Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Me, My Partner, My Son & Trayvon Martin

After hundreds – maybe thousands – of investigative reports, studies and even personal experiences, America is finally coming to terms with our not-so-covert-racism issue and our irrational fear of men of color. Whether the fear is real or imagined is less relevant than why anyone would have a fear of a segment of the population based strictly on their gender and/or color of their skin.

Today, Trayvon Martin, 17, lies dead. His killer, George Zimmerman called 9-1-1 to report that he was witnessing a suspicious man walking through the neighborhood. The man he was referring to was Trayvon. In Trayvon’s possession at the time of death, were a bag of skittles and an iced tea – hardly weapons of mass destruction or a hold-up even. Before killing Trayvon, police asked Zimmerman to remain in his vehicle and not to pursue the young man, but he disregarded their orders, trailed the young man, confronted him and then shot him – in what Zimmerman alleges was self defense.

When I first heard the story of Trayvon I thought that more information would surface that would show why Zimmerman was forced to shoot and kill him. That information never came. Instead, I was treated to a horrific barrage of audio and eyewitness accounts of an innocent teenager who returning from a trip to the store was followed, cornered and murdered by a strange man – one he clearly feared based on his cries for help heard by eyewitnesses before the fatal shots were fired.

Sure, Trayvon isn’t related to us directly, but as a man of color, I am Trayvon. My son is Trayvon. My partner is Trayvon. Why would my wearing a hoodie be suspicious to anyone, if the same hoodie would not be seen as suspicious on a Caucasian man?

Trayvon’s senseless murder is getting the attention it deserves. I am disgusted with the police department and justice department handling the case in Florida. Most of all, I grieve with the parents of Trayvon who have to watch their son’s killer walk free; still in possession of the weapon that killed their child.

I don’t subscribe to vigilante justice, but I do believe in karma as life’s equalizer. You may think it a whimsical wish to think that George Zimmerman will have to pay – in his lifetime – for the cowardly murder of Trayvon, but I know it to be true. Whether he burns in hell is between George and his creator, but before he ever gets there, he will settle the score for Trayvon right here.

Sign the petitions asking for justice for Trayvon that are circulating around the web and contact your legislators. It’s fine to complain, mope and groan to your family and friends, but let your voice be heard by those who have the power to affect change. Do it for all the Trayvons – including myself – who walk the streets innocently, but because of the color of our skin, we are somehow a threat…suspicious…requiring lethal force to stop us from getting home with our bag of Skittles.

RIP Trayvon…your short life will not be in vain.

Keep passin' the open windows...

1 comment:

thegayte-keeper said...

I hope justice finds it's way here!