Friday, March 16, 2012

For Trayvon and My Sons #JusticeforTrayvon

I have three sons, all under the age of 18.

They are young Black men in America, currently living in Florida.

That's way more information that I usually divulge, but there'a good reason for today's transparency.

The reason is, or should I say, was, named Trayvon Martin.

Trayvon, a 17-year-old Miami high school student who liked horses and wanted to be a pilot, was gunned down less than 100 yards from his relatives' home in a gated community by the neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Florida.  He'd gone to the store for Skittles for his younger brother.  When he returned, the watch captain, George Zimmerman, said he looked "suspicious" and began following him.

Zimmerman had the presence of mind to call 9-1-1.  He was told to wait for police.

At this point, Zimmerman lost every ounce of his mind.  He continued to follow Trayvon, eventually getting out of his car.  A scuffle of some magnitude or exchange of words broke out--details are still sketchy--and minutes later, Trayvon lay dead of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Zimmerman remains, now 20 days later, walking around free and clear.

I don't have to tell you where Trayvon Martin is.

What happened?  Only two people know for sure, and one is dead, the 17 year-old who had an Arizona Iced Tea drink and a pack of Skittles on his person.

Zimmerman has not been arrested, much less charged with any crime.  Police, despite community sentiment, seem to be dragging their heels.

As is usual with cases involving the death or abduction of young black children, it took the media over a week to get on board and even now, America is not being bombarded with news stories as often happens with cases involving white children.  (Hate to put it out there that way, but the truth will set us all free.)

Where's the justice for Trayvon?

What should I, the mother of three boys just like Trayvon, tell my sons?  How should I rear them to deal with an America that doesn't seem to value their lives?  Do I ever let my nearly 17 year old, so close to adulthood, go walking around by himself?  How do they find confidence, identity and success as young men without also encountering a suspicion and fear--and perhaps, subsequent violent actions--fueled by prejudice? has a petition asking the district attorney to investigate and prosecute, if appropriate, this young man's killer.  Please sign the petition.

For Trayvon.

For my sons.

This blog post is in support of the March 16th Blog-In Friday sponsored by For Harriet on behalf of Trayvon's family.


Gwen Stewart said...

Patricia, this breaks my heart. I will pray for Trayvon's family and for justice to be served.

I know two things:

1. Truly knowing and loving God makes racial prejudice impossible. Once you understand that we are ALL made in the image of God, there is no room for judging how God made us. For His glory He made us different. Praise His Name.

2. Heaven will be a lot more diverse than we can ever imagine, and I praise God for it. Chinese Christians, African Christians, African-American Christians...what a joy it will be to learn from and rejoice with each other for eternity.

In the meantime, my heart goes out for this situation. May God bless you and yours.

PatriciaW said...

Gwen, I appreciate your comments. The key word is "truly". We all have so much to learn and so much room to grow. I never thought I'd live to see America elect a black president. Today, I doubt I'll live to see a racially harmonious--or at least, civil--society. But God is amazing and continually surprises me.

I can't tell you how this case bothers me so. But I pray for the Martin family and for all the little black boys of this world.

Won't it be grand to see the diversity of God's children when all the strife is behind us?