I know that it’s been some time since I’ve been here. I’m way overdue for a post. I simply couldn’t write. My heart has been so heavy and I just wasn’t ready to put my thoughts out into the universe just yet. I still don’t think I’m ready, but something in me won’t allow me to write about all the fun things I want to like new hairstyles and funny things Johanna comes up with, before writing about the event that took place on July 13th. So, here goes. If you’re exhausted from hearing about it, I won’t be hurt if you skip this entry.
Saturday July 13, 2013 I was on edge. The jury was still out discussing George Zimmerman’s fate and I was at home going back and forth between being hopeful and nervous. I was actually supposed to come back on here and finish my entry for Kidriffic weekends, but I could NOT pull myself away from the tv. I wanted to be present when the jury came back in. That Saturday was also apart of a big week of events. The ladies of Delta Sigma Theta were in town celebrating their centennial. The energy in the city was awesome, and after cancelling on friends Friday night I couldn’t wait to finally get into the city and have some fun. Mingle with folks, have fun with old friends, meet new ones. As the day wore on I got dressed, and did my makeup, all with my eyes on the tv. Nothing. They didn’t have a verdict by the time I left the house.
That night I went to dinner with a friend. We ate great sushi, and I only checked my phone a hundred times for the verdict. While waiting for her to come back from the ladies room someone text me that the verdict was in. Yikes! I was in a restaurant that didn’t have a tv and we didn’t even have our checks yet. I rushed to get the check and pay it, then I grabbed our belongings so that we could run a couple of doors down to catch the verdict. As we approached Matchbox restaurant I saw grim looks on the faces of the people there. Surely they were just looking that way because they were anxious to hear the verdict. As I walked in my heart dropped. I saw the words Verdict: Not Guilty on the screen below Zimmerman’s face and I stood there stunned. I remember saying Wha…what? WHAT??? I felt like was I being bamboozled. WTF were they talking about? Not Guilty of what? Maybe there were multiple charges and he wasn’t found guilty of one of them, but surely he was guilty of manslaughter. When I realized that they meant he was free to go there was a wailing that took place inside of me that eventually made it pass my throat and I ended up bended over sobbing. My friend grabbed me and walked me outside telling me that she understood my pain. I was in shock. My heart was broken. I know that this country has gone through a lot with race, but for the first time in my life I felt like America broke my heart. It felt like a really bad breakup that I didn’t see coming. How is it possible that this happened?
How is it that a teenage boy coming home from the store after buying skittles and tea could be shot dead and his killer walked away. How? Some say he was the aggressor. Well let me make you a promise. If you GET OUT OF YOUR CAR TO PURSUE ME, I guarantee you I’m going to knuckle up and fight for my life. Think about it people. What do you tell your kids all the time? Don’t talk to strangers. If you feel like someone is following you, get to a safe place. You tell your kids this because anyone that is following them IS the aggressor and is up to no good. Trayvon Martin could be alive right now if Zimmerman would have done what the authorities told him to do. They told him that they did not need for him to follow Trayvon. But he did. And then he didn’t take the time to say hi, I’m apart of the neighborhood watch and I’ve never seen you before, etc. etc. Nope, he didn’t do that. That could’ve made Trayvon feel a little more comfortable. But instead he pursued him and now Trayvon is dead. The fact that a killer got off for this murder broke my heart. The fact that this was a black boy threw me into despair.
This is the message that came across – The lives of African American boys in this country mean nothing. They are disposable. It’s okay to profile black folk. A CHILD wearing a hoodie is obviously up to no good. My God, do you know how many times I wore hoodies in college walking around at night??? That somehow made me a threat???? The idea is ludicrous. Just plain dumb. And this law, this stand your ground law? It’s dangerous. It gives people the ability to kill someone just because. I mean honestly, who is going to refute their story? Surely not the other person in the case because, well, they’re dead!
I’m not going to get into how unfair this case was since Zimmerman got to testify via video without being cross examined. I’m not going to talk about how Don West tried to tear Raychel Jeantile down, a young lady who was the very last person to speak to Trayvon one minute before he was killed and how she obviously has PTSD. I’m not going to get into how the prosecutors didn’t act like they cared until way later in the proceedings when it was almost closing arguments time. Maybe it was because of how evidence was gathered against Trayvon from the very beginning instead of against Trayvon and Zimmerman making it a little more fair, or maybe they just really didn’t give any damns. Who knows. All I know is that when I got home that Saturday night I went in the room and kissed Johanna on the head, praising God that I didn’t give birth to a little black boy. I also officially closed up my uterus in my mind. No more kids for me. I’m too afraid that I’m going to give birth to a black male child and that is just too much for me to bear. I already have to fight for Johanna’s self-esteem being a dark girl in a color obsessed world, but the lessons that moms and dads of black males have to teach their children? I can’t. I mean really, what do you tell your son to do based off of this case? Don’t walk while Black? I mean seriously, Trayvon wasn’t bothering anyone. How do you tell your kids that minding their own business isn’t enough?
I’m going to leave it there. This is a subject I can talk about forever. At the end of the day it makes me incredibly sad. I’ve cried off an on since the verdict. I’ve cried for Trayvon’s family, for this country that seems to be going backwards when it comes to race relations, and for every Black child that is alive. So many think racism is dead. No, it’s not. Pay attention. Look for the stories that main stream media refuses to tell you because it doesn’t bring them extra viewership or more money. Step out of your box, your comfort zone, and see what’s really going on. And get involved! I mean get involved in government on the local level. Know what is going on in your community and what bills and laws your state is trying to pass. Do something! Don’t just stand there and watch your life. Be an active participant for you and future generations.