Unless you’ve been living under a rock you have already heard about the indignity that Trayvon Martin’s family has had to endure with his untimely and unpunished death. For the most part we are all adults who have a reasonable knowledge of the law, so anyone can understand everyone’s collective outrage right? Wrong. Zimmerman’s implied protection from the powers-that-be aka lack of interrogation is confusing to many of us. There are so many unanswered questions: Why didn’t Zimmerman follow the 911 operator’s directive to not follow Trayvon; why didn’t the police not take Zimmerman in for questioning; why doesn’t it seem clear to officers of the law that Trayvon -at a lower weight and with a pack of Skittles and an Arizona iced tea in hand- couldn’t be, as Zimmerman (who was armed with a gun) alleged, an imminent threat; why has this case moved so many people of diverse nationalities to come together to fight for this young man’s human rights even if in retrospect?
Today I was talking to a friend about how outrageous this all is and I told her that I don’t want us to focus solely on race; I want us to really focus on this young man not as an image or a symbol but as a person. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe race and sex played a part in this interaction between Zimmerman and Trayvon. Anyone of any race that is typically profiled knows exactly what I’m talking about: he was young, black and male. From the perspective of being a black woman, I’ve definitely had some incidents with folks that were based on my race alone but I really can’t claim that I’ve been profiled as every black man (old and young) that I personally know and interact with has. I can promise you, if you talk to any black man you know I am certain that they would describe a clutching purse, locking door, crossing street, catching cab incident. These moments are so deeply rooted in our history that it becomes subliminally acceptable, correction, we become desensitized to these indignities because they are so regular as to be rendered meaningless…but they’re not. These small moments of profiling happen every day and the rest of us can’t claim that we don’t do the same thing whether consciously or subconsciously. Where I draw the line though, is with taking matters into your own hands and deciding that just the sight of an individual makes you so uncomfortable that you decide to become Dirty Harry and take the law into your own hands.
It hurts my heart to know that Trayvon’s parents have to live with the senseless loss of their son’s life. I can’t even imagine not only losing your child but having folks in positions of authority passively support this outrage and not even pretend to try to help you bring the killer to justice. There is nothing anyone can say to me, to justify Zimmerman’s choice to pull the trigger even after being advised not to follow the young man. It is an absolute outrage and we all should be mad. This case impacts everybody’s human rights; I’m definitely standing with Trayvon’s family and I pray that they are able to find some kind of closure…as I wrote that line I meant what I said but it sounds so corny and inadequate, but truly if there’s any peace to be found, any at all, I hope they find it. RIP Trayvon Martin.
If you would like to take action you may go to the ColorofChange.org and sign a letter asking Attorney General Eric Holder to have the Department of Justice take over the case: http://colorofchange.org/
If that’s not your cup of tea simply reblog this and continue to get the word out to everybody no matter what race, creed, or country. Thanks!