Having My Say: Trayvon, Juror B-29 & Parenting While Brown
I've been delaying the inevitable -- returning to my blog to write through my hurt regarding the murder of 17 yr old Trayvon Martin, and all the brutal [race in America] truths that slapped me REPEATEDLY in the face during the trial of George Zimmerman and following his acquittal of ALL charges related to Trayvon's death.
Why have I ignored the urge to write? Because the reality of what I've witnessed over the past few weeks and what it really says about us as Americans has been so inconceivable, avoiding my blog seemed an easier option!
Then there's the few but biting comments in response to my BlogHer post, Turning Our Pain Over Trayvon Martin into a Movement! Though nothing new to me, the ability people possess to hate virtual strangers based on nothing more than skin pigmentation, is always shocking to me.
I read as these contributors flavored their commentary with words like "thug", "disgusting", "ignorant" and "gang mentality"; as they attempted to paint my comments as hateful to justify their anger. I read as they devalued the life of Trayvon Martin, as if in death he needed to convince America he wasn't a "thug" [thereby deserving of his fate] and was worthy of being seen for who he was -- a typical teenager walking home after buying junk food at 7-Eleven.
I read as one contributor felt justified in questioning my right to denote my African lineage, while after some brief Internet surfing, another felt informed enough to define me as the product of a "broken home" and to shame me [I guess] for being the "single-parent" of 2 children. And correction -- I'm actually the proud, single Mama of 3 children!:)
What did any of their rhetoric have to do with Trayvon Martin and my comments following the Zimmerman verdict? Not a DARN thing!
But it was enough to leave me feeling that so long as there are people who CHOOSE to arm themselves with bias and bigotry, my kids will never really be as safe as the kids of my neighbors, friends and peers -- who happen not to be black.
Then today, along comes Juror B-29 and her confession to Robin Roberts, "George Zimmerman got away with murder". [insert BLANK stare]
How can I -- or anyone -- ignore that?
This on the 9th #TakeOverFlorida day, as a massive gathering of Dream Defender supporters arrive at the Florida State Capitol to stand for "Trayvons Law" and demand Gov. Rick Scott convene a special legislative session to review Florida's Stand Your Ground Law.
This on the 72nd birthday of Emmett Till whose murder in 1955 at the age of 14 bares too many parallels to Trayvon Martin to breakdown here, but includes the acquittal of the men charged with his murder.
So what do I say today as the heat rises to my head and my anger [and disappointment in American justice] sparks new?
To the putrid-filled commentary that's sure to follow -- save it! Look around at the thousands of protestors, bloggers, tweeters, writers, speakers, activists, advocates, artists, performers, mothers, fathers, women and men around the world speaking out and demanding justice for Trayvon Martin! These faces cover the gamut of our ethnic spectrum and have united under the most powerful ISM there is -- HUMANISM!
While we may never be a culture that's color-blind, we still have the opportunity to be one that is color-tolerant and/or color-accepting. The lines dividing us will continue to blur as time and progress moves forward. So even if your heart has not yet evolved, hates ability to replicate the travesties of our historical past will eventually be smudged-out.
Spotlights have a way of making all things clear.
To "Maddy", Juror B-29 today I'm seeking the desire to forgive you. You not only failed Trayvon and his grieving family, you failed us -- all honest, law-abiding, hardworking, child-nurturing, citizens -- who empowered you with the task of determining a sentence for George Zimmerman that was just.
You cannot blame the constraints of rigid laws or unyielding pressure from the other jurors. You did not "fight to the end". Had you been willing to stand your ground, there may have been another opportunity for Trayvon Martin's family to find the justice they deserve yielded via the U.S. Judicial System.
You could have chosen to deliver a MUCH needed message -- in 2013 young, black males can find protection under the law.
Trayvon was not here to defend himself against George Zimmerman's claims OR those who constructed a story to portray him as a predator equipped with a cement slab as his weapon. Juror B-29 your decision could have spoken for Trayvon, a young man who died without really understanding why.
I do wish you comfort, peace and forgiveness because the burden you carry is indeed a heavy one.
To my beautiful, brown kids -- what do I say to you now? I'm no longer at a loss for words...
Be EVERYTHING you're capable of being. Be the BEST you at ALL times -- not because you're black or have something to prove, but because you represent me and all the Ancestors before you. Don't EVER embarrass the Family!:)
Stand on sound principles. Bow to no one -- EVER. You have every right to be just who you are. Embrace it.
Finally, should a stranger ever follow you -- run and do everything possible to get away! Scream for help, yell FIRE, get somebody's attention!
And God forbid if you can't run or get away -- understand NO predator approaches with the intent of releasing you. FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE!
Yes -- I know exactly what this means.
I am telling you, when all else fails, do exactly what Trayvon did...