Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I am Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin, 17

As I write this, the biggest part of my mind is weary. When is this foolishness going to end? When will being Black in public stop being a crime? All I can think of is the pain and unbearable grief his mother is going through right now because a man was so caught up in trying to be the neighborhood hero, he saw a boy through (dare I say) racist-colored lenses, confronted him even after he was advised to stay back from the boy, shot and killed him. Trayvon was only carrying Skittles and iced tea. Skittles. Iced tea. He was walking back to his father's home, probably thinking about what he was going to be doing later that day. 
Except now, we will never know what he was thinking. George Zimmerman, in all his careless, stupid, gung-ho grandeur, shot and killed Trayvon. As brave as George had been, even packing heat on his neighborhood watch, he confronted a teen half his size, approached him as if he had no right walking in that neighborhood, then shot and killed him, claiming self-defense.
Meantime, the police are putting up a half-assed front, saying there is no evidence to contradict George's claim. It seems they are dragging their feet on releasing the dispatch recordings that indicate what actually happened. How the dispatch told Zimmerman to stay away from the boy when he called to report someone suspicious in the neighborhood. Instead, he is free as a bird, no arrest seemingly on the horizon. Trayvon's family has to suffer through knowing this man walks the streets while the cops put on a lethargic investigation into the incident.
My question is this - where are all the celebrities? Everybody and their mama seem to want to go after Kony, but aren't speaking that loudly about the boogeyman here at home. Yes - I said boogeyman, because Zimmerman and his ilk is the stuff bad dreams are made of. What happened is every Black parent's nightmare, and is the experience of too many of us. If you have ten Black men as friends and family, most - if not all of them, have been subjected to driving, eating, walking, or just existing while Black. Every Black male I know, from children to old men, have been trained to be extra careful and courteous so a police officer won't get a knee-jerk reaction and shoot you down like Amadou Diallo, or Sean Bell. I have been subjected to extra questioning, or assumptions about my talents and abilities because of my color. We won't even talk about how every time a young White woman gets attacked or goes missing, all she has to do is claim a Black man did it and the community tweaks out with rage (except when they find out she lied, then it all goes quietly away, with apology buried on page 6).

So this is my way of saying I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I pray for the day when someone like Zimmerman won't be able to walk free after committing such a heinous crime out in the open with the police sitting on their thumbs, seeming to drag out the investigation until it is forgotten. And I am not going to put up Zimmerman's picture, especially in the same post with such a sweet young man who was full of promises, life, and hope. What I will do is keep bringing attention to this, and if I have anything to do with it, Trayvon will not be forgotten.
What are you going to do? Will you join me in supporting his family until we see justice? Will you watch out for our young men, related or not, and fight for a world where all our children can enjoy a walk to the corner store for some candy, just like anybody else without the George Zimmermans of the world so willing and able to gun them down? Where are all the famous people?
I am Trayvon Martin. Are you?

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