Living On The Defensive

That’s what life is like if you are a minority.  That is the everyday feeling of being a young black male in America.

My sons are so very lucky.  They are white males.  Their parents are both college educated.  They were born at the front of the line, and I know that.  They do not struggle for food or shelter.  Education is valued in their home.  They are safe.  They are loved by so many people.  They have the whole world open for them; in most instances, it’s just a matter of them working hard to be successful and happy.  Will some things be hard for them?  Yes.  Will they have heartache and disappointment? Sadly, yes.

Since my boys were born, I’ve become so much more sensitive to kids who do not have what they have–children who start life way behind for one reason or another.  I ache for the momma that has to send her child to work instead of school.  I cry for the children who have absent or negligent parents.  I’m mad when someone decries the welfare system but doesn’t offer a solution for those babies who need it.  I am incredulous that there are kids in America who don’t get read to every day.

I usually don’t get into controversy, and I’m not trying to say I worry about other kids more than mine, who seem to be all set.  Oh no, I worry for my sweet little guys all the time.  I want to be so great for them, and I want them to have so much joy and success in their lives.  We have to work for that just like everybody else.

But I never worry they will be killed for the color of their skin.  That they will be immediately discounted or even suspicious-looking because someone hates them on sight.

Trayvon's mother needs you to care about him. Humanity needs you to care about him.

I do believe that’s what happened to Trayvon Martin.  No, I wasn’t there.  But I’m not an idiot.  I see the facts stacking up, and it makes me sick.  If you have not read or heard about this case, I urge you to do so.  There are a lot of intelligent people weighing in on it.

This boy, this child, was pursued and killed by a grown man simply because he looked like “he was up to no good.”  What made him look suspicious?  A hoodie, sneakers, and dark skin.

The police are using Florida’s so-called Stand Your Ground laws to justify their lack of investigation.  George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon, claims he was acting in self defense, and Florida law allows lethal force in those instances.  Fine.  But how about the police go forward on the premise that MAYBE Zimmerman is lying to protect himself.  You know, just in case a man who shot an unarmed teenager WHO WAS RUNNING AWAY FROM HIM might have acted improperly.

Recently, it became public knowledge that Trayvon was on the phone with a friend when he was supposedly committing some sort of crime which involved being black and in possession of Skittles.  Police are saying they did not know about this witness because she did not come forward when they asked for witnesses.  Um, how about you check Trayvon’s cellphone?  You know, the one you took as evidence but apparently just threw in a drawer somewhere?  How about you SEARCH for witnesses?  Treat this like a criminal investigation into the death of someone’s young son?

Look, the DA may not have enough for conviction, but the police department’s job is to investigate thoroughly and not just take a man’s word that he acted in self defense.  I think if the police had treated the crime scene and other eveidence as if the crime was committed against Trayvon, they may have found what they needed.  They may still now that the federal authorities are involved.  I pray they do.

I 100% believe Trayvon was killed because someone hated the looks of him.  I pray that George Zimmerman is punished, and that the Sanford police department is also taken to task and punished for their lack of action.


5 thoughts on “Living On The Defensive

  1. I find this whole thing repulsive. I am white and I worked in Detroit. My friends who were African American would tell me of all the horrors they experience. I couldn’t believe it…in 2012? I guess I don’t see it because I’m not directly involved in it/victim of it?
    But it is disgusting.
    We are all the same on the inside.
    Such a tragedy.

  2. I do not have children, but I love my niece and nephew as much as anyone who is their parent is able. I Do worry about them. Just as you said, they will face challenges But they will not deal with the added challenge that people of color encounter every single day. Do terrible things happen to people of color that are completely unrelated to their skin? Of course they do. However, they also have to deal with the people who think less of them on sight. I see it too often in my own life. The co-worker who says, “Well, you know they are lazy.” She expects me to agree because I am not brown. I take a deep breath and disagree with her. I was told third hand of a mother who moved her kids to a different part of town with less diversity, “So the girls won’t be dating black boys when they get to high school.”

    I know that racial prejudice exists. I can only speak the truth that I know–even when it isn’t the easiest thing to do. I can be a compassionate human being. I can mourn the death of an innocent child…and demand that justice be served.

    I appreciate you speaking your truth.

  3. So it’s okay for the Black Panthers to put a bounty on Zimmerman’s head??? Let’s not jump to conclusions on either side.

    • No, I never said that. Not even a little bit. I want the police to thoroughly investigate this death, as I think all deaths should be investigated. I don’t think they should take Zimmerman’s word that it was pure self-defense. I am suspicious because Zimmerman followed Trayvon even after the 911 operator told him not to. He left the safety of his vehicle with a gun. He never told the 911 operator he was a neighborhood watch captain. He did not say specifically what made Trayvon look like he was on drugs or dangerous. I think all shootings require lots of questions. I also think this is a good time to talk about race in our country as well as our gun laws.

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