Can we all just agree that this week has been a hazy and draining burst of overload on the race issues surrounding the trial of George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin and that we’re in need of kindness right now? Good, because if we can start right there at that particular point, then I think we can get somewhere as parents, citizens, and human beings of the world. More than once I’ve read people saying things like “…not everyone agrees that Martin was racially profiled” but the only people I’ve heard mention that are non-POC and since People of Color are targeted and profiled, I’m going to engage in a little truth-in-storytelling and believe that. So, if you’re not one of those people right now I’m going to ask that you suspend your disbelief and conclude that maybe Black people talking about this know a thing or two about being followed around and deemed “criminal”.
Are you there yet? Good, then read on, please.
If you’re not there yet, you might want to back away because you’re simply not ready for this information or for a conversation like this.
If you’re on the fence, keep reading, because you’re my target audience for the moment.
Since we agree that there is an overwhelming amount of information including this brilliant piece by Mychal Denzel Smith, Trayvon Martin: From Lament to Rallying Cry, we have to start somewhere.
That’s the question that continues to come up, especially when people have gotten to a place where they know we have a national problem when it comes to race. Heck, we have a national problem when it comes to finding a safe place to discuss race rationally. This week alone I’ve considered the pain Asians felt when Asian names were made fun of by a television station, how Marc Anthony’s singing of The National Anthem was met with cries of un-Americanism, and how Black parents (and plenty of non-Black people in general) have been struggling and dealing with grief over the thought that their children are now in harm’s way and how adult perpetrators can be legally unaccountable for such violence.
The conversations keep happening, too, and that’s been both a bit of a shock and a relief. We’re not done talking about this yet. Just today I participated in a group chat with UpWorthy (whose tagline is “Things That Matter. Pass It On.”) called #UpChat to discuss issues of race and White Privilege and the law and the aftermath, the heartbreaking aftermath, of a jury verdict that is wrong wrong wrong.
It comes down to this: let’s all agree that children belong to us. Kindness extended to a huge portion of our population that are grieving over this verdict is in order. Part of me wants to shout to the world BE NICE. Because all these children and all these people are in a rightful place to be held by us. Not just the mostly White children who died at Sandy Hook. Not just the Boston Marathon victims. Not just the overwhelming number of cases of missing children in the world that gain the attention of national news who also happen to be White. Those are my kids, too, you know? Those Sandy Hook school children were mine. Those marathon runners and by-standers? Those victims belonged to me.
Trayvon Martin belongs to you, too.
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