It’s been a month and I am still rage filled whenever this young man’s, tracked down and slaughtered, name is mentioned. So, that’s about twenty thousand times a day. I simply can’t understand how this went down and how now the police, media and apparently the fact that George Zimmerman has two African American friends negates that despite the police’s admonition to stay put he felt it was his place to pursue, corner and kill this young man.
A young man guilty of nothing but being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Suspended from school for weed residue in his bag? IRRELEVANT. What is relevant is that George Zimmerman followed this child in his car found him and killed him. You know the facts of course…you don’t need me to tell you. The claims that Zimmerman was struck first is a. his word only as Trayvon cannot tell his side and b. I guaranfuckingtee you that if someone was cornering me, chasing me down, and had a gun I would fight tooth and nail. Zimmerman has a broken nose. Poor baby. Trayvon is dead.
And we all know it was the racist with the gun and not the hoodie that killed him.
I don’t write much on current events, but this…this is under my skin. Literally. I read a wonderful post by Powermommy Nation on raising her black teenage boys in this aftermath. The next day my friend and friend and fellow iVoice DumbMom wrote this about her dudes. And I knew, I knew finally what it was that I wanted to write.
They struggle to raise black boys in the midst of this and more. I myself am raising near see through white boys. Boys who if they were seen walking through that gated community in the evening wearing a hoodie wouldn’t be given a second thought. I don’t have to arm them against ‘walking while black’, ‘driving while black’ or any of the like. Things that would never occur to me. Driving while white? Possibly a problem only in South Central. That being said, I got lost once in deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep LA and you know what happened? I got helped. I wasn’t shot at. I wasn’t raped. I was helped.
I don’t need to ready my sons to prevent them from being Trayvon. The mere chance of their skin color prevents that. (and believe me, as the daughter of a murdered 24 year old father by an African American man I do know that danger is all around us. People are killed, black or white but I am talking about this case.) I can, however, prevent them from being George Zimmerman.
As it stands now my three year old son sees no color distinction. Skin color is to eye color is to hair color. He has blue eyes, his best friend has brown eyes, a little girl he has a crush on in school has dark black hair and caramel skin. No big deal to him. No big deal to them either because they haven’t been taught that differences are bad. My son and all his friends haven’t been taught hatred. They are the lucky ones. At this point in their lives, on either side of the line they aren’t being taught to hate and they aren’t being taught that they are hated.
And at the least, my kids won’t be taught that particular lesson.To hate. I am up for the task for being on guard and knocking those ideas down when they rear their ugly head. Because they will. My boys will not hear it from me, but the chances of them hearing it from someone somewhere are damn good. I resolve not to shirk from the tough talks. I won’t hide from tackling the tough stuff. The why. The history.
As Amanda and Uneeka arm their boys to head out into the world I will also arm my boys. Differently, but arm them the same. Arm them with open hearts, open minds, and most importantly information and experiences. Hopefully between their boys, my boys and yours stories like Trayvon Martin’s will be a thing of the past.
Let’s not forget the girls. Make sure we arm the girls, for they are the ones who will be mothers like me, like you, like Amanda, like Uneeka, who raise the boys.
And a special PS to the media- the more you try to smear the name of the victim the worse Zimmerman looks. Well done there.