled mess of emotions but the one that’s pretty dominant is frightened.
Why? Because I live in a country where in 2012, my sons could be gunned down by an overzealous, neighborhood watchman who thinks that they are “up to no good.”
Not because they are in the process of committing a crime.
Not because they are being a public disturbance.
Not because they are harming someone.
But because the color of their skin fuels stereotypes and propagates hate in others.
Because the color of their skin gives the impression that they aren’t decent human beings who deserve to live a quality life.
Don’t believe me?
See that young man? His name is Trayvon Martin. He was 17 years old. He loved to draw, loved math, and wanted to be an engineer. He was a 17 year old boy on his way back from buying candy and an iced tea at the store and was gunned down by a neighborhood watchmen who thought he “looked suspicious.”
It didn’t matter to George Zimmerman that Trayvon had a family to go home to.
It didn’t matter to George Zimmerman that Trayvon dreamed of one day being a pilot.
It didn’t matter to George Zimmerman that Trayvon Martin was a HUMAN BEING.
It didn’t matter to George Zimmerman that the police told him to leave Trayvon alone-they were on their way to see what Zimmerman’s complaint was about.
You know what did matter to George Zimmerman?
The color of Trayvon’s skin and his walking down the street with his hand in his waistband.
To him, that’s what mattered.
And that was enough, in his mind, to chase and gun down unarmed Trayvon Martin.
As a human being, this whole situation and Trayvon’s death sickens and disturbs me. As a minority, it disgusts me. As a mother of TWO boys who are African American and Puerto Rican, it terrifies me.
What if that were Brennan? Or Alex? Or your son or daughter? It very well could be one day. Why? Because this situation speaks right to the current climate of our culture. From racist, and uncivilized political rhetoric to this very instance, racism and hate are alive and well in the U.S. ….and it doesn’t seem to matter what shade you are. If you’re hated for the color of your skin, expect to be treated with disrespect, or worse, gunned down, with justice being on hatred’s side, not yours.
I thought teaching my sons to value and respect others would be enough. I thought that molding them into men of integrity and worth would be enough to get them through this life. However, after listening to the 911 calls that came in during Trayvon’s murder, it’s become apparent to me that as long as people like Zimmerman exist and aren’t held accountable for their despicable actions, nothing that I do will be enough to protect them from cruel, vicious, mindless hate.
As a mother, what can you do? I don’t know y’all. I really don’t know.
My heart aches for and goes out to Trayvon’s mother and the rest of his family. I can’t even imagine the horror they are enduring having lost their son and seeing his killer walk free.
I pray some kind of justice prevails, if there is such a thing anymore.