Why We All Should Be Thinking About and Talking About Trayvon Martin

I’ll admit it, sometimes as a Mom it’s almost as if I am living under a rock. Life gets so busy, I barely get out of bed in time to take a quick shower before I need to get the kids up and ready for school. As soon as they are off, I start powering through all of my tasks and to-do lists, and before I know it, the afternoon is upon me and the kids are home… and then I am off to help with homework, run them to their activities, prepare dinner, and get them ready for bed. Pretty soon after, I am crawling into bed myself to try to get some sleep before I have to wake up in a few hours and get on the family treadmill again.

And sometimes a few days might go by without getting the chance to watch the news or read the headlines online.

Seriously, it is wasn’t for the occasional “CNN Breaking News” alert…. I might as well be living in a cave.

Which is why I had not heard about the story of young Trayvon Martin being shot and killed by a self-appointed “community watchman” in Sanford, FL simply because he was a black youth, wearing a hoodie sweatshirt, walking down the street in this guy’s neighborhood. And this man, called 9-1-1 on Trayvon Martin, and even after being told by the 9-1-1 operator to back off and allow the police to handle it…. this man shot Trayvon. And Trayvon was’t armed… he was just a young man, coming back from the store where he went to pick up an iced tea and a pack of skittles.

And I had not heard of Trayvon Martin until I saw this video by my good friend Brandi Jeter.

After watching Brandi’s video, I spent nearly an hour researching, watching news videos, and reading as much as I could find about this case. Because now I cannot stop thinking about Trayvon, and his mother and his father. I cannot imagine the absolutely grief and pain that they must be feeling over the sudden, violent, and horrific loss of their son. And I can’t help but think that this wouldn’t have happened if Trayvon had been a white man wearing the same hoodie sweatshirt. He wouldn’t have been assumed to be a “punk causing trouble”.

And I can’t help but think that if the shooter had been a black man (serving as self-appointed community watchdog) and the victim had been white…. arrest and jail of the shooter would had been immediate. And without question. But that Trayvon’s shooter (murderer, really) hasn’t even been arrested…. it just is beyond comprehension. Beyond.

It makes me sick to my stomach. And sad. And scared.

So please, if you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know about this news story…. please google it now for the latest development. And tell someone else. Because in order to fix this…. this sickness. We all need to be talking about it and thinking about it.

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  1. Ann says

    Well said, Sharon. I heard an interesting story on NPR about “the talk” that African Americans give their sons when they turn about 12, when the “stop being cute and could be perceived as dangerous.” No running in your neighborhood, even if you are on the track team, for example. We’ve come so far in this country, but we have so far to go…

    • says

      Included in “that talk” is whenever you see a police officer, you need to remove your hands from your pockets and make sure that they can be seen, and to also remove your hood. What incenses me… is this is not a talk I would ever need to give to my white sons. They can be comfortable keeping their hands in their pockets and their hoodies on, because they will be be assumed to be youths with criminal intent. It is just so wrong.

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